Inclusion hits the dance floor at Best Buddies Friendship Ball

LATHAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – More than 500 students, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, danced the night away at the Best Buddies Friendship Ball.

It wouldn’t be prom without hours of preparation. It means having your hair perfectly curled and your lips glossed.

“I never had curls before,” Carla Mollica said.

And just like Mollica says, there’s nothing like a little pampering to make you feel “special.”

As they were at the salon getting ready, undeniable excitement began to build.

“Well, it’s my first time going to this, so I don’t know what it’s like,” Mollica said.

But with excitement also comes butterflies.

“I’m definitely nervous because I’ve never been to a Best Buddies dance,” Emily Dawson said.

It’s an experience Emily’s mom wouldn’t miss for the world.

“It gives them a chance to go and feel accepted,” Amy Dawson said. “It gives us, the parents, the chance to take pictures like the more typical situations.”

And then finally, the time comes to turn up the music. Friends of all different abilities came together on the dance floor.

“Get rid of those labels and celebrate everybody’s ability level and just have a great time and celebrate all that we have accomplished,” Best Buddies Friendship Walk Chair Peter Gannon said.

Best Buddies is all about creating friendships between people with and without disabilities so that no one on the dance floor – or in life – will ever feel left out.

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