Pilot Study

At University of California Irvine, Professor’s Andrew Palermo (Drama), Kimberly Lakes (Pediatrics) and Gillian Hayes (Informatics) recently completed a pilot study, assessing the effects of Creatively Able classes. After completing assessment measures, students participated in Creatively Able classes. They then took home a new Kinect game entitled ‘DanceCraft’. Dance craft mimics Creatively Able classes and allows students to ’take’ classes at home. Students then returned for a second in person class and concluding assessments were taken. The results of this pilot study will be published in summer, 2017.


Reaction to Creatively Able Movement Classes

“Having dre.dance on the Heartspring campus was a delight. Your patience with the children and commitment to learning about the intricacies of autism was heartwarming to watch. It was obvious that the company of dre.dance got just as much out of the workshop as the children. It was truly a moving experience and Heartspring is grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with such an outstanding group”. Katie Grover, Director of Marketing, Heartspring Center for Children with Special Needs


“Andrew really connected with the kids at our school.  He made learning dance fun and was able to tailor it to their ability.  He understands children with Autism and can teach them to dance because of his drive and passion to understand them even more”. Jaime Nicklas, Director, Brooklyn Autism Center


“On behalf of the Brooklyn Autism Center Academy, thank you Andrew Palermo for coming to our school and giving our students a wonderful dance experience workshop. The workshop carefully took into account the challenges of our students with Autism, and his sensitivity in this area, coupled with the great creative energy you bring, made the dance experience a true highlight for our students. I hope we can work together in the future, and again, thank you for bringing dre.dance to us”! Sydnee Jorgl, President, Board of Directors, Brooklyn Autism Center


Reactions to Creatively Able Movement Classes and Workshops for Staff at Minnesota Autism Center

“It was an amazing experience to have Andrew at MAC (Minnesota Autism Center). I think the staff and clients both benefited immensely from his passion and knowledge of movement.  He was open and easy to work with and established great connections to the children.  It was enlightening to have such a wonderful experience with the staff and clients.  This visit from Andrew will impact the way we work with these children and will help us to incorporate movement into our therapy.” Kelsey Granowski

“Andrew was awesome! We had such a great time with him. We had many kids come right out of their shells and follow his lead! He was upbeat, energetic and did a great job connecting with all of our kids! Thanks Andrew!!” Kelli Kleven

“Andrew’s presentation helped provide insight and ideas for incorporating movement and rhythm into our kids’ lives. I was particularly struck by his comments on dance and movement as a creative outlet for the kids, a means for them to outwardly express what they feel. Overall, I feel like the presentation provided us with another tool for helping the kids we work with communicate with others and interact socially, both of which are important skills for children with autism”.


"I believe what Andrew Palermo is doing through his movement therapy is a great opportunity for individuals of all ages and abilities to express their own creativity through the form of music and movement.  He does a great job of incorporating group interaction along with individual interaction to allow different aspects of social skills to be used.” Angie Winges


 “I thought it was great.  I wasn’t actually sure going into it but I did thoroughly enjoy it.  I can definitely see how this could be effective with the kids we serve.” Chris Kokal

 “Professional and approachable demeanor. He seemed to be organized and had a vision of what he wanted to accomplish. He was not critical of anyone, which allowed for a more productive, positive and creative experience. Provided us with a creative outlet to evaluate generalization of and even to teach imitation skills.” Jami Hughes

 “The kids had a wonderful time dancing with Andrew! It was such a fun, creative way to incorporate imitation and following instructions within a social interaction! He really did a great job engaging each child and keeping them all involved!” Jen Stewart

 “I thought Andrew was engaging and interesting.  I feel that he could offer the demo as a team building exercise as much as a demonstration because it had the feel of a team building workshop.” Michael Raguet

 “I thought he was engaging, informative and flexible to various learning styles. Definitely fun for all ages”.  Lindsay Narayan


Reaction to beyond.words by dre.dance

"For 13 years, I’ve tried to understand my son’s autism. In one night, I learned more about his feelings, his concerns, his movements, his world from dre.dance’s beyond.words performance.” Peter Bell, Executive VP, Autism Speaks


"Through its clever and compelling choreography, beyond.words effectively dismantles myth-understanding with deft authenticity by portraying autism in all its mystery and beauty”. William Stillman, author of Autism and the God Connection and The Soul of Autism


"Having the honor to attend a dre.dance performance has changed my life forever! What exquisite beauty, grace, heart, love, and soul in every move.  It has been a couple of months and I think about that experience each and every day”. Michele Pierce Burns, Co-Author DANSON: The Extraordinary Experience of an Autistic Child's Innermost Thought and Feelings.


"It was a very moving and insightful representation of the apparent hard work of both dancers and the director. I appreciate the thoughtfulness and the creativity of such a harrowing topic being compassionately communicated via the medium of dance. Truly a night beyond.words”.-Marianne Mille

"beyond.words was an amazing performance.  The dancers of dre.dance are very skilled and did well collaborating their dance techniques with the feelings connected to the piece.  The performance was extremely moving and stirred up a variety of feelings regarding autism.  Andrew successfully incorporated many real aspects of autism into this piece. A great experience”!-Kelsey Granowski


"In light of the autism epidemic, I applaud Andrew for incorporating autism into this very moving dance performance.  It is obvious Andrew has an understanding of the difficulties that families, friends, caregivers and those individuals who live with autism on a daily basis must face.  I know that as they continue to perform, they will increase understanding and tolerance not only within the Autism community but the general population as well”.-Joan Owston


"The program was very intense and opened my eyes to what a child with autism feels. It gave me a chance to be 'inside' their mind and experience the world from a different perspective”.-Megan Hanson


"It was a great experience! Andrew did an excellent job with incorporating Autism in this performance. It's clear that he spent countless hours learning about Autism.”-Ryan Cornelius


“It was beyond.words….”-Jen Diederich