Through the joyful art and practice of social dance, Dancing Classrooms builds the foundation for a lifetime of character and leadership.

The Dancing Classrooms residency is a semester-long course for fifth and eighth grade students and their classroom teachers. Twenty, 50 minute lessons (twice weekly for 10 weeks) are held at each partner school during the school day to ensure full student participation and facilitate curriculum integration, with instruction provided by Heart of Dance teaching artists.

Reading, Writing, and Rumba

Students and teachers learn six social dances over the course of the semester, including the Merengue, Foxtrot, Rumba, Tango, Swing, and Waltz. Our teaching artists work with each teacher to integrate Dancing Classrooms topics with a wide range of standard educational subjects including reading, writing, math, social studies, geography, music, physical education, and visual arts. 


Dancing Classrooms fosters Social Emotional Learning — life skills like motivation, discipline, empathy, and respect. By teaching dances from around the world and exploring their history and cultures of origin, Heart of Dance broadens student horizons. We’re also challenging stereotypes of ballroom dance by eliminating gender-specific language and traditional gender roles. This ultimately leads to enhancements in:

  • Confidence

  • Conflict resolution skills

  • Academic achievement

  • Teamwork

  • Physical fitness

  • Personal growth

  • Gender respect and awareness

  • Understanding of social etiquette standards

Colors of the Rainbow Team Match

At the end of each semester, 12 students from each of our partner schools take part in the Colors of the Rainbow Team Match, where students perform before a panel of experienced ballroom dance judges. The Team Match brings together hundreds of children, families, and educators for a powerful shared experience of dance, music, personal growth, and community.


“I learned a lot and I respect

others more now that I’ve danced

with them.”

Sophie, 5th Grade