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THE FOXTROT—Royce Brown and Nyah Jetter dance the Foxtrot.

THE FOXTROT—Royce Brown and Nyah Jetter dance the Foxtrot.

Ten teams of fifth-grade students from participating Pittsburgh Public Schools (Banksville, Brookline, Carmalt, Colfax, Phillips, West Liberty, Westwood, and Whittier, Environmental Charter School at Frick Park, and Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy, will compete in the Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh “Colors of the Rainbow” Spring 2016 Final Team Match, the final leg of a 20-session journey through the world of ballroom dance. The students, who trained in ballroom dance for 10 weeks during the spring 2016 semester, will perform the Merengue, Foxtrot, Rumba, Tango, and Swing in front of an enthusiastic panel of judges, family, and friends.

Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh, part of Pittsburgh Mercy and Trinity Health, serving in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, first introduced Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh to 300 fifth-grade children in six Pittsburgh Public Schools in September 2009. Since then, approximately 4,000 children in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, Extra Mile Education Foundation schools in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, and local charter schools have benefited from the renowned, international arts-in-education program. Students who participate in the 10-week curriculum learn not only the fundamentals of ballroom dance, but also valuable life lessons like team building, cooperation, self-confidence, problem solving, creative thinking, resiliency in the face of challenge, professional courtesy, and appreciation for other cultures.

Teachers and principals in participating schools have noted decreases in behavior management problems, increases in parental involvement, and positive impacts on academics, school climate, and in the way the students treat one another.


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