Honors group pursues a new tradition: DuGood Dance

DuBuddies isn’t the only group on campus focused on inclusivity for those with disabilities; one senior honors group has spent the last three years planning, executing, and celebrating a dance for disabled individuals: the DuGood Dance.

“The DuGood Dance aimed to be an inclusive dance for individuals in the Dubuque community who have disabilities,” senior Patrick Costello said. “Additionally, our group aimed to encourage the use of inclusivity, whether it would be in language or the false social stigmas of ‘can’t do’ rather than ‘can do’ for these individuals.”

The DuGood group consists of six seniors: Patrick Costello (Biochemistry major), Noah Schoaf (Elementary education major), Alex Schiavoni (Elementary education major), Ashley Holtz (Mathematics major), Rachel Prendergast (Public Relations major), and Ian Lenke (Marketing major). Based on their diverse academic backgrounds and corresponding strengths, each group member assisted with a different portion of the project.

Members of a seniors honors group discuss their DuGood Dance project aimed at helping disabled people.

“We each brought a different perspective,” Costello explained. “For example, I would help with the research, Rachel communicated with our community partners, Ian and Ashley worked with the finances and writing grants, and Alex did a little bit of everything. Noah worked on setting up some fundraising events for us, too.”

The group has been very successful and is planning on hosting their third annual DuGood dance this spring. Despite their immense success, their project has not been without obstacles.

“There was a lot of red tape in order to host the dance on campus,” Costello said. “This included fundraising, grant-writing, establishing community partners, and building relationships. Additionally, when first preparing for the dance, we had to define who our demographic would be. Who would be invited? What is a disability technically defined as?”

The DuGood dance has catered to many members of the Dubuque community over the last three years and has provided a fun evening for many invitees and Loras students who attended the dance. This year, the DuGood dance took place in the ballrooms on the evening of Wednesday, April 3.

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Audrey Miller is a writer for The Lorian.

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