Last weekend, Maddie Goldberg `19 helped rock the crowd as she led her dance team through a routine during halftime of the Boys Basketball game. The group she coaches, called the Totally Awesome Girlfriend Group (TAGG), is a dance team for individuals who live with Down Syndrome. In addition to TAGG, Maddie also coaches a team through the Special Olympics.
Her interest in serving this population started at age 9 when she traveled to Washington D.C. to help lobby Congress about bills protecting and aiding people with epilepsy.
“While there, I met a lot of people who were really in need of help and friends, which made me decide I wanted to help people who have physical or developmental disabilities,” she said.
At the age of 11, Maddie started volunteering at Stages Performing Arts Academy in a singing, acting and dancing class for teens with disabilities. She shared, “I absolutely fell in love with working with these kids and realized that I had so much in common with them. I have been volunteering in that class every Saturday ever since.”
About a year and a half ago, Maddie decided she wanted to get involved in the Special Olympics. When she found there weren’t many dancing opportunities for people with disabilities, she decided to start the first-ever Special Olympics Dance Team in the St. Louis area, which she still coaches today. A couple months later, she got involved as the coach of TAGGS.
Maddie shared her excitement to lead the team during an MICDS Basketball game, an opportunity for her to combine her passion with School spirit. What’s more—she was happy to see an enthusiastic crowd support her team.
“The girls were a hit! The crowd cheered them on the whole time, and they got a standing ovation at the end,” she exclaimed.