TAMPA, Fla. — Mary Fuller and Tommy DiTommaso love to tear up the dance floor.
- Non-profit group "Dancing Lions Foundation" uses dance to help those with special needs
- Mary Fuller and Tommy DiTommaso created the group
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Dance partners for six years, the pair also run the non-profit organization "Dancing Lions Foundation."
With DiTommaso being a professional dancer and Dr. Fuller also working as a board certified behavior analyst, the pair has worked with special needs individuals for several years.
About three years ago, the duo formed the non-profit as a way to use dance to help people with special needs, many of them children.
"I thought 'what a great idea'," DiTommaso said. "To kind of put dancing and special needs - helping out, giving back to the community. And we both had this idea and that's just how it happened."
The foundation also hosts the annual Dancing Lions Foundation Showcase. Last year's event was a roaring success and held at the Tampa Hilton.
"It was amazing," Fuller said. "We pretty much filled the ballroom with spectators and the best part is every piece of it is free.
"The spectators come and watch for free, the dancers dance for free."
DiTommaso said the biggest boost is just giving people with special needs an opportunity to perform. Fuller said that all-important first step is just that: all-important.
"If your child can just get out there and move on the floor, that's a gain," she said. "If they've never done that before, that's wonderful."