History

Dancing Classrooms Philly (DCP) was launched in June 2007 as the principal initiative of Arts in Schools Collaborative by local advocates Jane Brooks, Joyce Burd and Harvey Kimmel (left). DCP is an affiliate of Dancing Classrooms Inc., founded in 1994 by award-winning ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine.

Dancing Classrooms Philly served fifty classrooms during the 2007-2008 academic year – more than any other pilot program in the country at that time. In 2013, DCP expanded to reach both eighth grade students and special needs schools, and in the 2016-2017 school year DCP served over 3,200 students in 122 classrooms. In total, DCP has worked with more than 20,000 local fifth and eighth grade students, in public, charter and parochial schools across the Delaware Valley.

 

DCP expanded its reach during the 2008-2009 academic year when it created the Saturday Scholarship Program (renamed the Dancing Classrooms Philly Academy in 2015) which offered more specialized dance lessons over a 10-week course. These lessons, offered for a nominal fee, answered the need expressed by many students who wanted to continue their Dancing Classrooms Philly experience after their in-school residency semesters were finished. During the 2016-17 school year, over 100 students from grades 5 through 9, took part in the DCP Academy, which offered a total of 60 weekend classes at all three locations. The increased level of interest by DCP “alumni” also led to the formation of the DCP Allstars, an exhibition dance troupe, consisting of some of our most passionate dancers from the DCP Academy. The Allstars have had the opportunity to perform at various events throughout the region.

 

In July 2012, Dancing Classrooms Philly formed a dynamic, new partnership with Musicopia to provide both organizations with a more efficient infrastructure while advancing their missions and community impact. Musicopia and DCP are committed to working with children and schools that lack adequate arts education programs or have little access to the regions’ cultural life.

The Dancing Classrooms program can be seen in the documentaries “Mad Hot Ballroom” and “Dancing In Jaffa.”

DCP celebrated its 10 year anniversary in June 2017! Click here to read reflections from the DCP family.