Perhaps you've seen the award-winning documentary
Mad Hot Ballroom,
which captured the Dancing Classrooms journey in NYC from classroom experience to the culminating Colors of the Rainbow Team Match. Or the film
Take the Lead
starring Antonio Banderas, Hollywood's take on the founding of this program over 20 years ago.
Our Minnesota nonprofit, Heart of Dance, has licensed Dancing Classrooms and brought the program here, one of just three new global sites since 2012. We began in the 2015-16 school year in 12 schools with 28 fifth grade classrooms in the Twin Cities area. Due to great support of and demand for this program, this year we almost doubled that capacity to 20 schools with 52 classrooms and anticipate further growth next year, including adding an eighth grade level. In addition we've had interest from other MN cities and will offer the program in Duluth and Rochester for 2017-18.
This is much more than a dance residency; our teaching artists collaborate with school teachers to connect the program to the rest of the school curriculum. We use partner dance as a vehicle to teach essential life skills, focusing on Teamwork, Elegance and Respect. It is a proven Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program with multiple beneficial outcomes including helping to reduce bullying, overcome social anxieties and increase self-confidence, gender and cultural respect, teamwork, discipline, and more. Dancing Classrooms has served over 500,000 students in more than 30 sites globally.
Don't take our word for it! Check out the short promotional video below and hear what principals who have this program in their school have to say about it.
Want to learn more? Would you like this program for your school? We hope you'll attend an informational stakeholders meeting for interested educators, funders or volunteers to be held on Thursday, March 23 from 4-6 PM at the Superior Ballroom, 21 N Lake Ave, Duluth. If you know someone else who might be interested please spread the word by forwarding this notice. Snacks will be served so please RSVP so we know to expect you.
Ember Reichgott Junge
Co-Founders, Heart of Dance