Mad Hot Ballroom

Taylor's last day of school before the Christmas break included an afternoon dance assembly, Mad Hot Ballroom. (If you haven't seen the documentary of the same name, it's a great movie that chronicles how ballroom dancing was brought into New York public schools several years ago. Throughout the experiment, reluctant 6th and 7th graders learned how to become pretty darn good dancers en route to the state finals, but the real transition involved the remarkable behavior improvements that were achieved. We say it all the time, arts help teach teamwork, expression, self confidence, and respect.)

This afternoon at Beach Elementary began with two dancers from Young Audiences performing a waltz. Every time the girl in the fluffy pink dress whisked by the kids as she danced in circles, her skirt would ripple magically into the air and the little 3rd graders would ooh and ah. It was pretty cute.

Then the 5th and 6th graders were on. Each class took turns dancing the merengue, the waltz, and the swing.

There's Taylor on the far left doing the merengue, and below center taking his bows.

They'd only been dancing a couple times a week for a few weeks, so their moves weren't exactly showcase material, but I do appreciate that schools like Beach are continuing to find as many arts activities as they can (and can afford) until our school systems build the arts back into the core curriculum.

And now, Christmas vacation time!

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