Mad Hot Ball Goes Virtual


Mad Hot Ball Goes Virtual!

The safety of the Dancing Classrooms community remains our top priority as we navigate through the effects of the pandemic. In light of that, we will be hosting our annual gala virtually this year.

Please save the date of September 23rd at 6:30pm and stay tuned for exciting Virtual Gala announcements coming your way over the next few weeks!

 The Virtual Mad Hot Ball will be Dancing Classrooms’ largest fundraising event of the year and a live-streamed affair not to be missed.

We thank our generous donors and ticket holders for their continued support in this unprecedented time, and we look forward to a dancing with you from home on September 23rd!

More Information about the Event

A Conversation on Partner Dancing While Social Distancing


A Conversation on Partner Dancing While Social Distancing

On May 12th, Dancing Classrooms NYC hosted a special conversation on the state of partner dance while social distancing, attended by 100 old and new friends. How do we sustain an artform that has traditionally required physical connection while stuck at home alone? What will social and partner dance culture look like and feel like post-pandemic? Panelists addressed these questions and demonstrated techniques they have discovered to keep their skills sharp and instruction fresh during this time of coronavirus.

Panelists: (above, clockwise left to right)
Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine, U.S. and World Professional Rhythm Champion, coach, judge, and choreographer
Jill Sternheimer (moderator), Director of Public Programming at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
Edward Simon, U.S. Ballroom Champion, judge, and So You Think You Can Dance choreographer
Derrick León Washington, United Nations Human Rights Fellow and Director, Urban Stomp
Alee Reed, Director of Curriculum and Training, Dancing Classrooms

Coronavirus Response and Program Updates

Dear Friends and Members of the Dancing Classrooms Community,

As an organization, we are continuing to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and want to keep you posted on our efforts to serve our community. The good news is that our administrative offices have been remote for several years, so fortunately we haven’t endured some of the challenges that many faced this last week with transitioning to a virtual work environment. We are used to working this way and are fully available to respond to needs of our schools, students, families, and you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Below are the updates to programs and events that we have made thus far:

  • We have canceled our annual Winter Team Matches in New York City, previously scheduled March 11-18, which bring together several schools in one location.

  • The annual Mad Hot Ball, originally scheduled for April 1st at The Pierre Hotel has been postponed to September 23rd. We are confirming the RSVPs for the new date and additional tickets are available by clicking here.

  • Winter Team Matches, previously scheduled March 11-18 were canceled. s

  • Spring school programs have been canceled until April 20th, and possibly beyond, in line with the Department of Education's school closings. When schools reopen, we will be ready to adapt our traditional 10-week core residency model to shorter units based on our schools’ schedules and needs.

  • The Dancing Classrooms Weekend Academy, held at Pearl Studios in Manhattan, has also been canceled. We hope to reopen on the weekend of April 25th and 26th, in line with the current Department of Education plan to reopen schools. However, this plan is subject to change, as we continue to monitor city, state, and federal guidelines.

  • Our staff and Teaching Artists are busy at work producing online dance experiences -- short instructional videos and fun dance “breaks” to share with the public. We have mobilized quickly around this project and will be rolling out digital content for dancers of all ages and levels in the coming weeks.

As an organization dedicated to social dance, we are thinking a lot about what it means to be in isolation. For 26 years we have worked to decrease the impact of social distancing and bring people physically closer together, to diminish the negative consequences of the digital age. So what now? When your artform depends upon moving in sync with another person, how do you practice? What is there to learn? Well, we think there is a lot to do and learn alone. As dancers, we know that internal work and self-discipline improve our practice, no matter what the genre. So our hope is that this time allows all of us a unique opportunity to work on our technique and artistry and to reflect upon what it takes from within to become more compassionate, present, and responsive partners. We encourage you to join us in using this time to practice and reflect through dance. By dancing during this stressful time, whether it’s alone, with loved ones, your pets, and even simply by watching some of the extraordinary dance performances that are currently being shared online, we believe that we can all emerge from this crisis stronger and healthier.

To get started on this journey, get moving with a couple of videos featuring Dancing Classrooms teachers and dancers. Be sure to look for more opportunities to swing and shine with us via social media in the coming weeks. Until then, stay safe and healthy.

Nancy Kleaver
Executive Director


Mad Hot Ball - Postponed 9.23.20

In response to the increasing community spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dancing Classrooms Board of Trustees has rescheduled our Annual Mad Hot Ball Gala that was to take place on April 1st, to Wednesday, September 23, 2020.  The health and well-being of the students who perform at the Gala, our staff who train and support them, and, you, our generous donors, are our primary concern.  We believe that at this time it is only prudent to join efforts in limiting large gatherings as advised by health officials to protect all of those around us. We will continue to reach out with updates via email and social media over the coming weeks and months; please stay tuned.  We are eternally grateful for a community of supporters like you who believe in our mission and hope you are finding ways to connect, care for yourself and your loved ones, and, of course, dance during these stressful times.

Ovations from a Champion

A salute from Mayo Alanen, one of the most awarded ballroom dancers in the US today and the recipient of the 2018 Gala Humanitarian Award.

Meet Pierre Dulaine: Taking the Lead with Generations of Children

Pierre Dulaine grew up as a poor, shy boy in London kid, trying to fit in and survive a bullied youth. He first saw ballroom dancing as a 14 year old. Scraping together his earnings for lessons, he practiced his newfound passion and shifted from awkward teen to winning every major ballroom award with superstar Yvonne  Marceau, his partner since 1976. Together they won numerous awards including the 1977, ’78, ’79 and ‘82 British Exhibition Championships, the Fred Astaire Award for Best Dance on Broadway, Dance Magazine’s award for excellence, the National Dance Council of America award, the Dance Educators of America award, and the Americans for the Arts “Arts in Education” 2005 award.
In 1984, together with Otto Cappel, they founded American Ballroom Theater Company which eventually became the birthplace of Dancing Classrooms. Pierre created a unique and proprietary teaching methodology that coupled the joy and practice of ballroom dance with the development of essential life skills of respect, collaboration and partnership for children.