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Tentative steps towards dance curriculum in Island schools

The National Dance Foundation of Bermuda hopes to introduce an acclaimed dance curriculum to the Island's schools.

Countries around the world have already subscribed to the dancing classrooms curriculum. The NDFB is hoping it can encourage local schools to buy into the programme following an impressive performance by members of the Dancing Classrooms Youth Company here.

The students, who ranged from age 13 to 16, performed at the NDFB's recent fundraising gala.

The six boys and six girls proved to be the highlight of the black-tie event as they executed a medley of ballroom dances with skill and charm under the watchful eye of DC founder Pierre Dulaine.

The teenagers, who attend New York inner city public schools, were giving their first-ever international performance, which they clearly enjoyed. Poised and graceful, they were rapturously received by the 300-plus audience, which included Deputy Governor David Arkley, US Consul General Grace Shelton, Government ministers and other dignitaries. Subsequently taking to the dance floor with randomly selected guests, the Youth Company further proved to be perfect ambassadors for entire the dancing classrooms programme.

Their appearance capped an evening which also featured fine performances by Bermudian dancer Dominique Anderson and Gaspard Louis, and American Ballet Theatre corps de ballet members Devon Teuscher and Alexandre Hammoudi.

Mr Dulaine's highly successful dancing classrooms curriculum teaches middle school students life skills, including respect, etiquette and civility. Its mission is to build social awareness, confidence and self-esteem in children through dance; the programme has been adopted by schools throughout the US, South America and Israel.

It was the inspiration for the hit film, 'Take the Lead', and the award-winning documentary, 'Mad Hot Ballroom'.

Membership in the Youth Dance Company is by audition, and represents the top tier of a three-step process, the first of which is introduction to ballroom dancing through the dancing classrooms school residency programme.

Upon completion, the children are then invited to continue their training through the DC Academy weekend programme. The most dedicated and promising students who successfully audition for the Youth Dance Company are then provided with an opportunity to build on their dancing skills.

The NDFB is a registered charity whose mission is to develop young people through dance by supporting and providing world-class training. Proceeds from the annual gala support its training and scholarship programmes, including its summer intensive, DanceBermuda.

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Published February 20, 2012 at 7:00 am (Updated February 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm)

Tentative steps towards dance curriculum in Island schools

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