SEMIFINALS SUCCESS!!!!!!!

It was a great Saturday at Pittsburgh Allderdice as our nine semifinal teams battled it out.  Close as always….Here are the results.  Gold teams adavnce to the finals Saturday May 2nd, 10am  Pittsburgh Allderdice High School!

#DancingClassrooms Pittsburgh!!!!!

All photos by the one and only Archie Carpenter

GOLD TEAMS

GOLD-BANKSVILLE
Pittsburgh Banksville
Pittsburgh Colfax
Pittsburgh Colfax
Pittsburgh Lincoln
Pittsburgh Lincoln
Pittsburgh Linden
Pittsburgh Linden
Urban League Charter School
Urban League Charter School

SILVER TEAMS

Pittsburgh Brookline
Pittsburgh Brookline
Pittsburgh Carmalt
Pittsburgh Carmalt
Pittsburgh COncord
Pittsburgh Concord

Environmental Charter School at Frick Park
Environmental Charter School at Frick Park

Turn Back the Clock Tuesday!

Turn Back the Clock Tuesday?  Well, we all can’t be perfect….and I let it go on for too long.  What, you ask, did I forget?  The 5th grade Colors of the Rainbow Semi-Finals video!  Special shout out to Archie Carpenter for the wonderful photos!

2014 5th grade Finals video is here

 

Here is the video from the finals…..enjoy

 

Highlights from the Spring Semis

Pittsburgh Concord students await the word....
Pittsburgh Concord students await the word….
Pittsburgh Weil students and their teahing artist Ms. Ashley Douglas
Pittsburgh Weil students and their teahing artist Ms. Ashley Douglas
Pittsburgh Weil students celebrate their advancement to teh finals next week!
Pittsburgh Weil students celebrate their advancement to teh finals next week!
Pittsburgh Phillips students cross their fingers before the announcements of who would be moving on to the finals!
Pittsburgh Phillips students cross their fingers before the announcements of who would be moving on to the finals!
These Pittsburgh Spring HIll students wait to see what their fate would be.
These Pittsburgh Spring HIll students wait to see what their fate would be.
Pittsburgh Spring Hill teachers showed that they could "shake what their mamas gave them!"
Pittsburgh Spring Hill teachers showed that they could “shake what their mamas gave them!”
Promenade with Pittsburgh Phillips
Promenade with Pittsburgh Phillips
Swinging!
Swinging!
Pittsburgh Colfax swinging like there is no tomorrow
Pittsburgh Colfax swinging like there is no tomorrow
Swinging with the Pittsburgh Brookline kids
Swinging with the Pittsburgh Brookline kids
Spring semi final judges (left to right)  Gerry Lavan, Kelly Photopolous, and Adam Glatz
Spring semi final judges (left to right) Gerry Lavan, Kelly Photopolous, and Adam Glatz
Team Captains and school staff
Team Captains and school staff
Pittsburgh Banksville principal, David May, shakes it!
Pittsburgh Banksville principal, David May, shakes it!
Pittsburgh Colfax principal, Adam Sikorski, shows off his moves with the Colfax Team Captain.
Pittsburgh Colfax principal, Adam Sikorski, shows off his moves with the Colfax Team Captain.
Pittsburgh Brookline students
Pittsburgh Brookline students
"Will the owner of a pair of 2014 silver glitter shoes please come to the stage..."
“Will the owner of a pair of 2014 silver glitter shoes please come to the stage…”
Corte!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Pittsburgh Linden students
Corte!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Pittsburgh Linden students
Everybody corte!
Everybody corte!
Scorpion!!!!!  Only one dance....the tango!
Scorpion!!!!! Only one dance….the tango!
Pittsburgh Colfax takes their dancing seriously.
Pittsburgh Colfax takes their dancing seriously.
Mr. Terry Sweeney counting the dancers in.
Mr. Terry Sweeney counting the dancers in.
Pittsburgh Phillips students
Pittsburgh Phillips students

 

Pittsburgh LInden students saying "cheese" while getting ready for the semi finals!
Pittsburgh LInden students saying “cheese” while getting ready for the semi finals!

