Inspirational young American: Mikayla Holmgren
There’s a fine line between inspiring children, telling them they are capable, and the heaping on of false praise for “self esteem.” Things become even trickier with a special needs child, but it is obvious that Mikayla’s parents have done an amazing job with this balancing act.
Mikayla Holmgren has been dancing since she was a little girl. When she’s dancing, she’s in her element. Just like any other dancer, she’s pushed to be great, and her instructor says there’s nothing she can’t do. She has Down syndrome, and that’s simply not a barrier in front of her path to success. Never nervous, the 19-year-old has her parents to thank for her confidence.
“The more knowledge you have about our children, you realize that what you believed 20 years ago that they weren’t teachable was not true,” her mom Sandi Holmgren said.
“She knows a lot more than she can articulate sometimes, so that’s part of it and I think that shows up in the physical things; she can just perform,” dad Craig Holmgren said.
She was on the pom squad in high school. She does gymnastics in the Special Olympics. She choreographs many of her own dances. And she has a lot of awards. Her success is due to instructors like her coach, Inspiration Performing Arts Center owner Katie Owings who don’t separate special needs kids from the other dancers.
“She impacted my life in so many ways. She reminds me of what dance is all about,” Owings said.