Just enjoy yourself

Just enjoy yourself

Karishma Mehrotra

Local special education students dance away  


There is an apparent juxtaposition in the room. 
The adults frantically position the Red Vines and nachos, attach the tropical decorations of parrots and flamingos and stress over the mere 30 minutes that remain until 150 special education students from Branham, Fremont, Lynbrook, Cupertino, Saratoga and Wilcox High Schools fill the MVHS gym and lobby for the special education dance on April 30. 
As students enter, they are simply filled with joy. 
The small talk encompasses the atmosphere. "Long time no see!" "Am I going to see you at summer school?" "How about those Sharks?"
And then they start to migrate to the real life of the party—the gym dance floor.
"Cha Cha Slide," "Tik Tok," "I Gotta’ Feeling" and other popular songs blare from the speakers as several students dance the day away, including instances of break dancing and slow dancing. The smiles that cover their faces express their cheer and the jumps of happiness portray the wonderfully oblivious bliss.

Special educator Heather Jones from MVHS enjoys teaching the students the vocational and social skills that can be seen at these events. 

"I work alongside teachers in special [education] classes [but] I love working with the kids," Jones said.
The participants look forward to these dances every single month, simply noticeable by the enthusiasm and ecstatic expressions.

"I think [we] are here to enjoy ourselves," Perspectives student senior Natalia Marielle Jayakoddy said. "[My favorite part] is popping, and locking and dropping it."

Every month, a holiday-themed dance is hosted by one of the seven schools. A tropical and summer environment at MVHS for this month’s dance also included a booth for Mother’s Day cards, tattoos and face painting. Other than educators and special education students, volunteers from Ohana, an on-campus club that bridges the gap between the Perspectives class and the rest of the student body, helped with set up and serving during the event.

Special educator Don Vierra sees the significance of the community support that comes from these dances.

"[My favorite aspect is] the joy, the happiness, the kids getting to be kids," Vierra said. "It’s the best time of the month—it takes a village to raise a child."