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The Episcopal School in North Philadelphia

After 9 weeks of learning and practice, the 5th grade class was finally ready to showcase their knowledge of dance.

Led by instructor Kristen DelMarcelle (a Philadelphia-based theatre artist and instructor for Dancing with the Students), the students seemingly had their first lesson down pat. See video from their first week lesson >


Dancing with the Students was delevoped by Susan Shea in 2005 as a way to teach manners, respect, and etiquette to children, while learning to Waltz, Tango, Swing and Merengue. Without any knowledge of dance, Sue (a special education teacher) did her research and made her way to Arthur Murray Dance Studio where she met Samantha Bellomo, who would become her friend and inspiration.

The students have really transformed in many ways during their 45-minute lessons once a week. Most notably, of course, is their skill in dance. They are quite suave out on the floor and showcase a real grasp of rhythm, timing and steps.

Parents, staff and friends of St. James School came out in numbers to watch this grand finale. Broken into two groups, they paired off with their partner and demonstrated a brief sampling of the dance music being played in the background on a small CD player. Each group was judged by the dance instructors and assistants, and then asked back for a second call.

Each student was awarded a medal of honor, and pairs were awarded for best in dance categories. Marquis and Ajia won top overall dancers, while Diamond and Kwymaje won best partnership.