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ST. LOUS DANCING CLASSROOMS

ABOUT US

St. Louis Dancing Classrooms (SLDC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit social development program aimed at empowering youth, teaching respectful interaction, and promoting teamwork in St. Louis area schools. Using the New York-based Dancing Classrooms program (portrayed in ‪Mad Hot Ballroom‬ and currently engaging over 40,000 children each year) as a model, SLDC partners with fifth grade classrooms to address whole-child development and foster overall student success.

 

Since 2008, St. Louis Dancing Classrooms has been invited to conduct our 10-week residency program in over 30 schools (public and parochial) across St. Louis City and County, from Ferguson all the way to Hillsboro and DeSoto. During (2) 45-50 minute sessions per week, students learn the Merengue, Foxtrot, Rumba, Tango, Swing, and Waltz, along with several other “sugar” dances while developing and practicing the life skills necessary for creating positive and meaningful connections with others. SLDC and its partner schools work together to encourage student participation, monitor behavioral expectations, and promote kindness, compassion, and joyful expression through ballroom dance. Carefully and systematically selected and trained in the Dulaine Method and the Dancing Classroom Curriculum, our Teaching Artists work very closely with classroom teachers to create assignments to support their academic goals. In addition to work that supports academic content areas, students write reflections that give the children a voice about how they feel about learning to dance, working with their classmates, and other SEL-based experiences.

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OUR RESULTS

St. Louis Dancing Classrooms works. We have the track record, along with sound research, to prove it. Our program develops the best of what academics call Social Emotional Learning or SEL— life skills like motivation, grit, connection and listening that help us relate, interact and advance as respectful and empathetic human beings.

Good news for educators! Two forty-five minute St. Louis Dancing Classrooms sessions result in better student performance inside the classroom and beyond. Year after year, school principals and teachers advocate for the continuation of our program inside their schools, despite ever-increasing pressure to achieve on standardized tests. Our partner schools stay with us because they recognize the profound impact of our program to elevate students’ self-esteem and improve social skills, leading to better academic performance.

ST. LOUS DANCING CLASSROOMS

RESIDENCY PROGRAM

Our program consists of a 10 week, 20 session curriculum where students learn 6 ballroom dances culminating in a performance in front of the entire school, parents, and community members. The residency occurs during the school day with fifth grade students. Each school has an option to participate in a city-wide competition, the Colors of the Rainbow Team Match, after successful completion of the residency.

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For more information, please email Angela Brooks at angieb@stldancingclassrooms.org

or call us at (314) 435-5878.

ST. LOUS DANCING CLASSROOMS

OUR MISSION

AND VISION

Our mission is to cultivate essential life skills in children through the joyful art and practice of social dance. 

Our vision is schools and communities where every child is connected, respected and given an environment in which to thrive.

OUR HISTORY

The Dancing Classrooms curriculum is the result of the decades-long work of champion ballroom dancer and teacher Pierre Dulaine. Pierre never forgot where he came from and in 1994, he constructed the brilliant, multi-dimensional curriculum that has fueled 25 years of Dancing Classrooms’ success. His vision has grown through the daily work of the teaching artists who are trained in the Dulaine Method. Dancing Classrooms teaching artists use his beautifully constructed curriculum to continue to change young lives, alongside school teachers and staff.

The Dancing Classrooms program gained widespread exposure with the release of the 2005 documentary, Mad Hot Ballroom, and the 2006 motion picture starring Antonio Banderas, Take the Lead – both based on this program. A third film, the 2013 documentary Dancing in Jaffa, chronicles Pierre Dulaine’s return to his hometown. He embarks upon using the Dancing Classrooms program to bring Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children together. 

 

In 2008, Arash Sabet and Lauren N. Wilmore brought the magic of the Dancing Classrooms program to St. Louis. Today, St. Louis Dancing Classrooms serves over 25 schools in 7 different school districts across the metropolitan St. Louis region. We are proud to be one of the many sites currently existing in over 25 cities across the United States and around the World. Last year, Dancing Classrooms Global served over 40,000 students, and continues to grow steadily.

CONTACT US

(314) 435-5878

 

angieb@stldancingclassrooms.org

St. Louis Dancing Classrooms
P.O. Box 179171

St. Louis, Missouri 63117

BRING BALLROOM DANCE TO YOUR SCHOOL!

Ballroom Dancing in schools transforms lives one step at the time.

© 2019 by St. Louis Dancing Classrooms