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A Dancing Classrooms Philly lesson in session. Photo: Andrew Polunin
A Dancing Classrooms Philly lesson in session. Photo: Andrew Polunin

How Dancing Classrooms Philly is opening the world of dance to youth in the city

Dancing Classrooms Philly is organized by the same faces behind Musicopia, another local organization catering towards music and arts education.

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Dancing Classrooms Philly (DCP) provides the opportunity for young people to interact with social dance. 

DCP offers a variety of dance styles to community youth, offering dance as a means to build self-esteem, joy and social awareness by breaking down social barriers.

Dancing Classrooms Philly has a shared board of directors and mostly shared staff with Musicopia, making the latter music education organization vital to the operation of DCP. 

This makes it so Musicopia and DCP operate alongside one another through objectives such as joint fundraisers. 

In another form of collaboration, DCP dancers will sometimes dance to music played by Musicopia performance ensembles.

The dance organization carries a vision of “transformative arts programs” in all schools that helps students to nurture creativity, build confidence, and promote a culture of mutual respect.

Founded in 2007, DCP has housed over 30,000 students in its programs, such as school residencies, an Allstar group, and a Saturday Academy program. 

Offering in-person dance classes from its inception, DCP went partially virtual for their 2020-2021 seasons, going in-person when and where possible through socially-distanced guidelines.

Incorporating a  hybrid model, DCP persisted through the past two years and continued to offer the world of dance to younger folks during the pandemic.

During the last two years, DCP was one prominent dance institution to offer a virtual dance lesson model. 

That updated model allowed DCP to open the door to more styles of dance, offered more flexible availability for lessons, and even ushered in lessons where dancers of all-ages participated.

In their lessons, DCP offers a variety of dance styles to students grade 3 and onwards, including ballroom, hip-hop, and salsa.

These lessons are offered to students in public, charter and private schools, after school organizations, and other community groups in the Philly region. 

Dancing Classrooms was originally founded in New York City by Pierre Dulaine, a professional ballroom dancer and dance teacher, and grew from there.

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