Dancing Classrooms Academy

The Academy is an out-of-school program for NYC middle and high school students that supports the next generation of leaders and changemakers through social dance.

Participants take a deep dive into social and ballroom dances such as merengue, fox trot, rumba, tango, swing/lindy hop, waltz, salsa, and more – immersing themselves in the cultural histories and evolutions of social dances from around the globe. During the 2022-2023 school year the Academy will be @ JCAL, offering Level 1: Advanced Beginner/Intermediate class for middle school (6-8th grade), free of charge for all participating students.

Register Here!

The Academy includes:

  • 2-hr weekly classes (see dates)
  • Two or more performances by Academy students
  • Special guest artists
  • Field trips to NYC cultural and dance events
  • Snacks!

Students will:

  • Hone partner dance techniques
  • Expand their repertoires
  • Create solo dance moves and/or dance videos
  • Enhance their social and leadership skills
  • Forge meaningful connections with other young dance lovers across the city
Classes will take place on Wednesdays from 3:15-5:15pm
at JCAL beginning October 12th
and running through the end of May. 

2022-2023 Schedule

  • October 12, 19, 26
  • November 2, 9, 16, 30
  • December 7, 14
  • Winter Performance Date TBD
  • January 11, 18
  • February 1, 8, 15
  • March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
  • April 19, 26
  • May 3, 10, 17
  • Spring Performance Date TBD


Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning
Studio A
161-4 Jamaica Ave
Jamaica, NY 11432

Eligible students will be entering 6th, 7th, or 8th grade and must have some dance experience, although it need not be in a social dance or partnered context (i.e. dance classes on the weekend, a dance program in school, or growing up dancing at home with family). 

The Academy’s Lead Instructor is Senior Teaching Artist Akemi Kinukawa, with support from Teaching Artist (and former Academy student) Jacob Licona.


To register and provide participating student information please fill out this form by Monday, October 7.

Looking for after-school options for multiple students? Click here to see what other programs JCAL is offering!

Form Available Here!

Hear from ALUMNI:

“I think the most important thing I gained from this learning experience was self-esteem. I miss my dancing days in the studio, but dancing will always be in my spirit. Thank you for giving me the confidence I need to succeed in my endeavors.” – Joyce Chan

“When I joined the Dancing Classrooms Academy, my sister and I had to drop our constant sibling rivalry. I recall having a certain air of confidence on the dance floor that I never had in “real” life, and I enjoyed leading my sister in dances.” – Matthew Mo

“The most important thing I learned was to give back to people, and to always remain humble. I can truthfully say that dancing has always brought joy and happiness to my life.” – Kristina Cordero

“Ballroom dancing has opened up an entire new world for me and has done more for me than I can possibly put into words. I’d rather just showcase it to the world.” – Zikomo Barr


“We love this program! It has truly enriched both our sons’ lives… such a unique and wonderful experience.”

“I love the community of parents/guardians I’ve met. No matter what borough, we all have the same common goal for our children.”

“The talented teachers are great at capturing the children’s interest. A very safe environment emotionally.”

“Well organized with an emphasis on diplomacy and fairness; the instruction is well geared to higher level development.”

“This program is invaluable in this world of smart phones, iPads, video games and bullying!”

“We are so lucky to have found your studio and this opportunity for young ones who need a way to express themselves and stay healthy.”

About JCAL

Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL), founded in 1972, is a multidisciplinary arts center based in the diverse community of Southeast Queens. Their mission is devoted to offering quality visual, performing, and literary arts, and to providing accessible education programs to encourage participation in the arts. JCAL is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 6pm; closed Sundays and major holidays. 

Contact Us

Reach out to our instructors or Senior Manager of Program Operations Mary McCatty at academy@dancingclassrooms.org for more information or with any questions.

The Dancing Classrooms Academy @ JCAL is generously funded by grants from the Ellis L. Phillips Foundation, American Dance Movement, and the New York State Council on the Arts.