Story by Kelsey Anselmo-Wright

BYU-Idaho hosted a dance for people with special needs in the Rexburg community May 13th in the Kirkham Building.

The dance, which was Hawaiian themed, had volunteers and managers who gathered around and painted the faces of the people who wanted facepaint, and danced with the people with special needs.

“Our events are directed towards having a good time with students and Rexburg locals with special needs.” Spencer Ott, Special Needs Event Manager, said.

Spencer and other managers meet and plan a dance each month for “our friends”, the term they use to address the locals with special needs.

At the end of each semester, they plan something special for our friends.

“At the end of the semester, we’re going to have this event that is called Extravaganza, which is the big talent show.” Ott said. “So, all of our friends show off. A lot of them sing, a lot of them dance. Our friend Jason last semester did Thriller by Michael Jackson. I mean, he reenacted the whole music video. It was awesome.”

These events are making a lasting impact that impacts not only our friends, but anyone who attends.

“I think this event is really good for socializing,” Emily Breaux, a volunteer at the dance, said. “So that people who maybe aren’t in a big group of friends, whether they’re special needs or not, get to come and be with a bunch of people who are happy and wanna have fun, so, you get to meet lots of people.”

Emily says she will definitely come to more of these dances in the future to continue helping our friends in the community.