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By DrexelNow

Haley Robinson has spent every Tuesday evening over the past six months dancing with William “Billy” Geilfuss. Although he isn’t able to say hello or wave to her – in the traditional sense – when she arrives, she can sense his excitement in the way his face lights up.

Geilfuss is a non-verbal high school student with cerebral palsy who was paired with Robinson as part of a partnership between Drexel University’s dance program in the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy in University City.

This year, there are seven Drexel students and seven HMS students participating in the fully-volunteer program. The student-pairs meet once a week from Oct. – May to practice choreography for seated and standing dancers. The months of training will culminate in a final performance at Drexel on May 30.

The collaboration challenges traditional definitions of dance, and provides the HMS students – each having movement and speech disabilities – with a therapeutic outlet to express themselves and make connections with peers. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the partnership.

“This experience redefines dance for students as a healing art,” said Miriam Giguere, director of Drexel’s dance program. “We believe that it’s essential for students to have practical and personal experiences in the field – outside of the classroom or studio – so this is a great opportunity to get involved in the community and to connect with people at a fundamental level.”

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By Joseph Milord

At 18 years old, eating six times a day, continuously gaining muscle and adding 42 pounds in the past 18 months; Joshua Whipday possesses the type of physical attributes of man in tip-top shape.

You wouldn’t guess it, though, judging by a previous diagnosis he was given.

Whipday is a sufferer of cerebral palsy, an illness that confined the British teenager to a wheelchair from the age of 10 to age 15. Able to walk again after those five years, Whipday began working out as a way to better himself.

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By The Guardian

Applause erupted in the gymnasium at West Royalty Elementary School in Charlottetown as Brett Robinson made his way to the front of the room.

Brett, 15, is the 2014 P.E.I. Easter Seals ambassador and his entourage embarked on a six-day school tour on Tuesday. As part of the Tim Hortons school tour, he will visit 65 schools before the tour wraps up April 24.

The Grade 10 student from Charlottetown Rural High School was born with cerebral palsy stemming from a lack of oxygen at birth.The disease limits his movement so he uses a wheelchair.

He calls himself a non-traditional communicator and, with the help of the Tobii communicator on his Panasonic Tough Book, he is spreading his inspirational message to students across the Island.

When his family told him that he was this year’s ambassador, he said he felt like he was in a dream and on the tour, he has encouraged students to pursue their own dreams. His slogan for this year’s campaign is: Think it…Dream it…Live it.

“I want people to dream big and live their best life,” he said in his speech.

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