Adam’s Story

Adam dancing and grooving to some hot hip-hop beats and overcoming his struggleAdam Hank, International ambassador
Adam Hank attended the 13th Annual Los Angeles DSA Buddy Walk at Santa Anita Park on November 11, 2007, and soon found himself in the middle of the action, filling the role of international ambassador and entertainer.

One of the entertainers at the event was “Love Junx”, a Hip Hop Dance Troup of individuals with Down syndrome from Japan. Being pulled by the Troup’s music from across the park, Adam cupped his ear, signing to his parents that he wanted to go listen to the music.

Upon arriving at the stage where the performers were exhibiting their dance moves, Adam was overwhelmed with happiness, clapping and cheering.

When a front row spectator, sitting on the edge of the stage, left their seat, Adam filled the spot, and watched the dancers in amazement. Once the song ended, all of the members of the Troupe and some local kids filled the stage for one last dance.

A high energy Hip Hop song was played as the grand finale and all of the dancers grooved to the beat of the music. Soon, Adam was standing, trying to take part in the action from the side of the stage.

Seeing Adam loving the music made two of the older performers smile from ear to ear. Then the unbelievable happened, one of the performers came over and bent down to greet Adam.

They started dancing together and Adam soon reached up and took hold of the young Japanese performer’s fingers with each hand.

The performer swayed and grooved, teaching Adam to move with the music.

When the dance was over, the Troupe handed out a special gift bag to each of the children in the audience, containing small toys from Japan.

After all the bags were dispersed, the remaining dancers on the stage came over to Adam and his dad to say hello.

Although neither spoke each other’s language, the dancers and the Hank’s shook hands and tried their best to get to know each other.

Adam and his dad talked to some of the boys that spoke a little English. One boy had his face painted like a tiger and was very curious about Adam and his dad.

After talking for a while, it was made clear that the boy had his face painted the day before at Disneyland and was so happy to display the work of Disney, he had not washed it off for the Buddy Walk.

All of the dancers were warm and embracing, overpowering the divide of language, and uniting us with their kindness. Adam and his dad were overwhelmed by feelings of unity and friendship, by meeting their new extended DS family.

When it was time for the Troupe to leave the park, many of the dancer’s families requested that Adam and his dad pose in a picture with their child.

This was such a wonderful experience, and one that Adam and the Troupe will not soon forget.

Michael Hank, Secretary
DS Action

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