Steps of Grace is a dance program designed especially for children with special needs. Originating in 2011, this program has grown from a single ballet class to multiple classes in both ballet and tap. Classes are taught by Mallory Lanier, a licensed and registered occupational therapist with a background in pediatrics and over ten years experience teaching both ballet and tap.
This program is made possible in part by volunteers who give of their time weekly to assist and provide individualized attention for students who require a little extra help.
The goal of Steps of Grace is to provide children with special needs with quality dance instruction and foster a love for dance. In addition to being fun, dance classes address many important skills with which many children with special needs have difficulty, including balance, strength, bilateral coordination and integration, problem solving, and social skills.
Classes are held weekly through the school year at Pulse Dance Center.
About the director
Mallory Lanier took her first dance class at age five, and has been dancing ever since. Throughout her performance career, she has performed major roles in The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Peter and the Wolf, The Four Seasons, Velveteen Rabbit, The Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Beauty and the Beast, Swan Lake, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and Hansel and Gretel. She has choreographed numerous musicals including Mame, Hello, Dolly!, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Scholar Under Siege, Emma's Holiday Follies, Mister Mercer, and Ahmal and the Night Visitors, in collaboration with the Averitt STARS, Georgia Southern Opera, Candler County Living History Project, Gar-Field High School Choral Program, Battlefield High School Choral Program, Statesboro School of Dance, and Pulse Dance Center. She has over ten years experience teaching ballet and tap classes at Metter School of Dance, Statesboro School of Dance, and Pulse Dance Center. Mallory established and directed a praise dance ministry, Joyful Motion, at her home church in Metter, GA while in college.
Mallory graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, and from Medical College of Georgia in 2009 with a Master of Health Science in Occupational Therapy. Mallory works part-time as a pediatric occupational therapist at Therapeutic Interventions of Georgia, and is the Director of Low Vision Rehabilitation and Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Augusta University. In 2010, she fulfilled one of her long-time dreams by joining her passion for dance and heart for children with special needs by founding Steps of Grace: Ballet for Special Needs. She was selected as a 2015 "Woman To Watch" where Steps of Grace was featured. Of all of her experiences in dance, this has been the greatest, and she is so grateful that she has the opportunity to meet and teach these precious children.