It’s January! Time for the start of new classes!!!!

Pittsburgh Montessori (front), Pittsburgh Sunnyside, Pittsburgh Roosevelt
It won’t be long before everyone is on the big stage…..

After a successful fall calendar-our teaching artist’s have started back to work already!

Despite the cold and the snow here is the line-up:

5th grade:

Pittsburgh Banksville-taught by Ms. Gena Melago

Pittsburgh Brookline-taught by Ms. Gena Melago

Pittsburgh Concord-taught by Ms. Jennifer Milligan

Pittsburgh Colfax-taught by Ms. Jennifer Milligan

Pittsburgh Linden-taught by Ms. Jen Hoffman

Pittsburgh Manchester-taught by Ms. Kathy Moran

Pittsburgh Phillips-taught by Ms. Jen Hoffman

Pittsburgh Spring HIll-taught by Mr. Terry Sweeney

Pittsburgh Sunnyside-taught by Ms. Jennifer Milligan

Pittsburgh Weil-taught by Ms. Ashley Douglas

8th grade:

Pittsburgh Arsenal-taught by Ms. Jennifer Milligan and Mr. Terry Sweeney

Pittsburgh Brookline-taught by Ms. Gena Melago

Pittsburgh Langley-taught by Ms. Gena Melago

Pittsburgh Montessori-taught by Ms. Gena Melago

Sister Thea Bowman Academy-taught by Ms. Rozana Sweeney

St. Benedict the Moor-taught by Ms. Rozana Sweeney

Watch for updates and pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 4, 2013 Semi-Final Video is here!

Just to prove how tough the competition was this past Saturday-check out our video.  Filled with pictures by Archie Carpenter and a few by our own PMHS Prevention staff members.  Archie always captures the essence of Dancing Classrooms.  And there is nothing more that we enjoy than sharing the love with you.  If this doesn’t encourage you to come see the talent on Saturday May 11th, 10am Pittsburgh Allderdice High School.

My Team’s Color is the Rainbow

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Our teaching artists ( left to right) Ashley Douglas, Gena Melago, Jennifer Milligan, Rozana Sweeney, and Terry Sweeney.

One of the first things I had to do, when we decided to bring Dancing Classrooms to Pittsburgh, was to find the right people to be our teaching artists.  We wanted people who would be dedicated, have a working knowledge of dance-and not necessarily in ballroom, have worked with kids, most likely stay in Pittsburgh for awhile, and have a desire to help transform lives….one step at a time.

The five teaching artists that we currently have fit that bill to a tee!  We couldn’t be prouder of the work that they do!   At our recent semi-final, I had remarked to Rozana Sweeney at how great all of the teams looked.  She agreed with me and commented how it would be a very close competition.  And that it was.

You see, our teaching artists go through a rigorous training.  All five of them had completed a week of training in New York with Pierre Dulaine, the founder of Dancing Classrooms.  His first order of business is to tell all of the aspiring teaching artists, that if they are ballroom dancers, to leave there bags at the door.  He would be introducing them to a whole new way of thinking.  He was right.  All five of them had come back from New York with a twinkle in their eye-the type of twinkle that one has when they are ready and eager to make a difference.  And that they have done.

This past Saturday, all of the teams were perfectly synchronized during the warm ups.  Every student in Pittsburgh, learns the dances the same way.  With all the same vocabulary.  The same as the students do in Dallas/Fort worth.  The same as the students do in Cleveland.  The same as the students do in Seattle.  The same as the students do in Jaffa, Israel.

It is a testament to Mr. Dulaine.  But as we see it in Pittsburgh, it is a testament to the five people in the picture above.  Our young ladies and gentleman are fortunate to be learning from them.  Although, most of the time, they will tell you how much they have learned from their young ladies and gentleman.

On behalf of Pittsburgh Mercy Health System and Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh, on behalf of the 20 schools that you all have worked in this year, and on behalf of the almost 1,000 young ladies and gentleman of the Pittsburgh Public Schools and the Extra Mile Foundation…..THANK YOU!

