The one thing that can solve
most of our problems
Exasperated by the computer induced anti-social and sedentary lifestyle of my teens, I signed Mr. Highschool Senior for social dance classes last week. “This will make you famous with the girls in college!,” I assured him. Yet the minutes were long waiting for him to come out of that first lesson. Was I just wasting time and money? He finally stepped out of class grinning, “Dancing is fun!” Whew–Thank you, Goddess!
This week, by some fantastic coincidence, I heard about Dancing Classrooms: a 10 week (20 session) social development program for 5th and 8th grade children using the vehicle of ballroom dance. The dance floor is, after all, a literal level playing field, doing away with the learning barrier between the gifted and talented and those with special needs. In social dance, every child is treated like a lady and gentleman, taught how to connect with and respect members of the opposite sex, given a safe environment to enjoy movement.
Kudos to teachers and school administrators who recognize that a developing personality thrives beyond grades and testing, that adding fun and engaging character education fosters respect and teamwork, affirming a child’s self-confidence with a sense of joy and accomplishment. All this while teaching good posture, considerate manners, and the importance of eye to eye contact with other human beings. They may even discover that their limbs have uses beyond being hunched over tech gadgets!
Social dance changes children’s perception of themselves and I love how the Dancing Classrooms program sets expectations that help elevate their outlook in life. Thank you to Pierre Dulaine who founded this program in 1994 and the fabulous men and women who continue to make learning essential life skills fun and easy! I was totally impressed by the children who showed off what they learned in 10 short weeks at last night’s gala.
A closer peek through the lens of legendary NY Times society photographer Bill Cunningham
You’re never too young or too old for fun on the dance floor!
A mighty proud 5th grade ballroom dancer
Watch their video “Mad Hot Ballroom”
Photos © Sharon Birke
201 697 1947
Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother