Thursday, May 09, 2013

Zumba and service animals

Last night at Zumba, a woman complained about the music being too loud and that she could not bring her service animal into class. It's inappropriate for a service animal to be brought into a Zumba class because it would not be safe for the dog. It is unkind of the owner to even consider such a thing. Zumba is usually packed with dancers who move into every inch of space. It would be difficult to dance with a dog underfoot--a safety hazard for dancers and the dog. The woman with the service animal wanted to dance. Unless the dog was tied up at the side, it would be inappropriate. Music is loud in Zumba. It doesn't work for everyone. In life, there are endless choices to spend your time. Not everything works for everyone.

I remember seeing this woman when Marco was a Zumba instructor. She used to sit at the side in a chair and watch. Now she is better and able to dance. I asked her if she was going to dance. She said yes.

This reminds me of what teachers in public school have to deal with. Not all classrooms can be for everyone. Just as I believe it is inappropriate for a teacher in a public school to have to deal with a special needs student who is severely disabled, I believe it is inappropriate for a Zumba class to accommodate someone who wants to dance with a service animal. Unless the classroom were much bigger and she could dance off to the side or unless there were a special class just for people with service animals, it isn't going to work.

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