Cobb County

Kennesaw Mountain continues tradition of hosting all-inclusive dance party

KENNESAW, Ga. — Hundreds of students with special needs came together Tuesday for an all-inclusive party at Kennesaw Mountain High School.

For more than 20 years, students here at KMHS have put on what’s simply known as “The Dance.”

It’s homecoming and prom wrapped up into one as hundreds of special needs students have a great time.

The participants arrive to cheers and student volunteers, with staff lining the hallway to enter the gym.

There are no fancy dresses, corsages, or expensive meals -- just music, moves, and pure joy.

“This means so much to the kids, the community. This is one of the greatest traditions in Cobb County,” one parent named Marlon said.

His 19-year-old son Matthew, now in the transition program at Kennesaw Mountain, has been coming to the dance since nearly the beginning as a Pre-K student.


“He’s out there right now having the time of his life. He loves it and likes to dance,” Marlon said.

This year it’s a fairy tale theme: Once upon a time at the mountain, and it’s all organized and put on but the student government group at the high school.

“Seeing it all come together is just so rewarding, such a special day for them. So seeing their smiling faces, their excitement – (it’s) what we do it for,” student Amory Brown said.

The dance, with about 400 special education students, and another 200 Kennesaw Mountain students as mentors, includes members of the entire community.

“Everybody comes together, and it is an opportunity for our students with disabilities to just have fun and be a regular student enjoying a dance,” teacher Brenda said.

It’s all about fun and inclusion.

“The Kennesaw Mountain kids said, ‘We want them to be part of the community, be inclusive, want them to be involved in every activity,’” Marlon said.

Sadly, the kids don’t get to dance the night away. Once they wrapped up the dance, the students had to go back to class.