The countdown is on! Semi-finals 10am Saturday May 4

Will you be crossing your fingers for good luck?
Will you be crossing your fingers for good luck?

Will it be Pittsburgh Banksville?  Will it be St. Benedict the Moor?  Will it be Pittsburgh Spring Hill   What about returning champion Pittsburgh Linden?  Or maybe it will be Pittsburgh Colfax? But let’s not forget about Pittsburgh Miller and Pittsburgh Weil?  But then again, maybe the trophy will go back to the very first champion, Pittsburgh Phillips…..

In any case, you need to make sure you are there to witness what might be history.  Watch for updates……

Be there or be square.  Aloha!

100th Post! The 8th Annual Pittsburgh Conference on Child Maltreatment

100 posts.  Sounds like a line from a fencing company.  But it is a big deal to us at dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh.

A few months ago, we received a request to make a presentation at a conference being held here in Pittsburgh.  The 8th Annual Pittsburgh Conference on Child Maltreatment, presented by the Child Advocacy Center at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.  They recognized the value of what we offer these young ladies and gentleman  and wanted to afford us the opportunity to share this with other professionals.  Oh yeah, and they wanted us to have the kids come and perform!   So we did.  We had students representing Pittsburgh Langley, Pittsburgh Concord,  Pittsburgh Lincoln, Pittsburgh Sunnyside, Pittsburgh Weil, and Pittsburgh Montessori.  Pittsburgh Langley sent some of their 5th graders, and some of their 8th Graders.  Our teaching artist, Miss Ashley Douglas was on hand to run the show for more than 250 conference attendees on Thursday April 25.  WPXI tv was also on hand and they filmed a little bit and aired it at the 530PM news.  Take a look at how our ladies  and gentleman did…

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Our 5th graders warming up
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5th graders from Pittsburgh Concord doing the foxtrot.
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Here comes the Scorpion in the Tango!
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8th graders from Pittsburgh Langley performing the foxtrot under the watchful eyes of Miss Ashley Douglas
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Pittsburgh Langley 8th graders performing the foxtrot.
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The fifth graders getting their scorpion on the move!
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Our 5th graders checking out the 8th graders moves

So the 5th graders and the 8th graders totally wowed the audience.  They were elegant, they were respectful, they were just plain awesome.  They made us and their schools proud.

So the next day, we made a presentation about the program.  In what might have been one of the greatest  “aha!” moments, the looks on the faces of the participants in our presentation when we told them to go to the back of the room and form a circle.  Yes! We did a sample first lesson.

Miss Gena Melago rounded them up and began to teach.  Mr. Pierre Dulaine would have been proud.  We went from red light to green light to pancakes to burnt pancakes to crispy chicken wings.  It was great.  A lot of laughter and joy.  A lot of smiles.  A lot of fun.  A lot of people wanting to come and see the upcoming events!  Take a look at how much fun they had….

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“May I have this dance please?”
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and she responded “Yes, with pleasure” and some burnt pancakes thank you very much!
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Looks like they are going from burnt pancakes and starting to get those crispy chicken wings….
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Everyone had a good time.

All in all, it was 2 really great days for Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh.  Special thanks to Rob Wittman and Jamie Mesar from Children’s Hospital.  We are already looking forward to having the kids come and perform next year!

Winning isn’t everything…..

Recognition by Catholic Health Association of the United States
Recognition by Catholic Health Association of the United States

As we approach our upcoming Semi-finals and Colors of the Rainbow Team Finals, we received this in the mail today…Just being nominated was an honor unto itself.  The letter we received  from the CEO of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, Sr. Carol Keehan, DC,  said, “To be nominated for this prestigious award is truly an honor.  Congratulations to everyone at your organization and thank you for the service to God’s people through the church’s health ministry.”

A special thanks to our team-Rozana and Terry Sweeney, Ashley Douglas, Jennifer Milligan, and Gena Melago.  They have truly taken the lead and have helped to transform these young ladies and gentlemen’s lives, one step at a time!