Buddy Dance Aims to Bring Community Together

OXFORD  – In its second year at Talawanda, the Spring Social Buddy Dance is aiming high to create an inclusive, welcoming environment to anyone that wants to attend.

Touting itself as a community-wide celebration, the Dance’s mission is to simply bring people together in a casual environment to enjoy eachother’s company.

Sophomore English and Speech teacher Ashley Sammons serves as the dance’s director. The dance is planned and executed by her, along with help from several student volunteers who make up the “Buddy Dance Committee”.

The committee is in charge of fundraising, and helps gather funds by taking letters to local businesses, and collecting donations during lunch. They also help out during the dance by running activity tables and socializing with guests.

According to Sammons, the idea of having the event was originally brought up by Talawanda Principal Tom York during a club advisor’s staff meeting.

“I thought it sounded like a great opportunity so I volunteered to take it on,” Sammons said. “The purpose of the dance is to bring students and community members together in a relaxed, fun environment. The dance is meant to be fully inclusive.”

Sammons mentioned that a similar dance was held at her high school while she attended there. She also voiced that Ms. Alfonsi, another Talawanda English teacher, volunteered at a similar event when she taught at Fairfield.

Sammons enjoys the volunteering aspect, as well as the possibility of attendees meeting someone new. “I love volunteerism so it gives students volunteer experience and it gives people the opportunity to meet someone they may not normally see during the school day,” she said.

Both Miami and Talawanda’s best buddies chapters also assist in helping with dance. Along with providing help and general assistance, the chapters also give some funding the event.

This year’s dance is planned for Friday, March 3, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Gym.

Sammons says that many fun activities are planned for this year’s edition of the annual event such as dancing, nail painting, shoe shining, a Wii table, and a photo booth. There will also be craft tables sponsored by Voila and FCCLA at the dance, along with plenty of food.

But in the end, it’s about having a good time without stereotypes and exclusivity.

“I think it is a great community wide event that shows great things Talawanda students are capable of doing for one another,” Sammons said. “It also brings individuals together and helps combat some of the negative stereotypes individuals with disabilities may face.”