47-year-old Raytown dancer with Down syndrome continues to move to the beat of her heart

Posted at 1:38 PM, Aug 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-15 11:08:30-04

Since 1978, Wynn Twins School of Dance has been a mainstay in Raytown, Missouri. Hundreds of girls have danced there over the years and one special dancer has been there from the beginning.

At nine years old, Jami Elkins was welcomed into the studio by the owner, Jann Wynn. Wynn says Elkins' mother called her and said no other studio would take her.

“Everybody needs a chance,” Wynn says.

Jami has Down syndrome. But, it has never slowed the 47-year-old down.

“I love to perform and dance," Jami told 41 Action News.

When Wynn opened her doors, she was also opening her heart to the special little girl who just wanted to be a part of something.

“Jann Wynn is like a mother and a best friend. I look up to her. She's a wonderful lady," said Elkins.

She’s been dancing ever since. Thirty eight years to be exact. Wynn has even let her teach some of the girls.

“They love her and she loves everybody,” Wynn said.

But, it’s the lessons Wynn has learned that really stick with her.

"Jami has taught me more than I’ve ever taught her." Wynn said.

This year Elkins performed a solo at the annual recital, wearing a jacket that Wynn wore when she was a young dancer.

Elkins is battling health issues and may have to hang up her dancing shoes soon. But, the curtain is far from falling on their friendship.

“It would be hard for anyone at age 47 to do what she tries to do. She is just remarkable." Wynn said.

But, for this special woman, the music in her heart will never end.

“I love dancing. It’s my life,” Elkins said. 


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