Here are some write-ups of events dating back to 2006....enjoy!
The 2nd Annual Dance Crazy Ballroom Competition
May 18, 2008
After sixteen weeks of ballroom dance classes and several public dance performances, the children in the Dance Crazy program were ready for the inter-school competition.
This year the event took place at Goff Middle School. There were eight elementary and middle schools participating in the event. Each school was represented by six couples, with a total of ninety-six children competing.
The schools were recognized on the dance floor by the color of the sash worn by the female contestants. Many of the parents and teachers in the crowd wore the color of their school team. The patches of green/blue/pink/purple/orange/red/etc. scattered throughout the bleachers blended wonderfully with over two hundred colorful helium balloons and the beautiful floral arrangements atop four roman pillars.
The young ladies and gentlemen that competed were dressed in the required black pants and skirts with white tops, and looked very sharp indeed!
With so much talent on the dance floor, it was difficult for the judges to make eliminations. The winning school this year was Goff Middle School, taught by Tom Hourigan. Every dancer performed spectacularly and all that participated were recognized for their accomplishments
October 6, 2007
Dance Crazy’s 2nd Annual Syllabus Workshop
..Prepares Volunteers and Staff for TEN schools!
Dance Crazy kicked off its third year on Saturday, October 6, 2007 when Jennifer Girard reviewed the programs syllabus for twenty-six participants. Those attending included volunteers from last year that wanted a refresher before classes resume this year, new professional ballroom instructors, and ten alumni school teachers.
During the three-hour workshop, Jennifer not only reviewed a total of 50 steps, but also enthusiastically shared her personal experiences of teaching young children how to ballroom dance. Some of the topics Jennifer touched upon related to the differences in maturity levels and physical abilities commonly found among ten-year-olds.
Most who attended left armed with this years Dance Crazy CD of music that will be used in all of the schools and at the Competition. Many will now begin to teach a six-week series of beginner ballroom lessons to about 50 elementary school teachers across the Capital District. These teachers will then turn around and help out in the childrens classes that begin in January.
This year, the Dance Crazy program is in ten, count ‘em…TEN..schools! That’s over 300 children!
The inter-school Dance Crazy Competition is scheduled for Sunday, May 18th at the brand new Proctors Black Box Theatre in Schenectady.
There are still a couple of schools that need volunteer dancers to help out in the childrens classes. If interested, please call or email Sue at (518)369-3234 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
2nd Annual Dancing With The Albany
The Albany Marriot Hotel
Sponsored by Ms. Jennifer Girard and Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Latham.
KUDOS to the sponsors of this hugely successful fundraiser! A total of approximately $19,500 was raised! The winner of the event, Steve Ammerman from Channel 10 News, will receive about $4,500 to donate to his charity of choice, The Aids Council. The remaining $15,000 goes to Dance Crazy!!!!
THANK YOU to Ms. Jennifer Girard and all of her very talented staff at Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Latham for donating their time to teach the stars how to dance!!
And THANK YOU to the eight stars that also donated hours of time and hard work to learning their routines!!
The eight stars this year were:
Nina Bouphasavanh, Channel 10 Steve Ammerman, Channel 10
Anya Tucker, Channel 10 Paul Harding, Esq., Martin/Harding/Mazzotti
Kimberlee Brant, It’s Just Lunch Jeff Stoecker, Channel 10
Chrissy Kavata, Fly 92 AM Show Jim Clark, Fly 92 AM Show
Emcee: Brian Cody, Fly 92
Guest Appearance: Gabriel Young, Albany Conquest
Football Team and Last Years Champion
May 5, 2007 The 1rst Competition
...at Yates Magnet School in Schenectady
It is very possible that on May 5th, ballroom history in this area scored another milestone when Dance Crazy held its very first ballroom dance Competition for the seventy-two 5th and 6th graders in this years program.
Although the event was slated to begin at noon, nervous parents and students began arriving before 11am. The mood of the growing crowd was unlike the festive flavor of the Dance Crazy dinner dance held on April 17th. Faces were filled with serious smiles. Several adults ran around looking for safety pins to attach the team sashes to the girls outfits. While volunteers scurried to re-route entrances to the gymnasium, the Dance Crazy professional instructors and teaching assistants in the six schools were busy lending support to the competitors.
And then it began. The crowd was asked not to use flash photography and not to clap along with the beat of the songs since both of these maneuvers could inadvertently distract the competitors. The judges were introduced, and then the competition commenced with the first dance, the foxtrot.
The dancers danced wonderfully! All were dressed as dictated by the dress code which included white shirts, black pants for the boys, and black skirts for the girls. The girls also wore colored sashes, and each schools team had a different sash color. . Semi-finals lasted about forty minutes, all of which were filled with eruptive cheers from a crowd of about 350 ecstatic onlookers. The two teams that were chosen to continue on to the Finals were the Red Team (Albany School of Humanities) and the Yellow Team (Yates Magnet School of Schenectady).
The Finals were comprised of six heats that included one couple from each school in each heat, and then two team heats whereby each team (one at a time) danced the jitterbug. The winning team was the yellow team, Yates Magnet School of Schenectady. Yates is now the home of the Dance Crazy 5 ft.- 8 inch tall trophy. At this time next year, the trophy will be passed on to the new Dance Crazy Champion at the 2nd Annual Competition. More can be found in the Schenectady Gazette article written about the Competition. To read this article go to http://www.dancecrazy.org/NewestNewspaperArticles.htm .
