Costume Party Kicks Off ESO Dance Season

Posted on October 5th, 2012 at 7:21 PM
Costume Party Kicks Off ESO Dance Season

Pirates, monsters, vampires and other scary creatures gathered at Penn State Behrend to boogie the night away at this year’s first Expanding Social Opportunities (ESO) Dance of the season held Friday, October 5.

ESO Dances bring together young adults with developmental disabilities and their college age peers in a social setting. This month’s dance was a Halloween party, and the 146 attendees and 48 volunteers were invited to dress in costume for the occasion.

“For some volunteers, an ESO dance is the first time they have met a person with a disability,” said Joyce McDonnell, community organizer at the Barber National Institute. “The dances are a unique opportunity for college students to meet a person with a disability in a social setting and get to know them as persons.  Real friendships have formed through this experience.”

Each dance is held on college campuses in the Erie area including Penn State Behrend, Gannon University, Mercyhurst University and Edinboro University. The ESO Dances, which started in 2001, take place six times a year from October-April with a different theme each month. Guests can look forward to a hoedown, Santa visit, Valentine, oldies but goodies and beach party themes that will take place throughout the coming year. Click here to view photos from past ESO Dances.

ESO Dances are open to any individual 18-35 with a development disability. If you would like to learn more about the dances, please visit our web site or call (814) 878-5905 Monday-Friday or (814) 878-5961 Thursdays and Fridays.  ESO Dances are sponsored by Family Support Services at the Barber National Institute.

Additional Photos