Colleen Perry is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California (MFC38937). Early in the year 2009, Colleen read an article in People magazine about an amazing program at the Boston Ballet teaching dance to children with Down syndrome, and was immediately inspired to fly to Boston and meet with the director of the program. She is thrilled to bring this unique and special class to Los Angeles, combining her love of dance and her special affinity for children and adults with Down syndrome.
The mission of Free 2 Be Me Dance is to bring the joy of dance to individuals with Down syndrome. The program began with just one group of 12 students and has grown to five year-round classes as well as several summer classes.
Since opening it’s doors, the program has served dozens of children and young adults with Down syndrome in Los Angeles County. The company has performed in several recital shows, at the Special Olympics in Long Beach and at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. Our goal is not only to teach dance, but also to empower the children in our programs and increase their self-esteem with challenging movements and by developing deep friendships.
In addition to running her non-profit, Free 2 Be Me Dance, Colleen volunteers her time with The Soldier’s Project, and organization which provides free therapy to combat veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq war. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post on social issues and mental health issues. Colleen shares her life in Venice Beach with her partner, Bob, and her dog and therapy companion, Murray.