I have an idea, and it’s starting to grow. It needs more time, but it stems from the surge of emotions I have leaving Fred’s on Tuesday nights. Fred’s is a local family friendly restaurant/bar in Naples that designates Tuesday Nights as special needs dance nights. And while some people can argue that designated “special needs” events single out individuals with special needs even more, I’d like to invite them to Fred’s on Tuesday night. I haven’t yet been to an event that erases the line between differently abled individuals any more than this. It’s reality, and it happens every week. And Fred’s on Tuesdays? Honestly, I don’t know who it’s really for–people with obvious special needs or people with hidden ones–like me–who come to have fun and let loose and leave a bit more desensitized to our disabilities and enlightened of the great range of abilities that make us all unique.

I’ve thought a lot after writing Bloom about how things will change in the coming years. How will I advocate for Nella and her friends? What will our journey of acceptance and paying it forward look like as Nella gets older? How can I change stereotypes and challenge people to think differently? What experiences will we face and how will I continue to grow and learn more about myself, my children and the world around me?

These are questions we all ask, even if our children don’t carry an extra chromosome. And for me, on Tuesday nights, these questions are beginning to make a lot more sense.

Watch and learn.

freds dance night from ETST on Vimeo.

Dance defibrillates my brain–of this I am sure.


Join me on Thursday, July 26 at 1:00 p.m. ET for the NDSS July webinar, Finding Beauty in the Unexpected. Register HERE.


Leave a Comment
  1. You videos always make smile, and I anxiously await your posts every single day. =)

  2. *your

  3. So Beautiful! made me cry tears of joy!

  4. The video brought tears to my eyes. The freedom was overwhelming, thank you.

  5. I love this. You’re incredible!

  6. SO AWESOME. This video made me really happy!

  7. This is pure happiness. You’re amazing.

  8. I have never seen so much happiness in one place before. This video just made my day!!

  9. Absolutely LOVED this video. Fred’s is definitely working toward your idea of “making the change” to move toward the acceptance, removal of stereotypes we need as a society.
    If I lived anywhere near Fred’s, I’d be there. What fun everyone was having!

  10. That video was Amazing and made me cry….such happiness! Thank You for sharing!

  11. Your blogging is making a culture realize that we are all more similar than different. Thank you for letting us experience your life!

  12. My heart is smiling! Made my day.

  13. Coming to your blog brings a smile to my face every time. And most of the time tears as well. I loved the video!

  14. Woah Brett, watch out!!!

  15. Loved this video. Found your blog recently and have read and re-read Nella’s birth story. You are a beautiful Mama surrounded by beautiful people. I was at my OB yesterday for a not fun visit and working there, pushing a cart down the hall in her scrubs was a woman with down syndrome. I immediately thought of your sweet little baby doll loving Nella and thought about seeing her as a beautiful woman getting to work somewhere she can rub pregnant bellies and snuggle brand new babies :)

  16. Tears.
    Of joy.
    Fred’s is going to need a bigger dance floor.

  17. That brought tears to my eyes! Absolutely beautiful! Wish I lived closer so I could join in on the fun. :)

  18. Just delightful! Thanks!!

  19. In a totally, non-lesbian way…I just fell more in love with you and who you are as a person! You are the epitomy of someone who lives life out loud. You are bringing awareness to the fact that different isn’t always different. Love that! Love you! Love your family!

  20. Changing the world one jazz hand at a time. Love it!

  21. Oh, this was exactly what I needed this morning. For some reason I woke up grumpy and anxious, and seeing you (and especially Nella) let loose was awesome!!! Thank you so much for sharing!! Have a beautiful day.

  22. I’m not sure why that makes me cry right off the bat, but it does. It’s a happy cry though. :) I want to clap, shout and cry all at the same time. lol All of that happiness all in one space must be an amazing feeling. I think I need to do some research to see if there’s something like that around here. I would love to support an event like that. We are all the same in our hearts and souls. Dancing is a universal language for people with all abilities! Keep up the good work, soul sister!! :)

  23. I just finished reading Bloom, and it has touched me like no other book. I can’t even describe it. Wow. I felt so cool reading it, like I knew you personally or something just because I read your blog. :) Beautiful video!

  24. I can’t think of the words to explain just why, but that video made me cry…it was just so beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing, Kelle!

