An Awesome Experience!

Can't begin to tell you what a thrill it is to judge a Dancing with Class Dance Off. It is amazing to see how very proud the students are of their finished product. From the moment they walk to the stage in escort postion with their partner (as taught in the program), to each and every dance they do, to every step they take, to the final bow they take -- I just can't take my eyes off of all of them. They work so hard to perfect their dances and it is so gratifying to see how much fun they are all having out there performing. And the support they give to one another is just so touching. I truly believe that each and every school should have this experience! Beverly Solazzo

Proud DWC Parents

While helping out at a Dancing with Class Dance Off last year at the Chicago Cultural Center, I was so very impressed with all of the kids' performances.  And then I happened to look over at one side of the room and all I saw was a human wall of proud parents, video cameras in hand, filming their kids' performances and cheering so loud for the team that it almost raised the roof!  This is just one of the very special unforgettable moments that this program creates for everyone involved.  I can't wait to see the Dance Offs this year.
Beverly Solazzo

Tall Ladies

One of the fifth graders in my Beasley Elementary classes is very tall. Emerald is only one inch shorter than me, towering above her classmates at 5'9". She said that she couldn't do "this kind of dance" (salsa at the time) because she is way too tall for any of the boys to partner her.

I have always been "the tall girl" in my dance classes. In my professional dance life, I'm never the one to be partnered, but was always told that I could do a solo, or a different part instead. I've learned to own my height and dance as big and tall as possible. What makes me different is unique and interesting.

Emerald was frustrated. Just as I have been frustrated before. But I let her know, of course the gentlemen can partner you. It's about having fun and breaking down your own expectations, as well as anyone who doubted you can dance with a short guy, or they can dance with you.

Erik, one of the smallest in the class, and one of the best dancers, was standing close to Emerald. I asked him and her if they could demonstrate the entire salsa routine. A couple of kids laughed at the height difference.

They did the entire routine, and rocked it. After that Emerald was the most engaged and excited I have ever seen her.

Dance is a perfect outlet for breaking expectations. The kids are learning that what makes us different doesn't prohibit us, but can make things more interesting.