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Special Needs Students Learn Dance Moves, Social Skills Before Prom

Monday saw the final "social" for special needs students all across the Big Country as they countdown to their very own special prom.
The speakers are blaring, fear and insecurities are tossed aside and both feet and wheels hit the dance floor...and you won't see any empty chairs at this dance.

"The heels, jewelry, everything. We're going all out," laughed Jill McClellan, an Abilene High School teacher who organized the event.

Last year, the school hosted a special prom for special needs students, giving them a chance to let loose and forget their worries.

"They just have a ball, they think it's great," McClellan said. "But the best reaction is from the parents, who say 'Whoa, my kid can do that?! This is great, this is heartwarming, this is so much fun.'"

So this year, they took it a step further and invited students with a wide range of disabilities -- "You name it, they've got it, from cerebral palsy to down syndrome," McClellan said.

From a wide range of schools -- Clyde, Anson, Wylie and Cooper High students will join Abilene High students to get down and have a good time.

Monday, a gym filled with smiling faces and dancing teenagers, practicing for that real prom.

"After we opened it up, we realized these kids don't know each other so just meeting once a year wasn't going to give us all the friendship we needed to have the prom successful," McClellan explained.

That's why they have been hosting socials since the beginning of the school year, bussing in students from those Big Country schools, so they can meet, mingle and learn all the latest dance moves.

"At our first social, the students were a little isolated a little bit more," said Mellanie Myers, another special needs teacher at Abilene High.

Fast-forward to the final social before the big prom and you can see for yourself -- that isolation has been thrown out the window and these kids are ready for their big day.

The prom will be held during the afternoon on May 17th.
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