DCPittsburgh Update July 2015

I know we havent posted anything for a little while, but we have been busy.  A special thanks to Lorry Perkins and the incredible job on our online auction!  Special thanks to our sponsors-Netsmart Technologies, TCR and Associates, and Fort Pitt Capital!  We raised a little over $10,000!

Tobacco Free Allegheny came through for us at the end of the year with a very generous donation!  The Sylvia and Martin Snow Family Foundation provided us with funding again for next year and so did the Global Peace Building Foundation.

We have been working on the schedule for next season, and are excited to announce that Pittsburgh Colfax has joined the mix for the 8th grade season! Mr. David May-Stein confirmed this the other day.  Will Pittsburgh Colfax 8th graders bring home the 8th grade gold?  We havent had a dual 5th/8th grade winner…..

Everyone have a great summer!  Watch for little things here and there…….

The DCPittsburgh team!

#DancingClassrooms  #Personcentered #PMHS #sel #shakewhatyourmamagaveyou

The Original Dance Moms

The "Dance Moms" of Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh.  (left to right) Sally Rogalsky, Janet Yuhasz, Stephanie Murtaugh, Michelle Rone Cooper, Dr. Barbara Rudiak, Cindy Thomas  photo by Archie Carpenter
The “Dance Moms” of Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh. (left to right) Sally Rogalsky, Janet Yuhasz, Stephanie Murtaugh,
Michele Rone Cooper,
Dr. Barbara Rudiak, Cindy Thomas photo by Archie Carpenter 2013

While the reality TV show , “Dance Moms,” is set in Pittsburgh.  They are not the original ones.

Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh officially kicked off Mother’s Day weekend 2013 by recognizing our “Original Dance Moms.”  That’s right-our six dance moms pictured above were honored for their “unrelenting and never-ending support of Dancing Classrooms.”  Each “mom” played a key role in the evolution of Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh.

After seeing Mad Hot Ballroom in the theater, Sally Rogalsky called her son, Mark, to encourage him to take his children to see the movie.  Needless to say he didn’t, but upon viewing it a year later, thought it would be a great addition to prevention programming that he oversaw in the Pittsburgh Public Schools.

A phone call was then placed to Janet Yuhasz-Student Services Coordinator in the Pittsburgh Public Schools-where he told her about Dancing Classrooms and it’s virtues.  Hmm, something to think about.

One day during supervision, Mark raised the idea of a new and innovative addition to the Pittsburgh Mercy Health System’s prevention department.  What could it be?  Dancing Classrooms, of course.  Stephanie Murtaugh was given copies of Mad Hot Ballroom and Take the Lead (with Antonio Banderas) to watch and see what the program was all about.  After watching the movies, her interest was peaked, and the movement was on to bring this program to Pittsburgh.

Not too long after that meeting, a conference call took place, with McAuley Ministries and their executive director, Michele Rone Cooper.  The subject matter was not Dancing Classrooms  but Ms. Murtaugh was so excited about DC, that she told Ms. Cooper, who in turn got very excited about it-you could hear in her voice that this was something she was interested in helping with.

A meeting was set where the National Network Director for Dancing Classrooms came to town.  Potential funders, agency personnel, school personnel and others were invited.  Dr. Barbara Rudiak, an assistant superintendent for the Pittsburgh Public Schools announced that the district stood behind the program and would welcome it into their schools.  Dr. Rudiak had heard of the program years before, and had even brought along future teaching artists, Rozana and Terry Sweeney to this meeting.  It was also during this meeting, that Cindy Thomas, the executive director of Tobacco Free Allegheny, stepped forward and offered financial support of the program.

We felt that these six women should be honored for the roles they played in the creation of Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh.  They are at every event, and they take every opportunity they can to tell others of the success of the program.  We would not be where we are today without them.

On behalf of the principals of the schools and their staff, on behalf of the teaching artists, on behalf of the Prevention Staff of PMHS, on behalf of the almost 3000 students in the Pittsburgh area  whose lives have been changed by Dancing Classrooms, we all say “Thank You, Partner.”

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

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