Mallory Lanier Rosche was recently awarded “Outstanding Occupational Therapy Practitioner” for 2020 by the Georgia Occupational Therapy Association. She was nominated for this award for her work with Steps of Grace:Ballet for Special Needs, an adaptive dance program she founded and continues to direct.
This year marks 10 years of this program providing dance education to children with special needs in Augusta and surrounding areas. Originating in 2011, this program has grown from a single ballet class to multiple classes in both ballet and tap. This program is made possible in part by volunteers who give of their time weekly to assist and provide individualized attention for students who require a little extra help. The goal of Steps of Grace is to provide children with special needs with quality dance instruction and foster a love for dance.
In addition to being fun, dance classes address many important skills with which many children with special needs have difficulty, including balance, strength, bilateral coordination and integration, problem solving, and social skills. Mallory is also an assistant professor at Augusta University’s Department of Occupational Therapy, and provides OT services to individuals with low vision.
She began taking ballet from Mrs. Shay in 1994, who instilled in her a love for dance and inspired her to teach others. She taught classes for Metter School of Dance and Statesboro School of Dance from 2001-2007. She wouldn’t be the teacher or person she is today without the influence of Mrs. Shay!