Archie comes on in leaps and bounds

Archie Aspin, with his mum Amanda Aspin, who struggled to walk because of his down's syndrome, but Baby Ballet classes have helped.
Archie Aspin, with his mum Amanda Aspin, who struggled to walk because of his down's syndrome, but Baby Ballet classes have helped.

A little boy with Down’s Syndrome is making leaps and bounds - all thanks to ballet.

When Archie Aspin’s parents, of Greetland, were told their new baby had Down’s Syndrome, they knew his development would be behind that of his peers.

Children born with Down’s Syndrome can be slower to learn skills such as reaching, sitting, standing, walking and talking.

But mum Amanda credits the Baby Ballet classes he attends every week with boosting his confidence, independence and his physical skills.

Now three-year-old Archie walks, jumps and leaps along with his classmates, just like any other little boy of his age.

Amanda, 39, said: “We knew Archie would be a lot later getting his physical skills, but its definitely helped him coming to Baby Ballet, because he’s been exposed to those a lot more.

“It’s such a positive experience. It’s given him independence, it’s given him confidence, acceptance and it’s helped his general development.

“It’s also helped his attention, his listening and all those social skills that obviously take him a lot longer to learn and that he has to practise a lot more.

“The team have been fantastic. There’s been no question that he would come, he would join in everything that carries on for everybody, just like any other child.”

Archie began attending the classes at Square Road at just eighteen months old, following in the footsteps of his sisters Emily, eight, and Tillie, five.

Amanda, who owns Apple Tree Day Nursery in Halifax, added: “Mine and my husband’s attitude has always been that he will have the same opportunities as our daughters have had and we won’t limit him, we’ll push him to his full potential whatever that might be.”

Claire O’Connor began the Baby Ballet franchise in Halifax and has worked tirelessly to bring ballet to everyone.

Baby Ballet has 70 franchised schools, teaching more than 11,000 children up and down the country every week.

She said: “It’s fantastic and it’s so lovely to see him. Our main ethos is inclusive work and seeing Archie melts your heart. For me, it’s the dream of bringing classes to everyone. If children want to have a go, they should be given the opportunity to have a go.

“That’s what we wanted to create - a safe place.”