Dancing is the art of life  

 To learn more about Dancing Classrooms click here.

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Special Events


FALL 2009-10




YORKWOODS                              GEORGE SYME
STANLEY                                   DENNIS AVENUE
BLACKSMITH                              PORTAGE TRAIL
LAMBERTON                               TOPCLIFF
DAYSTROM                                ST. JOHN BOSCO



MILITARY TRAIL                          ST. BENEDICT
ROSE AVENUE                            QUEEN VICTORIA
WINCHESTER                             PARKDALE
RYERSON                                   WESTMOUNT
LORD DUFFERIN                          CHARLES WEBSTER

The eight (8) selected Semi-Finalist Schools will compete for gold, silver & bronze ribbon placements at the culminating term TEAM MATCH/QUARTER FINALS on the evening of Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at the Palais Royale Ballroom from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. The Gold Finalists will be invited to compete at the Grand Trophy Finals in June 2010.




TORONTO, May 28, 2007 – The Palais Royale Ballroom came alive to the jubilant cheers of over 100 Grade 4, 5 & 6 students of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).  History was in the making as the partners of the Palais in partnership with Join the Dance (Canada) opened its doors for the very first time to allow children to experience the elegance of dancing in its famous ballroom in celebration of the culmination of the pilot launch of Pierre Dulaine’s Dancing Classrooms in Toronto, and Canada.

The formalities commenced at 5:00 p.m. with a warm welcome by Mary Lou Borg of the Palais who spoke of their interest and commitment to see Dancing Classrooms maintained in the schools in Toronto, and to grow across Canada.  She shared her personal joy of discovering the documentary “Mad Hot Ballroom” and learning about the incredible impact of the program upon so many young lives in the inner city schools of New York City, and its phenomenal spread across the U.S.A. as a result of such success.

Jill Watson, principal of Woburn Jr. Public School, spoke to the capacity audience including parents, dance artists, teachers and members of the general public from an educator’s perspective. She emphasized the fact that from the moment the program was introduced to her and her teachers they were on board because they recognized and were excited by the potential for their students.  She stated that she had been able to witness the amazing transformation in her students over the ten weeks of participating in Dancing Classrooms and she hoped that Woburn would be able to continue to participate in the program.  

 Courtney, a 5th grade participant from Banting & Best, shared her experience with her peers and the audience drawing chuckles as she remembered how upset she and her fellow students had been to learn that in addition to having to miss other interests they would have to “partner” dance. She drew resounding applause when in closing she stated that in addition to learning to ballroom dance, and enjoying it, she had learned one of the most valuable lessons in life that “quitters never win and winners never quit”. 

David Singh, our lead sponsor, and the President and CEO of the Destiny Group of Companies and Destiny Health & Wellness Foundation, embraced the opportunity in his main address to encourage the young ladies and gentlemen to practice the many lessons in civility and respect that they had learned over the past ten weeks. He also reminded the adults of our great responsibility to those who represented the future of our country.  In confirming his continued commitment to helping those most at risk around the world, especially youth and children, he reiterated one of his favourite quotes “to whom much is given, much is also expected”. His caring and financial generosity drew great applause from everyone, especially the students and their schools.
“Ladies and Gentlemen please take to the dance floor in the escort position” said Pierre Dulaine, the internationally renowned creator of Dancing Classrooms who enthusiastically took over to let the fun begin as he guided the 52 eager couples through their paces. His joie de vivre and exceptional wit came to the fore as he pumped up the couples awaiting their turn to cheer on their peers, and the now enthralled audience was not to be outdone. The laughter, tears of joy and “OOH’s and AAH’s” in celebration of the many accomplishments of the performers were magic that transformed the evening into an unforgettable moment for everyone. Perhaps one of the most poignant moments of the evening was that of the children taking the lead to invite their parents and other members of the audience to partner with them in dancing the Merengue and the Fox Trot.  Afterwards, many people stayed behind to share with Pierre and the Join the Dance Team, the overwhelming emotions they had experienced being a part of this extra-ordinary occasion and to thank us for bringing this outstanding program to Canada. Similar sentiment was expressed earlier by the City T.V.’s news reporter who had been there filming the event.

For information about Dancing Classrooms in the Greater Toronto Area, and how you can get involved in our Fall program, either as a sponsor or participating school, please contact:
Ilsa Abraham, Executive Director/Sr. Program Director
Join the Dance (Canada)
Phone: 905 837 7795
Email: danceforlife1@rogers.com


Dancing with the Stars at Heydon Park Secondary

Images courtesy of Helen Leask (c) 2007

On the afternoon of Thursday, the 26th of April, 2007 seventeen students of the Heydon Park Secondary School for young women with learning and mild intellectual disabilities very proudly showcased their newly acquired Ballroom Latin Dance skills to the utter delight and resounding applause to the rest of the school, family members, special guests from Beverley Jr. P.S. and other friends of Heydon Park Secondary.

Before the performance, the students enjoyed a wonderful lunch generously donated by Mr. George Kastanas, President/Owner of Chick ‘N Joy Systems, and one of the proud sponsors of the Join The Dance (Canada) program at Heydon Park. He sent hearty congratulations to everyone.
The Dance Gala culminated their successful completion of a modified10-weeks program that was inspired by Pierre Dulaine’s Dancing Classrooms™, and innovated by Join the Dance (Canada) at the special request of Helen Leask, parent of a previous student, and Mrs. Iwona Kurman, Principal of Heydon Park.

The rhythmic strains of Latin music and the dancers resplendent in their brightly coloured costumes brought a carnival like atmosphere to the afternoon. The audience were truly dancing with the stars as they tapped their toes and clapped their hands to the captivating beat of the music while the performers were led very adeptly through the Merengue, Rumba, and the Mambo (Salsa) by Betty Colon, the Dance Coordinator for Join the Dance (Canada).  Special acknowledgement is given to her Assistant Dance Teachers, Danny Leong and Daire Garcia who gave generously of their time and effort every week to help put the students through their paces. As well, Join the Dance extends sincere appreciation to the classroom teachers, Mrs. Lynda Shijarto and Mrs. Merlyn Elbourne-James who encouraged and supported their students throughout, and often could be seen “shaking their booty” with just as much interest and enthusiasm every Tuesday and Thursday in the lunch hour program. Perhaps they too should have received Certificates of Achievement.

The dancers closed with the rousing Stomp and with many of the guests joining to share in the fun. An array of delicious treats was provided afterwards by the talented Cooking Class and their wonderful teacher.

Beyond the steps, several of the recent participants have shared stories of the positive influence that this character development program has had on their self-esteem, confidence, and attitude and to reinforce that they can achieve their desired goals with determination and proper commitment. Join the Dance and Heydon Park look forward to partnering again to bringing the demonstrated benefits of the Join The Dance (Canada) program to other students.


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