GEORGETOWN, KENTUCKY (WDKY)– We first met Jenna Lyon in 2017, when she was a senior at the University of Kentucky. By then, her “Chance to Dance” program was already five years old. She had a desire to help kids who are often defined by what they can’t do.
“Growing up in dance, I realized I never saw students with special needs in my classes and never saw them at competitions. I realized a need to offer them the same opportunities I had growing up,” Jenna said.
Jenna not only helped her dancers with balance and social skills, she wanted to give them the feeling of performing for others. Recitals are a part of the program and the students know how to work a crowd.
Student Lucy Harding said back in 2017 that “being able to come someplace and not be criticized for what I do wrong just feels amazing.”
Today, Jenna is an elementary school teacher in Scott County, but “Chance to Dance” is still a big part of her life. Just last fall, she was delighted to move into her own handicapped accessible studio in Georgetown.
“We’ve had students who started off super shy, not sure about it and years later they are helping me lead the program.”
Lucy Harding is one of those students.
The current students were excited to learn Miss Jenna is Central Kentucky’s Remarkable Woman of the Year. She told them she plans to use the $1,000 prize to offer them free summer camps and workshops.
She’s quick to note a lot of other people also make the program so successful– the volunteers who work with each studen and the people who helped her build the studio.
“I would encourage everyone to surround yourself with people who encourage who to go after and follow your dreams,” she said.
When you watch these young people twist and turn, you pay more attention to their smiles than their steps.
It’s the definition of joy and the reason the teacher is called “remarkable.”
Jenna Lyon will now go on to represent Central Kentucky in the national “Remarkable Woman of the Year” contest sponsored by our parent company, Nexstar Media Group.
You can read about the other local finalists by clicking here.