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Harrison Elementary 5th graders spent the last 10 weeks learning ballroom dancing during their recess time and on June 4, the entire school was treated to what they learned. Not surprisingly, they learned so much more than the six ballroom dances the program Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio teaches.

Dancing Classrooms of Northeast Ohio came in to instruct the students, their teachers, Principal Sabrina Crawford and Parent Resource Coordinator Tanya Coughlin two times a week for 10 weeks. The goal was to produce “elegant and respectful ladies and gentleman.” Along the way, the students learned about teamwork, poise, acceptance of others and came away with a great deal of self-confidence. 

As part of the program, students are asked to keep a journal of reflection. Students took turn reading entries from their journals, revealing just how much more than dancing they really gained.

“I was super shy before….I’m not so shy anymore,” one student shared. Another student mentioned how working and dancing with all his classmates, not just the ones he knows well was a highlight of the program for him.

The students and staff learned six ballroom dances including the Foxtrot, Tango, Waltz, Swing, Rhumba and Merengue.

While everyone started out on Day 1 with a mix of anxiousness and excitement, by the end of the 10 weeks, all were ready to share their newfound camaraderie and shared confidence with the rest of the school. Said Principal Crawford, “it was an amazing journey.”

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