This teen with Down syndrome is celebrating a new win in her life—getting into her high school’s drill team!
Bree Cox, 14, recently found out that she has earned a spot on the competition dance team at Murray High School. Now, the Utah teen will get to dance alongside her big sisters Kyra, 18, and Adrie, 16, whom she considers her “role models.”
After hearing this exciting news, Bree relayed it to her dad, and she couldn’t hold back her tears of joy. The sweet moment was captured on video and has since gone viral on her mom Kecia’s Instagram.
“You fight for your kids with special needs every day, to some degree, because you’re their voice,” said Kecia, 42. “So when these little victories happen, you’re like, ‘Okay, it’s worth it. They’re seen by somebody and they’re valued.’”
Bree’s love for dancing began when she was just a kid and only strengthened over time, especially as she watched her older sisters compete on the teams since 2015.
The teen memorized every dance and attended every single one of Kyra and Adrie’s competitions. Through the years, she’s hoped to join them one day.
“Bree didn’t understand that she had a disability, so she saw [Kyra and Adrie] doing things and she was just going to do them too,” Kecia said.
Kecia is 100% supportive of her children, but at first, she wasn’t sure if Bree’s dreams would become a reality. Saying that it broke her heart back then, the mom of seven didn’t know how she would explain it to Bree if ever she never got to do it.
Although she didn’t want to limit her in any way, Kecia knew that she also had to protect Bree’s feelings.
“We can shout their worth and their capabilities all day long, but if nobody’s willing to listen, then it doesn’t really get very far,” she said.
Despite her concerns, the family followed Bree’s lead and encouraged her to practice for the April 14-16 auditions.
Each girl performed a dance in front of the judges and coaches during the tryouts. And even though she had never been on a team before, Bree said she didn’t feel nervous.
“She just beams when she dances,” Kecia recalls. “She just goes in there, doesn’t worry about what people think of her, steps on the floor, does what she loves and that’s where she’s the most at home.”
Three days later, Bree learned that she made the cut!
Initially, she was very calm about the news. But later that night, when she shared the exciting news with her dad, Bree’s emotions set in.
“She’s never felt happy tears before,” Kecia said of the now-viral moment. “She’s cried when she’s sad. But she was like, ‘I’m not sad.’ We had no idea that she would get that emotional.”
Bree said she was only crying out of happiness and that she likes “being part of the group.”
So far, the video has gotten nearly 65,000 likes on Kecia’s Instagram.
“People believed in her and saw her, and that’s really hard to do with kids with disabilities sometimes,” she said. “There’s plenty of people who are nice, and who are going to be kind and talk to you, but to find a place where you’re really seen and believed in is like a whole different world. It’s beautiful, and she deserves it.”
Lately, Bree has been busy learning dances for an upcoming school event. And though time has passed since she found out that she was accepted into the drill team, her excitement hasn’t waned at all.
Everywhere they go, Bree would always remind her mom to tell people about her latest achievement!
Kecia hopes that Bree will cling to that feeling of joy and belonging. She also wishes that her precious daughter will embrace the qualities that make her unique.
“Our greatest hope is that she never feels like she wants to change the fact that she has Down syndrome, or that she’s not good enough because she has this disability,” Kecia explained. “Bree is the happiest when she feels like she belongs and she can do something she loves.”
Here’s the moment Bree told her dad about the good news.
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