'Nutcracker' Helps Little Girl With Down Syndrome Excel In School - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


'Nutcracker' Helps Little Girl With Down Syndrome Excel In School

When 7 year old Marcela Arteaga saw her first dance production four years ago, she knew that was what she wanted to do.

Her mother, Lindy says, "She wanted to dance like the girls on the stage. She wanted to wear the pretty clothes, and dance up there on that stage. That's what she wanted to do."

Marcela's parents say they were determined to help their little girl accomplish her goal, and not let her Down Syndrome stand in the way.

"We don't ever put any limits on her. She can do whatever she wants to, and that's why she's here tonight,' says Lindy.

This is the second year Marcela has danced in the Nutcracker.  Her parents say not only does she love the dancing, but it's helping her in school as well.

Marcela is a first grader at Clarkston Elementary in Tyler. She gets extra help from a resource teacher for an hour and a half each day, but most of the time, she participates with the rest of her classmates.

Her teacher, Kristy O'Bannon says, "From August, she just has blossomed.  She loves to read, and she just really has made a lot of progress, especially in writing and in math, just since August."

The Arteaga's have always had high hopes for their little girl, and seeing her up on the stage is confirmation she can do anything.

"We never let her disability be an inability to do anything.  The stars are the limit for her," says Lindy.

The Nutcracker runs this weekend at Tyler Junior College in Wise Auditorium.  Show times are:

Friday: 7:30pm
Saturday: 2:00pm (story-telling version), 7:30 pm
Sunday: 2:00pm

TJC Box Office: 903-510-2672

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com


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