Aviva Bumgardner (she/her)

Aviva Bumgardner (she/her)

Senior Teaching Artist

Aviva Bumgardner is a Brooklyn-born creative who started her first residency with Dancing Classrooms in 2009. She was fortunate enough to be trained in the Dulaine Method by Pierre Dulaine himself and is forever grateful for that opportunity. During her tenure, she has taught residencies all over the five boroughs but is mostly known as the “Queen of Queens”! She was the Program Coordinator for the Dancing Classrooms Weekend Academy from 2010-2020, in which she had the opportunity to see many of her students come and continue their dance journeys. Beyond Dancing Classrooms, Aviva is a trained theater performer with a professional acting degree from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She is a recent Summa Cum Laude graduate of Queens College CUNY, where she obtained degrees in both Childhood Education and Theater. She is currently studying at Queens College to obtain her master’s degree in Elementary Education and hopes to be able to bring the joy of the arts into her classroom. Aviva’s focus in her Dancing Classrooms residencies is making sure that her students feel open to creating and enjoying themselves. She hopes that her students leave with a sense of community and love of movement.

Disability Inclusion Workshop + Panel + Social

As we continue to support our work with Students With Disabilities, our guest facilitator and disability advocate (and former Gala honoree!) Marisa Hamamoto moderated a panel discussion for DC’s Teaching Artists with Women On Wheels’ Natalia Mendez and Sabrina Bennett, and disability justice advocate and author of Demystifying DisabilityEmily Ladau. Take a look at our favorite moments here!

Molly Fagan (she/her)

Molly Fagan was born and raised in NYC, and is a proud alum of the Dancing Classrooms program from P.S 196.

Molly Fagan (she/her)

Development Manager


Molly Fagan is an arts administration professional with 6+ years of experience in marketing, fundraising, development, and CSR. As a born and bred New Yorker, Molly grew up in the theatre world, studying at Stella Adler and Yale. After obtaining her BFA at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in both NY & LA, she delved herself into the art world. She recently graduated from NYU with a Master’s in Performing Arts Administration and, prior to joining the DC team, was the Corporate Social Responsibility Manager for COMPASS.

Molly is a proud alum of the Dancing Classrooms program from P.S 196 and believes that Dancing Classrooms helped build her confidence and facilitated her love of dancing at a young age.

Ellen Claycomb (she/her)

As the Director of Development at Dancing Classrooms, Ellen Claycomb’s passion for the arts blends with her extensive experience in nonprofit fundraising. She most recently served as the Director of Development at Hot Bread Kitchen and previously held fundraising roles at esteemed organizations such as Second Stage Theater, The New York Foundation for the Arts, the American Red Cross, and True Colors United.

Ellen Claycomb (she/her)

Development Director


Having embarked on a journey in the world of dance at the age of 3 in her home state of Kentucky, Ellen’s formative years were filled with lots of ballet, tap, and contemporary dance. Through countless hours of dance classes, she developed a profound appreciation for the transformative power of the arts, particularly dance.

As the Director of Development at Dancing Classrooms, Ellen Claycomb’s passion for the arts blends with her extensive experience in nonprofit fundraising. Her two-decade-long career has seen her working diligently to raise funds and support causes that resonate with her values. Ellen most recently served as the Director of Development at Hot Bread Kitchen. She previously held fundraising roles at esteemed organizations such as Second Stage Theater, The New York Foundation for the Arts, the American Red Cross, and True Colors United.

Ellen also has a Master of Public Administration focused on nonprofit management from the University of Louisville and a Bachelor’s in Communication from Arizona State University.

Dancing Classrooms at Lincoln Center's Summer For The City

“Joy & Connection, a Multi-Generational Lindy Hop”

– Photos by Kenichi Kasamatsu (@bykasamatsu)

Join us on June 3, 2023 for Colors of the Rainbow!

Dancing Classrooms presents:

🌈 The 2023 Colors Of The Rainbow

New York City’s Largest Dance Social and Competition for Kids!

Join us for our in-person return to this beloved event featuring student dancers from Dancing Classrooms programs all across the NYC Metro area! Now open to the public, taking place on June 3, 2023 from 4 to 6pm at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater, this year’s Colors of the Rainbow has new ways for all students to dance and chances for schools and students to win prizes.

This June, Dancing Classrooms invites students to show off their partner dance skills in the Competition, dance for fun as school teams in the Showcase, enjoy special performances, and get moving with family and friends during the Social!

Just announced!

The judges for the competition portion of the event, and are dance legend and culture bearer LaTasha Barnes, Emmy winning TV host Mickela Mallozzi, Donnie Burch and Leonie Biggs from Bravo’s Dancing Queens, and Dancing With the Stars pro and NYC teacher Inna Brayer.

It’s set to be a fun, uplifting event for all. We would love to have young people (of all ages!) attend, and even participate in the dance social where all are invited to learn and show off their dance moves.

Do you want to come dance and support? 🎉

When: Saturday, June 3, 2023 from 4-6pm

Where: Richard Rodgers Amphitheater, Marcus Garvey Park, NYC

18 Mt Morris Park W, New York, NY 10027

(Enter at 124th St. & 5th Ave.)

Who: All Dancing Classrooms partner schools and CBO sites can send a team of 2 – 12 students (1 – 6 partner pairs) in grades 4 – 8 to participate. Partners can win awards as a pair by dancing one or two dance forms in the Competition. Have students who love to dance but don’t want to compete? They can participate in the Showcase, dancing “on the circle” with their teammates and with students from other schools. Then, all attendees will have a chance to dance in the Social, a.k.a the largest dance party for kids and their families!

