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Dance Company collaborates with "By Your Side" club Ava Seccuro-staff writer

As a member of Dance Company, the president of the "By Your Side" club and a teacher's assistant for Kathy Kay's special education class, sophomore Madison Heller has wanted to share her love of movement with the students. On Dec. 4, Heller decided to host a By Your Side Dance Day in the dance room during lunch to do just that. In the eyes of Heller, this event was a success and she would like to have a By Your Side Dance Day at least once per semester.

“It’s all about inclusiveness," Wudh Bonchirt, one-on-one behavioralist, said. "Our students usually don’t get to interact with other students that much, so this is a good opportunity from them to get out there and be a part of this school.”

"I think these kids aren’t appreciated as much as they should be," junior dancer Rebekah Sheff said. "Dancing with them allowed them to feel a part of something and a team that they may have never felt before. It was a great experience for us and hopefully them."

"The special-ed students felt connected in a way that’s hard to describe. In a word, they had a blast. It was incredibly rewarding to see the joy on their faces. Their eyes lit up when they heard the music and they immediately began to turn, jump, and move side to side to the music," Heller said. "The high energy in the room was only surpassed by the smiles on everyone’s faces. By the end, even the few students that are a little shy came out of their shells to join in on the fun. The amazing experience today was one of those things that just spoke for itself."

“I think by working with other classes and sharing the thing that you love, it really teaches other people to appreciate that," dance teacher Dana Findley said. "The bigger thing for Madison and I was to build new friendships. We don’t know everyone at this school and it gives us a chance in a classroom environment to get to meet new friends.”

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