Key Largo School 2011 Colors of the Rainbow Champs

Key Largo School 2011 Colors of the Rainbow Champs

Months of practice time and dedication paid off Sunday afternoon at Marathon High School as Key Largo School’s 5th grade Dancing Classrooms team took top honors in the Colors of the Rainbow year end competition.

This year’s performance grew significantly over last year’s with the addition of another elementary school team totaling six in the competition. The Dancing Classrooms curriculum dictates that with six teams, winners are chosen in the bronze, silver and gold categories with a challenge dance to determine the overall winner. The competition went down the wire between the Key Largo School’s green team and Stanley Switlik’s yellow team.

Latin dance and staff instructor at Dance Manhattan, one of New York City’s leading dance schools, Rodney Lopez flew in for the weekend to help emcee the competition, and Academy Award-winning producer of Titanic and Avatar John Landau appeared as a celebrity guest judge.

Dancing Classrooms began with a pilot program at schools in Marathon in January 2009, and as administrators and teachers across the county began to see the students grow and benefit from the extra-curricular training, teaching artists were recruited for classrooms in both the Upper and Lower Keys.

The program was made possible through the Educational Coalition for Monroe County (ECMC) in collaboration with the American Ballroom Theatre NYC and Monroe County School District, sponsored in part by the ECMC Incredible Fruit Stand, State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Keys Council of the Arts.

The afternoon performance also included a showcase of the ECMC Ballroom Dance Team, students from ACE and Keys Center and Plantation Key School 8th graders. The Ballroom Dance Team is a student-driven collaborative effort.

Teaching artist Kim van Bueren led the final performance of the afternoon – a group performance of The Stomp.

One of the most elegant dances – and one to elicit the most cheers from the active audience – was the tango.

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