FREE Summer Social Dance

Free Summer Social Dance with Dancing Classrooms!

Join us online through Zoom and outdoors at parks across NYC for free summer social dance classes in July and August!

Summer Dancing with Rhythm & Stories
for ages 4 – 8 (Rising K-3rd grade)

A Journey Through Dance Around the World
for 4th grade – Adult

Learn more below!
Email with any questions.

*Locations are subject to change and local safety guidelines will be followed.

Summer Dancing with Rhythm & Stories


Recommended Ages: 4 – 8 (Rising K-3rd grade)
Duration: Weekly Drop-In Class, 45 min.
Days/Time: Tuesdays @ 12pm EST July 13, 20, 27 and August 3 Location: Virtual (Zoom) Class

Summer Dancing with Rhythm Stories is a creative interdisciplinary course, combining fundamental elements of social dance with creative movement and storytelling. Each week students will explore a different social dance style from around the world using creative movement, rhythm making, and storytelling. This inclusive class, open to students with various learning needs and abilities, is designed to engage participants by sparking the imagination, building confidence, encouraging selfexpression, and strengthening coordination and communication skills. A great way for little ones to stay active during hot summer days.

A Journey Through Dance Around the World

Recommended Ages: 4th grade – Adult
Duration: Weekly Drop-In Class, 1.5 hrs.
Days/Time: Thursdays @ 4pm July 22, 29, and August 5
Location: Outdoor Parks Across NYC (See Below)

Dance Around the World is an inclusive, multicultural and global dance program, designed to develop knowledge, appreciation and understanding of social dance styles across the globe. Each class will focus on a particular continent or region, exploring the history, rhythms, and movements of various social dances. No experience necessary! Participants can learn a short dance routine and show off their skills, or enjoy dancing with their fellow New Yorkers with an interactive “dance party” at the end of each class.

Week 1: July 22nd @ 4pm East Coast Swing at East River Park*, Manhattan

Jump & Jive along the East River at the Amphitheatre on the LES at this fun and family friendly workshop!

Week 2: July 29th @ 4pm Boogie Down in the Bronx, Woodlawn Playground in Van Cortlandt Park*
CANCELLED due to severe storm watch in NYC. Rain date to be announced!

Continue your dance journey with us at the birthplace of Hip-Hop, the Bronx! Pop, lock and groove in a fun Hip-Hop fusion workshop!

Week 3: August 5th @ 4pm Samba in Sunset Park* , Brooklyn

In the final workshop of our free summer dance series, sway the afternoon away with us with a sweet little Samba routine on the Sunset Park overlook in Brooklyn!

Dancing Classrooms 2021 Social Dance Showcase

Dancing Classrooms 2021 Social Dance Showcase:
An Online Community Celebration of Defiant Joy!

Livestreamed Awards Announcement and Community Celebration

Saturday, June 12, 2021

11am – 12pm EST on Zoom


Join Dancing Classrooms as we celebrate the accomplishments of our community and of students all across the metro area! Thank you to everyone who submitted videos demonstrating their “Defiant Joy” through Social Dance. The livestreamed online Zoom celebration will include select submission performance videos, awards announcements, and a fun dance break!

So, please join us on June 12 as we celebrate the power of dance in our 2021 Social Dance Showcase. Students, families, friends, teachers and all those who helped our students share their Defiant Joy this year are welcome to join this special Zoom event.

What IS Defiant Joy?
Defiant joy is actively pursuing happiness and self-expression in the face of great grief and challenge. It describes the work that Dancing Classrooms has done for the past 26 years and dance teachers across NYC and the globe have been cultivating everyday online: using movement and culture as tools to develop resilience, connection, community, and pride. Through dance and the arts, young people have talked back to the world this year and we loved hearing what you had to say!

Who should I contact with any questions?
Please feel free to contact Mary McCatty with any questions about the festival and your submission content. Contact Marielle Young with any technical questions.

Please note:
*By submitting for the Dancing Classrooms 2021 Social Dance Showcase: An Online Community Celebration of Defiant Joy, you agree to adhere to all rules and instructions, and any others explicitly stated by the event organizers during all stages of the event. The event organizers may also change or remove certain rules or stipulations depending on their collective assessment of situations, should they merit review. Submissions must be appropriate (no hate speech, inappropriate dance moves, inappropriate music, etc.) and adhere to all rules to be featured on the Dancing Classrooms Showcase webpage. This is at the discretion of the Dancing Classrooms staff.

