New organization combines dance and mentoring

The new organization Sparkle Effect has entered the Wartburg campus for students with and without disability who are interested in dance and cheerleading.

Sparkle Effect is a state wide mentoring program for different students to be more comfortable with themselves.

The program was created at Pleasant Valley High School where some former students created the program, Tara Winter, director of student recruitment, said.

“Everyone deserve a chance to sparkle,” Winter said.

“I really love to help people that is what I want to do with the rest of my life, but I feel it is really important to make sure everyone is included in things and sometimes for people with disabilities it is hard for them to feel included,” Michaela Mcilravy, creator of Sparkle Effect at Wartburg, said.

The students in the program will have an opportunity to build a relationship with mentors while cheerleading and dancing.

The group held an informational meeting on Nov. 10 for students and mentors. The people that were interested in being a mentor were given an application to fill out during the meeting.

“I was trying to start the program at the beginning of the year, but I had to get everything planned out so I could get mentors and finding people with disabilities who would do it,” Mcilravy said.

Since Sparkle is such a new program they have yet to decide when practice times will work for everyone.

Winter believes practice will be held on a Sunday afternoon when people have free time.

The purpose for the program is to give students with and without disability the opportunity to connect and create a mentoring relationship with the students, Winter said.

“I think it would be interesting, because we welcome people with experience in cheerleading and dance,” Winter said.

Students have already put in applications for mentoring position and will be holding interviews sometime in the following weeks.

If you would like more information on the organization email Michaela Mcilravy at and Tara Winter at

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