Fifth graders shine in Colors of the Rainbow ballroom competition

Today, teams of fifth-grade students from eight area elementary schools put on their dancing shoes for Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh Colors of the Rainbow final team match. And what a match it was.

The competition was so close that it all came down to “dance-off.” When the scores were tallied, Pittsburgh Linden K-5 (Team Orange) edged out Pittsburgh Dilworth PreK-5 (Team Red) to capture the title as Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh 2011-12 grand champion. This marks back-to-back wins for Linden.

The ballroom competition, sponsored by Mercy Behavioral Health, took place  this morning at Pittsburgh Allderdice High School. Proud parents, siblings, classmates, school officials, and program funders packed the auditorium. Some came bearing signs and pom-poms. Many dressed in their school’s designated “rainbow color.” All showed their appreciation for the talented, elegantly dressed ladies and gentlemen on the stage.

Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh Teaching Artist Terry Sweeney served as master of ceremonies. He and the students demonstrated some of the instruction methods developed by Pierre Dulaine, program founder. Mr. Terry emphasized that Dancing Classrooms is about much more than dance. The audience was impressed by the level of poise, respect, and maturity on display.

This year’s Colors of the Rainbow also included a special exhibition by students from the Conroy Education Center. We applaud them for their beautiful performance.

Seven of the teams who competed today were from Pittsburgh Public Schools; one was from an elementary school in Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

In the first round, five pairs — one from each school – danced their specialities: Merengue, Foxtrot, Rumba, Tango, and Swing. Next was “Dance By Chance.” In that round, a dance is picked from a hat. The couple who specializes in that particular dance is not eligible, meaning all students must be prepared to think on their feet. The team captains often step up to the challenge.

Our judges, Noreen McGinnis Campbell, Richard Trail, and Jane Vranish, had their work cut out for them.

Following are the final standings for Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh’s 2011-12 school year.

Grand Champion
Pittsburgh Linden K-5 (Team Orange)

The Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh trophy will return to Pittsburgh Linden K-5. For the second consecutive year, the school earned top honors in the Colors of the Rainbow final team match on Saturday, May 19, 2012. (©2012 Archie Carpenter)

Gold Medalist
Pittsburgh Dilworth PreK-5 (Team Red)

Silver Medalists
Sister Thea Bowman PreK-8 Catholic Academy (Team Magenta)
Pittsburgh Miller PreK-5 (Team Green)
Pittsburgh Concord K-5 (Team Aqua)

Bronze Medalists
Pittsburgh Phillips K-5 (Team Emerald)
Pittsburgh Lincoln K-5 (Team Yellow)
Pittsburgh West Liberty K-5 (Team Blue)

Strong performances by Pittsburgh Dilworth PreK-5 (Team Red) led them to a second place finish in Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh’s Colors of the Rainbow team match on Saturday, May 19, 2012. (©2012 Archie Carpenter)

Congratulations to the students who made it to this round of competition. “You are all winners,” said Mr. Terry. We wholeheartedly agree.

As Dr. Monica Lamar, principal at Pittsburgh Dilworth, noted: “They started out as students learning to dance. Today, they are dancers.”

The Colors of the Rainbow final team match brings the 2011-12 school year of Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh to a close. We at Mercy Behavioral Health want to acknowledge a few of the people and organizations who make our program possible. First, our generous sponsors, who help us bring Dancing Classrooms to local schools. We are also grateful for the time and expertise our judges devote to the competitions. The commitment and involvement of school principals, teachers, and administrators are also critical to our success. Finally, without our teaching artists, our program would not be possible.

Check back for more from today’s Colors of the Rainbow.

One thought on “Fifth graders shine in Colors of the Rainbow ballroom competition

  1. Pingback: A “Mad Hot” evening for a great cause: Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh | Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh

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