Perform Ability

about us

about Melanie Rufien

Melanie Rufien is the Founder and President of PerformAbility, a passion project merging her desire to be a positive force in the special needs community with her lifelong love of dance and performance. Melanie holds a BA from the University of Colorado in Speech, Language, Hearing Sciences with a minor is Leadership. She also holds a MA in Early Childhood Special Education. Growing up, Melanie always had a passion for dance. She grew up dancing at Starstruck Academy of Dance, which is now the host studio of PerformAbility. She danced on her two-time state champion high school dance team; and continued her dancing career at the University of Colorado for all four years, captain of the team her senior year. Cultivating from early relationships with truly wonderful individuals, Melanie found she also had a passion for the special needs community. Post undergraduate, Melanie went to work for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation while getting her master’s degree. Melanie currently runs PerformAbility (formerly Special Angels Dance), while also helping the community through her “day job” as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher for Mapleton Public Schools. Through Melanie’s unique skills and passion she has formed a program that focuses on relationships, love of performing and growth. 

about PerformAbility

PerformAbility, formally known as Special Angels Dance, is a program for children and adults with varying needs. Special Angels was founded by Melanie Rufien, with the valued  assistance of Starstruck Academy of Dance, in 2017 as a single dance class. The program quickly grew. PerformAbility enters 2023 with a variety of programs servicing the special needs community. PerformAbility offers recreation dance classes, competition dance teams, custom musicals, social dances and more with every new year. Our cherished participants range in ages 2 and up, abilities and number of classes attended. At PerformAbility, we enhance our fine motor, gross motor and social skills through our love of performing.  We are as proud of our friendships as we are of our trophies and ovations. Come Perform With Us, Come Grow With Us! 

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