All posts by wrts tampa

Dancing for Donations expands into its own Brandon studio

Dancing for Donations expands into its own Brandon studio – Tampa Bay Times

BRANDON — Sara Battaglia has always loved dance.

Growing up in North Port, she recalls her mom working two jobs to help offset studio tuitions that eventually led her to the Sarasota Ballet School, the School of Russian Ballet.

She eventually studied dance at the University of South Florida before a hip injury mid-semester caused her to withdraw from dance.

“I was bored,” said Battaglia, 23. “I wanted to dance and give back to the community.”

In May of 2017 she held her first dance class for about five children at the Brandon Moose Lodge because the space was free, and she could provide a low-cost dance experience for parents and their kids.

Since bingo and fish fries aren’t exactly a kid-friendly environment, Battaglia moved her instruction to the party room in We Rock the Spectrum indoor gym and Dancing for Donations was born.

Now, one month after expanding into its own 1,500 square foot space next door at 1076 E Brandon Blvd., No. 101, Dancing for Donations might need to grow again.

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kid on zip line we rock the spectrum tampa

‘We Rock the Spectrum’ offers sensory-friendly gym – FOX 13 News

BRANDON (FOX 13) – It’s hard to believe less than two years ago 6-year-old Lizzie could barely talk or socialize with others.

Lizzie is just one of the dozens of children who go to We Rock the Spectrum in Brandon to play and learn. The full-inclusion, indoor sensory gym welcomes all kids and abilities but specializes in sensory-safe experiences. It’s the perfect place for Lizzie, who has sensory needs and speech delay.

“She’s made a lot of progress. She’s talking more and making more eye contact. It’s really neat to see Lizzie come out and learn more with us,” said occupational therapist, Vanessa Fox.

Vanessa works alongside We Rock the Spectrum owner Valerie Bailey. Together, they cater to each child’s individual needs.

“We are able to help children of all abilities. They can come here with their siblings. They can play and have fun and get out their energy,” Valerie explained to FOX 13.

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we rock the spectrum kids gym brochure tampa florida

I Won’t say I’m Sorry Anymore – Atypically Joyful

I say it again and again. But, I shouldn’t.

I don’t know why I can’t seem to stop myself.

Why do I seem to care so much about what everyone else thinks when it comes to my son’s needs?

I won’t do it anymore. I won’t apologize for me or for my son.

The sign on the all inclusive kid’s gym, ‘We Rock the Spectrum’ says it all.

“Finally a place where you never have to say I’m sorry.”

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group of people on tennis court

Travel Baseball Tryouts & Scrapbooking & More – Osprey Observer

‘Tennis For Fun‘ Competes At Florida Special Olympic Summer Games

Westfield Full Inclusion Back To School Bash

The Westfield Mall Full Inclusion Back to School Bash is returning for a third year, and this year it will be bigger and better than ever.

Westfield Mall, Simply Events, and We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym join together to create an event where families can support our children’s differences in a fun, and safe interactive learning environment. The Full Inclusion Back to School Bashes cater to both neurotypical and neuro-diverse children with hands on activities, family and school resources, health and wellness services, after school programs, learning centers, safety resources and more.

The event starts with 250 kids receiving scavenger hunt pages. After completing the hunt each child will receive a free, full-size backpack and school supplies. All families can enjoy local Tampa Bay mascots, princesses, super heroes, an entertainment stage, interactive workshops, MOSI, tons of free school supplies and back to school discounts at mall retailers.

This event will take place at the Westfield Brandon Mall, 459 Brandon Town Center Dr. on Saturday, July 14 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

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Healthy Kids Day, Imagination Day, Finance Strategies & More – Osprey Observer

Imagination Day At Westfield Brandon

The 2018 Imagination Day will take place at Westfield Brandon on Saturday, April 21 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Bring the whole family out for a day packed with family-fun free activities and creativity. Imagination Day benefits We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym of Clearwater & Tampa. Entry, parking, and all activities are free and the first 100 Children will take home a Superhero Cape. There will be free activities & entertainment including multiple ‘Creation Stations’ like Dixie Bell Paint Company’s Rock Painting activity to our Official Discover Partner, MOSI’s Science Lab & a Mad Science feature. In addition, most Exhibitors will be offering a creative or educational activity at their booth.

Dance Parties will be hosted throughout the day featuring an introduction from a local dance studio, and they will be teaching a few simple dance moves.

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Instructor’s ‘Dancing for Donations’ spawns a treat for special needs kids in Brandon – Tampa Bay Online

BRANDON — Sara Battaglia’s love for dancing and generous heart has launched a feet-driven fundraising effort.

When Battaglia first began holding free dance classes in her native Port Charlotte, she decided to ask parents for a small donation to go directly to a different charity each month.

As a busy college student and dance teacher at four different locations, she wanted to volunteer, but simply didn’t have the time.

Battaglia, however, never anticipated a growing group of special needs families seeking those classes. Now, as the holidays approach, more and more Brandon parents have their children “dancing for donations.”

“I started it in Port Charlotte where I’m from with a similar program but it didn’t necessarily have special needs kids involved,” Battaglia said. “When I moved to Tampa for school and started teaching at different studios and I wanted to do it here.”

Initially, Dancing for Donations was operating out of the Moose Lodge in Valrico. But through the guidance of her students’ parents, they connected to We Rock the Spectrum owner Michelle Kapusta and began having classes at that location.

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Gym Allows Autistic Kids To Rock The Spectrum – Tampa Bay Times



A children’s gym serving kids with autism and special needs celebrated its Brandon grand opening in January.

We Rock the Spectrum, a national franchise that started in 2010 in California, provides sensory-safe play for kids with autism, special needs and neurotypical development.

The gym features 10 pieces of therapeutic equipment specifically designed to work with many of the sensory processing issues that children on the spectrum face, while providing all children with the sensory-diet necessary for improved learning and neurological development.

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My Brother Rocks The Spectrum Foundation

My Brother Rocks The Spectrum Foundation is our 501(c)3 (tax id #46-4393642) non-profit organization that helps families receive the funding they need to participate in our social skills/activity groups, classes, camps and more. This allows children to be able to use the specialized sensory swings and activities WRTS offers. We offer these groups to children and young adults from 2 to 18yrs of age.

Our mission is to provide all children with any ability or disability a place they can build friendships, keep active and learn to use their energy in their bodies in a productive environment. WRTS uses its equipment and activities to integrate children in this environment also through their Open Play and Break Time programs. We also receive funding from other state programs like the Regional Center, that provide one to one attendant care and other specialized services required to ensure all children can find the benefits of healthy play.

All funds donated to MBRTS are distributed to all of the WRTS locations Nationwide to complete our mission of giving families a community and,  “finally a place where you never have to say I’m sorry.”

Visit our website!