    Debbie in MI

  25. There are songs that, when we hear them, it seems we know the tune; There are dance steps that, when we try them, it seems we have danced them before. Maybe, in another place and another realm, we all danced together to music just like this. And maybe, on evenings like this and with a gathering of God’s children like this, we visit again a kingdom in which everyone dances and there is no difference or distance to separate us. Maybe we all need to learn to dance to this beat. Beautiful. I want to go to Fred’s.

  26. LOVE! Brought tears to my eyes… If only we all had the courage to let loose like that! Their exuberance and passion inspires me! And Mr. White Polo Shirt has got the MOVES!!

  27. LOVE! Brought tears to my eyes… If only we all had the courage to let loose like that! Their exuberance and passion inspires me! And Mr. White Polo Shirt has got the MOVES!!

  28. I love this video Kelle, Fred’s looks like a really fun place to be in general haha, great post.

  29. Awesome!

  30. Your dance partner is FABULOUS :) and you looked so happy! Nella was in her element and I think Fred’s is THE place to bed :) I want a Fred’s here in Dallas!

  31. That’s soo cool! Loved the video — needed a good smile :)

  32. Love…love love…i wish there was a Fred’s everywhere <3 I got chills watching this..Kelle you amaze me! xxx

  33. This post made my tough day so, so much better! Thank you.

  34. Wow. You are such an inspiration Kelle. Thanks for sharing this video. So touching.

  35. Just so lovely!

  36. Two words: Awesome Sauce.

  37. Love this video! Shows so much love and joy to have a community come together to celebrate life in every way! I wish we could all do this! Thanks for the inspriational push today!

  38. This post put the biggest smile on my face!! That guy you were dancing with had serious moves!! :)

  39. Oh your video was so amazing. You made me laugh, cry and smile all at the same time. Everyone needs a Fred’s in their life.

  40. Such a cool place! Yeah for Fred’s!!!! I really enjoyed your video.

  41. Oh my gosh! This is such a cool thing. Every town should have one of these Fred’s.

  42. It brought tears to my eyes watching you dance with that young man. You were put her for Nella and her extra chromosome. I’m excited to see what else you can do for the Down syndrome community!

  43. If someone is not smiling watching that video….well then there is no hope for them.

  44. Beautifully spoken. I really admire you for embracing the future and jumping in like this. I am in tears. I think I may go to the next event our local Ds Association has for the older kids. Rather than living in my little bubble, I need to jump in and embrace our future, too.

  45. That was the best! Love it.

  46. That’s so fun! I love that you can have some mommy and Nella time together doing your special thing! She looked like she loved it, and if you don’t go back every week Mr. White Polo shirt is going to miss you 😉

  47. Beautiful, and looks like a great time!

  48. Goosebumps. Go get em girl. You are doing it.

  49. you’re not alone in this journey. my son was in a preschool for special needs/typical needs kids for 2 years, his brother will go next year. this experience was so amazing for everyone in our family. when all 3 of my kids are in school full time, i feel drawn to serve this community in some respect. i have a lot i could say in this post about it all, suffice to say, that knowledge of our differences and all of the beautiful things that make us all the SAME is incredible.

  50. I wish we could all be more free and kind like the people at Fred’s. I love that you are such an amazing advocate for the disability world. Somebody else said it, but I couldn’t agree more – Fred’s is going to need a bigger dance floor!

  51. SUPER SICK (as the kids say) moves to everyone in that video!
    LOVE it, what a magical day Tuesday is… and everyday!
    Thank you for sharing!!

  52. Beautiful… like a bouquet in “Bloom!”

  53. Tears. Happy ones. Just beautiful!

  54. tears. thank you for being such an inspiration.

  55. I think one of my favorite parts in that video is when the man you were dancing with in the white, went over and gave Nella quick kiss on the head and then kept on dancing….it was such a “normal” action, and so sweet…just really brought home that we are all really the same. Love it.

  56. yep, i cried , again. great video!

  57. aaand I cry. This is beautiful kelle! You look like pure joy out on the dancefloor. Pure joy.

  58. Great post! I wish I could dance like everyone in that video without any inhibitions. I need a place like Fred’s. I’d say you found an awesome dance partner too……..the hubs better watch out! Thanks Kelle!

