Local 5th graders learn lessons in ballroom dance
PHILADELPHIA - May 17, 2012 (WPVI) -- It was a matter of dancing with the stars, but in this case, the stars were 10 year old students in West Philadelphia.
"I've got butterflies," said one 5th grader.
But the initial butterflies soon flutter away as fifth graders from John Barry Elementary School in West Philadelphia confidently took the dance floor with waves like the Queen of England and moves like Fred Astaire.
Each fifth grade class performed two dances showcasing the steps they so carefully learned over the course of 20 lessons.
"It's actually kind of easy when you know how to do it," said Koren Spencer.
"My favorite dance is the swing, because there's a lot of moving," said Ronnie Thomas.
For the past 5 years, Dancing Classrooms Philly has reached out to area schools to teach ballroom dancing.
The students raised $1,500 for each of the three fifth grade classes to take part. This is Barry's first year, and it has been a success.
"It is fun, it's exciting, and who knows, we might get on Dancing with the Stars," said 5th grade teacher Ln Perry.
"It is really teaching life lessons wrapped up in ballroom dancing," said Bess Witcosky from Dancing Classrooms Philly. "Although they are learning ballroom choreography, it is really what happens between steps that is important and vital to the students."
Given the age of the students, it took a little convincing.
"There were some boys that didn't want to dance with us, but they work it out anyway, so it's like we're going to get it together," said Denisha Willow.
It was a good warm-up for the upcoming interschool competition through Dancing Classrooms Philly.
12 students from John Barry Elementary school were picked for the semi-finals next week. The finals will take place in June.
children, school, west philadelphia, philadelphia, local/state, katherine scott
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