It's a wonderful scene: 19 young kids with physical disability, living their dreams, swirling around in tutus at New York's most prestigious dance company, like a bunch of prima ballerinas. And it all started with a heartfelt email from a mum, who was tired of seeing her daughter miss out.
The story's the latest inspiring tearjerker to be given the Upworthy video treatment. Grab the tissues, and prepare to spontaneously high-five whoever the heck's sitting next to you right now.
In the video, mother Natalia Armoza - whose daughter Pearl was born with cerebral palsy - describes what initially led her to reach out to the New York City Ballet, about creating a dance program for children with special needs.
"There were movement programs for children to dance with dancers from The New York City Ballet, and I really would have loved to have done one of those with Pearl. But I didn't want her to be the focus of other people's stares or comments, and I wanted to really protect her from that," she says.
Her idea? To email the Ballet, on the off-chance they'd be willing to hear out her suggestion.
"It would mean so much to my daughter and children like her to be able to take part in a NYC Ballet workshop, and for one day feel like they too could become ballerinas," began Armoza's email.
"I thought, you know, the worst they'll do is they'll say they're not interested," she adds in the clip.
Awesomely, the NYC Ballet listened up. They set up four workshops for Pearl, bringing in cerebal palsy specialist Joseph Jutkowsy, M.D. to consult on the classes, which were to be led by the Lincoln Center's principal dancers, Maria Kowroski and Adrian Dancing-Waring.
"I didn't want to treat them differently than a 'normal' child, and I didn't want to make them feel disabled, and I was worried that I was gonna get emotional watching them because it's difficult to see someone struggle," says Kowroski honestly, highlighting how everyone involved in the workshops had to confront their own stereotypes about people with disability.
The final result? It's all in the video. "Total freedom," says a mother of another young participant in the class. "She can let her body go. She can be the same as somebody else."