  59. Kelle, you are one amazing person. You are so brave and loving and wonderful. The video is beautiful, it made me cry tears of joy and fear. What will the future bring for my Maddie?!? I hope there are people out there like you that she will be able to dance with. Thank you!

  60. This is so joyful! Plus, you have some great moves of your own!

  61. I just watched this video with my children! We giggles and cheered and they even danced! With an aunt that grew up living with us with a severe mental handicap this is near and dear to my heart. She sings in a special arts choir and they have a dance team! Their performances are some of the best nights we have enjoying her. I want to get our town (Missoula) to start this! Love it.

  62. You are one smoking hot trailblazer. I am in tears because my eyes are wide open to all this beautiful world has to offer!

    Party Rockers! Next time we are visitng we are so joining you all on the floor!

  63. Great post. Dancing is such a universal language and perfect way to blend people of all abilities :) Way to go Fred’s

  64. Those are some mad skills in that joint!

  65. oh my gosh I love this! made me smile big.
    I took my daughters to a local concert in the park near our house last weekend and there were a hundred people there at least. the ONLY person who was dancing was a beautiful woman with down syndrome. right up in front of the stage…totally rocking it out with endless energy song after song. I left there feeling like man what is wrong with the rest of us?! next time I WILL get up and dance with her :)

  66. Am I crazy that I miss you when you don’t post? When I hit ‘refresh’ multiple times EACH day even when I know you just posted the day before?
    I read your posts and smile/laugh/cry
    Mostly get teary eyed.

    And I always am left wanting more. Thank you for your blog, for raising awareness, for just writing.
    And mostly for the photos.

    And that video made me cry happy tears. So awesome.

  67. All I can say is this post made me smile!!! Thank you!

  68. Hot damn! That was totally awesome. I teared up a little, but mostly I just smiled. That looks like a ton of fun.

  69. This is so fantastic. Hooray for Fred’s!! What a great community you live in.

  70. That girl in the purple can teach some people a few moves! She dances better than I would ever be able to! ha

  71. KELLE! This is amazing. How I wish that I lived in Naples so I could dance my ass off every Tuesday and bring my kids along (who I know would have a BLAST!). Love this group of friends from as far away as Arizona.
    Keep more of this coming, it hits the spot!

  72. I’ve followed your blog for a long time, but this is my first time commenting. I just wanted to say this, too, brought tears to my eyes. If only we could all have the courage to be that carefree. Thanks for posting that!

  73. Pure joy. I want to go someplace where I can let loose like that! Might be time for a road trip…

  74. I don’t know if it’s my pregnancy hormones or what, but I bawled & laughed & smiled through that entire video! I see JOY!!!

  75. Reading your blog is my favorite part of my day! I’m expecting my own differently abled little bean soon and you have encapsulated my feelings exactly! Thank you :)

  76. I am not a dancer… well, I am a classical ballet/tap/jazz choreographed dancer but I get so uncomfortable around free-style and actual dances. Fiona, on the other hand, involuntarily starts dancing at the first hint of a beat. Shes going to make me get out of my comfort zone :) We’ll have to join you one of these weeks.

  77. I cried through that whole video. Happy tears. What an amazing night!

  78. Places like Fred’s give me hope. SO SO SO much hope, that my own little man will find a place that accepts him and encourages his joy someday!

  79. Amazing that a dance video has me teared up … disco moving freedom that speaks to the heart in such a way that so many of us are crying … I love it. Dancing, freedom, tears of joy. People enjoying life. People accepting and loving each other. PURE JOY capturing people who are different yet the same! Blessings to you all as you push forward in this amazing beautiful life.

  80. growing up i never had a stereotype, but seeing Nella and how much she can do already makes me sad for the kids i grew up who weren’t expected to do much. and also there are some customers of mine that come in with their 13 month old who i suspect has down syndrome, or at least something as she is the size of a peanut and I just want to steal her and keep her for my very own

  81. Oh, I love it! And makes me that much more excited for the dance at the NDSC convention tomorrow. I plan to keep Ellie out to late and get her little bootie shakin’.


