Bringing People Together Through Dance 

If you have not attended the popular Virtual Dance – LaBlast, you should sign up right now! High energy Robert Wallop, a 26-year-old from Annapolis, Maryland, shares his love for dance and passion to perform as our Dance – LaBlast program leader (for both GiGi’s Virtual Playhouse and GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis since 2021). As a certified LaBlast® Fitness instructor, Robert gets us moving in this fitness program based on the ballroom dances you see on Dancing with the Stars.  

Robert, who has Down syndrome, has been dancing and entertaining since the age of 8. After years of determination, commitment, and practice, he is now a decorated dancer including being a two-time gold medal Special Olympics World DanceSport Champion (watch the video!!) and a two-time bronze Pro/Am Rhythm and Smooth USA Dance National Champion. In 2017, he was a contestant on Season 16 of “So You Think You Can Dance”! 

Robert uses his talents to support not only GiGi’s but also serves as an Ambassador for Special Olympics USA DanceSport. As a competitor, instructor, and performer, Robert travels and interacts with people around the world. In a previous interview Robert shared, “I know that I can help bring people together through dance,” Robert says. “I want to make the world a better place through dance.” 

Robert’s family shares, “Volunteering for GiGi’s has been so rewarding. It is amazing to see participants led by one of their peers and a joyful experience to witness the freedom of expression through dance during these classes by Robert and the participants that are both physically and emotionally engaged.”   

When he is not dancing, Robert loves singing, spending time with his family and dogs, going to movies and eating steak and potatoes. He works at the Annapolis Town Center in the Santa Photography Shop and the La Marmotta Gelato Cart. Robert aspires to continue his fitness leadership with GiGi’s national and global community through the Virtual Playhouse and wants to create on-demand program videos and classes that students can access around their personal schedules. 

We are so thankful for Robert’s volunteer service and sharing his talents with the GiGi’s community! We cannot wait to see what the future holds for Robert. 

A sister’s impact

Many of our volunteers come to us because their lives have been personally touched by knowing someone with Down syndrome. We have many volunteers who have a sibling with Down syndrome and choose to give back by volunteering through our virtual 1:1 tutoring program or virtual group programs.  Their passion for the Down syndrome community…

Where in the world will you impact acceptance? 

Registration is NOW OPEN for the GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge! Join us in advocating for acceptance within the Down syndrome community. Let’s demonstrate that everyone deserves acceptance, regardless of differences in race, gender, diagnosis, sexual orientation, or religion! Our goal is ACCEPTANCE for all!   You can register today with your local playhouse or through the Virtual…


Illuminating Pathways to a Brighter, More Inclusive Future

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many aspects of our lives were upended. But amidst the challenges, opportunities for connection and growth emerged in unexpected places. For Cindy Marie, this opportunity came in the form of GiGi’s Virtual Playhouse. When the pandemic closed physical locations, Cindy Marie found herself eager to continue supporting the…


  1. marie charles on July 9, 2023 at 7:08 pm

    Would love for this to be available at the Playhouse! Looks like a lot of fun!

    • jbyrnes on July 10, 2023 at 5:32 am

      Hi Marie! Robert and Dance – LaBlast are amazing and fun! What local playhouse is closest to you? Robert teaches this class in-person at GiGi’s Playhouse Annapolis. We invite you to join us virtually. We’d love to see you. You can register on the Virtual Playhouse calendar or on your local playhouses’ calendar. The class is held weekly on Wednesdays.

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