The Colors Of The Rainbow Celebration Is back!

Dancing Classrooms presents:

🌈 Colors Of The Rainbow

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

Join us at the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park on June 5th, 2024 from 4:00pm to 6:30pm. The event is open to all 2023-24 DC partners, families, and friends, with opportunities for all to dance!


Wednesday, June 5, 2024 from 4 to 6:30 pm.


Richard Rodgers Amphitheater, Marcus Garvey Park, NYC

18 Mt Morris Park W, New York, NY 10027

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


We’re bringing back the team match! Schools will compete as a team, represented by 12 students (6 pairs) in 4th and 5th grade. Each pair will compete in 1-to-2 DC dance forms. All participants will have a chance to dance with students from other schools, and join in a community social dance where students, teachers and parents can get on stage and show off their moves!

There will be prizes for top teams, plus fun giveaways! We hope all DC students and participants attend. This is a great opportunity to build school spirit, teamwork and sportsmanship.

All schools are required to provide DC with a team supervisor (school administrator, teacher or parent-coordinator) who’ll be responsible for student registration, participant details and coordinating team attendance.

Schools will be responsible for choosing team participants; your Teaching Artist will be happy to give input and recommendations for your school’s team.


Want to know more? Email and follow us on social media @DancingClassroomsNYC to stay up to date with exciting updates! 

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 compete.  A 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.

Take a Look at the 2023 Colors Of The Rainbow Photo Gallery!


June 5th, 2024 from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm.

Richard Rodgers Amphitheater at Marcus Garvey Park, at 125th St in Manhattan (easy access from 1,2,3,4,5, A,C, Metro North).

The competition will be open to school teams who have participated in a DC residency during the 23-24 school year.

Registration opens December 1st, all schools participating in a residency will receive a digital registration form and can also register by clicking the form below. Registration inquiries can be directed to


Only 1 team of 12 students can compete per school.

Yes! We would love for all students and staff to come show their school spirit and cheer on their team.

No, all 23-24 DC partners from Fall, Winter and Spring semesters are invited to participate during our June event.

Teams are encouraged to dress funky and fabulous! To make the experience extra special, DC will provide all teams participating in the competition with costume accessories and embellishments.

DC will provide all teams with special practice videos from our staff, students can use these videos.

Participants will receive an updated, detailed information packet that includes judging criteria in spring 2024.

The social is a chance for all students from your school, as well as family members to jump on stage and show off their moves!

Social Media Fundraising Toolkit

YOU make our work possible!

Help us make a difference by sharing about your love of Dancing Classrooms.


  1. Click on Fundraisers” located under the “Community Resources” tab in the menu.
  2. Click on Select Nonprofit”
  3. Search for “Dancing Classrooms, INC”
  4. Edit the details of your fundraiser. Choose a cover photo from our photo selects and add a description that introduces our mission to your friends and followers. (You can grab language from our suggested caption!)
  5. Set a goal amount and hit “Create!”


  1. Go to your Facebook profile.
  2. Click on the “What’s On Your Mind” text box.
  3. Go to “Add to your post” and click on the three dots ( … ) to expand all options.
  4. Click on “Raise Money”
  5. Look for and select “Dancing Classrooms, INC”
  6. Write or use our suggested caption (below) to encourage your friends to donate


  1. Create a new post on your feed by selecting one of our donation graphics.
  2. Click “Next” and write a caption that tells your followers why Dancing Classrooms’ mission is important and meaningful to you!
  3. Tap on Add fundraiser” or “Raise Money”
  4. Select either “Create Fundraiser” or “Add Donate Button”
  5. Search for and select Dancing Classrooms NYC @dancingclassroomsnyc as the non-profit or charity to create a fundraiser for.
  6. Select a goal amount.
  7. Click on “done” and share!


“Join me in supporting Dancing Classrooms as they cultivate essential life skills in children through the joyful art and practice of social dance to 15,000 kids in approximately 150 school partners each year. [Include how you are connected to DC and our mission and why you are personally moved to donate].

Dancing Classrooms programs are known to have a transformative impact on students’ well-being and engagement in school. We play a critical role in making their work possible, so they can continue to connect and inspire thousands of students, educators, and families each year – supporting the next generation of global changemakers through social dance.

Learn more at DancingClassrooms.Org and click HERE to make a donation!”

#DancingClassrooms #ArtsEducation #DCNYC #SupportDancingClassrooms


Enrico Mayuga (he/him)

Enrico Mayuga (he/him)

Senior Teaching Artist

Enrico Mayuga, who has been with Dancing Classrooms since 2007, is originally from Washington State. He moved to NYC to pursue a career in higher education after obtaining his degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His career took an unexpected turn when he got the opportunity to help teach “Salsa on 2” classes to children in Kyrgyzstan. It was during this experience that Enrico witnessed firsthand the immediate impact the arts can have on children, despite cultural and language barriers. He vividly remembers the pure joy on the children’s faces and became determined to find a way to teach dance to children upon his return to NYC.

Once Enrico began working with Dancing Classrooms, there was no looking back. He was selected as “Rookie of the Year” and had the opportunity to work as a Buddy Teacher and Weekend Academy Instructor for 1st-4th year students.

The extensive training he received from Pierre and Yvonne went beyond mere steps; he learned about the boundless possibilities that arise when one establishes a connection with a child.

When Enrico is not teaching with DC, he serves as a children’s multi-sport coach and continues to teach ballroom dance to individuals, groups, and wedding couples. Enrico remains dedicated to learning and exploring how he can apply his love for dance, movement, and sports to bring positive change in the lives of his own children, individuals, and communities.

Carmen Mendoza (she/her)

Carmen Mendoza (she/her)

Senior Teaching Artist

Carmen Mendoza became a Teaching Artist with Dancing Classrooms in 2014. Subsequently, she earned the title of “Rookie of the Year” and won the grand championship with her 4th grade students from PS 128 in the Colors of the Rainbow competition. Like her students, she began her dance training at the age of nine as a scholarship recipient and youth company member of the world-renowned Spanish dance company, Ensemble Español, in residence at Northeastern Illinois University. She’s danced on the distinguished stages of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Salvatore Capezio Theater and before the United Nations Assembly. Carmen is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a SAG-AFTRA member.  You may have recently seen her on your TV screen in Law & Order: Organized Crime and FBI: MOST WANTED.

Dance With Ms. Carmen!

Joy Grad (she/her)

Joy Grad (she/her)

Senior Teaching Artist

Joy Grad has been teaching for Dancing Classrooms since 2013. She is a lifelong dancer with a BFA in Dance from the University of Michigan. She choreographed her own work for many years before branching out to learn various forms of multicultural folk and social dances. Along with her classical training she has studied Belly dance, Japanese dance, Hip Hop dance, and many social dances. She specializes in two swing genres of social dance; Lindy Hop and Balboa. She also has extensive experience as a Hip Hop dancer through professional classes and and performances.

Highlights of her dance career have been performing with Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane in their work Uncle Tom’s Cabin, performing modern dance at the Merce Cunningham Studio and at DIA in NYC as well as other venues, being a member of Karim Tonsy’s Egyptian Dance Theatre as a modern dance specialist, dancing Lindy Hop at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing in 2017, and performing since 2017 at WNBA games as a member of the Timeless Torches. The Torches are the official over-40 dance team of the WNBA’s New York Liberty basketball team. Highlights of her teaching career include coaching one 4th grade ballroom team to win the Gold at our yearly Grand Finals competition in June, and watching all her students grow their dance and social skills, and their confidence through the joy of dance.

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)