Dancing Classrooms is a 10-week – 20 session arts-in-education program for 4th/5th and 8th grade children. The program uses a curriculum-based teaching approach to achieve social awareness and build self-esteem. Students are taught a vocabulary of various contemporary social dances in a classroom setting. Each class introduces new steps, reinforcing what has been previously learned through practice and repetition.
Dancing Classrooms is not about teaching ballroom dance. The dance is a tool for getting children to break down social barriers, communicate with peers and adults in respectful ways, and treat others carefully with confidence and respect. Our teaching philosophy is one of inside out versus outside in. We take the dance that is inherent in students’ bodies and help them bring it out (not force it in) in fun and exciting ways that improve self-esteem and increase physical and mental health outcomes.
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. As seen in the award-winning documentary film “Mad Hot Ballroom”, Dancing Classrooms is an in-school residency for every child, regardless of background or experience. Following the Hollywood release of “Take The Lead” (Starring Antonio Banderas as Pierre Dulaine) in 2006, interest in the Dancing Classrooms program was greatly accelerated around the world. A second award-winning documentary was released in 2013 “Dancing in Jaffa” which captures the program’s unique ability to dissolve barriers, build relationships, and breath hope into schools and communities that need it most.
Frequently Asked Questions
“How is Dancing Classrooms North Texas funded?”
By people like YOU! Each school we work with is a funding partner. The school pays 50% of the fees and Dancing Classrooms North Texas fundraises the other 50%. Dancing Classrooms is a community effort and requires, just like ballroom dance, a “partnership” between you and our non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
“Why should I support a dance program?”
Actually Dancing Classrooms isn’t a dancing program; Dancing Classrooms is a social development program that utilizes ballroom dancing as the tool to generate social change in the participants and overall school culture.
“Does Dancing Classrooms make a difference?”
Absolutely! Multiple research projects have been completed about the Dancing Classrooms program and all support our efforts. Ask us for the full reports.
“What you can expect to gain from a Dancing Classrooms residency?”
Empirical research and anecdotal feedback suggests the implementation of the Dancing Classrooms program improves:
- Self Confidence
- School attendance rates
- Student behavior
- Overall school culture
- Respect for self & others
- Student focus & attention
- Classroom productivity
- Academic scores
- Family engagement
- Variables leading to childhood obesity & diabetes
- Antidote to the violence surrounding our communities
“What will my investment do for the children of North Texas?”
A lot! Your investment will allow 5th & 8th-grade children throughout North Texas the opportunity to receive our program at no cost and provide the children, their schools, and our communities with the benefits listed above.
“How are students selected to participate?”
The class is not an “elective” or after-school program typically – all students within the grade participate in the program along with the classroom teacher ensuring maximum impact from the program for all students.