It seemed to be a recurring theme as fifth graders -- namely the boys -- recounted Friday the early days of their "Dancing Classrooms" dance class: 'Ewww, I have to dance with girls?!'
The hesitation was understandable as it was outside of their comfort zone, said fifth grade teacher Marsha Henderson. So who could imagine that just 10 weeks later, these young ladies and gentlemen would take to the school gym in the culmination of their dance curriculum and in front of family and friends show off an impressive repertoire of ballroom dances that even adults have difficulty learning?
From the merengue, to the waltz, the fox trot to swing, the students mastered them all, and they had fun doing it.
Henderson said there has also definitely been an improvement in the respect the students show each other, and they love to dance!
The students practiced twice a week in 45-minute segments for 10 weeks, she said, under the direction of Pacific Ballroom Dance teacher Cam Briggs. The program came to the school through a recommendation of Sunrise music and P.E. teacher JoAnn Amberg.
Briggs, with a background in education, said she's familiar with the typical transformation that students undergo with dance, from one of reluctance to genuine enthusiasm. But sometimes even she's surprised at how well some students come around to embracing dance and working as a team.
Briggs recounted that there was a boy this year who started the dance classes about half way through the curriculum. "The students were so supportive and encouraging for him to give it a try," she said. "That's a magical thing."
For more information about Pacific Ballroom Dance, check out www.pacificballroom.org.