Pittsburgh Linden shakes it for their families!

Despite the rain, families showed up in droves to see their students shakin’ what their mamas gave them!  Mr. Terry Sweeney made sure that all of the Pittsburgh K-5 students performed at the top of their game   And that they did…and everyone got into the act.  A great time was had by all-see for yourself!

Parents and students dancing the Merengue togehter
Starburst-ing during the 


you name the electronic device and I guarantee in was in this audience

Pittsburgh Linden students perform the Tango at their culminating event on April 29, 2013
Pittsburgh Linden students perform the Tango at their culminating event on April 29, 2013
Doing the corte in the Tango. How elegant do they look?
can you tell how hard they are concentrating on counting the number of steps?
We love out 5th graders. Some days you gotta dance.
Here comes that scorpion….


The dad’s were out there shaking it today…well done gentleman!

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…

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

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

Online Auction to Benefit Dancing Classrooms

Starting on June 1, 2013, Pittsburgh Mercy Health System will be auctioning a number of fun and unique items to benefit Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh. Looking for an unusual graduation or wedding gift for someone and a great bargain for yourself? Then you won’t want to miss the Pittsburgh Mercy Health System Online Auction opening on Saturday, June 1 at 9 a.m. and ending Sunday, June 16 at 9 p.m. Place your bids on Pittsburgh Pirates Luxury Suite for 15, or Pittsburgh Pirates Lexus Club tickets for the baseball fan in your life, a $100 Pampered Chef gift certificate for the bride, or passes to the Carnegie Science Center to keep the kids busy this summer. Relax while watching a Washington Wild Things baseball game or take out-of-town visitors to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. For those who enjoy the greens, place a bid on 18 holes at Glengarry Golf Links located in the beautiful rolling hills of Latrobe, PA or an autographed copy of “Arnold Palmer: Memories, Stories and Memorabilia.”  Or maybe you are a big hockey fan and would like a Evgenyi Malkin autographed picture, or even a Matt Niskanen autographed jersey.   It is easy to register and place your bids, so bid early and often. Know that every bid gets us closer to our goal. To register go to http://biddingforgood.com/pmhsauction. If you have an auction item you would like to donate or any questions, please contact me (Lorry Perkins) at 724.934.3538 or lperkins@mercy.pmhs.org.

‘Tis the season


Happy Holidays!

From all of us at Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh, Mercy Behavioral Health, and Pittsburgh Mercy Health System, we wish you a joyous and safe holiday season.

Thank you for your support. Know that we count you among our many blessings.

Image courtesy Coverize.me

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

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

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

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