  82. Our church holds a “Prom” once a year for our adult disabled group. It is designated just for them.

    But us outsiders were invited as well, and let me tell you what. I don’t know who had the better time. I do know it was the best darn prom I’ve ever been to. Who wouldn’t have a good time with people that came in tiaras and orthopaedic shoes, sweats and tuxedos? We were all free to dance and learned from each other how to have fun!!!! GO FRED’S, GO DANCING!!!!!

  83. I love this!

    Amazing how powerful dance, free movement and strong beats can empower and re-charge our souls.

  84. Kelle…this gives me goosebumps…you ARE reaching people and changing minds!! The future for Nella and her friends is brighter because of you! While I consider myself an accepting person and did peer tutoring in high school for various types students who faced challenges,the other day I was struck by a couple of teenage girls at our community pool, they so reminded me of your girls in 12 years..the older one split her time playing with her little sis(who had ds) and her boyfriend. They were so loving and affectionate and boy could the younger one swim and deftly pull herself out of the pool (by way of the side wall, not a ladder)…only to jump in again=) Here is where you have changed me and my perception…I didn’t just want to be accepting…I wanted to KNOW her..I wanted to be her friend! You continue to amaze and inspire me!! Heather

  85. Dance enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time

  86. I don’t know why it happens, but I have the best combination of tears and goosebumps when I read posts of yours. Thank you, Kelle.

  87. What a great video, it made me so happy!

  88. I really feel that special needs children are born to special parents…don’t you think God took a minute to think about who would be best for a child who might need more than others, a parent who would appreciate the struggles because they know that there are other places to excel?, a parent that has tenderness and love no matter how difficult the road? I admire you for breaking barriers and educating people, because in the end, that is what we all are…people.

  89. That made me so happy!!!

  90. Girl, I SO wish I knew of something like this around me! I agree with everything you said about dancing in your other post, and love that you chose to make this video to share with us. It looks like a blast!!!

  91. You are a amazing person and Nella (and her friends) are so very luckily to have you in their corner.
    Beautiful video full of beautiful people

  92. I really love your dance partner! He is the best. And the girl in the purple shirt? LOVE her! And the girl in the twirly shirt? LOVE her! Ok, I love them all. I want to come to Florida and come to this event. So special.
    Tears are falling down my cheeks. Absolutely beautiful.

  93. oh my gosh, i love everything about those dance nights!!! I wish so badly I could go! Nella is just to die for adorable. Thanks for your words and thoughts-as far as I’m concerned you’ve been successful in your desires for helping people gain a different perspective on those with special needs and appreciate them more. I look at these people now and think “they’re somebody’s son and there is a whole family out there that loves them so much. And they used to be a little baby once, too.” (which always tugs at my heart strings to think about). So thank you for posting this and making us all more aware and grateful.

  94. Kelle,

    I haven’t commented in awhile because I’ve been working on my own big project for my girl & those friends in our area with special needs. It’s big and it requires a lot of work — but damn, will it be worth it when I’m through! :) I’ll fill you in more as it makes it’s way towards completion because I know it can benefit a lot of other families like yours and mine.

    I know exactly what you mean when you say that going to Fred’s leaves you with a surge of emotions and how those emotions led you to an idea. That’s how my idea, the one I’m hard at work at, grew. It was sparkled with a little divine intervention too, of course. 😉

    Your video made me cry! The good kind, where that fire within me to change my girl’s world is fueled and ignited. It’s what propels me forward to keep doing what I’m doing.

    Thank you for sharing your experience! It made my day!

    Katie from Southern California

  95. it shouldn’t say ‘the end’ at the end…it should say “the beginning…” :)

    absolutely beautiful! thanks so much for sharing; this is just wonderful!!


  96. P.S. Loved your dance moves and your dance partner! Simply the best!

  97. I finished reading “Bloom”!!! Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us. I don’t think I have ever read a book quite like it. I was crying one moment, laughing the next, back to crying, and then some more laughter. By the end of the book I felt so good about life. Thank you, thank you!

  98. I love that you do this. Thank you for continuing to share your beautiful words and tear jerking videos.

    Much love from San Diego.

  99. Wow, you are such an inspiration. I never have judges people because of their differences but I sometimes struggled with how to approach or embrace them. For a lack of better words, I felt awkward. You have so changed that for me. You, Laney, and Nella. I now never feel uncomfortable or awkward. You are an amazing momma.

