Submit Your Video: Dancing Classrooms 2021 Social Dance Showcase

You’re invited to submit an original dance video for….

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




Submit on Flipgrid

Flipgrid Password: Dance2021

*Don’t forget to fill out the Google Form too!

Dancing Classrooms would like to invite individual students and student groups/classes to submit a video under two minutes long demonstrating their “Defiant Joy” through Social Dance. Anyone is welcome to submit!

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 want to hear what their bodies have to say!

Your video submission can be solo or a group, from existing footage of a class, rehearsal, or culminating event… or you can coordinate safely outside or online to create a dance specifically for this showcase celebration. Videos can be any style of social dance using any style of music. With your submission, please include a statement that explains what it’s like and what it means to dance in this time of a global pandemic.

Livestreamed Awards Announcement and Community Celebration: June 12, 2021 at 11am EST

Join Dancing Classrooms as we celebrate the accomplishments of our community and of students all across the metro area!

Awards and Livestreamed Community Celebration

All submissions will be featured on a special Showcase Webpage on the Dancing Classrooms website!* In addition, everyone who submits a video will be invited to attend our online community celebration on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 11am EST. This special celebration will feature select videos from the Showcase, and special dance video awards will be announced. Check back soon for more information, you won’t want to miss it!

Awards may include: Spirit Award, Best Fancy Footwork, Best Background/Scenic design, Most Creative (Artistic Teamwork), Most Elegant (Grace and Style), Most Joyful (Effervescence), Most Enthusiastic (Dynamo)…

We also may be inspired by you and create new award categories based on your submissions!

Submission Instructions

All submissions must be made using the Google Form. You will be uploading your submission video at the same time as your information. Your video should be limited to a maximum of 2 minutes. When submitting, please label your video file with your school/organization/group name and dance style for clear identification, such as: PS1234_Samba.mp4


What size should my video submission be?
Each recording should not exceed 2 minutes in length. The file size should be no bigger than 200mb and should be in MP4 or MOV format. Dancing Classrooms is committed to highlighting the work of a diverse pool of applicants, and therefore welcomes video submissions of all quality. However, videos of 720p and 1080p resolution and filmed in landscape view are appreciated and encouraged. Most smartphones record in 1080p, and we think that’s great! 

Do I need a Dropbox account to submit? Can I submit on my phone?
You do NOT need a Dropbox account to submit! You can upload your video from the link in the Google Form on a desktop or on your mobile device.

Do you have any tips for recording my video?
Good lighting and sound are highly encouraged so we can see the dancers clearly. If you can, you should place the camera on a steady surface as opposed to someone holding it. However, videos will not be evaluated for production quality. We encourage the highest quality that’s within your limits as we want to best showcase your work!

What style of dance and music are acceptable?
Any style of social dance and music are great! Please make sure your music is appropriate for all ages.

Do I have to record a completely new video or can I use an existing one?
Either! Your video submission can be solo or a group, from existing footage of a class, rehearsal, or culminating event… or you can coordinate safely outside or online to create a dance specifically for this showcase celebration.

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 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 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.

Dance Break!

Marielle Young

Marielle Young

Digital Resources Coordinator

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 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. Working within both the nonprofit and private sectors, she has overseen arts programming internationally in Lagos and at community based organizations across NYC.

Victoria Malvagno

Featured in the documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, she has presented lecture/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 Malvagno

In-School Program Manager

As a veteran of Dancing Classrooms NYC for the past 21 years, Victoria Malvagno has had the pleasure to be a Teaching Artist, Senior Educational Liaison, and Program Manager. She has supervised ballroom dance residencies across the five boroughs, judged numerous competitions, and has been an emcee for the Dancing Classroom’s Colors of the Rainbow Team Match in New York, Long Island, Philadelphia, and Monterey, California. 

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 78thStreet 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

Ivelisse is thankful for the opportunity to continuously witness how this work transforms the lives of children and their communities.

Ivelisse Garcia

Operations & HR Manager

Ivelisse Garcia 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’ staff in 2008 as a Teaching Artist. She is currently the Operations and HR manager.

Nancy Kleaver

As an arts education thought leader, Nancy has facilitated conversations and served as the Arts In Education Network Chair of the National Guild for Community Arts Education and other membership associations.

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!