How We Began

25 years ago, after a world-renowned career as a ballroom dancing legend, Pierre Dulaine decided to create a not-for-profit program to bring social dance to elementary and high school children in NYC. His personal experience, growing from a shy, awkward boy to an international celebrity and partner to superstar Yvonne Marceau, taught him how ballroom dance could inspire leadership and build character, even at an early age.

Founded as a not-for-profit arts education program in 1994, Dancing Classrooms quickly rose to national prominence in the 2005 smash hit documentary “Mad Hot Ballroom” which followed NYC students from their first day in the Dancing Classrooms Core Program to the culminating Colors of the Rainbow Team Match. But the most remarkable transformation of the past two plus decades, is Dancing Classroom’s outstanding results. Listen to the stories representing the hundreds of teachers, principals and Dancing Classrooms own Teaching Artists who’ve led children to step up to become the leaders they were meant to be, year after year. Dancing Classrooms has inspired over 500,000 children in hundreds of schools to reach higher on the dance floor and most of all, in their lives.

In this special edition of Dancing Principals, Rodney Lopez talks to Toni Walker, principal of Lehigh Elementary School in Lee County, Florida. Ms. Walker makes a passionate case for Dancing Classrooms and the impact it has on her school community.