Under the artistic direction of Alee Reed, the Dancing Classrooms Youth Dance Company was created in 2006 in response to the demand for performances by “the kids from the movie ‘Mad Hot Ballroom.’” Dancing Classrooms is the subject of that critically acclaimed documentary film, and the inspiration for the feature film, “Take the Lead,” starring Antonio Banderas as founder, Pierre Dulaine.
Every child in the Youth Dance Company was introduced to ballroom dancing through Dancing Classrooms, the arts-in-education program that brings social awareness, etiquette and civility to children through ballroom dancing in the New York City public schools. After completing the Dancing Classrooms residency in their schools, the children were invited to continue their dance training through the DC Academy weekend program, from which all company members were auditioned.

The Youth Dance Company provides our most dedicated and promising Academy students the opportunity to build upon their social dancing skills–dancing for mutual enjoyment with a partner–and transfer those skills into the art of performance–dancing for the enjoyment and enrichment of an audience.
Past performance venues have included the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, New York City Center, Madison Square Garden, Jacobs Pillow (Inside/Out), the US Open and the National Dance Foundation of Bermuda. The Youth Dance Company has collaborated with the National Symphony Orchestra, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Cross Borders Orchestra of Ireland, the Little Orchestra Society and the Interschool Orchestras, as well as with legendary cellist, Yoyo Ma. Television appearances include PBS’s “Angelina Ballerina – the Next Steps,” NBC Today, and CBS’s “The Insider.” The company has appeared in Vogue magazine, and was featured on the cover of Dance Teacher magazine. The 24 ladies and gentlemen of the Youth Dance Company serve as ambassadors for the entire Dancing Classrooms organization – always embodying the qualities of teamwork, elegance, and respect.


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