Judy Everett Ramos, 817-399-2025

(Scroll to bottom for photos)

All three HEB ISD Dancing Classrooms teams tangoed their way to the Second Colors of the Rainbow Team Match finals after performing at the Dancing Classrooms Tarrant County semi finals competition April 26.

The 18 couples from Bell Manor, Shady Oaks, and Wilshire elementary schools took gold ribbons at the event, which also featured two schools from Fort Worth ISD. Dancers from those two schools were awarded silver ribbons for their performances.

The three HEB schools advancing to finals will compete against three schools from Dallas ISD on May 17 at the University of Texas at Arlington.

The semi finals began with entertainment from the HEB ISD Ballroom Dance Performance Team, made up of students who participated in Dancing Classrooms last fall and who auditioned for the team. In their signature red and black outfits, the team demonstrated more complicated moves than the rookie competitors, and they got the crowd in the mood for dancing.

Each school team had one couple that competed in a dance that was their specialty. Round I featured the couples dancing merengue, tango, foxtrot, rumba, and swing. During Round II, each couple selected another dance in which to compete. For example, the tango couple danced a different dance, which was not their specialty, for the second round.

Each school had a Team Captain couple, a dance team that was prepared to step in if someone was absent. These couples had to be ready to dance any of the five competitive dances. These Team Captains demonstrated their skill to the enthusiastic crowd and the judges for Round III.

After a few minutes, judges, who are ballroom dance instructors, tabulated their scores and announced that all three HEB schools would advance to finals.

Dancing Classrooms is a social development program that began in New York public schools and is featured in the award-winning documentary, “Mad Hot Ballroom” and the feature film, "Take the Lead," starring Antonio Banderas.

Research conducted by UTA on HEB and Fort Worth schools last fall showed that the dance classes had significant impact on students’ social awareness, including optimism and self confidence, and social support.

“The research shows we can be 99 percent confident Dancing Classrooms impacted the kids’ idea of a social support structure,” Dr. Larry Nelson of UTA, said.

“We were able to determine they not only feel supported and that people accept them for who they are, but that they also know people are available to help them.”

“We can statistically say the program helped these kids believe they get a lot of encouragement at school and that school will help them be successful,” Dr. Nelson said.


HEB - Empowering Today to Excel Tomorrow