Dancing classrooms

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Fifth-graders at Frank P. Long Intermediate School entered and exited the gymnasium in the escort position, two-by two and linked arm-in-arm, during a physical education dance unit taught by Dancing Classrooms of Long Island. The escort position shows honor and respect, two ideals that go hand-in hand with learning ballroom dance, teaching artist Jessica Heins explained during the first lesson on Sept. 17.

First positioned in a circle, the students learned core moves that form the basis of the merengue, fox trot, rhumba, tango, swing, heal-toe polka and the waltz. Ms. Heins, along with accompanying teaching artists Angela Trivigno and Christina Stiriz, also explained the importance of being a good partner, while students paired off to try their new steps. 

In addition to great exercise, the  goal of the ballroom dance unit is to provide additional opportunities for students to hone teamwork, develop respect for peers and invoke elegance in movement. With the introduction of each dance, the students also learn about diverse cultures.

After their first lesson, the students were instructed to each write a letter to Dancing Classroom, explaining what they learned, how they feel about the program and what they expected prior to their first lesson. In December, the students will conduct a showcase of their new dancing skills for family and faculty.