A “Mad Hot” evening for a great cause: Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh

Jane and Bob Bukk, Team Orange, representing Tobacco Free Allegheny, took top honors at Mad Hot Ballroom Pittsburgh, a benefit for Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh. The Bukks were named 2012 grand champions for their award-winning performance. (Photo ©2012 Laszlo Bartos)

By Linda Ross

Congratulations to the winners of Mad Hot Ballroom Pittsburgh, held last night at The Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh Hotel, Downtown. More than 200 guests attended, raising approximately $35,000 for Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh.

Guests were treated to cocktails, dinner, a silent auction, dancing, and a special live performance from children who recently participated in the Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh Colors of the Rainbow 2011-2012 final team match, held last month.

Setting the stage for the adult ballroom dance competition, 24 young ladies and gentlemen demonstrated elegance, poise, and maturity when performing the Merengue, Foxtrot, Rumba, Tango, Continue reading

Second annual Mad Hot Ballroom Pittsburgh set for June 10 to benefit Dancing Classrooms

On Sunday, June 10, 2012, join us for Mad Hot Ballroom Pittsburgh, the second annual benefit for Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh.

From 5 until 9 p.m., enjoy cocktails, a silent auction, buffet dinner, live entertainment, dancing, and more. Once again this year, Mr. Pierre Dulaine, internationally renowned ballroom dancer and founder of Dancing Classrooms, will serve as master of ceremonies and treat everyone to a group dance lesson. 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

They could have danced all night: a recap of Mad Hot Ballroom Pittsburgh

For their outstanding performance, Marcus Poindexter and Kathy Dozzi, team organe representing Tobacco Free Allegheny, captured the first Mad Hot Ballroom Pittsburgh trophy (©2011 Archie Carpenter)

“We had the time of our lives,” said Patrick Flynn of Riverset Credit Union, speaking on behalf of the six couples who competed in Mad Hot Ballroom Pittsburgh, a first-time fundraiser for Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh.

Before the final results were announced, Flynn recognized teaching artists Terry and Rozana Sweeney for training them to ballroom dance in just eight lessons. Like the children who take part in Mercy Behavioral Health‘s  in-school program, the adults learned to Merengue, Foxtrot, Rumba, Tango, and Swing.

Tonight, they showed off their moves in front of an enthusiastic audience of nearly 200 coworkers, friends, family, strangers, and Dancing Classrooms Founding Director Pierre Dulaine. Continue reading

On with the show, this is it

Last night marked the 8th and final lesson for the couples who will compete at Mad Hot Ballroom Pittsburgh, a benefit for Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh, on Sunday, June 12.

All were novice dancers when they volunteered for the event. Four of the six couples are married, including a pair of newlyweds. One is a pair of coworkers. Another barely know one another. Continue reading

Put on your dancing shoes for Mad Hot Ballroom Pittsburgh

Get on the floor and join us on Sunday June 12, 2011 from 4 until 8 p.m. for Mad Hot Ballroom Pittsburgh, our first fundraiser for Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh at The Westin Convention Center (hotel), Pittsburgh.

Treat yourself to an entertaining evening of ballroom dance, cocktails, a buffet dinner, silent auction, and special performances by students from Pittsburgh Linden K-5, champions of Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh 2010-11 Colors of the Rainbow.

Most importantly, you’ll take the lead in helping Pittsburgh children.

Pierre Dulaine, founding director, Dancing Classrooms (©2009 Archie Carpenter)

We’re honored that Mr. Pierre Dulaine, international ballroom champion, Broadway performer, and founding director of Dancing Classrooms, will serve as master of ceremonies.

In addition to his impressive dance repertoire, Dulaine’s influence extended into film with the release of the  2005 documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, an inspiring look inside the lives of children on a journey into the world of ballroom dancing. His teaching experience in New York City schools was also the inspiration for the 2006 film, Take The Lead, starring Antonio Banderas as Dulaine. Continue reading

Couples begin training for Mad Hot Ballroom Pittsburgh

The scenario: six couples, none of whom know one another, come together to learn to ballroom dance. The place: Art and Style Dance Studio on the South Side of Pittsburgh.  The instructor: Terry Sweeney, international ballroom champion and one of two original teaching artists for Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh. Continue reading