Gannon University to Host Dance for Barber Center Program

Posted: April 7, 2017

Gannon University will host a dance for the Expanding Sociability Opportunities (ESO) program of the Barber National Institute. The theme of the dance, which will take place from 7-9 p.m. April 7 in the Waldron Campus Center, 124 W. Seventh St., is "A Night in New Orleans - Mardi Gras."

ESO dances are a chance for adults with an intellectual disability to enjoy an evening of fun, dancing and friendship with their peers.

The dances, which began in 2001, are held periodically during the academic months at local colleges and universities for adults age 18 and older with intellectual disabilities.

Gannon students will serve as volunteers at the dance, with an average of over 100 volunteers at every dance.

Jill Merritt, Ph.D., assistant professor in Gannon's education program and organizer of the event, said that the dances allow attendees and college students to get to know one another on a personal level and promote a positive and fun environment for those with an intellectual disability.

"It is sometime difficult for families to find appropriate social opportunities for their adults with disabilities," Merritt said. "Our ESO dance has had over 200 participants in the past."

The next ESO dance will take place April 28.