Dancing Classrooms LA Students Wow At Culminating Events

The fifth grade students at West Hollywood Elementary showcased their ballroom dancing skills on Friday, March 9 as part of a series of “Culminating Events” that took place at several participating Los Angeles-area elementary schools including Annandale Elementary, Fullbright Elementary, Robert Hill Lane Elementary, Selma Avenue Elementary Wilshire Park Elementary. The events were a culmination of a ten week process that began in January when Dancing Classrooms Los Angeles began working with the students. Click on the video below to see the fancy footwork !

Click picture below to read Park Labrea News’ front page story on Dancing Classrooms LA’s Culminating Event at West Hollywood Elementary School

Edwin Reyes Gonzalez and Anna Payton
demonstrated the rhumba during the
program at West Hollywood Elementary.
(photo by Aaron Blevins)

About Dancing Classrooms Los Angeles

Dancing Classrooms is the classroom-based social development arts-in-education program that was featured in the critically acclaimed, top-grossing documentary, Mad Hot Ballroom.

The mission of Dancing Classrooms is to build social awareness, confidence and self-esteem in children through the practice of social dance.  The focus is not on teaching dance, however.  Rather, through the practice of teaching 6 ballroom dances over the course of 10 weeks, teaching artists work to build social awareness, confidence, self-esteem, as well as teach about honor and respect, communication and cooperation, and accepting others even if they are different. As such, Dancing Classrooms helps to bridge diverse communities and break down social barriers, and engages the entire school community in this effort.

As a result, Dancing Classrooms is an education program, a violence prevention program, a health and fitness / anti-childhood obesity program, and an arts-in-education program.

Dancing Classrooms was started by Pierre Dulaine in New York City, beginning with two schools and 120 children in New York City in 1994.  Over the 16 year history of the program more than 150,000 New York City children have received Dancing Classrooms.  During the 2010-11 school year, Dancing Classrooms served nearly 22,000 children in 200 schools in New York City alone.  In the same year, Dancing Classrooms served 42,000 children in 509 schools in 24 cities.

Until now, the program had not been implemented in Los Angeles.  Dancing Classrooms Los Angeles celebrated its official launch in the fall of 2011.

In its first two semesters alone, Dancing Classrooms Los Angeles has reached approximately 800 students and 300 parents and educators in 11 elementary schools in diverse communities across Los Angeles, including Chinatown, East Los Angeles, Koreatown, North Hollywood, South Los Angeles, and West Hollywood.

Recently, Dancing Classrooms was featured on the NBC Nightly News in the segment, “Breaking Down Cultural Barriers With Dance.”