RICHMOND, Kan. - It’s not uncommon to see a dance team at a basketball game, but this routine by the Central Heights High School dance team might be more unique.
It included two young girls who have Spina Bifida, which confines them to a wheelchair, one of whom is 5-year-old Ryleigh Kobel.
“I went to my dance team captain, I said I think we have something here,” dance coach, Laurie Tyner said. “I think it would be so wonderful if we did a dance with these little girls that have Spina Bifida to show that they can do what anybody else can do.”
Putting her all on the floor, young Ryleigh rose up and danced for a cause.
“The words immediately spoke to us about these little girls, that they will rise up and they will do anything that the heart does for the people that they love and themselves,” Tyner said. “This has been such an eye opener not only for me and the dance team, but for the community as a whole that these little girls and anyone else that has any type of exceptionality can do anything that they want as long as they put their hearts towards it.
But this was more than just a routine.
“We are raising money for playground equipment,” Tyner said. “She does not have any handicap accessible equipment at this time besides balls or a sand pit and we want actual equipment for her.”
“That's good because I would like to have my own swing,” Ryleigh said.
Team members say it’s something they’ll always remember.
“She made us all feel really good and just positive all the time,” dance team member, Jasmine Clancy said.
“It made you realize that we take stuff for granted,” Lindsay Burson said. “You want to be happier, you want to be a better person around them.”
While the video received hundreds of shares, dance team member, Chelsea King said it was about something more.
“I don't think it was about the publicity that it got. All the likes and the shares, it's not about that,” King said. “It's the way it impacted us as people and us giving them that opportunity so I will always remember it forever.”
A dance, but also the love young Ryleigh has for her teacher, to allow her to rise up and do anything.
The team is hoping to raise $5,000 for an all accessible swing for Ryleigh.