United We Dance Provides Dances for Community Members with Special Needs, and for All


Friendship and connections should have no barriers. Those are the words United We Dance has made their mission.

A couple of years ago United We Dance formed to give the clients from various local agencies, that service clients with special needs, more opportunities to come together in a free and fun activity.

“It’s a community dance, it’s not exclusionary,” explained United We Dance co-founder Barbara Durham. “We have adults with disabilities and the community at large that join together, and come together in the universal language of dance.”

Co-founder Barbara Durham told us, though it takes a fair amount of work, it is a labor of love. And volunteer Dennis Stewart points out that there is more to it than just hitting the dance floor.

“This is not always about dancing,” professed Stewart. “It’s to meet new people, meet new clients that other clients and agencies didn’t know about.”

Barbara Durham’s daughter Chelsea shared, “I get to see my friends from different agencies and meet new people to become best friends.”

Chelsea Durham is hardly alone in looking forward to the social elements of the dances. Co-founder Joseph Rocko says that is why the dances are so successful, and that there is a combination of several things that make the events so well received.

“They don’t have to worry about paying money,” explained Rocko. “They don’t have to worry about dangers. It’s all very smooth. It’s just a great group.

“You know, you come together. You see the same group of guys every time.

“They’re like ‘when’s the next dance, when’s the next dance?’ And it’s just a great environment, it really is.”

“The dances, everyone can come out for free,” Chelsea Durham said. “It’s a lot of fun, [it’s] two hours [that will] fly by because you talk to people. Encourage them to dance, and it means a whole lot to me.”

United We Dance holds six dances per year, including a Fall Formal that Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan attended himself this past year. They are a new non-profit, having just filed for their 501c3 status, but they are going on their third year of dances.

You can find more information about the group who would welcome your support. Click here to visit their Facebook page. Their next dance is scheduled for April 16.

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