All participants also acknowledge and understand that their provided names, videos, statement, image, and likeness of image, may be used on Dancing Classrooms social media and/or the Dancing Classrooms website in perpetuity. Participants will maintain sole copyright of the created materials and may use and reproduce the project materials as they desire.

From Screen to Seen: Lessons on Cultivating Defiant Joy and Supporting Young People in a Post-Pandemic World

From Screen to Seen: Lessons on Cultivating Defiant Joy and Supporting Young People in a Post-Pandemic World

Wednesday, May 5th, 2021

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM EDT


A follow up to our May 2020 “Social Dance While Social Distancing” Roundtable event, this interactive discussion will center on the ways in which the “defiant joy” found through dance and arts education has helped young people persevere through this remarkable year. Panelists will share their experiences supporting young people and integrating the arts into their online lives.

Learn More About the Panelists

The event will be hosted by Mickela Mallozzi, the four-time Emmy® Award-winning Host and Executive Producer of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi.  The panelists include psychologist Dr. Jephtha Tausig, cultural anthropologist specialized in dance & UN Senior/Regional Human Rights Fellow at UN Headquarters Dr. Derrick Leon Washington, WolfBrown Principal Researcher Dr. Dennie Palmer Wolf, PS 130M Principal Renny Fong, and Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education Program Coordinator Yaicana Peña. Dancing Classrooms Senior Teaching Artist Felix Pitre will be bringing in the defiant joy of the Lindy Hop as a dance break, and Deputy Director Eve Wolff will offer context and some themes that have emerged from our work this year teaching over 4,000 NYC public students social dance online. Learn more about our special guests below!

Mickela Mallozzi is the four-time Emmy® Award-winning Host and Executive Producer of Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi, a travel series highlighting the diversity of dance which airs on PBS stations nationwide and on Amazon Prime Video globally.  A professional dancer and trained musician, Mickela decided to start a journey around the world, taking her camera with her to follow dance in the lives of everyday people wherever she went.  From re-discovering her family’s heritage in Southern Italy to dancing tango on the main stage in Buenos Aires, the series covers Mickela’s adventures as she experiences the world, one dance at a time.  She has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, O Magazine, AFAR Media, Travel Channel, Dance Magazine, Forbes, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, and more, and she has performed on various television shows including Sesame Street and The Doctor Oz Show.

Dr. Jephtha Tausig has been a licensed clinical psychologist for over 20 years in New York City and Nantucket, where she has her own practices working with children, teens, young adults, and the elderly.  She supervises at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, Columbia University, Adelphi University, and is the consulting psychologist for The Fairwinds Agency in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Her PhD was awarded with Distinction by the Clinical Psychology Program at Columbia University after she obtained a Master’s in General Psychology from New York University and two Masters’ in Clinical Psychology (from Columbia University and Teachers College). She has taught at Columbia University, The New School for Social Research, Mt. Sinai Medical Center, and received multiple awards, including Dancing Classrooms’ Humanitarian Award in 2015.

Dr. Derrick León Washington  curated the ground-breaking exhibition and program series, Rhythm & Power: Salsa in New York, at the Museum of the City of New York. He is the co-editor of the book, Rhythm & Power: Performing Salsa in Puerto Rican and Latino Communities. As an expert of expressive cultures and senior fellowship recipient from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, he is the director and curator of Urban Stomp: From Swing to Mambo. He has curated several UN projects, including multi-national webinars, assisted with development and moderated the final long plenary of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) 10th Anniversary Youth Forum 2021, and featured in a short film about the ‘I Still Believe in Our City’ campaign sponsored by UN Human Rights (OHCHR) and the NYC Commission on Human Rights.

Dr. Dennie Palmer Wolf, Principal Researcher at WolfBrown, is one of the leading arts education researchers and evaluators in the United States. She holds a doctorate from Harvard where she served as a researcher at Project Zero for more than a decade and then headed Harvard PACE. Nationally, Wolf has helped a number of city-wide and regional consortia build coordinated systems that support critical and creative learning for young people in and out of school time. Based on this work, Wolf conducted a strategic review of all aspects of arts education for the National Endowment for the Arts. She was a three-term appointee to the National Assessment Governing Board, the federal agency that measures student learning nationally. Her work has been supported by the National Endowment for Arts, the U.S. Department of Education, the Buck, Arnold, Carnegie, Mellon, Spencer, and William Penn foundations, and has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals and books.

