Shaw Avenue Elementary School fifth graders are putting on their dancing shoes once again. Starting at the end of December, fifth grade classes began working with teaching artist Jessie Salvesen from Dancing Classrooms Long Island to learn ballroom dance techniques in preparation for their culminating performance for family and friends on March 10.
The fifth graders, along with their teachers, participate in the Dancing Classrooms residency program each year, receiving 20 dance lessons during the course of 10 weeks from the program’s teaching artists. Together, the students learn valuable skills beyond the dance floor. While establishing a strong peer-to-peer connection, students build communication, cooperative teamwork skills and an appreciation for cultural diversity as they learn dances such as the Foxtrot, Merengue, Rumba and Tango. The program also fits into the district’s social-emotional learning curriculum by encouraging focus, respect, self-discipline and self-confidence.
Dancing Classrooms Long Island has provided a memorable learning experience for students each year. For the past two consecutive years, Shaw Avenue School earned first place at the Dancing Classrooms Long Island Colors of the Rainbow Team Match. The special event allows Long Island students who participate in the residency program to showcase and celebrate their newly acquired dance skills. The students hope to regain the first place title again this year.