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Clients learn all the right moves

By Trina Trice

Celeste Arrington waved her arms and hands up in the air, simply out of the joy of dancing.

Arrington joined clients of Community Support Services, a part of the Clayton Center that helps adults with mental, physical, and behavioral disabilities, at the Dance with Donna Webb studio in Jonesboro to learn some dance moves for their fourth annual dance, called the Masquerade Ball.

"They're very excited," Webb said about the lessons she gave Wednesday. "Their energy level is very high. They're cheering and clapping. Anything I ask them to do, they really try to do it."

Anthony Williams was at the studio with other clients Wednesday.

"We danced a lot in the studio," he said. "We practiced real hard. We got tired, but we went back and danced again. I'd like to dance a lot more to (exercise) my muscles."

Webb taught the clients aerobics, some sign language, and jazz and hip-hop dance steps.

Although client Margie Kinsey likes to dance because "it's good for you," she said she's looking forward to eating at the ball.

Community Support Services clients began taking dance lessons three years ago, said Virginia Ford, coordinator for Community Integrated Services.

"We started out taking dance lessons," Ford said. "Before consumers had not been involved in dance classes."

At the ball, consumers will dance in a local hotel suite, dressed in formal wear.

Arrington already knows what she's going to wear.

"I'm going to be wearing a black gown and some black shoes," she said.

Client Jackie Clark is waiting for her mother to make her dress, she said.

"I want to dance and eat, and I'm going to ride in a limousine," Clark said.

This is the first year limousine rides are being offered to clients.

Lessons in getting into a limousine and dinner etiquette were also taught at the studio Wednesday, Ford said.

When asked what she plans to do at the Masquerade Ball Sept. 19, Arrington said, "Dance and have some fun. I like dancing, it gives me something to do."