Through the joyful art and practice of social dances, Dancing Classrooms cultivates engaged learners, collaborative leaders, and inclusive spaces.


A world that values social dance as foundational to every child’s well-being and joy, celebrates the beauty of diversity, and amplifies our shared humanity.


Create a more equitable, just, and joyful world by dancing together. 

Core Values

  • Connection 
  • Inclusion 
  • Joy
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Dancing Classrooms works. Research proves it.

Our renowned program develops the best of what academics call Social Emotional Learning or SEL, life skills like motivation, collaboration, and listening that help us develop into empathetic and compassionate human beings in a coarsening world.

Year after year, school principals, teachers and families have witnessed the elevated self-esteem, connection and engagement of each Dancing Classrooms student that propels enhanced performance in- and out-of-school in the semesters that follow.

Even in virtual and socially-distanced environments, we’ve heard time and again that our programs result in better student performance and community in the classroom and beyond.

Cultivates Key Behavioral Skills

In 10 weeks, the Dancing Classrooms residency supports effective learning and student ownership of their learning, with 95% of students seeing increased engagement and motivation. 89% increase in self-discipline and focus.

10 Weeks to Strong Neural Connectivity

The arts make your brain grow. Participating in the arts for as little as 10 weeks has been shown to increase the resiliency and neural connectivity of the brain, making for increased self-awareness and better memory processing.

Develops Social and Collaborated Skills and Relationships

The program enhances social confidence through partnering with and supporting classmates and adults. 93% strengthened collaborative and team skills. 71% demonstrated greater social confidence.

Contributes to a More Active Lifestyle

Dancing Classroom’s program allows children to have another avenue to be physically active in addition to physical education classes. This contributes to helping children meet the necessary 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily and may encourage healthy lifelong activity habits.

Artresearch – researcher observations (2016)
American Journal of Health Promotion, January/February 2012, Vol 26, No. 3

What is “Social Dance” at Dancing Classrooms?

We provide schools with social-emotional learning opportunities through the practice of social dances.

Social dances are deeply collaborative and culturally rich dance forms that are practiced in duets or groups for social purposes – celebrations, ceremonies, rituals, sport, exercise, or just fun. Most social dances emerge from communities and are passed down informally in social settings, but they can also be learned and practiced in a dance studio, school, or at home.

Social dances exist in all cultures and parts of the world and oftentimes will be influenced by multiple cultures (e.g. rumba, foxtrot, merengue, swing). Any dance can be made “social” with intention, creativity, collaboration, and community in the “Dancing Classroom.”

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Our Story

The original Dancing Classrooms program was launched in 1994 by world-renowned ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine as a project of the American Ballroom Theater Company (ABrT).  

As seen in the 2005 documentary film Mad Hot Ballroom,"  what began as an introduction to ballroom dance for 5th graders in NYC has grown into a world-renowned organization with ten national affiliate sites that bring the joy of social dances from around the globe to K-12 grade students in- and out-of-school, online, hybrid, and socially distanced.

“Dancing is about connections… to our friends, to our families, to our neighbors. 

It is one of the most expressive ways we celebrate and communicate our cultures and communities.

With Dancing Classrooms, we are able to reach children in existing classroom settings and address fundamental issues of mutual respect and self-esteem – issues that social dance puts into practice. We hope to inspire children through dance to do well, to respect one another, to be proud. This program is about more than dance, it is about teaching children to take a bow.”

– Pierre Dulaine & Yvonne Marceau

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Donate Today

Your donation will not only help us provide the program to school children, but you can also assist in providing training for our Teaching Artists, funding our Dancing Classrooms Academy weekend program, supporting the Colors of the Rainbow Celebration, and helping us develop new programming in response to the needs of our communities.

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