Renny Fong, since 2014, has served as the Principal of P.S. 130 Hernando De Soto, a 2017 National Blue Ribbon elementary school in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Prior to being Principal of P.S. 130, Renny served as a teacher there for over 15 years since 1997. A native New Yorker, Renny is also a product of the New York City public school system. Renny is a graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University (M.A. Education), Columbia College, Columbia University (B.A. Economics), and Stuyvesant High School. Renny was also a Wallace Principals Institute Fellow at Bank Street College, where he received an M.A. in Educational Leadership in 2013.

Yaicana Peña is the Program Coordinator for the Casita Maria Compass Elementary After School Program. She was born and raised in New York City. She has eleven years of experience working with youth and her specialty is establishing connections/relations with the community, especially the Spanish Speaking families. She is currently pursuing her Master’s of Science in Bilingual Childhood Education at City College. She is an educator at heart and is passionate about helping others and providing youth and their families with the support they need.

Felix Pitre has worked with Dancing Classrooms since 2009. He has studied Lindy Hop and other vernacular jazz dances with numerous instructors, national and local, including the late great Frankie Manning, Roddy Caravella, Bill Kline, Matt Bedell and Laura Jeffers. He has opened for Jennifer Hudson, and in various troupes including the Big Apple Lindy Hoppers, the Lindy Hop All-Stars and The Twilight Toe Tapping Syncopaters.

Eve Wolff is the Deputy Director of Dancing Classrooms. Prior to joining Dancing Classrooms in February 2020, Eve worked with AdvanceNYC as a Senior Project Director for 7 years, supporting nonprofit clients such as ArtsConnection, Harmony Program, Hi-Arts, the Louis Armstrong House Museum, Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and SBI/A. Philip Randolph High School. Prior to joining Advance NYC Eve spent years in the NYC performing arts and arts education sectors, including serving as the Director of Programming at Young Audiences New York. 

Danielle Lima

Watch to learn more about Miss Danielle:

Danielle Lima

Senior Teaching Artist

Danielle Lima is a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At an early age Danielle discovered a passion for the Samba at the Samba School Beija-Flor de Nilopolis where she paraded in carnival for many years and developed her own Samba no pe style. She also studied Ballet, Jazz, modern and National Folklore Dances extensively at the Dance Studio Valeria Brito, at Centro de Dancas Rio before leaving Brazil to work as a dancer with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. Danielle has taught dance throughout NYC, including with Djoniba Drum & Dance Center, Ailey Extension, and Dancing Classrooms, where she has been teaching Ballroom and other social dance styles for over 14 years.

Dance Break!

Felix Pitre

Watch to learn more about Mr. Felix:

Felix Pitre

Senior Teaching Artist

Felix Pitre has worked with Dancing Classrooms as a Teaching Artist since 2009. He has taught elementary, middle and high school students across the NYC Metro Area, bringing his love and appreciation of dance, and in particular the Lindy Hop, to all of his classes. Felix has studied Lindy Hop and other vernacular Jazz dances with numerous instructors, nationally and locally throughout NYC, including the late great Frankie Manning, Roddy Caravella, Bill Kline, Matt Bedell and Laura Jeffers. His career as a performer includes  opening for Jennifer Hudson, and dancing in various troupes including the Big Apple Lindy Hoppers, the Lindy Hop All-Stars and The Twilight Toe Tapping Syncopaters.

Dance Break!

Marielle Young

Marielle has worked in the digital space for various NYC arts organizations including The Tony Awards®, The Broadway League, HERE Arts Center, and the PROTOTYPE Festival.

Marielle Young

Communications Manager

Marielle Young grew up dancing at Dance Dynamics – her local dance studio in Jackson Heights, Queens. In the digital space, she has worked for organizations such as The Tony Awards®, The Broadway League, HERE Arts Center, the PROTOTYPE Festival, Ma-Yi Theater Company, and more. Marielle is also a theatre artist and Teaching Artist, teaching young people acting and Shakespeare. She loves that working for Dancing Classrooms combines her passions for the arts, education, and New York City children and communities.

Michelle Rivera

Michelle brings with her over 25 years of experience as an arts enthusiast, educator and administrator working within both the nonprofit and private sectors.

