The scenario: six couples, none of whom know one another, come together to learn to ballroom dance. The place: Art and Style Dance Studio on the South Side of Pittsburgh. The instructor: Terry Sweeney, international ballroom champion and one of two original teaching artists for Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh.
Monday night, April 7 was the first step en route to Mad Hot Ballroom Pittsburgh, a fundraising event for Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh, a program of Mercy Behavioral Health, scheduled for Sunday June 12, at the Westin Convention Center (hotel) in downtown Pittsburgh.
Over eight lessons, the couples will learn ballroom dance in the same way that fifth graders in Dancing Classrooms are taught. Participating couples, representing six sponsors, include:
Tom and Erin Baker, representing Tobacco Free Allegheny. Tom, known throughout the city and the region for Baker Leadership, as well as being vice president of programs for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh.
Patrick Flynn and Lisa Florian, representing Riverset Credit Union. Patrick is community relations representative and Lisa is director of business development and marketing for Riverset. Both have supported Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh since its inception.
Leland and Amber Koehler, representing McAuley Ministries, part of Pittsburgh Mercy Health System. Leland is a human resource generalist for Mercy Behavioral Health.
Jeff and Julia Igims representing Pittsburgh Public Schools. Jeff is the physical education teacher at Pittsburgh Phillips K-8 and a supporter of Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh.
Melissa and Stephen Goda, representing Lamar Outdoor Advertising. Melissa is a member of our fundraising committee and is a senior account manager at Giant Ideas. Her husband is chef/owner of Arpino Trattoria, opening this spring.
Elizabeth Graham and her fiancee, Anthony Venturino, representing Community Care Behavioral Health/UPMC Health Plan. Elizabeth is a business analyst and Anthony is an investment analyst at Federated Investors. They are both excited to learn to dance, as they will marry on June 4.
Check back for updates on how our dancers are progressing.