Colors of the Rainbow Results-May 6, 2017

Congratulations to all of the teams!  They looked great!  They danced great!  Everyone was a winner!!!

BRONZE MEDALISTS

Bronze-Faison
PITTSBURGH FAISON
Bronze-Montessori
PITTSBURGH MONTESSORI
Bronze-Roosevelt
PITTSBURGH ROOSEVELT
Bronze-St Benedict
ST. BENEDICT THE MOOR
Bronze-Sunnyside
PITTSBURGH SUNNYSIDE

OUR SILVER MEDALISTS

Silver-Thea Bowman
SISTER THEA BOWMAN ACADEMY
Silver-Brookline
PITTSBURGH BROOKLINE
Silver-Banksville
PITTSBURGH BANKSVILLE

2017 GRAND CHAMPION

GOLD MEDALIST

PITTSBURGH WESTWOOD GOLD
PITTSBURGH WESTWOOD

 

Shalom Chaverim (“Hello Friends” in Hebrew)! DCPittsburgh and Karmiel (Israel) Connect!


Shalom Chaverim!  We finally did it!!!  Finally?  Yes, FINALLY!  Well, not really finally because this is only the beginning.  When I first met Miri Shahaf-Levi the summer of 2012 in New York City.  The Annual Dancing Classrooms Site Director’s Conference.  No sooner do I walk into the pre-conference festivities, than Pierre Dulaine grabs me by the arm to introduce me to Miri.  We talked about our programs ( you have heard us talk about “Dancing in Jaffa,” she oversees Dancing Classrooms Israel.) and began a conversation of how can we connect Pittsburgh and Israel.

Fast forward to February 2015.  Miri emails me and she tells me how Pittsburgh’s sister city in Israel, Karmiel, has two schools participating in Dancing Classrooms this year.  We talk details – especially the time difference as Israel is 6 hours ahead.  No problem as they will have their 20th lesson/Culminating event later in the day.  Perfect!  And when does everything go perfect????

Well, we did it.  Wasn’t easy, but it was truly a great experience.  Pittsburgh Linden ( special thanks to Ms Darla Jackson and parent volunteer, Mrs. Lori Smolar for all their help), Pittsburgh Colfax (Special thanks to Ms Conroy and Ms Stefanyak), and Pittsburgh Lincoln (special thanks to Principal Virginia HIll!) Face-timed and Skyped with the students at the Kalanit School and the Hadekel School in Karmiel, Israel.  Wow!  The Pittsburgh kids learned some Hebrew, cheered on their new “chaverim,” did the STOMP along with their chaverim at Kalanit School, and said “Todah Rabah (Thank You Very Much),” when it was time to say goodbye.  Miri, we look forward to SKYPE-ing with our new friends again soon!  Enjoy the pictures from this incredible event!!  Thanks to everyone, but especially all of the kids-both here in Pittsburgh and in Karmiel!  ( Thanks to our photographers from Dancing Classrooms Israel, Mark Rogalsky, Principal Virginia Hill, and Jennifer Hoffman!!!)

 

The Hadekel School students dance while Pittsburgh Colfax and Pittsburgh Lincoln students watch from thousands of mile away.
The Kalanit School students get to see the Pittsburgh Linden students-Facetime Dancing Classrooms style!
The Kalanit School students get to see the Pittsburgh Linden students-Facetime Dancing Classrooms style!
The Kalanit School students get to see the Pittsburgh Linden students-Facetime Dancing Classrooms style!
The Kalanit School students get to see the Pittsburgh Linden students-Facetime Dancing Classrooms style!
The Hadekel School students dance while Pittsburgh Colfax and Pittsburgh Lincoln students watch from thousands of mile away.
Pittsburgh Lincoln students cheer on their "chaverim" - friends in Hebrew - at the Hadekol School in Karmiel, Israel.
Pittsburgh Lincoln students cheer on their “chaverim” – friends in Hebrew – at the Hadekel School in Karmiel, Israel.
Pittsburgh Colfax teacher, Ms. Robyn Stefanyak, holds her ipad so that the Hadekel School students in Karmiel, Israel can see their new friends in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Colfax students watch their chaverim -firends- in Karmiel, Israel at the Hadekel School.
Signs that Pittsburgh Linden students held up while watching the Kalanit School students danced.
Signs that Pittsburgh Linden students held up while watching the Kalanit School students danced.
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Pittsburgh Linden students facetiming with the Kalanit School students in Karmiel, Israel.

