Meet Gena Melago, our newest teaching artist

Gena Melago, teaching artist for Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh, at the January 7, 2012 Colors of the Rainbow team match (©2012 Archie Carpenter)

Please join us in welcoming Ms. Gena Melago to the Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh team of teaching artists.

Ms. Gena has been dancing since she was five years old. At a young age, she focused on ballet and jazz. While attending Moon High School, she fell in love with Latin dance. Continue reading

Dancing Classrooms life lesson: respect

trust and create
Denise Carbonell via Flickr

By Kimberly Flaherty

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Find out what it means to me.”  ~ Aretha Franklin


We know it when we see it.

When we respect ourselves and others, it shows… in our attitude,  in our words, and in our behavior. We may smile a little more. Others may notice us walking a bit taller. Continue reading

In step with teaching artist Luisa Nayhouse

By Luisa Nayhouse

Ms. Luisa prepares students from Pittsburgh Whittier K-5 for competition in May 2011

It’s been just over a year since I trained with Pierre Dulaine in New York City to become a teaching artist for Dancing Classrooms.

The fall 2011 semester was especially meaningful to me. When we started at Pittsburgh West Liberty in September, it seemed as though a few students were on a mission to disrupt our classes. With one term of experience at Pittsburgh Whittier in the spring of 2011, and because of my psychology background, I felt more than prepared to handle and manage the classroom despite the challenges. Continue reading

My journey from novice dancer to instructor

What do you do after winning the Mad Hot Ballroom Pittsburgh competition? If you’re Marcus Poindexter, you become a teaching artist for Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh.

Poindexter spends most of his time as a prevention /intervention specialist for Mercy Behavioral Health Prevention Services. In that role, he goes into school and community settings and provides services to students and their families in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Now, he will add Dancing Classrooms to that repertoire. Or is it his dance card?

Here, he chronicles his recent training in New York City. Continue reading