Local fifth graders take lessons in ballroom dancing

Published: Oct. 18, 2012 at 1:06 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 18, 2012 at 2:47 AM CDT
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World famous ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine teaches ballroom dancing to school kids at La Belle...
World famous ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine teaches ballroom dancing to school kids at La Belle Aire Elementary School

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Could a group of Baton Rouge fifth graders be ready for dancing with the stars? La Belle Aire Elementary School is a part of a program that teaches ballroom dancing to school kids across the world.

For most of the fifth graders at La Belle Aire Elementary School, ballroom dancing was foreign to them five weeks ago. Principal Da'Anne Lipscomb says just after Labor Day, her school was chosen to be a part of "Dancing Classrooms"; a program started by world famous ballroom dancer Pierre Dulaine.

"Twice a week students have a dance teacher that comes in and teaches them ballroom dancing," said Lipscomb.

The ten week programs takes these students on a journey around the world through dance.

"I learned the Meringue, the Tango, the Foxtrot," said Demarcus Leduff, a fifth grader in the program.

Dulaine started this program 19 years ago with 30 inner city New York students. He says the program now teaches hundreds of thousands of children around the world the art of ballroom dancing.

"It brings joy to my heart. They are wonderful," said Dulaine. "No matter where I go they can still shake what there mama gave them."

But Dulaine says hip swinging and dipping your partner aren't the only things he wants these kids to take away from these classes.

"I'm not interested if they remember the quick step or the tango step when they're 21.. 22 years old, but they will remember to open the door for the lady or for another gentleman...if you're a gentleman. These are manners that will stay with them," said Dulaine.

The 2006 movie "Take the Lead" starring Antonio Banderas, is the film about Dulaine and his ballroom dance in schools program called "Dancing Classrooms."

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