Dancer discrimination story prompts large response

LANCASTER, N.Y. (WIVB) – A story that we first brought you on News 4 Wednesday night has a lot of people talking now.

Anna Winnicki’s family says she was rejected from a local dance studio because she has Down Syndrome, and her story clearly hit a nerve with a lot of people in our community. We posted the link to her story on the News 4 Facebook page, and within hours, it had been shared nearly a thousand times and there were hundreds of comments.

READ | Local dance studio denies girl with Down Syndrome, says family

While the opinions in those comments vary about how the situation should have been handled, the overwhelming message in them is support for Anna. A few examples:

We are rooting for you, and hope you find a dance studio that will love and embrace you!!!! 💕💕  – Amber Romanczak Stasio

…Dance everywhere and anywhere you like, beautiful child! – Daryl Ann Miller

…Dance your heart out baby, there’s room for you in plenty of other studios. – Erin Castek

In fact, quite a few of the Facebook comments were about other studios that would be happy to have Anna come there. One commenter made a good point about that. “I am not sure why anyone is focusing this story on the facility that would not accept this child instead of the number of facilities that have reached out with open arms to accept this lovely child. Let’s celebrate this child’s abilities and the place(s) that are happy to have her,” wrote Robert D. Doyle.

Anna’s parents say she will be re-enrolling at the dance studio where she’s been the last few years.

We’re still waiting to hear back from the owner of the studio that didn’t accept Anna as a student, and we’re not reporting the name of that business until we have their side of the story, too. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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