The annual Partners Club dance has always been a place where students of all kinds from the club, the special education department, and the community come together for a night of fun. This year was no different.
Typically, everyone in Partners Club goes to the dance. The dance is special, in that it draws together both current and former members of Partners Club.
“We had a really good turn-out this year, and it was great to see everyone get along so well,” Junior Mackenzie Smyth said.
The evening runs on a schedule with specific start and end times. However, some students show up early to help set up – putting up decorations and setting out refreshments. Former biology teacher Laird Johnson provided the musical entertainment.
“Some people come earlier than others, but it’s really just like Homecoming except more fun,” Smyth said.
Regardless of when the festivities begin, the atmosphere is never dull. The key to the event is inclusion – everyone is welcomed and encouraged by other participants. Students come to dance, socialize, and just be themselves.
To some, dancing with complete strangers might seem intimidating or awkward, but the dance is incredibly successful at creating a low-threat environment. Senior Julia Hamilton went to the dance for the first time this year and was surprised by this.
“There are many different kinds of people, and they were just there to help each other and care about one another,” Hamilton said.
However, the most important mission of the Partners Club dance is engaging the hearts and minds of students at Valley.
“I think the dance helps see students at our school in a different light,” Hamilton said. “It’s truly an eye-opening experience.”