Arts troupe is ‘godsend’ to mother, daughter

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“It’s been a godsend to us” is how Becky Williams describes the Arms Wide Open troupe at Rubio’s Performing Arts Center in El Cajon. Williams’ daughter, Cali, was born with Down’s Syndrome, and the Arms Wide Open program run by Chris Rubio has opened up an opportunity for Cali to participate in the Special Needs Dance and Movement class for children and young adults.

“It’s been a godsend to us” is how Becky Williams describes the Arms Wide Open troupe at Rubio’s Performing Arts Center in El Cajon. Williams’ daughter, Cali, was born with Down’s Syndrome, and the Arms Wide Open program run by Chris Rubio has opened up an opportunity for Cali to participate in the Special Needs Dance and Movement class for children and young adults.

Williams says Rubio is “wonderful” with the young adults. “He gets to know each individual child.” Cali, 24, has been active with the group for three years.

The Arms Wide Open troupe has various activities for their own: they have participated in the “Autism Speaks Walk,” done brunch on the Bay, and had a “Rockin House of Terror” on Halloween to name a few.

Now they are in rehearsals for a production of Aladdin and Cali was cast in a lead part – Jasmine.
“Cali was so excited when she got the call back from Chris,” after auditioning for the role. “She is a little shy and this has helped her grow.” Williams further elaborated.

“He’s so excited” says Lolo Millwood about her Matthew “Matty” Millwood, who is also in the production. Matty and Cali were cast in early November.

“The kids are very close; they look out for each other.” Williams continued to describe the close-knit troupe.
That said—the audience should be looking out for them—the Aladdin production will run May 14-19, 2013 at the Lyceum Theatre in downtown San Diego.

Watch out for Chris Rubio’s other dance groups as well; Chris is currently preparing a dance troupe that is supposed to participate in the “America’s Got Talent” TV show. Check their website at: www.rubiosperformingarts.com for more details.

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