Thirty-six dancers did the do-si-do, swaying and marching to the music.

At Live Laugh Dance, a summer dance camp at Franklin College for individuals with Down syndrome, students find a bit of independence.

Dancers, who are mostly in their 20s, come from all across central Indiana for the eight-week camp where they learn hip-hop, contemporary and partner routines. Later this month, they will show off what they learned in a dance recital.

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The program had been at IUPUI for five years. This summer, the program was relocated to Franklin College to attract students in south central Indiana, said Kyra Noerr, exercise science instructor at Franklin College.

When the program started about five summers ago, organizers wanted a way to help young people with Down syndrome get exercise. Often people with Down syndrome don’t get the physical activity they need after finishing school. They don’t have access to gyms or other amenities that other teens and adults do, she said.

Live Laugh Dance solves that.

And with each whirl of the arms and shake of their hips, the people, aged 13 to 31, get to experience independence, parents said.

Plus, dancing is fun, Noerr said.

“There aren’t as many programs that we are aware of that focused on dancing,” she said.

If you go

What: Live, Laugh, Dance recital.

When: 7 p.m. July 26.

Where: Spurlock Center, Franklin College

Cost: Free

Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2770.