Michelle Rivera

Out-of-School Program Manager

Michelle is a native Queens girl, third generation New Yorker, and lifelong dancer. Earning undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from NYU and CUNY respectively, she brings with her over 25 years of experience as an arts enthusiast, educator, and administrator. In particular, Michelle has spent years dedicated to supporting young people in extended-day and out-of-school programs. She has brought the power of arts and education to communities by working within both the nonprofit and private sectors. Her experience includes years working as a Teaching Artist and dance instructor, owning and operating her own dance studio, overseeing arts programming internationally in Lagos, and administering local programs at community based organizations across all five boroughs of NYC.

Victoria Malvagno

A veteran of Dancing Classrooms for over 20 years, Victoria has supported students’ dance journeys as a Teaching Artist, Senior Educational Liaison, and Program Manager.

Victoria Malvagno

In-School Program Manager

Victoria joined Dancing Classrooms over 20 years ago and has had the pleasure to be a Teaching Artist, Senior Educational Liaison, and Program Manager. She has supervised ballroom and social dance residencies across the five boroughs, judged numerous competitions, and has been an emcee for the Dancing Classrooms’ Colors of the Rainbow Team Match in New York, Long Island, Philadelphia, and Monterey, California. 

Featured in the documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, she has presented lectures and demonstrations about the Dancing Classrooms Program and the Dulaine Method for The Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools and The Child Welfare League of America National Conferences in Washington D.C., The Dance of Life, The Promise of Youth 27th Annual Conference in Utah, and In the Mad Hot Ballroom Conference in Florida. 

Victoria holds a Bachelor of Arts in Acting and a Minor in Dance from Stony Brook University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Brooklyn College. She is a founding member of The Barefoot Theatre Company and has performed in New York City at the 78th Street Theatre Lab, Cherry Lane Theater, and TriBeca Playhouse, as well as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and the Boston Playwright’s Theater, among many others.

Ivelisse Garcia

With a long career as a dancer, fitness instructor and dance educator, Ivelisse joined Dancing Classrooms in 2008 as a Teaching Artist before becoming a full time staff member.

Ivelisse Garcia

Operations & HR Manager

Ivelisse is originally from Puerto Rico, where she started dancing ballet and Flamenco when she was nine years old under Milagros Vicente. Soon after, she sought to expand her art further and began studying jazz under contemporary choreographer Junito Betancourt. Ivelisse performed nationally with Ballet Municipal, Junito Betancourt Dance Company, and the Rosario Galan Company. She attended The Boston Conservatory, where she received a BFA in Dance. As a student, Ivelisse worked with prominent choreographers and dancers such as Ana Sokolow, Jennifer Scanlon, Sam Kurkijan, Mary Wolff, and Marcus Schulkind.

Ivelisse taught dance and fitness classes before joining Dancing Classrooms in 2008 as a Teaching Artist. She has since served as an Educational Liaison and spent years supporting the Program Department in billing and overseeing logistics of the Colors of the Rainbow Team Matches and Grand Finals. Ivelisse brings her meticulous eye for detail and her passion for dance education to her work as the Operations and HR manager.

Nancy Kleaver

Nancy has worked for over two decades to make arts learning equitable for all children and has a track record of leading organizations through times of growth and change.

Nancy Kleaver

Executive Director

For almost 25 years, Nancy has worked to make arts learning equitable for all children and has a track record of leading organizations through times of growth and change. Prior to coming to Dancing Classrooms, Nancy was an independent consultant advising clients on partnership, talent recruitment, and program strategy. In her previous role at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Nancy served as Senior Director of Education & Community Engagement, where she helped leverage the institution’s great assets to make free world-class arts programming accessible to thousands of New Yorkers across the five boroughs. As Executive Director of Manhattan New Music Project (MNMP), she led a US Dept. of Education-funded partnership with NYC’s District 75 for the Everyday Arts for Special Education (EASE) program that trained every special education teacher in NYC to embed arts-based practices into their instruction. During her tenure as Director of School Programs for the DreamYard Project, Nancy oversaw partnerships in over 30 Bronx schools and designed the Bronx Arts Learning Community, a network of educators dedicated to providing consistent pathways of arts learning for their kids. Nancy holds a degree in sociology from Binghamton University and Masters in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from Baruch College, has trained as an actor and singer and performed professionally.

She is a proud Queens mom and co-founder of PARADE and RECreate Qns, producing large, fun, family friendly public art projects by and for the people in her neighborhood. Taking inspiration from Dancing Classrooms students learning virtually from home this year, Nancy has re-invested in her own dance practice during the pandemic and can’t wait to hit the dance floor to try out her new skills!