You make me feel like dancing: Pittsburgh Banksville fifth graders reflect on Dancing Classrooms

Pittsburgh Banksville (Team White) at the Colors of the Rainbow team match on May 5, 2012 (©2012 Archie Carpenter)

Following their participation in Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh, students from Pittsburgh Banksville PreK-5 wrote to their teaching artist Ms. Gena Melago.

Here are some of their notes to her about the program.

Thank you for teaching me ballroom dance with your totally awesome, wicked dance moves. You have taught me maturity, poise and elegance. Plus you have taught me many dances like the Swing, the Rumba and my fav the Polka. I never thought that I would be able to Ballroom dance. I am so grateful for having such a sweet, awesome, funny, beautiful and swift dance teacher.

Love,
Laney

Thank you so much for teaching me everything that you know about ballroom dancing. You have really taught me a lot, and now when I’m at weddings and the other kids don’t know how to dance I will and I’ll look awesome. You are way more truthful than all the other dance teachers. You didn’t say you guys are the best kids I have ever had and then left, and its true you didn’t leave. So thank you so much for teaching me all you know about ballroom dancing.

Sincerely,
Dominique

Thank you for teaching us all the dances that you know. It’s been loads of fun. We experienced how to dance and different ones too, like the rumba, waltz, foxtrot and my favorite the tango. Thank you also for teaching us the fun dances too like the stomp, the cha cha slide and the electric slide. I gained a lot of knowledge from you. I couldn’t have done it without you. You even let us see you and your partner dance which was very very cool. You are the best dance teacher a kid can ever have to be taught ballroom dancing. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Rachel

Thank you for coming to our school and teaching us to dance. I have learned a lot about dance, politeness. My favorite dance was the merengue. Why is that, it’s easy to learn and it’s fun to do and it brings a smile to my face. My life lesson is that when I felt like I was going to be bad in dance, but I ended up having a good time and you always said to have confidence in ourselves. But the thing that I liked is when we were done with our dances we would do the stomp and the cha cha slide. This would be a positive thing, because it would teach other schools to be well mannered to friends and family and if we can teach them they can teach others.

Thank you Mrs. Gena for all of your help you were our first dance teacher who never gave up on us you were fun and polite.

Sincerely,
Cheyenne

Thank you so much for taking the time to teach us how to dance. Even when we got a little silly you never gave up on us. Before you came, dancing classes were not that fun it was kind of boring but when you came I started looking forward to dancing classes and you made it really fun. Thank you for teaching us the Tango, Merengue, Foxtrot, etc, and making each of them as fun as possible.

Sincerely,
Emily

Thank you for teaching my classroom to dance. It is very fun, especially at the end of class you let us do fun dances like the stomp. I think it helps me be more mature, because before I said things like (don’t put a boy in front of me, or a girl in front of me), but now I am out of that stage so that is why I really thank you for helping me be more mature and helping me get ready for middle school.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Mercedes

Thank you for teaching me and my class mates proper behavior, elegance and ballroom dance. You have really become a close friend, because you have spent some of your free time trying to teach us how to ballroom dance. This has been a long journey, but you have made it seem short. By helping us through vocabulary, dancing, and also by explaining and showing us what we don’t understand. You are the most generous patient young teacher I know, because you never yell even when we are really loud, and generous because you spend every Thursday and Friday with the 5th grade and not doing something else.

My point is…I appreciate the things you do and sacrifice for us, and that’s no lie. If you still think it’s a lie stop doubting, because I give you my word.

Yours truly,
Madison

Thank you for teaching us dances. I think it brought bonds to boys and girls who disliked each other. You stayed patient and help us learn the merengue, foxtrot, rumba, tango, swing, polka and the waltz. You were being nice and did not yell at us when we make flaws.

Now I know we’re not God’s little angels, but your being calm helped us experience the dances better. Now I know what the people on Dancing with the Stars feel like while doing these dances. Thank you for correcting us while we make mistakes (which we do a lot) and trying to improve us. I know you must get mad for how much mistakes and goofing off we do, but thank you for holding it in. Thank you for believing in us and trying to help us learn the basic steps for ballroom dancing.

Sincerely,
Ben

Teaching me how to Ballroom dance was the best experience I’ve had so far in 5th grade. It has taught me many life skills like dancing is a good stress reliever and dancing is only fun if you try. Also, you gave me a chance to open up and just dance. Dancing makes me feel like I can do anything. Dancing is actually what encouraged me to take acting lessons and it turns out I love it.

Thank you,
Brenna

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