Every Dancing Classrooms residency provides space for students to reflect on their transformative experience, and to connect what they are learning in the ballroom to what they are learning in the classroom. Curriculum connection work is decided upon in partnership with classroom teachers, and includes reflections on the students’ social-emotional journey as well as a more in-depth piece inspired by their social dance experience and linked to a current unit of academic study.



Dancing Classrooms promotes trust in partners and allows for two individuals to not feel as “awkward” around each other. When we first began dancing, no one could make eye contact. We stood there in silence, looking at friends, barely touching the other person, anything to get away from this torture. Now? We laugh at ourselves and are confident in one and other.

Teamwork while dancing is crucial. Trust and communication is vital too. When one person messes up, that person is counting on his partner to assist him by using body language. Every single one of us must have faith and we must trust each other. Dancing requires that we are confident in one another to place our hands in the correct spot, to not be afraid of touching the other person, and to put aside any other disputes/disagreements from the past. Because both boys and girls come so close to each other, we must respect the opposite gender while performing.

These qualities are important to have in the classroom and out in the world. In life, the ability to work with someone else as a team, to respect others, to treat individuals with respect and politeness, are characteristics that go far beyond what is typically taught in a school setting. It will get you far in life.

Great Neck South Middle School 8th Grader

Gym gym gym
every other day, beginning my day with gym
used to the sweat and the hard work
used to the sports that hurt

new year, new me
new gym class, new skills to see
No more of the sweat and the pain
replaced with grace and elegance instead

Awkward at first, getting better
Learning the steps and all these new dances
Not all partners know what to do
Not all of them dance the sure footed tune

A good partner knows what they’re doing
Grace, no shame or embarrassment in dancing
Foxtrot, merengue, tango and more
They lead me through them all

With a good partner, my work is less
No tripping and more learning
More fun and less embarrassment
Elegance and grace

My original thoughts did not expect this
I did not think this would be fun at all
But the result,
It exceeded my expectations by far

Great Neck North Middle School 8th Grader

When I dance the foxtrot, all my problems just go away. When I started learning this dance, I felt comfortable. For the first time in Dancing Classrooms, I felt relaxed. All the other dances were confusing to me back then. Over time, I did get the hang of the other dances. However, foxtrot made me more calm; I began to get less nervous. Then I began to understand the other dances because I was calm and not nervous like before. This is why the foxtrot, by Harry Fox, is my favorite dance to this day.

East Elementary 5th Grader

Dancing is like sports. Imagine you play baseball and practice every day. You are really competitive and always play hard. But your teammates are not like you. They don’t care. They never show up to practice. They don’t try when they get up to bat. You would feel discouraged. When you are pitching and the other team hits a grounder, your teammates just let the ball roll to the fence. When they are up to bat, they don’t swing at all and get struck out looking. But you get a hit every time you get up. It doesn’t matter because you lose. You lose every game.
The reason is because in baseball, or in any sport, you cannot have a one man team. You can’t win if you are playing football and no one catches your passes. Or if you are playing basketball and no one knows how to dribble, pass or shoot.
You need a team that wants to play. You need to know how to play. You need to try hard. But mainly, you need to have fun. It is no fun with a one man team, but it is fun with a team that plays hard with you.
Dancing is like a sport because teamwork is very important. You need to have a great coach to help you with your skills and lead your team. You need to be focused or the team will not be successful. Finally you need to thank your coach and the people that taught you. In baseball, you always thank your coaches for teaching you. In Dancing Classrooms we do that, too. This teaches us manners and respect.
I believe that Dancing Classrooms was not meant to teach kids how to dance, but to teach kids life skills and important qualities that will help us to succeed in life.

East Elementary 5th Grader

In our world today some people don’t always get respect and gratitude and following the rules is uncommon. Dancing Classrooms taught us respect and communication with our friends along with elegance and classiness. If we could follow the rules of Dancing Classrooms our world could improve.

St. James Elementary School 5th grader

Sometimes a person needs to be uncomfortable in order to grow.

St. James Elementary School 5th grader

Your actions speak louder than your words. So even just a simple smile would make a difference. Being able to participate in Dancing Classrooms has helped me understand these things and also remember to have fun!

St. James Elementary School 5th grader

When I first came into Dancing Classrooms, I was afraid because I wasn’t sure if I could look someone in the eye, or hold someone’s hand. I grew as a person thanks to you. You helped me with my self confidence. I grew learning foot patterns and dances and I don’t know how to thank you more.

South Salem 5th grader

I feel like I have grown from this experience. I made new friends. I now have more friends to relate to. I’ve also been more social since Dancing Classrooms. I have been more open to new ideas. I thought the biggest surprise was that I like Dancing Classrooms. I got to talk to people I barely talked to. It was enjoyable and fun.

South Salem 5th grader

I was very nervous when I first walked in. Once we started the dances, in my mind I said ‘This is fun.’ Since I don’t like dancing, I thought I wasn’t going to like it, but I did. Today was one of the most fun days of my life.

Willow Road School 4th grader

I loved ballroom dancing! I was not that nervous during or before class because I know how it’s like. After class, I felt like I just won the lottery!!! I am familiar with the dances and positions you talked about. Last I have really improved my body language. In conclusion, I LOVED ballroom dancing!

Willow Road School 4th grader

I was nervous. The thought of holding a boy’s hand just made me shudder! And before I knew it, we were dancing our first steps. This is easy, I thought. And then came the part when I started to regret that I didn’t bring my hand sanitizer. Well, it wasn’t that bad. Boys’ hands are basically regular hands, but a whole lot sweatier. Then it was over. Or so I thought. We all lined up shortest to tallest. Then we linked arms. I was thinking, That sounds like an automatic no. But I did it anyway. And that was my first Dancing Classrooms lesson.

South Salem 5th grader