Dancing Classrooms North Texas, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is an in-school residency that teaches manners, respect for others, and teamwork. Our mission is to cultivate essential life skills in children through the art of social dance. Our vision is to help create schools and communities where every child is connected, respected, and provided a safe environment in which to thrive.
The program features the “Dulaine Teaching Method” for grooming social awareness and promoting positive forms of collaboration. The program is best known for its ability to break down barriers, teach emotional intelligence, and enhance the social and academic success among 5th and 8th grade students.
As seen in the 2005 award-winning documentary, Mad Hot Ballroom, the program gives children the faith in themselves to face whatever challenge the day brings and inspires schools to bring life and joy into classrooms and communities.
According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), 93% of teachers want a greater focus on Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) in schools. This social literacy expands our vision of schools beyond content delivery and makes them society's agent for ensuring children acquire skills necessary for self and social awareness/regulation, responsible decision-making, coping adeptness, and relationship management. As CASEL describes it, students learn to read so they can read to learn... Likewise, students in the Dancing Classrooms residency learn to relate so they can navigate life and people effectively. SEL is the process through which people acquire (and effectively apply) the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary for understanding and managing emotions, showing empathy for others, establishing and maintaining relationships, and making responsible decisions. In 2015, Dancing Classrooms North Texas became the only CASEL certified SEL program in North Texas.
CASEL has identified five interrelated clusters of social and emotional learning competencies. The five social and emotional learning core competencies involve the development of specific knowledge, skills and dispositions.
1) Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.
2) Self-management: The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.
3) Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
4) Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.
5) Responsible decision making: The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.