Apr 18, 2012 0 Share

My First Dance


Illustration of people dancing in silhouette with multicolored lights.
iStockphoto

In an effort to meet more people, I recently joined an adult special needs support group which is sponsored by an agency I work with that offers services for me to utilize in my life. At our first meeting, I was pleasantly surprised to see some people from the other extracurricular activities I participate in, but I also had the opportunity to meet and speak to many people I did not know. The group’s first planned activity was to have a dance; something that many in the group have never experienced, including myself. 

I missed my prom because I was home-schooled during my high school years, so this dance provided me a good chance to participate in a traditional rite of passage I had missed out on earlier in my life. The event was a prom-style dance with a ballroom floor, a professional DJ, pulsating lights, and a lively atmosphere. I had taken dance classes in the past, but I had never been to a dance like this before. 

It took about 30 minutes to get dressed for the dance; I do not put dress clothes on often and my fine motor issues make dealing with small buttons and belts difficult, so I needed a bit of help buttoning my shirt and putting my belt and tie on. I hope to be able to do these things by myself as I begin to wear dress clothes more often. I will have to practice. After I was dressed to the nines, I rode off to the dance with my mother.        

When we arrived at the site of the dance, I was surprised by how loud the music was. I had expected that the music would be much quieter, but it was actually thumping throughout the area where the dance had been set up. I have issues with loud noises, but I managed to tolerate the volume of the music without using the ear plugs my mother had brought along “just in case” I needed them. New songs kept playing throughout the night, and everyone had an opportunity to participate in some very fun dances such as the “Macarena,” the “Cha Cha Slide,” and the “Electric Slide.” I joined in for a few dances with my mother and I had a very nice time, but even when I was just sitting, I kept moving to the beat of the music and enjoyed following the rhythm. I do not think I ever stood completely still at any time during the night.

In addition to the dancing, I also enjoyed the food selections available from the buffet set up for us, even trying two new foods—raw carrots and fish sticks. I enjoyed both and am planning on adding them to my diet.

There were also college students that had volunteered to help out by taking keepsake photographs under a traditional archway with flowers. I posed by myself and with my mother. I cannot wait to display them as a remembrance of my first dance.

I found the evening to be very exhilarating, but I did grow tired as we moved up on the 90-minute mark, so my mother and I called it a night. I had a lot of fun, though, and it gave me a chance to have a great time dancing in a way I had never experienced before. I would love to do it again sometime, and I hope our group plans another dance soon. The next time I am at a wedding reception or other formal function, I know that I will now have enough courage to join in and dance the night away. I may even ask a young lady to dance with me!