Fifth-graders at Shaw Avenue Elementary School have been practicing their ballroom dance skills during the course of several weeks with the guidance of instructors Joel Rodriguez and Jessie Salvesen from Dancing Classrooms Long Island. They began their visits in mid-December to help students perfect dance techniques for their culminating performance in March.
In addition to learning the various steps of ballroom dance within the program, the partnership between students helps build self-confidence, respect, cooperative teamwork, communication and an appreciation for cultural diversity. The program embraces social emotional learning in students as they learn to acknowledge each other with a “hello, partner” and “thank you, partner,” while dancing.
The dance residency also ties into Valley Stream District 30’s “Show Your Character” theme for the 2017-18 school year. With their weekly lessons, students have the ability to learn a unique skill and embrace performing.