Why Heart of Dance?
Self-confidence. Self-expression. Joyful movement. Elegance. Mental focus and physical exercise. Emotional support. Partner social dance can transform lives.
Heart of Dance co-founders Andrea Mirenda and Ember Reichgott Junge have experienced this for themselves and others. That's why they co-founded the Minnesota nonprofit Heart of Dance: to bring the physical, emotional and social benefits of ballroom dance to those who might not know them.
Inspired by the award-winning documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, they chose Dancing Classrooms as their first program bringing ballroom dance to fifth-graders. Minnesota is the 30th site of this proven global 20+ year social and emotional learning program.
New York-trained Teaching Artists teach students Merengue, Tango, Rumba, Foxtrot, Waltz and Swing during their 10-week in-school residency. They help classroom teachers coordinate the dances with other subjects, such as social studies, math, English and art. They help students discover all they can be.
Our mission is to transform the social- and self-perception of individuals living with a variety of challenges by personally experiencing the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of social dance. Our vision is that youth, seniors, veterans, and any individuals living with mental, emotional, or physical illness or challenges are renewed through the connectedness of partner dance.
We will extend Dancing Classrooms to eighth graders in the future and as we grow, we’ll create independent programs to serve individuals of all ages consistent with our mission. Please see our Dancing Classrooms page for more information about the program.
We are an IRS-designated tax exempt public charity ((501(c)(3)) so contributions to Heart of Dance are tax deductible!