Testimonials from Educators
I am a school counselor and have the opportunity to see and measure growth from an outside perspective. Dancing Classrooms is wonderful for our kids and I've seen positive improvement socially and academically.
- School Counselor, Learning for Leadership Charter School
“One of the aspects that I love most about Heart of Dance program, is seeing a shift from a boy/girl partner mentality to acceptance that women may be partners with women and men with men. Mr. Jon (our Teaching Artist) is conscience to comment that in 2018 girls can dance with girls and boys can dance with boys, it’s not a big deal. The students see this modeled as Mr. Jon often will assume the traditional “girls” position” while learning the dances. It has been amazing to see how accepting these 5th grade boys are of this, and how excited they are to have their turn to be Mr. Jon’s dance partner. There is something about the way this program presents gender, that erases expected traditional gender roles very naturally.”
- 5th Grade Teacher at Bay View Elementary School in Duluth (Proctor)
My students and I have LOVED our experience with Dancing Classrooms this year. It has allowed many of them to shine in ways they might not have in the classroom. They have grown and learned so much during their ten weeks of lessons. It is amazing to watch them!
- Meredith Shafer, 5th grade teacher, North Park Elementary School
Lisa Anderson, 5th grade teacher at Pinewood Elementary School, wrote a wonderful letter about her Dancing Classrooms' experience to assist Heart of Dance in applying for a grant from the Rochester Area Foundation to help us expand in the Rochester area. Read her testimonial here. Thank you Lisa for your support!
The benefits of the Dancing Classrooms program were recognized in The Atlantic (Jan 22, 2016 )! The article, titled "Learning Empathy through Dance", cites a survey of LA school principals where 66 percent reported an “increased acceptance of others” among their student bodies and 81 percent of students said they treated others with more respect following the program. In NYC, the survey results showed that 95 percent of teachers reported their students improved cooperative and collaborative skills; researchers observed 95 percent of students demonstrating cooperative skills. READ ARTICLE
Any school can bring Dancing Classrooms to their students! Each classroom residency costs $4,000, but the school only pays half of that cost, or $2,000 per classroom. Heart of Dance funds the balance. Don’t let cost deter you! We have developed fundraising resource materials for schools and our experienced development staff is happy to support schools with their fundraising efforts if they don’t have funds available in their budget for their portion of the program cost. To date, our Minnesota school partners have had good success in raising their portion of the costs. The residency is offered at no cost to participating students.
This unique arts education residency cultivates essential life skills through the practice of social dance while utilizing a highly developed, CASEL (Coalition for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) recommended social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum to create an environment in which each child is connected, respected, and allowed to thrive. Research from 2011 has shown that Social Emotional Learning (SEL) instruction increases academic achievement scores by an average of 11 percentile points. Click here to read the complete research article from CASEL. In a 2017 follow-up article, they noted "SEL participants later demonstrated a 6% increase in high school graduation rates, and an 11% increase in college graduation rates."
Our integrated curriculum makes it easy for educators to bring new life and add perspective to standard educational subjects including: reading, writing, math, social studies, geography, music, physical education, and visual arts.
Administrators and teachers at schools that have adopted Dancing Classrooms report their entire school cultures are positively impacted through the mutual respect, courtesy, and cross-cultural understanding emphasized in the program.
Student Demographics in Dancing Classrooms
Fall 2015-Spring 2019 (8 semesters)
Total Schools - 71
Total Classrooms - 268
Total Students - 6,518
61% are on free/reduced lunch - 3,999
31% African American - 1,997
12% Asian - 778
33% Caucasian - 2,161
1% First Nations - 62
17% Hispanic - 1,134
6% Two or more races - 386
0.2% *Students living with a physical disability 15
0.7% *Students who self-identify as living with an
emotional or mental health disability 44
* We began tracking students living with a disability in Fall 2018
Bring Dancing Classrooms to your students next school year!
We are now working with schools interested in offering the program to their students for the spring 2019 semester. We are happy to meet with school representatives at their convenience. Please contact us if you would like to bring Dancing Classrooms to your students or if you can connect us with a school that may be interested in bringing this proven and effective program to their fifth or eighth graders!
For the Spring 2019 Semester we have a mix of new and returning schools. Thank you for your confidence in our program!
See our Greater Minnesota Page for our participating schools in Duluth and Rochester.