Seth Boyden Students Learn Grace & Respect With NJPAC ‘Dancing Classrooms’

0 FacebookTwitterPinterestEmail

The following is from James A. Manno, South Orange-Maplewood School District Fine Arts Supervisor:


On December 15, 2016, Seth Boyden School and New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) partnered for another year of Dancing Classrooms at Seth Boyden School in Maplewood.

Dancing Classrooms is an annual ritual for the school’s 5th graders as they learn a series of ballroom dances that they perform for their family and friends at the residency program’s culminating event.

The mission of Dancing Classrooms is to cultivate essential life skills in children through the practice of social dance. NJPAC’s vision for the residency is to have schools and communities where every child is connected, respected, and provided a safe environment in which to thrive. Dancing Classrooms residencies are integrated into the school day, cultivated through Curriculum Connection and aligned with the Common Core Standards.

Many of the students initially approach their weekly lessons with trepidation but by performance day they are excited and ready to dance the night away. The students learn much more than dancing during their time with NJPAC teaching artists Ms. Danielle and Ms. Lisa. They learn grace, courtesy, self-control, respect for others, respect for self, and how to interact with others appropriately.

Seth Boyden’s PTA supported this experience by donating funds and by having an etiquette expert teach the students basic table manners during a specially prepared lunch. On the night of the big performance, the PTA transformed the Seth Boyden School gymnasium into a restaurant and served a delicious meal where students practiced their dining etiquette manners before showing off their newly learned dance skills for families and friends.

Dancing Classrooms at Seth Boyden School is a true collaboration that includes support from the 5th grade classroom teachers, the physical education and art teachers, parents and arts partner NJPAC. It is truly the joint effort that makes this night a success each year.

Learn more about NJPAC In-School Residencies here.

Click on photos to enlarge:




Related Articles