The National Ballet shared its stage on Saturday with a Toronto girl who is turning heads with her special dance skills.
Clara Berg, 11, is still learning to talk because of both autism and a genetic disorder of the heart and lungs that makes breathing a challenge.
But she can dance — with surprising precision. After getting a copy of the comic ballet Coppelia for her birthday, Clara memorized and performed its entire doll-themed routine for her speech therapist, who posted it to YouTube. Clara’s dancing has since racked up almost 700,000 views.
“We knew she was dancing to it,” said therapist Marielle Yep. “We just weren't sure how much she was accurately dancing to it until we put the two beside each other.”
Clara was invited on stage following a National Ballet show for children with special needs.
“We want to bring together people of diverse backgrounds that have a common joy in learning things without words,” said organizer Lindsay Fischer.