Dancing is the art of life  

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Dancing Classrooms is a non-profit program founded in 1994 as a result of the extra-ordinary vision and compassion of Pierre Dulaine. 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 with sensitivity 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 10 to 15 year olds (5th to 8th grade students) that utilizes ballroom dancing as a vehicle to change the lives of the children who participate in the program as well as the lives of the teachers and parents who support these children. Dancing Classrooms is a proven and proactive approach to help decrease propensity for bullying, violence and discrimination in children, and extending its benefits beyond our classrooms out into the broader community. With the alarming rise of obesity and Type 2 diabetes among school-aged children, Dancing Classrooms introduces a healthy and wholesome cardiovascular activity with the potential for lifelong enjoyment.

Feedback from many of our educators as well as independent research studies further indicate decrease in absenteeism, improved student/teacher relationships, and improved overall well-being in participants. Involved classroom teachers also find their involvement professionally and personally uplifting. 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.

Our teaching philosophy is one of inside out versus outside in.  We take the dance that is inherent in students’ bodies and help them to bring it out. The Dulaine Philosophy and Methodology enables students to increase their self-esteem as they learn. Our curriculum overlap skillfully integrates Character Education and key academic components into the learning of the dance throughout the ten weeks process. n classrooms, our particular co-facilitation approach allows our specially trained Teaching Artists to work closely with Classroom Teachers to ensure that every child, including those who are unable to participate in the dance, is actively engaged in meaningful contribution for win/win outcomes.

 


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