Health & Wellness

6-year-old girl with Down syndrome rocks the dance floor in adorable video

Ana Malaniuk lives to dance.

An adorable video of the 6-year-old Edmonton, Canada, girl showing her moves to a mashup of “Shut Up and Dance” and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” was shared on the Canadian Down Syndrome Society's Facebook page March 23.

The organization thanked Ana, who has Down syndrome, for "making our day a little more awesome."

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And the talented little dancer has brought cheer to many others, too, as the video has been shared more than 1,000 times since its original posting.

Sonja Malaniuk
Ana Malaniuk poses with her dance instructor, Amanda Desousa.

Ana's mother, Sonja Malaniuk, told TODAY.com that her daughter started dancing at age 3 after a preschool teacher encouraged her to enroll Ana in a class.

But unfortunately, finding the right dance studio proved to be more challenging than Malaniuk expected.

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"Last year we started at a different dance studio, and after one class, the owner told me that Ana wasn't able to keep up with other kids," she said.

Malaniuk, who wanted Ana to take lessons in a more encouraging environment, pulled Ana from the class and began the hunt for a supportive studio.

Sonja Malaniuk

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Soon after, she found Amanda's Academy of Dance and enrolled her daughter in hip-hop and ballet classes. And, as it turns out, the studio (and Ana!) quickly exceeded Malaniuk's expectations.

"It has been amazing at her studio," she told TODAY.com. "Other parents, kids and teachers don't treat us any different, and they don't limit or judge Ana."

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Amanda Desousa, Ana's teacher, said that it's important for "every child to get the opportunity to dance" and added that Ana "fits in in all classes."

"I hope other dancers and families have learned not to judge or limit our kids," Malaniuk said. "I am so proud of Ana. While she is on the stage, she brings so much joy into my life, and I am so happy she has been given an opportunity to dance and show her sassy moves!"

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