  100. Won’t be back down to Naples till October but if this FUN @ FRED’S on Tuesdays is still going on, I’m definitely joining in!! LOVE IT!!

  101. Kelle…seriously that song choice was perfect…I loved this video so very much…I’m not sure why I cried even though it was a happy video…I guess…I think i was in tears because I felt proud of you, and Beck for doing something so incredible….your children are both going to grow up knowing such joy….p.s girl you dance like a wild one!!!!!! Xoxox
    If I lived anywhere close to Naples I’d be there…running man right along beside you…with my 5 children in tow….:-)…xx

  102. My parents both work with adults with developmental disabilities and they have these dances once a month with a live band! They also do ones for holidays! I’ve been going to them for as long as I can remember and I have so many great memories from them! Who doesn’t love dancing?! This video was great, looks like so much fun!

  103. Laughing through tears…is there any better emotion? This is the best thing I’ve seen in a while. BTW, July 28th is National Dance Day. Just thought I’d mention it since you and your family seem to enjoy dancing so much. :)

  104. This made me cry. I love seeing happiness in all shapes and forms.

  105. I think every town and state need’s a Fred’s! Your thoughts about Nella’s future are the same for my Maggie. Living in Maine sometimes I worry even more. In our little town Maggie is the only one with DS, sometimes I think maybe a bigger city could give her more opportunities? Like you though I see and want an amazing future for my daughter! So enjoy your blogs. Thank you, Amy

  106. I am smiling from ear to ear.

  107. Nella dancing MADE MY WEEK!!! What a great video, wonderful!!!

  108. I’m a bawling mess over here Kelle; God Bless your heart.

  109. The guy in the white polo was crushin hard on you!

  110. Smiling through tears over here – thank you, thank you.

  111. Count me among those who cried from the opening moments of that video. smiling through the tears, of course.

    I know you know it to some degree, but I hope someday you will realize what an amazing advocate you are, not just for people with D.S. but for changing perspective/judgement. I’ve always had sympathy for families with children with disabilities (specifically DS) and have always thought of how strong they must be to go about their day with so many obstacles. But after reading your blog these 2.5 years my outlook has changed. I still admire the strength of the parents, brothers and sisters, but now I find myself looking right to the beauty of that little one (or not so little one) with the extra chromosome. I hate to admit that I used to feel pity, and I don’t think I would’ve admitted it even to myself, but that is what I felt. And now when I see these special kiddos (in the mall, at the library, at a restaurant) I am so much more able to look past their perceived struggles and see their unique light and joy and beauty. I don’t only admire their parents for their strength to battle through, I admire them for being who they are. Thank you for that.

  112. Kelle, I will ever be grateful for your beautiful light you shine for us all. I was at the end of a dark dark road a few weeks back and your blog was a huge help in finding the way back. I cant thank you enough. I have a little girl – 17 months who has blessed us with DS. And twins which are due in about 5 weeks.. Your positivity in this hard road has been sent from above.

  113. For some reason that video totally brought tears to my eyes. I love the freedom in those dance moves!!!!!

  114. Beautiful!!! My cousin’s daughter got married over a year ago and at the reception she danced one song with her dad, stepdad, and a few with her husband. The guests didn’t dance~ but two. Another cousin has a 15 yr old adopted child with special needs and my younger cousin (28) twirled her around to the music. It was beautiful~ they stole the show. 😉 Rachael was born premature, weighed less than 2 lbs, and the medical interventions necessary to save her life left her with physical and learning disabilities~ she’s forever childlike. :) My cousin found her in a children’s hospital at 17 months and agreed to be her foster parent~ with the intent to adopt should the parents give her up or not meet the requirements to get her back. She was basically in a vegetative state, on oxygen, stomach tube fed, and couldn’t even hold her head up. Doctors said she would be that way for life~ that she’d never see, hear, talk, eat, walk, etc. Boy, were they WRONG~ she does all of those things!!! She has exceeded all their dire predictions and low expectations by the grace of God and with her parents’ love. She has been the BIGGEST blessing anyone’s ever brought into our family and lives. I can’t imagine not having her~ she’s an inspiration to all who meet her~ a walking testimony of our God’s love. :)

  115. Must. Stop. Crying. To. Comment.

    I love this, I love you, I love Fred’s.

