FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 12/7/2007
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Judy Everett Ramos, 817-399-2025
Crowds Cheer for 10 Winning Dance Teams
Ballroom Dancing is District’s Latest Success Story
The roar of the crowd was deafening inside the standing-room only LD Bell High School gym. Hundreds of fans waved flags and signs for their team colors, and cameras flashed for nearly two hours.
This was not a championship basketball game, but the atmosphere was just as electric as 10 teams of fifth graders competed for bronze, silver, and gold level ribbons in the 2007 fall Colors of the Rainbow Team Match semi-finals, presented by Dancing Classrooms North Texas.
Judges awarded gold level ribbons to Hurst Hills, River Trails, and Shady Brook elementary schools. These teams will advance to the May 1, 2008 finals with Dallas ISD elementary schools.
Silver level winners were Bedford Heights, Bellaire, Stonegate, and West Hurst elementary schools.
Bronze level winners were Donna Park, Harrison Lane, and Shady Oaks elementary schools.
The semi-finals featured teams of six couples from each of the participating schools, for a total of 120 students. Teams were assigned a specific color sash or card to wear to represent their school.
In Round I, couples specializing in merengue, foxtrot, rumba, tango, and swing demonstrated their skills for judges.
In Round II, each couple drew a card out of a hat that had a dance written on it that was not their specialty. For example, the merengue couple had to draw a dance other than their specialty.
In Round III, the Team Captains drew two dance cards from a hat and performed. Team Captains are couples who must know all five dances and can step in if a scheduled dancer cannot perform.
The December 7 event was the end of 10 weeks of ballroom dance lessons for every fifth grader at the 10 participating schools. Each school held special events for parents and students and selected their Team Match dancers before the semi-finals.
Dancing Classrooms North Texas went from a pilot program of six HEB schools last year to a part of the PE curriculum at all 19 of the district’s elementary schools – 10 this fall and the other nine, beginning in January – and the remaining nine elementary schools will have their own semi-finals round in late spring, for another shot at three gold medals. The second group of gold level teams will also compete with Dallas in May 2008.
Dancing Classrooms North Texas is a social development program designed to use dance to teach fifth grade students to work as a team, to use proper manners and dance etiquette, and to treat students and adults with respect.
Research conducted by UTA on HEB and Fort Worth schools in 2006 showed that the dance classes had significant impact on students’ social awareness, including optimism and self confidence, and social support.
The program originated in New York and was the subject of an award-winning documentary, "Mad Hot Ballroom," and a feature film, "Take The Lead."
Dancing Classrooms North Texas is another example of the many innovative programs available to HEB ISD students. This program is available because of the district’s membership in Tarrant County Youth Collaboration (TCYC), which contacted Pierre Dulaine, the program’s founder. TCYC is acting as project implementation manager.
Gold Level Winners
Lavender Team, Hurst Hills – Principal, Georgeann Gallian; PE Coach, David Morgan; Teaching Artists, Julie Shiles and Crystal Taylor; Dancers, Kayla Allen, Mikayla Birdsong, Alexandra Leatherwood, Danielle Mackey, Allison Scherer, Chelsea Young, James Armstrong, David Bartley, Jonathan Kirkpatrick, Jonathan McClendon, Brenden Palmer, Kenric Polar, Jr.
Lime Green Team, River Trails – Principal, Mary Stokic; PE Coach, Judy Johnson; Teaching Artists, Lisa Holt, Martha Valdes, and Gene Willman; Dancers, Chandler Claxton, Ronald Taylor, Mikayla Harrison, Grecia Placencia, Amy Abuga, Tequari Morrisette, Nicole Bustos, Kendrick Thomas, Vincente Trejo III, Jacari Gentry, Cynphanie Wesley, Gavin Sanchez
Blue Team, Shady Brook – Principal, Monica Stennis; PE Coach, Josh Lorton; Teaching Artists, Carol Ernst; Jennifer Laws, and Darlene Selinger; Dancers, Catherine Boone, Ralitsa Petkova, Emily Perkins, Katelyn Rainwater, Danyel Taylor, Nicole Ford, Gradivi Tshitoko, Izaha Norman, Travis McLallen, CJ Bird, Brian Ellis, Andrew Watson
Silver Level Winners
Yellow Team, Bedford Heights – Principal Brad Mengwasser; PE Coach, Brandon Wilham; Teaching Artists, Lisa Holt, Breanna Kimbley, Darlene Selinger, and Crystal Taylor; Dancers, Brenna Grovea, Colton Henderson, Cheyann Flores, Regan Hardeman, Sophia Pry, Josh Ripple, Carter Cleveland, Jacob Mello, Morgan Everitt, Gloria Jackson, Nicki Jenkins, Alexis McCarty
Purple Team, Bellaire Elementary – Principal, Livia Mansour; PE Coach, Carl Miller; Teaching Artists, Maureen Hanson, Carmen Jones, Breanna Kimbley, and Crystal Taylor; Dancers, Sophia Contreras, Darrel Dennis, Maleiry Echeverria, Alexis Escorza, Valeria Guerrero, Erin Hill, Sophia Khondoker, Alex Mejia, Christopher Pardo, Daisy Reyna, Yvette Sifuentes, Zachary Whiteman
Red Team, Stonegate – Principal, Kent Green; PE Coach, Cheryl Stewart; Teaching Artists, Rachel Hunt, Shana McKinley, Martha Valdes, and Gene Willman; Dancers, Jeremiah Villalobos, Dora Huckabee, Anthony Griffin, Tra Johnson, Sydney Reid, Madeline Telford, Manwell McLean, Karlye Loughman, Meghan Morrison, Ruben Mbombo, Peter Nguyen, Michaela Brown
Green Team, West Hurst – Principal, Debby Day; PE Coach, Scott Smith; Teaching Artists, Lisa Holt, Carmen Jones, and Donna Whiteley; Dancers, Clay Demmin, Benjamin Bell, Nick Santos, Jamari Syrie, Jacob Gafford, Ethan Grant, Sienna Salas, Alexis Ridgel, Alexis Henderson, Mia Garza, Emma Alier, Kadijah Francis
Bronze Level Winners
Orange Team, Donna Park – Principal, Dr. Aungelique Brading; PE Coach, Judy Johnson; Teaching Artists, Jennifer Neal and Karen Smith; Dancers, Daniel Dorsett, Esther Bwenyi, Parker Johnson, Jennifer Nguyen, Axel Sanchez, Esther Nyemba, Preston Johnson, Logan Ledet, Tobias Natee, Eunice Iyalho, Ossiel Cano, Alyssa Hertz
Peach Team, Harrison Lane – Principal Donna Stevens; PE Coach, Ronda Crum; Teaching Artists, Martha Valdes and Donna Whiteley; Dancers, Alexis Lindsey, Mercedes Scott, Taylor Kendrick, Brook Dickey, Vanasha Allen, Madison Peck, Vito Wilkins-Pernetti, Jasper Ndaborior, Austin Robinson, Darren McCabe, Issacc Carter, Bryce Crutcher
Turquoise Team, Shady Oaks – Principal, Scott Hurbough; PE Coach, Julie Wallace; Teaching Artist, Nikki Velonis; Dancers, Keishia De Jesus, Morgan Purselley, Shannon Homan, Tyler Davlin, Jesus Aguilera, Dakota Stanfield, Tony Hernandez, Jared Martinez, Davon Demar, Paula Quinonez, Erin Barth, Emelie Vaughn
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