Dancing Classrooms: Transforming Lives One Step at a Time

I couldn’t be more excited that our new nonprofit, Heart of Dance, is bringing Dancing Classrooms to Minnesota in 2015-16. What a joy to see the transformation in fifth graders in just 10 weeks: this video will make you smile!

The results have been amazing in the 29 Dancing Classrooms sites around the world. Research has shown that the semester residency of two classes per week:

  • Helps students overcome social anxieties;
  • Increases self-confidence and self-esteem;
  • Increases student awareness of other cultures;
  • Increases student physical development, coordination, and participation in physical activity; and
  • Has a positive impact on variables that lead to child obesity.

Said one teacher: “Students had to learn to respect one another and work together.”

In a survey of principals, 81% believed the program improved academic performance. 80% thought the program improved behavior management problems, and 70% thought the program increased parental involvement.

Whether or not Dancing Classrooms has a site in your area, it is an example of just one program that shows the importance of social and emotional development as a different kind of education for a young person.  “Transformational,” say some principals.

Yet, these are the kinds of services in schools first to be cut to make more time for testing preparation.

What kind of a price are we paying for cutting the programs that build social character? They are an integral part of 21st century education.