    I’m either getting to Fred’s one day or I’m going to create my own St. Louis Fred’s, starting with my own students, present and past.

    Last week, I saw one of my previous students who is now 21 (!) and I asked him what he was doing this weekend. He replied, proudly, “I get to go to a camp for people with mental disabilities. It’s awesome.”

    Awesome, indeed.

    You rock for advertising the light and beauty of these extraordinary people.

  116. Oh did this put a big old smile on my face! It looks like a wonderful time was had by all!

  117. LOVED the video! What a great thing Fred’s is doing to promote acceptance as well as provide a place for people with “special needs” to come together and spend some quality time.

    Those were some great dancers!

  118. Those kids have the moves! Looks so fun. Sweet Nella joining in. Love it!

  119. Man, that looks like fun!

    I have a 19yo daughter with Down syndrome and dance is her absolute passion… ballet in particular:) For years I couldn’t afford lessons, but faithfully every day without fail she’d put on her dancin duds and do her Bella Dancerella tape. A few years ago she started taking lessons with a group of adults. Each lesson is the high point of her week. The recital is the pinnacle of her year. I can’t even tell you how much she’d love Tuesday nights at Fred’s.

  120. Ok so, it started with chills and now I’m totally crying – this is so great! If there is Wonderful in our world (and I know there is), it is thanks to people like you, Kelle. Thank you (once again) for sharing yourself, your family, your thoughts, and videos like this with us!

  121. What a completely wonderful video… makes my heart smile :)

  122. This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

    Thank you.

  123. Oh Kelle, I’m going through a huge personal battle at the moment. Your posts always make my day, but this one…wow this one has made tears pour down my cheeks and I laugh in delight at the same time.
    I wish so much that Fred’s was in Melbourne, Australia. I’d be there every tuesday without fail to dance my heart out with the coolest people.
    I know people constantly tell you how much your family means to them and what an awesome person you are, but for me, well, you just all get me through.
    Keep on keeping it real, Kelle.

  124. I can’t stop watching it. I love when the sweet boy in the white shirt that you are dancing with gives Nella a peck on the cheek. I’m beaming!

  125. That made me smile so big!

  126. That video was awesome. Brought tears to my eyes. You are inspiring so many people to open their eyes to the beauty in every corner of this world! Thank you!! :)

  127. I’m totally sure that the extra chromosome is the dance one. It just makes me bigger than most anything else in the world. Thank you for bringing this to us all….Marissa

  128. Here I am, sitting on the couch in Melbourne, full of a cold and feeling miserable. That video just made me cry happy tears. Thanks Kelle.

  129. Oh My Goodness! that looks like SO much fun! Makes me want to plan our next vacation in Naples just so we can come dance on a Tuesday night :)

  130. Wonderful post & video! :)

  131. Not “the end”…it’s just beginning! Love your dance partner giving Nella a little peck!

  132. You are beautiful in every. single. way.


    Hahaha…no, really, it’s all good. It’s just that I love dancing so much, and I haven’t been able to since my injury…..because of DANCING! But I’m not letting it stop me. I can’t wait to dance again for the kids at school, with my kids in our kitchen, and someday for my girl at an event like this!

    Lots of love to you!

    And is it weird to say I miss you?
    I am so behind on commenting, and I have a GOOD one
    to share about OUR wedding reception–haha! I have thought about it almost every night since your post and I burst out laughing all by myself :)


  134. Loved the video – it brought tears to my eyes!

  135. July 19th is now complete:)
    I’m jealous of you rawkin’ it so well.
    Love love love!!!

  136. That’s Beautiful!!!

  137. Keep dancing Girl! You’re amazing, what a beautiful community of support!

  138. You and your amazing ability to make me laugh and cry at the same time. Because when it really comes down to it, they’re pretty much the same thing…

    Love this so much :)


  139. kelley you really make me smile! seeing your spirit so vibrantly shine throught that clip is truly an inspiration to woman everywhere, nella and lainy are really lucky to have you as a mom and you truly set an example which proves to serve that happiness and love of life is not based on circumstances but rather on choices! thanks for the everyday inspiration, we can all use it!

