Fifth graders dance like the stars - Philadelphia News

December 4, 2008 4:11:19 PM PST
Some Philadelphia students put their best foot forward on the dance floor. It's part of a new type of class that teaches kids not only the finer points of ballroom dancing, but also how to strut their stuff through life's struggles. The fifth graders began with the meringue today at St. Dominic's in Holmesburg.

For the last ten weeks, they have been learning ballroom classics like the fox trot, rumba, and the tango and today they got to dazzle their parents and teachers.

"The spirit that has generated from this is terrific," fifth grade teacher Anita Lekic said.

The lessons are part of special program called Dancing Classrooms.

"Dancing is just the vehicle, it's just the car, we use to take the message to these kids that they need to have self-respect, that they need to have respect for their personal property and for their peers," Mark Best of Dancing Classrooms said.

At first, the fancy footwork was daunting.

"I was scared, really scared, because I didn't know, and was afraid that I would mess up," fifth grader Brandon Ramos said.

"I was scared and I didn't know what dances we were going to do," fifth grader Brittany Kalesse.

But as the weeks went by, the kids learned much more than how to lead and follow.

The day was not just about teaching the fifth graders the social graces, but also about something even closer to St. Dominic's mission, raising their spirits.

Through it all, adults and kids alike looked like they were dancing on air.

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