“ Children aren’t being brought up with enough civility. Everyone has a Blackberry, a blueberry, a strawberry, or an iPhone. We speak to each other on the Internet and Facebook, but we no longer touch each other.”

Pierre Dulaine, Founder of Dancing Classrooms

NANCY DUNCAN’s career in the performing arts began in 1970 and she has worked in arts-in-education throughout her career. In 1983 Nancy founded and based CoDanceCo in New York City. In 2003, she moved the company to Long Island.

Her work with CoDanceCo earned Nancy a 1991 New York Dance and Performance Award (aka “Bessie”). Other career highlights include serving as Community Outreach Programs Director for Mikhail Baryshnikov/White Oak Dance Project’s production PastForward, Artistic Director/London Contemporary Dance Theatre; International Presenters Forum Coordinator; Pentacle’s Director of Booking, and Producer of Dancing in the Isles: British Invasion ’97, a four-week British dance festival in New York City.

Duncan was a founding member of the New York State DanceForce (1996-2013) and Patchogue Arts Council (2007-2010); Suffolk County Citizens Arts Advisory Board member (2005-2014); dance grant panelist and Arts Administration Fellow for the National Endowment for the Arts; grant panelist for the New Jersey State Arts Council and Huntington Arts Council.

Beginning in 1994, Founder/Creator PIERRE DULAINE developed Dancing Classrooms™ as a not-for-profit project of the American Ballroom Theater Company (ABrT) in New York City. What was Pierre’s Raison D’etre for Dancing Classrooms?

In 2005, Dancing Classrooms was the subject of the award-winning documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, and Pierre’s story served as inspiration for the 2006 film “Take the Lead.” In 2014 IFC (Independent Film Channel) released a third film, Dancing in Jaffa, which chronicled the implementation of Dancing Classrooms in Pierre’s birth city of Jaffa. These films greatly accelerated national and international interest in Dancing Classrooms. As a direct result, ABrT (whose name changed to Dancing Classrooms, Inc. in 2010) has licensed a global network of sites to offer Dancing Classrooms in their communities.

In 2007, CoDanceCo’s Founding Producing Director, Nancy Duncan, working in partnership with Dancing Classrooms™ creator Pierre Dulaine, secured a two-year grant from the Dana Foundation to establish CoDanceCo, Inc. as the licensed non-profit home for Dancing Classrooms on Long Island. The grant supported Teaching Artist training in the Dulaine Method and Dancing Classrooms syllabus. The following individuals and organizations provided essential guidance and support during the implementation of the grant:

  • Carol Brown, Arts-in-Education Coordinator for Eastern Suffolk BOCES
  • Dr. Kim Lowenborg-Coyne, North Babylon School District’s Director of Music and Art
  • Belmont Elementary Principal Valerie Jackson