Kennesaw Mountain Hosts Magical Dance for 400+ Students with Special Needs
Once upon a time, there was a very special dance. Pinocchio, Snow White, Tinker Bell, Pocahontas, and other fairytale characters stepped off the big screen to welcome hundreds of students with special needs from across Cobb County to the Mountain.
It is described as a “magical day” that comes together once a year thanks to hours and hours of work of more than 200 Kennesaw Mountain High School students. It is more than the dance of the year. Many also consider it the event of the year—a memory-making day students, staff, and community members look forward to every year.
“There’s so much happiness flying around throughout this entire hallway and everywhere. The energy on this very day is super high. Everyone’s very excited. Everyone has very high energy,” explained sophomore Felicia, who serves as one of the Kennesaw Mountain student volunteers.
The student volunteers began planning almost as soon as the new school year began.
“We’ve been here every day after school, building the decorations, planning the logistics,” said Siya, a senior at Kennesaw Mountain. “Involvement has been huge, and putting it on takes a lot of hours of work, but we’ve really tried to get the whole student body involved with everything from figuring out the theme to putting the decorations up. It’s really been a team effort these past couple of months.”
Despite all the hours of work, the student volunteers sign up to volunteer again year after year.
“Every moment is worth it. I feel like I’m dreaming right now,” declared Felicia, as smiling guests approached the dance floor.
Kennesaw Mountain junior Aicha praised her fellow student volunteers for all the heart they put into the dance, all to bring smiles to the faces of students they had never met.
“We can feel it, the impact that we’re making on them and the impact that they’re giving back to us. It’s unlike any other experience, truly. I do it for them, and I think we all do it for them because it’s just so nice seeing other people so happy,” Aicha said.
“It’s a magical day, and it really has an impact on everybody,” Siya added.
The student volunteers and guests are not the only ones impacted by the dance of the year.
“It’s actually had a really big impact on the Cobb community,” said Amory, a Kennesaw Mountain junior who described attending the dance last year for the first time as heartwarming.
Kennesaw Mountain has hosted the dance of the year since 2001, and the annual dance has led to other opportunities for students with special needs.
The dance is credited with the construction of the Horizon baseball field for students with special needs. The coffee shop at the school run by students with special needs also flowed from the success of the school’s dance.
“Later on this month, we’re having the special needs field days, which is another opportunity for us to be with our special needs peers,” Aicha added.
The excitement bouncing around the dance floor does not end when an array of colorful balloons flow from above like a waterfall, signaling the end of the dance.
“It really has a lasting effect on people. We’ve seen a lot of students be really touched by it,” Siya revealed.
Kennesaw Mountain volunteers, like Amory, are already counting down the days until they roll out the red carpet for next year’s dance.
“I just can’t wait to see what comes together next year. Each year gets bigger and bigger, so it’ll only get bigger and better next year,” the junior said.