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Dancing Queen

For the second year in a row, I was invited to Dance-Able, a dance party organized by Variety Ontario and Substance Cares.

The all-ages event took place at Cabana Pool Bar and brought together people with disabilities for an evening of fun and dancing. The outdoor venue, known for hosting lavish pool parties, is a fantastic event space that overlooks Lake Ontario.

Dance-Able at Cabana Pool Bar
The third annual Dance-Able at Cabana Pool Bar

The event is reminiscent of dances I used to attend when I was a teenager, which were organized by ErinoakKids (formerly Erinoak). These dances took place three or four times a year at a community centre in Mississauga and like Dance-Able, it was a way for young people with physical disabilities to go out and enjoy themselves on a Friday night.

My friend Angela and I at an Erinoak dance
My friend Angela and I at an Erinoak dance when we were teenagers

It was rare that I didn't bring at least one or two of my able-bodied friends with me to these dances. I figured it was a great way for us to hang out and if I want to be really honest, I asked them to come with me because I wasn't totally comfortable being in a social setting where the majority of people had a physical disability. Like I had mentioned before, I was not used to being in a seemingly segregated environment like this, so it was almost natural for me to bring my crew with me so that it would feel a bit more integrated (at least in my mind). Looking back on it, if I was so uncomfortable in this type of setting I probably should not have attended these dances, but I was 16 and it was just something to do.

Friends at an Erinoak dance
Me and my friends at an Erinoak dance when we were teenagers

Despite my personal reservations about the dances I attended as a teenager, I completely understand why events like Dance-Able are beneficial for a lot people with disabilities. It's a fun night out and a chance for people socialize. Also, let's face it, the venue is not too shabby either. Like I always say, life experiences are important and that's exactly what Dance-Able encourages.

Games at Dance-Able
Fun and games at the third annual Dance-Able

A view of Lake Ontario from Cabana Pool Bar
A view of Lake Ontario from Cabana Pool Bar

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