“I like putting on music and moving around,” says Jasmine Dana. “Dancing is fun, it makes me happy.”
Being happy defines Jasmine, even as she meets the daily challenges of being an autistic 16-year-old. While learning is a struggle for her, Jasmine loves school and retains a perfect memory of everyone she meets, including each person’s birthday and where she last saw them.
“Jasmine loves people and clothes,” says her mother, Sainaz. “If she likes what you are wearing she will compliment you.” Extraordinarily kind, Jasmine always tries to cheer those who are feeling blue.
Making her EIAS dance video was fascinating and fun for Jasmine. She was thrilled by the positive attention she got both during the filming and afterwards, when viewers congratulated her and praised her performance.
Jasmine has been volunteering for the past two years, helping feed the homeless. For her service she has earned a White House a gold medal acknowledging over 2,000 hours of service. Now Jasmine is now aiming to earn a lifetime achievement award, requiring 10,000 service hours.
But meanwhile Jasmine keeps dancing, currently learning a more difficult dance form called bhangra, combining hip-hop and disco, set to Punjabi music. It makes her happy.