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American Ballroom Theater’s “Dancing Classrooms” and its “Youth Dance Company”

children ballroom dancing american theater new yorkEach year at the MAS Annual Meeting individuals, groups, events and extraordinary efforts are celebrated that have contributed to the quality of life in New York City. Honorees are awarded the MAS Certificate of Merit. Amongst those honored this year were American Ballroom Theater’s “Dancing Classrooms.” This company has much to celebrate and to be proud of. Since Pierre Dulaine taught the first ballroom dance class in one public school in l994, the outreach program “Dancing Classrooms” has developed into an amazingly popular and successful Arts-in-Education initiative in New York City’s public schools. The company’s instructors teach tens of thousands of fourth, fifth and eighth-graders not only the joy, discipline and civility of ballroom dancing, but they also emphasize good manners, mutual respect and most of all self-esteem. We were fortunate to have the newly-established “performing dance troupe” consisting of 24 very talented girls and boys, who had been taught in the ballroom classes at their participating public schools, open our Annual Meeting with a crowd-pleasing performance. These poised and elegant children were truly the highlight of the MAS 115th Annual Meeting.