“We felt like stars!” says eighth-grader Cindy Jean-Francois, a former participant of Ballroom Basix (BBX) at M.S. 283 Preparatory Academy for Writers’ afterschool program, “Play After Work” (PAW). Creating opportunities for our students to build self-confidence and shine is just one of the many facets of The Child Center’s afterschool-enrichment programs — and it’s just one of the benefits of this innovative activity, now in its second year at PAW.
“Dance, and partner dancing specifically, has a huge impact on social and emotional learning,” says The Child Center’s PAW Program Director Carolyn Johnson. “By its very nature, partner dancing is about teamwork. It teaches our kids about working with a partner, about being respectful of your partner.” And, as a result, “parents and educators herald BBX as a unique deterrent to bullying,” says founder and artistic director Sidney “Dr. Dance” Grant, who launched BBX in a single Harlem middle school in 2008 and now operates it at more than 100 schools across NYC’s five boroughs. Continue reading