All participating schools/sites will be entered in a raffle to win free workshops, PD or a FREE RESIDENCY.

All participating students will receive a prize, and special awards will be given throughout. Competition winners will be invited to participate in a special performance by Dancing Classrooms at Lincoln Center on July 8th!


Want to know more? Explore sections below for more details on the event format, prizes, and student participation opportunities.

If you have any questions, please contact Eve Wolff at eve@dancingclassrooms.org

This year’s COTR will have three components: 

1) The Showcase: The Showcase will look much like a residency Culminating Event, or the Warmup Round in previous team matches. Dancing on the circle as a team with their schoolmates (see more about teams in the next tab), all participating students will get to show off the dances learned as part of DC residencies on a stage in front of an audience. During the Showcase, just like in our residencies, students will switch partners*, giving them opportunities to dance with students from other schools. It’s important to note that the Showcase will not be judged; this is a great opportunity for students of all abilities and skill levels to dance their hearts out at this grand event!

School teams will dance a minimum of two (2) dance genres in the Showcase (forms to choose from include merengue, foxtrot, tango, swing, polka).

*Accommodations will be made for students who are unable to rotate partners due to religious or access needs.

2) The Competition: Students sign up and compete as partners (pairs of one “righty” and one “lefty”) in up to two (2) dance genres (merengue, rumba, foxtrot, tango, swing, waltz).

Student pairs dancing in the competition are eligible to be awarded prizes (learn more in the next tab) in a variety of categories based on dance skills, teamwork, artistry, and performance. Judges will award top prizes to winners in each dance genre. Award categories and judging criteria will be shared in advance.

Student partners sign up, compete, and win as pairs. No more than two partner groups from a school team may compete in each dance genre. Please note, not everyone on the school team needs to competeA school team may have up to six (6) pairs compete, or may choose to only participate in the Showcase and Social and not compete at all.


3) The Social: Students, teachers, families, and the general public will be invited to dance, a la Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing. The Social is a chance for any students from your residency, as well as family members to participate.

With interactive workshops led by DC Teaching Artists, Colors of the Rainbow participants and audience members will have a chance to dance their favorite dances from residencies along with new ones learned together. 

As in past years, all DC partner schools and Community Based Organization sites will have an opportunity to send a team of up to 12 (six partner pairs or “righties” and “lefties”) students in grades 4-8 to participate in the COTR competition and/or showcase.

  • Minimum Team size is two students (1 partner group); Maximum Team size is 12 (6 partner groups)
  • Each student can participate in the Showcase and up to two Competition rounds (see above). Which students are participating in which round will be submitted as part of the application process.
  • Students do not have to have been in the same class or even the same grade in order to be on the team or be partners. However, teams must consist of students in no more than two consecutive grades (e.g. 4th/5th, 6th/7th), selected by school/site staff.
  • Students do not have to be of different gender identities or expressions (e.g. male-female) in order to be partners.
  • Students who are dancing should be prepared to dance on the circle and in teams of two as either a “righty” or a “lefty”. 
  • School/site teams will dance a minimum of two (2) dance genres in the Showcase (merengue, rumba, foxtrot, tango, swing, waltz, polka).

Awards and prizes will be given or offered for the following:

  • All participating students will receive a medal.
  • Student pairs participating in the Competition may also receive an award in a variety of categories, based on dance skills, teamwork, artistry, and performance. 
      • Judges will award top prizes to select winners in each dance genre, e.g. “Best Merengue”. 
      • A pair of students may only win in one round of the competition, regardless of how many rounds they are competing in. 
      • Award categories and judging criteria will be announced in advance. 
  • All participating schools/sites will be entered into a raffle to win additional prizes:
      • 1st prize – Two free residency courses for next school-year
      • 2nd prize – One free residency course for next summer
      • 3rd prize – Two free family workshops or teacher PDs
  • Schools/Sites may be awarded prizes for participation categories (e.g. biggest cheering section, best sportsmanship, etc.). Specific categories will be announced in advance.


Guest judges familiar with Dancing Classrooms and partner dancing will be judging the Competition Round live. Please note – Teaching Artists who taught competing students will not be judging. 


There are four main criteria that are scored, listed in order of importance:

  • STEPS (as they were taught by the Dancing Classrooms Teaching Artist)
    • Is the pair displaying proper sequences and the footwork of steps?
    • Is the pair moving in the direction of the steps?
    • Are the partners on beat with the music?
    • Are they doing the correct rhythm for the style
    • Are the dancers confident in implementing a “crispy wings” dance frame with elbows together, lifted and away from the body?
    • Is the posture of the dancers in line with the dance being danced?
    • Is the pair “moving their pockets” demonstrating Latin motion for Merengue, & Rumba; and, using heel lead walking for Foxtrot & Tango?
    • Does the pair display elegance in their dancing?
    • Is the pair confident in their movements and engaged in their performance?

By its nature, judging is subjective and happens in the moment with each judge doing their best to score each team in each round. While many dancers perform at a high level, only a certain number of teams can be awarded prizes. It is important that all members of the school community celebrate the accomplishments of their dancers and model the elegance and respect that is the foundation of a Dancing Classrooms residency – whether the team wins best dance, or any other prize.

We DO NOT share final scores of team competitions with Schools, Teaching Artists, or even the Judges.