Dancing Classrooms Makes Online Social Dance Education Accessible for Students of All Ages with New Programs

New Online Residencies Available to All Public, Charter, and Private Schools in NYC and Westchester, After School Organizations, Camps, and Community Groups – Week-Long Summer Intensives in July with Variety of Courses and Schedules – Live Instruction for Beginner and Advanced Social Dancers as Part of Newly Expanded Dancing Classrooms Academy – Free Dance Lessons for Every Age and Experience Level on Social Media

CommPRO Editorial Staff

Dancing Classrooms New York, a 26-year-old organization that cultivates essential life skills in 17,000 NYC children annually through the joyful art and practice of social dance, has developed new online learning opportunities for young people who are currently unable to attend school and after school activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new series of programs, titled Dancing Classrooms: Homeroom Edition, remains grounded in the elements of the company’s beloved instructional framework,  called the Dulaine Method, which includes fostering positive verbal and body language; respect and compassion; safe space; self-awareness; humor and joy; and being present.

“Our kids are struggling right now, desperately missing their peers, teachers, and artistic mentors,” says Nancy Kleaver, Dancing Classrooms Executive Director. “As an organization renowned for its pioneering social dance curriculum and social and emotional learning outcomes, it is our duty to make safe spaces for young people to move, connect with one another, expand their understanding of the world through dance, and continue developing the critical soft skills that they need to stay well through this crisis and beyond. I am immensely proud of Dancing Classrooms’ online efforts and excited to learn alongside our amazing teaching artists and school-based partners in the months and years to come.”

Details on the new Dancing Classrooms: Homeroom Edition are outlined below: 

  • Dancing Classrooms: Homeroom Edition Residencies are available to students in grades 3 through 8 across the New York metropolitan area. The residencies began May 18 as a pilot program offered to a cadre of NYC public schools, which have previously partnered with Dancing Classrooms, including: PS 24K, PS 48M, PS 48R, PS 52R, PS 64M, PS 86X, PS 95X, PS 122Q, PS 134Q, PS 154K, and PS 205Q. They are facilitated by Dancing Classrooms teaching artists and staff with input and guidance from each school partner. In a series of 14 lessons, students will be introduced to six American and Latin social dances, as well as a variety of line dances, learning techniques and making connections to each dance’s culture and history. These unique residencies stay true to Dancing Classrooms’ vision by stressing the importance of social and emotional wellbeing and providing students a much needed opportunity to connect with each other, their families, and world cultures through movement. Designed to accommodate the complexities and potential inequities of remote learning, the Homeroom Edition Residencies include original prerecorded instructional videos with flexible follow-up assignments, additional video support sessions for learners with special needs and English Language Learners, live instruction and check-ins from Teaching Artists, Curricular Connections (engaging assignments connecting dance to other subject areas), virtual peer-to-peer sharing celebrations, and a live family-friendly dance party.

For more information, email mary@dancingclassrooms.org

  • Dancing Classrooms Summer Intensives: This program is open to both returning and new students anywhere in the US, with a diverse lineup of one-week dance intensives for children ages 10 to 18 years at all skill levels. Taking place July 13-17 and July 20-24, students can choose from a number of 1-hour courses delivered over 5 days, where they will be immersed in a variety of dances, ranging from lindy hop to salsa to tango. Each 5-day intensive course will include one hour-long course each day, Monday through Friday, and will culminate in a live online performance on the final day. Dancing Classrooms NYC is proud to partner with its affiliates in territories across the US to offer the classes to students at a weekly rate of $125/course, and families can build a schedule with multiple classes per day, with sibling discounts and package rates available as well.

To find out more information, and to be notified when registration opens for the summer program, please email summer@dancingclassrooms.org.

  • Dancing Classrooms Academy, an out-of-school time program in which young people from across the city who completed a Dancing Classrooms in-school residency convene to further develop their dance skills and connect with budding social dancers from other school communities, began offering live, remote classes via the Zoom platform on May 2nd. Each weekend nearly 150 students have logged on to continue dancing with one another, a much needed change of routine for many.
  • Dancing Classrooms has also released a series of short instructional and fun video engagements that are free and open to all. Dancers of all ages and experience are encouraged to access these videos through the organization’s social media platforms. They include casual #DCDanceBreak videos intended to give dancers of all ages and abilities a break throughout the day in addition to short, instructional videos that make up the #DCDanceAtHome series, easily accessible on the Dancing Classrooms at Home Vimeo channel. It also includes the popular #DCDancePartyLive dance parties, which are presented live at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays by teaching artists from New York City and from Dancing Classrooms affiliates across the country and around the world through the end of June.

These new offerings are made possible by the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund administered by The New York Community Trust and through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, a U.S. Small Business Administration loan that helps small businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Dancing Classrooms continues to work toward ensuring its future during this crisis and established a COVID-19 Emergency Fund. Donations received to this fund are also supporting these new programs.


Source: NGO Wire