May 20: Chicago Scene - Having A Ball Dancers

Having A Ball
Final Competition
May 23
Navy Pier Ballroom

Partially funded by the U.S. Department of Education Carol M. White Physical Education Grant and the Chicago Board of Education, Having a Ball's intensive, in-school ballroom dance instruction provides students with physical exercise while fostering the development of confidence, self-esteem, teamwork, coordination and musicality.

More than 950 fifth grade students from throughout Chicago will partake in Having a Ball 2009-10. Participating schools include: Agassiz Elementary, Alcott Elementary, Attucks Academy, Cleveland Elementary, Edwards School, GR Clark School, Hefferan Elementary, Hughes Elementary, May Community Academy, New Sullivan Elementary, Onahan Elementary, Oriole Park Elementary, Perez Elementary, Sandoval Elementary and Thorp Scholastic Academy.

Having a Ball focuses on the International Style of ballroom dance which features a universally-recognized syllabus. It is the most widely danced form of ballroom, with competitions taking place across the globe. Having a Ball instructs students using the Bronze Level syllabus which includes the Cha-Cha, Waltz, Tango, Paso Doble, and Jive. In addition to regular ballroom dance instruction, students will receive 50 minutes of classroom instruction focused on related subject areas, including fitness, nutrition, socio-emotional skills and cultural connections. Having a Ball is one of the most rigorous, curricular ballroom programs in the nation.

Having a Ball was founded in 2005 by former CPS Board President Michael Scott, who introduced dance education to CPS as a way to encourage confidence, social skills and exercise in fifth grade students before embarking on their junior high and high school careers. In its inaugural year, Having a Ball was 10 weeks long with dance classes twice weekly in one participating classroom per school. Now in its fifth year, the program has expanded to 20 weeks with dance classes three times weekly as part of the fifth grade curriculum. Having a Ball has instructed over 3000 students in communities across Chicago since its inception in 2005 and is proud to be one of CPS's most diverse and far-reaching programs.

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