 

Throwback Thursday-It’s Not All About the Dance….

Dancing Classrooms is about so many things.  Getting along with others, respect, trust, cooperation, communication….just to name a few.  At Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh, we also make the effort to be good sports.  Just as the National Hockey League has their traditional handshake after a team is eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, we do the same at the end of each semi-final and finals.  Enjoy this picture from a few years ago.   See you next week!

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2014-15 8th Grade Grand Champion from Colors of the Rainbow is……

Congratulations to our 2014-2015 8th Grade Colors of the Rainbow Grand Champion……….

2014-15 8th Grade Dancing Classrooms Colors of the Rainbow Grand Champion
2014-15 8th Grade Dancing Classrooms Colors of the Rainbow Grand Champions

Congratulations to Principal Canton and their team!!!!!  Job well done!!!!

An Inspirational Thank You from Hema Baniya

As a teaching artist, we thrive off of the positive changes we see in the students and we become inspired by how amazing these young ladies and gentlemen are.  I recently received Thank You notes and pictures from Banksville Elementary School.  The words from these students made me realize how lucky I am to be a part of their lives and watch them grow into young ladies and gentlemen.  These students’ words told me a story that you would only find through Dancing Classrooms.  There is one young lady, who is wise beyond her years, and I felt that I needed to share her note.

Hema's letter to Ms. Gena
Hema’s letter to Ms. Gena

A Note from Miss Ashley

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Spring is in the air! As my second season as a Teaching Artist is winding down, I can’t help but look back at how far we have come. From first class jitters, to giggling over the Heel-Toe Polka, to preparing for our Culminating Events, I’ve had the joy of watching 5th and 8th grade students grow into ladies and gentlemen.

One of the highlights of my 2013 Spring semester was when I was invited to the Valentine’s Day Dance at Pittsburgh Weil, where I work with the 5th grade class. The dance was for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, but the teachers thought it would be a great opportunity for the 5th grade to show what they’ve been learning in Dancing Classrooms. To kick off the dance, the ladies and gentlemen of the 5th grade took over the dance floor and danced the Fox Trot. It was a hit!

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As the dance continued, the students listened to their favorite songs and snacked on treats. The next thing I know, a group of students ask if they can dance the Swing and the Merengue. This was their time to have fun with their friends and they were CHOOSING to do the dances they learned in Dancing Classrooms! At that moment, I knew the program had made an impact in their lives.

While the 5th graders were doing their dances, I watched the 3rd and 4th graders growing curious and getting closer to figure out the steps. It wasn’t long before they were doing the Merengue along with the 5th graders! Now a seed has been planted — a happy memory has been made. The 5th graders set a mature, positive example for the underclassmen and now those underclassmen are excited for their chance to participate in Dancing Classrooms.

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Years from now, as the students move on in their schooling, graduate, and go to college, it’s my hope that they look back and smile as they remember what they learned in Dancing Classrooms.


Miss Ashley Douglas
Teaching Artist, Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh

What is Dancing Classrooms?

When we began to gather interest to bring Dancing Classrooms to Pittsburgh, a few years back, people would always ask, “What is Dancing Classrooms?”  Is it a dance program? Is it after-school?  What dances do the students learn? Just a few of the questions that would be asked.  I always wished I could show them Mad Hot Ballroom, or Take the Lead.  Most folks hadn’t seen either of those movies.  This past June, at our fundraiser, Mad Hot Ballroom Pittsburgh, we created this video which we believe defines what the program is about.  Sit back and enjoy.  And as always please feel free to share and spread the word!

The essence of Dancing Classrooms

7236989242_8e6e2ca6c8_m“Sometimes programs don’t live up to their hype, but this one does.”

That’s what John Wilson of Education Week has to say about Dancing Classrooms. Wilson attended a recent benefit for the program in New York City and, today, shared his impressions.

Read the full story here.