Dancing Classrooms will collaborate with Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) in Queens this October to relaunch its beloved “Dancing Classrooms Academy”-- free, weekly afterschool social and ballroom dance classes for New York City students in the 6th through the 8th grade.
The Academy is an opportunity for students to immerse themselves into Merengue, Fox Trot, Rumba, Tango, Swing, Waltz, Salsa, and more - and dive deeply into the cultural histories and evolutions of social dances from around the globe. Under the instruction of Senior Teaching Artist Akemi Kinukawa, students will hone partner dance techniques, expand their repertoire, enhance their social and leadership skills, and forge meaningful connections to other young dance lovers across the city. They will get the opportunity to work with guest artists, and participate in at least two performances throughout the year. Classes will be Wednesdays from 3:15 to 5:15pm starting October 12, 2022, running through May 2023. Click here to apply before Friday, October 7, 2022. Limited slots are available.
Along with the Core Residency Program, the tried-and-true program made famous in “Mad Hot Ballroom,” the Academy has been a cornerstone of Dancing Classrooms work since 1999, serving thousands of NYC middle and high school students who credit it with helping them develop life skills and cross-school friendships they maintain as adults. Due to Covid disruptions, the program had to be paused in 2021. The company saw the hiatus as an opportunity to restructure the program with an eye on accessibility and equity. With dozens of longtime school partners located in Queens with students who could benefit from the program if it was closer to home than at a midtown Manhattan studio, they decided to restart at JCAL, a trusted institutional ally in the borough. Enrollment will be free.
The Academy @ JCAL pilot program is funded by grants from the Ellis L. Phillips Foundation and American Dance Movement.