The special needs community can dance the night away in a new, sensory-sensitive dance program that will be held in different locations throughout the county each month.
The I DANCE program, or Intellectual Disabilities Attending and Networking Community Events, is free and open to all ages within the special needs community.
“I wanted to have an event where special needs children and young adults can come and enjoy themselves,” organizer Christina Davis said. “They will be in an environment where they can have fun that’s geared specifically towards them and others like them.”
Davis and Aileen Green organized the program to provide the special needs community an avenue to express themselves in a fun way while providing parents and caregivers the opportunity to network and share their experiences.
The first event in the program is the Valentine’s Special Needs Dance held Feb. 17 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Sneads Ferry Community Center, 126 Park Lane.
The dance will include sensory-sensitive music provided by a DJ, free snow cones from Island Crush and carefree dancing, according to Davis.
“We’ll definitely keep everyone in mind with this dance. We’re being mindful, we don’t plan to have the room dark, no disco lights and the music will be at good, tone mindful of those who are sensory sensitive,” Davis said.
Tracy Sorenson will be attending the event with her 23-year-old son Andrew, who has high functioning autism, after seeing friends share a Facebook post about the dance.
“I’m always looking for looking interesting things to do,” Sorenson said. “We haven’t really stayed in touch with the community so it’ll be good to get out and interact with peers.”
The group’s Facebook page is Special Needs Community of Onslow and Pender Counties, where more information about the dance can be found.
“When we created the event, people would say, ‘How can I help? I want to be there,’’’ Davis said. “We will need some help decorating, but the main help is distributing information about this. Or if a business wanted to be generous and help donate a space or something like that, that would be amazing.”
For more information about the dance, call Christina Davis at 910-389-1476 or Aileen Green at 910-382-2989.