Summerlin View Feature

09/20/2011 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

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Kids get chance to shine

Group finds place on local stage for youth


Vic Valbuena Bareng/ViewTshlene Henreid, founder of Life Long Dreams, is a former professional dancer whose career came to a halt after she was diagnosed with arthritis, which put her in a wheelchair for two years, she said.

Photos by Vic Valbuena Bareng/ViewTop, Zach Warringer, right, sings while, from left, Mary Moody, Taylor Lytle, Jeffrey Lytle and Janea Edgel dance during a rehearsal to prepare for an April 8 talent show. Bottom, Tshlene Henreid, center, founder of Life Long Dreams, leads the March 15 practice session, held inside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 2555 N. Jones Blvd.


As a child, Tshlene Henreid dreamed of being on stage.

Now, she’s making that dream come true for talented children who have mental or physical disabilities.

She has set up a nonprofit organization called Life Long Dreams to do just that — putting them on local stages to allow them the chance to shine.

One of the participants is Zach Warringer, 17, who has Down syndrome. He also has an ear for singing, which transcends his disability.

In February, Henreid arranged for Zach to appear at a private function held at Palace Station and entertained patrons at Go Raw Café, 2910 Lake East Drive in The Lakes. He also appeared on stage at the Fremont Street Experience for the Taste and Sounds of Soul event on March 9.

“I like the music nice and loud, and I like it when the crowd sings along,” Zach said. “I like it when they clap.”

Henreid was born and raised in Oakland, Calif. She realized her childhood dream of being a dancer and enjoyed a whirlwind career that took her all around the globe, she explained.

But in 1989, when Henreid was in her mid-20s and at the height of her career, she returned from Japan with painful swelling in her ankles. It was diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, and it may have started there, but it didn’t stay.

It invaded her entire body, putting her in the hospital for a month. The pain, she said, was excruciating.

“I couldn’t brush my teeth or dress myself,” she recalled. “You think only older people get arthritis. I had no clue I could be in the shape I was in.”

The arthritis put her in a wheelchair for two years and necessitated a replacement joint for her left shoulder.

She spent the next 11 years in Los Angeles running her own talent agency, booking talent for everything from the Tom Cruise movie “The Last Samurai” to Britney Spears’ music videos.

Last year, Henreid moved to Las Vegas, where she co-produced a winter holiday show that highlighted children with health issues. That sparked the idea for the foundation and got the ball rolling.

“I know the struggle just to get out of bed each day,” Henreid said. “I want to inspire these kids.”

“If this can make my son happy, how many other kids are out there that I can make happy, too?” said Zach’s mother, Cathy Warringer. “When he’s up there on stage, you can see his natural talent. It’s like the part of his brain that’s not inhibited with Downs, takes over. When he’s performing, he changes hearts.”

The charity plans to set up other local performances so children with mental or physical disabilities can sing, dance, put on fashion shows and participate behind the scenes. For more information on Life Long Dreams, call 979-4642.

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Big Starz/Little Starz Photos Las Vegas Sun Article

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