We’ve got a story about a very special dance group in Siler City: The Tuesday Night Dance Group.
Greg Lewis, owner of Catering by Design lives near Siler City in Chatham County, and last year was pleased to offer catering for Prom Night. This year, Catering by Design again catered their very special night. Here’s more about the group.
The Tuesday Night Dance Group has been meeting every Tuesday for the past 18 years in Siler City. They’ve only missed three Tuesdays in about 1000 (52 x 18).
It was started almost 20 years ago by Lois Garner, the mother of a special needs child got together with a few parents of special needs children and adults. Word traveled and pretty soon, The Tuesday Night Dance Group was the night to be on the town for a whole community of people.
On any Tuesday night as few as 50 and as many as 150 girls and boys, and men and women come. They could be as young as 10 and as elderly as 80.
Many of the dancers are from Chatham County, but a couple of groups are from group homes in Randolph County. “We’ve had people come from as far as Greensboro and Highpoint,” said Joe Ellen, father of a young man with special needs, Josh. Josh is THE DJ for The Tuesday Night Dance Group, on every Tuesday, except Prom Night.
Prom Night is the fanciest. A professional DJ. Professional photographer. Professional catering. One mother has made corsages for all of the girls and women. Sometimes a local business sends a limousine to pick up a few of the attendees.
“Joe and the other parents in the group are really good people,” said Chef Greg Lewis, “What they are doing is important and makes such a huge difference in their lives, parents, as well as the adults and young teens who come.”
Joe Ellen has been Special Olympics Coordinator for Chatham County for almost 12 years, and has only this year retired from that role. He has overseen Special Olympics throughout the county, as well as being a sports coach.
“When is the Special Olympics event?” we asked. “Every weekend of my life,” Joe Ellen answered. “People don’t realize that we practice year round. Every team has to qualify and then qualify some more to be eligible to play in the state-wide events.”
Joe Ellen, (Ellen is his last name), is certified to coach in three sports. When there aren’t regular practice games scheduled, other county coordinators get together and have their own games.
There are teams in many different sports. Players are put on a team based on their ability not their age or sex. All the teams are co-ed.
“I like my guys, my men and women. We have a really good time together, ALL the time.” Joe said. “I enjoy them in everything we do.”
The Tuesday Night Dance Group’s Prom Night was held September 13, 2011 at the Sage Academy at 501 Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard in Siler City, NC 27344. For more information contact Joe Ellen at JosephEllen49@gmail.com.