  140. One addition to my earlier comment:
    don’t know how to break it to you, buttttttttt, Nella’s moves are keeping up with yours:)

  141. i found BLOOM before i found your blog. your honesty ripped my heart wide open. you have chosen to take a difficult grace and champion the blessing that Nella truly is. inspirational is the word that comes to mind.

    my motto is: when in doubt – dance, so i love the video.

    thanks kelle

  142. Hot damn! I love you. I love this video. I love Fred’s. I’ve never commented before, but you have opened my eyes (often through tears) about a lot of things. So, thank you, Kelle. Keep on doing what you do, mama!

  143. I LOVE the dance party. Way to go Fred’s!! I imagine it could be intimidating going to a bar/dance club situation if you had visible (or invisible) disabilities. Not that one shouldn’t be allowed or welcomed…but I think it’s really cool to have a place to get funky with people you feel truly confident with and accepted by. (And OMG Nella is SO CUTE!)

  144. Brought tears to my eyes! Just awesome. The joy in that room is beyond description. Love. Love. Love.

  145. Kelle did I see some Saturday Night Fever dance moves from you in that mix? And, WHY was I crying at the end of this little film? Oh, maybe because I LOVED IT!

    Kelle you are amazing. The people in your video are amazing. Nella is amazing. Lainey is amazing.

    Just Sayin’. Cuz that’s how I feel Sistah! MEGA-LOVE :)

  146. I love your blog Kelle! (And is it pronounced Kelly or Kell?) Wish I could be there with my baby shaking my groove with all of you at Fred’s cuz if I lived there, I surely would… love you!

  147. i am just crying tears of joy. so refreshing for the soul to come to your blog!

  148. Thank you. :)

  149. Fabulous, and I love you and your dancing partners moves- you were having a proper dance battle there!


  150. You are one rockstar! That night looked like a refresher for the soul and girl, you’ve got moves!! Nella was too cute with her little boogie on the dance floor. Absolutely Lovely!

  151. Happy tears. I just showed this video to my little guy. He’s two. He said “they are dancing at cafe. I can’t believe it! That’s SO COOL! He noticed the joy and the fun you all were having. Not the “differences”. He noticed the great dance moves. Not the “disability”. I hope he continues to see the good in everyone and I hope I can learn a little from him.

  152. Your posts are amazing. Our little one is finally here. She is back in NICU, but hopefully coming home on Saturday. I honestly thank you for sharing your thoughts and emotions. It has helped me sort through mine. You are a true inspiration.

  153. I had tears – happy tears. My cousin has Down Syndrome and the boy in the white reminded me so much of him dancing at our wedding in 2007. We had what would have been like your Cryderman circle with Dec dancing in the middle. It’s one of my favourite family memories. Thank you for brightening my Friday night :)

  154. I love you. You’re incredible!

  155. Have you been watching Upstairs, Downstairs? If you haven’t, you missed out on seeing this wonderful little actress:
    She’s inspirational – and really good.

  156. i have been reading your blog since shortly after nella was born. i have never left a comment because, well, there are always so many comments that i figure you don’t have time to read them all anyway. but this post…this one struck a chord. i just have to tell you i have tears rolling down my cheeks right now. when the man in the white shirt casually walks over and kisses nella? wow. such a simple gesture. such an example of easy love. truly inspirational. thank you for sharing.

  157. You are so correct when you say these are the questions all parents ask. We have a beautiful daughter whom we adopted from Ethiopia and I ask the same things about her. How can I advocate for her? How can I fight racist, even unconscious, stereotypes? I wonder and I pray and I hope.
    Deb C

  158. oh goodness i just love you kelle. you have wiggled deep in my heart. this moved me. tears. geesh! wish i could dance like that;)

  159. Kelle – I saw that you’ll be in Dallas in October. Will you be doing a book signing or anything? A friend and I would love to get a chance to meet you!

  160. I’m pretty in love with your dance partner.

  161. Made me smile – BIG! and a big weepy with happy tears.

    Your dance partner is pretty awesome. Dancing with the stars?!

