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Matt Owens, left, and Marshall Harwell, of Wimberley, cut up the rug to a country hit at the Western dance for special needs adults on Friday. The San Marcos Parks and Recreation department holds these dances every other month. Daily Record photos by Madison Simmons

City holds country dance for adults with disabilities

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Some dancers wore cowboy hats and boots, others opted for their Sunday best, but everyone at the Western dance wore a smile. 

Country tunes blasted from the speakers and disco lights flashed across the bodies of the people packed onto the dancefloor at the August special needs adults dance. 

Matt Owens, of Wimberley, dances to a country hit at the Western dance for special needs adults on Friday, Aug. 30.

The San Marcos Parks and Recreation Department has sponsored dances for special needs adults for over a decade. The event brings 300 to 375 people to the San Marcos Activity Center from all over Hays and Travis County. 

“They really enjoy it because there are not a lot of places for this population,” Nick Riali, senior program coordinator, said. 

“It gives them an opportunity to come and meet new people and make new friends.”

Arthur Harrison, of Cedar Valley, had found a new friend on the dance floor in Serina Olivares, of Kyle. Olivares had come out with her co-workers to volunteer for the evening. 

Taylor Wood, left, and Riley Montgomery, of San Marcos, spent the evening together at the Western dance at the San Marcos Activity Center. The pair have dated for two years.

When told he was a good dancer Harrison laughed and said, “Well, I know that.”

In the middle of the night everyone stopped dancing to remember a friend not in the room. Longtime attendant Peter James, P.J., Wood, of Wimberley, passed away in July. His father, Mark Wood, said he had come out for years and always looked forward to dancing and laughing with his friends. 

Wood brought cake for everyone in honor of his son. 

“He would’ve wanted to be here, and now he’s here,” Wood said. 

San Marcos Record

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