As a result of the tremendous success of this years program, the number of schools applying for next years program is higher than expected. This is a very good thing!! If you have an interest in working in the schools with the children next year (starting in January 2008), please contact Sue Robbiano asap. Knowing the number of volunteers available for next year will help Dance Crazy decide if more than five schools can be accepted into next years program. Sue can be reached at (518)369-3234 and at email@example.com .
March 11, 2007 Public Demo
…at Danceland in Colonie, NY
Once again, the children in the Dance Crazy program were invited to Danceland to publicly demonstrate the ballroom dance skills they have learned so far this year.
At about 7pm, children, parents and teachers from the six schools in this years Dance Crazy program began to anxiously wander into Danceland. Up until this time, ballroom dancing was something the children were familiar with in the classroom, but performing in public was a whole new concept for them.
About 70 children from the program attended, accompanied by parents, siblings, and other relatives. Many local ballroom dancers were present, as well as cameramen from Fox channel 23 and channel 9. Rumor had it that a reporter from the Times Union was also in the crowd.
While DJ Rockin Rob played music that the children were familiar with, the crowd watched the dance floor filled with 5th and 6th graders doing the foxtrot, rumba, cha cha, tango and jitterbug. The children looked great and seemed to be having a ball.
Many onlookers commented that they were not aware that the Dance Crazy program had grown so much already. Parents were thrilled when they saw what their children had learned to do. Overall, the evening was a huge success because the children received exactly what we were hoping they would receive….a lot of public support. This is an important factor that will help to boost self-confidence in the young dancers.
Several of the children that participated in this event will be involved in three more public events. The first is on April 17th at the Franklin Plaza Ballroom in Troy where several dances will be performed. Dance Crazy’s 1rst Annual Competition is being held on May 5th at Yates Magnet School (info is available on this website) and all 6 schools will be competing to win the coveted Dance Crazy trophy which was on display today. The last public performance will be at our 2nd Annual Fundraiser called Dancing With the Albany Stars on June 3rd at The Marriott in Albany, NY. At that event, some of our students will be performing at break-time between 1-3pm.
Our School Teachers Can Really Dance!
Novembr 17, 2006
As the six week course in ballroom dancing came to an end, some of the 45 school teachers learning to dance braved it out in public on the dancefloor at Danceland in Colonie. All that attended made it around the dancefloor many times, following the line of dance, looking like naturals! Congratulations to all of you! Every one looked great out there, and you'll all be real assets as helpers in the childrens classes.
1st Annual Dance Crazy Syllabus Workshop
Volunteers Attend Dance Crazy Workshop
October 7, 2006
Crazy kicked off its program for this year
on Saturday, October 7 th in the Latham
Arthur Murray Dance Studio. A mix
of more than thirty volunteer ballroom dancers
and professional dance instructors attended
a workshop taught by Jennifer Girard, Dance
Crazy's Artistic Director.
offered this workshop to the Dance Crazy
crew, realizing that most volunteers in
the Dance Crazy program could use some direction
in how to teach ballroom dancing. Having everyone learn the Syllabus together
also helped to ensure that the children
in all six schools will be taught the Syllabus
in a similar fashion.
three-hour workshop taught the entire Dance
Crazy Syllabus that is being used to teach
the 180 children in this year's program. While a lot of time was devoted to
teaching fifteen steps in five dances, Jennifer
also offered many tips on how to talk to
5 th and 6 th graders in a way that keeps
their attention and makes learning fun.
who attended the workshop provided very
positive feedback about the content and
quality of the material taught.
Sunday, June 4, 2006 from 2-5pm
Danceland in Colonie....
children from our two schools for 2005-2006
enjoyed an afternoon of ballroom dancing
at Danceland, thanks to the generosity of
Danceland Owner, Mr. Jim Apicella who donated
his place for this event.
Corporation donated light snacks and refreshments. This was a great opportunity for the children
from the two pilot schools to meet eachother,
experience dancing in a public dance venue,
dance to some great tunes, and enjoy some
yummy munchies along the way!
Crazy would like to thank not only Mr. Jim
Apicella, but the ballroom dancers that
attended the event, danced with the kids,
and helped to teach the rumba lesson and
the hustle lesson!
First Annual Dance Crazy End-of-the-Year
...was held on May 8th,
2006 at the Schenectady County Community
College in the Van Curler Room. Our
two pilot schools did several ballroom dance
demo's for the crowd of 96 attendees. A total of 21 girls and 8 boys filled the
dancefloor with confident moves when doing
the foxtrot, polished cuban motion with
the rumba, and lots of energy and flair
when dancing the swing.
Crazy Thanks the public and the local ballroom
dance community for supporting our efforts
to get ballroom dancing into the schools. Most especially we want to thank the following:
- Mr. Bob Englert and
Mr. Rob Englert for their donated DJ
services. Bob and Rob can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ms. Jennifer Girard,
our Artistic Director and her partner
Mr. Clarence Loppe, who
did a beautiful tango demo.
- The children in the
pilot program this year! They are
such great ballroom dancers!
- Ms. Karen Urbanski, the
Principal of Rensselaer Middle School,
who placed alot of faith and trust in
our program, and supported our efforts
to run a successful pilot program.
Pics of this event
are adorable, click on this link to see
them, and more!