  162. Everyone needs a time to shine in the spotlight! Thanks to Freds……wish I could be there.:)

  163. Tears of joy as I watched your movie -thank you for sharing these with us. We are blessed.

  164. I love

  165. Kelle,

    I love this! It reminds me of this quote: music washes away the dust of everyday life ~ Berthold Auerbach

  166. Kelle – I don’t know you…but I know you were born to do this.

  167. Eee! I am so in love with this idea! And everyday I am in awe of their “no inhibitions” attitude!! I coach a special needs cheer team in south Jersey. At the one competitions, the music cut off while they were performing. Quick thinking, I told them to dance their hearts out until the music returned. You have to see this video to know what I’m talking about…pure innocence and joy.

  168. Kelle, I was in tears just a couple seconds following the start of your video. My older sister has an extra 21st. I’ve been going to dances with her for a while now and I can honestly say that EVERY dance I go to with her tops any dance I ever attended at school. I’m so thankful for her and for all of her friends for teaching me what it means to let go, be myself, and to be accepted for exactly who I am. I could be the worst dancer on the dance floor, but sure enough I’ll be surrounded in seconds by people who simply find happiness and joy in shaking their rumps to Britney Spears. Or who sing and dance to YMCA (and who become painfully disappointed if you don’t join in). Nella is going to have a blast and Lainey will too. I honest to goodness be any more thankful for those dances.

  169. So awesome!! I love it! I love the freedom and inhibitions…I used to work at a camp for people with special needs and we always had a dance night every session — definetely one of the major highlights of the week – and something I miss and haven’t experienced since. i miss it. i loved watching this video. thank you.

  170. I’m glad I wasn’t the only sap happy-crying at this!

  171. Your videos always make me cry happy. It’s like a sneak peak into the future: hey, did you know your son will…? walk, dance, sing, speak? Fill in the blank. And it all comes true. Magical. Thanks for making hope.

  172. I found your blog via, and I’m so glad I did. Watching the life of the special needs child through your eyes is uplifting and stunning. These kids live life to the fullest as if they have nothing to lose.

    They literally dance like no one is watching. It humbles me. Bless.

  173. crying and wishing i could get a video post like this from you every week to remind me of the grace and beauty God bestows on His perfect creation, all mankind. :)

  174. Wow!!! This group of dancers can sure dance!! Beautiful:) so wish I could join you all!

  175. Your video made me cry…happy tears! You are awesome.

  176. I love this!

  177. What a wonderful event! Thank you for sharing the joy and happiness!

  178. This is so beautiful!! Thank you for sharing such a fun video!!

  179. What a fabulous event! That is something I would definitely take my own typical kids to just to give them a chance to playfully interact with people who are differently abled. They really don’t have that opportunity in their day-to-day lives. This is perfect! Too bad we’re all the way across the country. Though, I will certainly be looking for something like this nearby.

  180. tears of joy here, too…
    every time I read your post, I restore my soul…
    many kisses,

  181. I have your blog bookmarked in my favourites because I love it but don’t visit it as often as I should – today I decided to have a little nosey and found this post. I’m so glad I did. My younger sister (she just turned 21) has DS and my family are actually moving in Naples in the Autumn. She adores dancing and will love this so thank you for sharing (and maybe see you there in the future!)

  182. Hi Kelle– Loved your video! I have my own “wild one”! She’s 15 and absolutely loves to dance. She’s taken it outside this summer.. the whole neighborhood watches! She was little like Nella when she started.. Rod Stewart’s “Hot Legs” was her song of choice. Well, maybe my choice..but she liked it! lol There’s music in that 21st chromosome..I just know it! Keep blogging, Kelle! You make the world a kinder place!

  183. I couldn’t love this video more…the pure joy you can see brought tears to my eyes! So amazing for these sweet, sweet people to get the chance to let loose and have the time of their lives…and your little one is just oh-so-precious. Thanks for bringing me a little happiness on a boring work day :)

  184. Kelle, this makes my heart happy! And it makes me want to dance, so one day I might make the loooong trip down the great state of Florida from Columbus, GA and show up for a night of unbridled joy at Fred’s :) I look forward to each blog article you write, and I find myself referring to “my friend, Kelle” – as if I’ve met you! Thank you for all you do for your sweet family, for others who are differently abled, and for your readers – you are an inspiration and a beautiful person. God bless the Hampton family!

  185. I love the beautiful inhibition every has in this video…. not a care in the world, a room filled with so much love, it burst a little, which I am grateful, because I got to feel the love all the way in Tallahassee. Thank you <3

  186. my god that video is AWESOME! :)

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