The Port Washington School District’s five elementary schools—John J. Daly, Guggenheim, Sousa, South Salem and Manorhaven—have been working on their fancy footwork during Dancing Classrooms Long Island, a program that teaches ballroom dancing to elementary and middle school students.
“Thanks to the generosity and partnership of the Port Washington School District’s Department of Creative Arts, HEARTS, the ED Foundation and our schools’ HSAs, for the last three years every 5th grader participates in the Dancing Classroom 10 week residency,” said Sherri Suzzan, Principal of John J. Daly Elementary School. “It has become an important part of the elementary experience as students not only learn the dances, but learn about and experience how commitment, determination, and teamwork lead to a presentation that students are extremely proud of. Each year, parents express to us that this is one of the best events their children take part in during the school year!”
Each elementary school hosted its own culminating event, giving its students the chance to demonstrate their newly acquired foot skill to their parents. Dressed to the nines, students showed off the ballroom dance steps they learned over the last few months, which was integrated into the physical education, health, music, and character education programs at each school while making connections to math, social studies and English language arts. Students also learned self-confidence, teamwork and manners and gained an appreciation for the cultures associated with the different dances they learned.
“The Dancing Classrooms Long Island program is a fun and innovative way for our students to learn to work together, while also experiencing a new outlet of self-expression,” said Kathleen Mooney, Superintendent of Port Washington School District. “We are so proud of their success and thrilled that this program has had such positive outcomes for our students since its introduction.”
Dancing Classrooms Long Island is a non-profit program of CoDanceCo, Inc., which provides this residency program to private and public schools throughout the country. The program aims to cultivate essential life skills in children through the art of social dance.