Foster Schmidt Dance Academy
IN 2007, CHARLOTTE FOSTER-WILLIAMSON
discovered that there was a need in the Roswell and Atlanta areas for a program for dancers with special needs. What began as a “sure, I can do that” weekend workshop developed into something much bigger than she ever imagined. The Foster-Schmidt Dance Academy (now named Physio-Jazz) has become her passion, her drive, her puzzle, her challenge, and her inspiration.
Based largely on physical therapy movements and basic jazz dance movements, what started as a workshop became a 6-week class based on both dance and visual art therapies. As it grew into a weekly class, it was clear that the community wanted something that was more technique focused that ended with a recital performance. Now in its 8th year as a weekly class, the Physio Jazz program continues to provide new opportunities and classes for students of all needs.
“Ten years later, I’m so thankful that I said yes to the weekend workshop and that I accepted the challenge to develop a “real dance class” at Atlanta Dance Central. At that time, I had no idea that parents of children with Down syndrome were hearing NO all the time. My “Yes” to trying was all they needed. They didn’t need me to be perfect and to have all the answers.”-Charlotte Foster-Williamson
The Foster-Schmidt Dance Company (FSDC) was founded in 2013 for students who wanted more performance opportunities. Students in the FSDC are required to audition to be a part of this performance company and expected to interact with audience members at community events. FSDC partners with SIDEWAYS Contemporary Dance Company for several performances per year. In 2015, dancers from FSDC and SIDEWAYS traveled to Walt Disney World Resort to take dance class from the cast members and perform their own show at Disney Springs. Future plans for the company include a trip to NYC.
This season you can catch them performing in Frankenstein’s Frolic at Atlanta Dance Central on October 14th and Once Upon a Holiday at Blessed Trinity High School November 16-18th.