A Celebration of Dance
Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio (DCNEO) recently partnered with Euclid City Schools and Fred Astaire Willoughby to host their first “Celebration of Dance” on Friday, October 17th at Shoreview Elementary School. This was a family friendly event that served to bring the community together, through a “celebration of dance”, while supporting the work of Dancing Classrooms and its implementation within the Euclid City Schools.
Dancing Classrooms isn’t a dancing program; Dancing Classrooms is a social development program for 5th and 8th grade children that uses ballroom dance as its “tool” for getting children to break down social barriers, learn about honor and respect, treat others carefully, improve self-confidence, communicate and cooperate, and accept others even if they are different.
The event began with a welcome from DCNEO’s Executive Director, Jo Jo Carcioppolo, who explained how and why ballroom dancing is used as a “tool” within the Dancing Classrooms program. This was followed up by a demonstration from a group of Dancing Classrooms students (some former and others current 5th graders) who elegantly danced the Merengue, Fox Trot, Rumba, and Swing. Carcioppolo commented to the audience that the true testament to the program was that the students present on the stage represented a variety of schools both within Euclid and elsewhere and that though they had only just met fifteen minutes prior were now working together, as a team, to share their dances with the audience.
As the students were instructed to, “Take a Bow”, the owner of Fred Astaire Willoughby, Andrea Bisconti, was welcomed to the stage and the evening continued with Dancing Classrooms students now members of the audience. This transition communicated how the arts, ballroom dance specifically, can continue to be a teaching “tool” throughout one’s life. Fred Astaire Willoughby students ranging in ages and occupations performed a variety of dances and styles over the course of an hour which was then concluded with two special high energy numbers from the professional dancers of the studio.
The goal of the evening was to bring the community together in support of Dancing Classrooms’ mission and work within the Euclid City School District…and beyond. With more than one-hundred people in attendance, a range of outstanding performances and a group dance lesson; all those in attendance both learned, and experienced, how Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio is “Transforming Lives – One Step at a Time”.
Audrey R. Holtzman
Community Relations Specialist for the Euclid City Schools.