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Dance in the Schools K-12 Program

Jerry Hernandez

USA Dance Los Angeles County knows that the future of ballroom dance lies in the next generation. That's why we launched a K-12 program offering ballroom classes to local school children who might otherwise not have the opportunity to learn.

Since 2007, the K-12 program has brought ballroom dancing to the 6th grade class at Sutter Middle School (over 550 students) in the San Fernando Valley, to the 6th, 7th and 8th grade children at George Washington Carver School, and has also supported the Best Foot Forward program based in the San Fernando Valley. The many communications received from these students telling USA Dance how much they enjoyed the classes and of their desire to continue to ballroom dance is testimony of the success of this great program.

For 2010-2011, the K-12 Program made arrangements to teach ballroom dancing at two inner City schools, Wadsworth Avenue Elementary School and 49th St School. Rudy Hernandez, supported by the K-12 Program, instructed two 5th grade classes, with school support to include the entire 5th grade class at both schools (approximately 300 students). We were delighted to welcome the students of this program at our June 2011 Showcase.

For 2011-2012, the K-12 program piloted the Dancing Feet curriculum developed in Antelope Valley at the Nora Sterry Elementary School. Fifth-grade students received instruction from their own teachers and from members of the K-12 Committee in three ballroom dances: Foxtrot, Salsa, and East Coast Swing. Following their training, the students traveled to Lancaster for the High Desert Dance Classic to compete against couples from six other elementary schools.

Students from Nora Sterry ended up taking Third Place awards in Foxtrot and Salsa; a Fourth Place award in East Coast Swing; and Fifth Place awards in Salsa and East Coast Swing. You can really appreciate this achievement when you consider that a total of 48 couples competed!

The Nora Sterry school participated in Dancing Feet again in 2013 and had excellent results.

The K-12 program is funded by revenues from the chapter's social events and from generous donations from our members, particularly Pam Privett and Jim Yonemoto. Contributions can be made via our website or at any of our events, and we can give you a receipt upon request because all donations to USA Dance are tax-deductible.

Contact us for more information about the program.