It was a simple dance party with neon colors,
balloons, glow sticks, crazy outfits, a photo booth, and a play list of fun
songs to dance to. But for those of us who were there, it was a night that we
won’t soon forget.
A Chance to Dance sprang up from a simple comment made on a
social networking site and in only a couple of months' time it developed into
quite a celebration. Melanie Massey Physical Therapy and the youth group of
First Baptist Church West Monroe teamed up to plan and coordinate the dance
with the main goal of providing an exciting dance experience for special needs
teens and young adults.
Originally we were anticipating about 50 attendees
(including volunteers), but we decided to extend the invitation beyond just our
patients and friends and out into the community. We were thrilled when G.B.
Cooley, Care Solutions, and other organizations rounded up even more
individuals who wanted to get in on the fun. At the end of the night we had
upwards to 150 people, all dancing, smiling, and having a great time!
We could only think one thing, "We need more food!”
Fortunately, after grabbing a few more pizzas and adding it to the chicken
nugget trays (donated by Chick-Fil-A) and the brownies and cookies (donated by
Social Bites), we had more than enough to keep everyone energized and moving.
We were initially worried that it would be hard to get
everyone out of their comfort zones and out on the dance floor, but we could
not have been more wrong! These kids were ready to shake it! And shake it they
Seriously, you should have seen some of their moves! We were
all very impressed.
We had lots of activities planned, but everyone was having
such a great time that many were dropped in favor of just more dancing. We did
interrupt the tail shaking for a few minutes to watch an awesome performance by
the ULM’s Alpha Kappa Alpha Steppers, which was amazing.
We played a game of freeze dance and had a Michael Jackson
dance-off. One of our patients, Trey, is a huge M.J. fan and was super excited to get to show off his skills.
We also had a special guest, Aymee Stepp, bring a little
Latin spice by teaching us how to merenque.
Everyone did the Electric Slide, the Wobble, and sang out
loud to Journey’s epic classic, "Don’t Stop Believing.” Have I mentioned yet
just how much fun this was?
We knew that the party was really hopping when MMPT therapists started hoisting a few of our patients out of their
wheelchairs to fully support them while they danced. These guys really love
what they do and their patients mean so much to them!
When asked about the dance afterwards, Keif referred to it
as, "the best thing in my life!” He would host a dance every week if he could.
As we were nearing the end of the night, we knew that there
was a special dancer who really gave it her all. We named our dear friend,
Peaches, as the Dancing Queen. She was the first one there and one of the last
to leave, and she had really brought out all the stops with her dance moves!
Overall, this event was a huge success and we look forward
to an even bigger and better celebration next summer!
To see tons more pics visit the A Chance to Dance Facebook Page.