Dancing Classrooms is not about teaching ballroom dancing. The dance is a tool for getting the children to break down social barriers, learn about honor and respect, treat others carefully, improve self-confidence, communicate and cooperate, and accept others even if they are different.
Dancing Classrooms is a 10-week – 20 session social development program for 5th and 8th grade children that utilizes ballroom dancing as a vehicle to change the lives of not only the children who participate in the program but also the lives of the teachers and parents who support these children. Dancing Classrooms uses a curriculum-based teaching approach to achieve social awareness and build self-esteem. Students are taught the vocabulary of various contemporary social dances in a classroom setting. Each class in the series introduces new steps, reinforcing what has been previously learned through practice and repetition.
The Dancing Classrooms program was first launched in 1994 as a not-for-profit project of the American Ballroom Theater Company in New York City. It is an arts-in-education program teaching ballroom dance to the upper elementary school students of participating schools. As seen in the documentary film Mad Hot Ballroom, Dancing Classrooms is an in-school residency for every child, regardless of background or experience.
Following the 2005 release of Mad Hot Ballroom and Take The Lead (starring Antonio Banderas) in 2006, interest in the program was greatly accelerated and sites throughout the U.S. began their development of the Dancing Classrooms program.
While Dancing Classrooms has been hailed as an effective program for teaching social dance, the program provides many other benefits. Dancing Classrooms is about creating an atmosphere which allows students who are typically introverted and reserved, to step out and shine. It focuses physical energies and increases health through the joy of movement. It builds self-esteem and interactive social skills as it improves confidence and children’s ability to relate to others.
For more information please feel free to call us at 814-483-9422
Founder and Executive Director Jennifer Christophel