Partner dance changes lives

Heart of Dance delivers the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of partner dance to those who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to experience them.

Dancing Classrooms, our foundational program, teaches crucial life skills like confidence, cultural awareness, conflict resolution and gender respect through the lens of partner dance in schools across Minnesota. In classrooms of fifth and eighth graders, we engage students with these concepts at an age proven to have the greatest impact.

We look forward to adapting programs for active seniors, mild dementia patients, veterans, and others to improve balance and coordination, delay or minimize the effects of dementia, and help counter symptoms of PTSD.

Partner dance changes lives. It leads to confidence, self-expression, joyful movement, discipline, human connection and more. Through partner dance, Heart of Dance is helping people discover all they can be.



To transform lives through the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of partner dance.

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Through partner dance, youth, seniors, veterans, and other at-risk communities are connected, respected and given an environment in which to thrive.



Respect, Elegance, and Teamwork



Heart of Dance founders Andrea Mirenda and Ember Reichgott Junge (pictured on the right with Heart of Dance’s first board chair, Dennis Yelkin) have witnessed the transformational power of partner dance time and time again. In 2015, they founded Minnesota nonprofit Heart of Dance to share the impact of ballroom dance with those who need it most, and who otherwise might not have access to it.

Inspired by the award-winning documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, they chose Dancing Classrooms as their first program for fifth and eighth graders, becoming the thirtieth site of this global social emotional learning program. They’ve proudly watched as thousands of students across Minnesota have gained confidence and connected with their peers through Dancing Classrooms.

Over the past five years, Heart of Dance has brought Dancing Classrooms to more than 70 schools in the Twin Cities, Rochester, and Duluth. In 2019, Heart of Dance reached language immersion classrooms, teaching the Dancing Classrooms residency in French and Spanish.

As we continue to grow, we hope to cultivate programs that serve individuals of all ages.