Rising Stars in Ballroom Dancing?

Debi Camp, Co-Owner DDC, Nashville
August 17, 2016
Dance Dress Consignment went to Greenville Dance Challenge this weekend. We had such a fun time! There were many competitors that were fabulous dancers. The competition hosts were Eddie Ayers (world reknowned choreographer and World and United States Rhythm Champion), Emmanual Antione-Pierre (World champion in Mambo!!) and Clement Jolly  (North American Professional Latin finalist), who know how to put on a good competition and show.
We were fascinated watching the youngest dancers. They just amazed us by their execution! There were quite a few young children ballroom dancing and they were something to watch! They take dance seriously and you could just see their energy busting as they waited on the sidelines for their heats. As I talked with a few of the mothers, I learned that many of the children are able to take dance lessons for free or nearly free at several different locations such as Goldstar Youth Program in Greenville SC and Queen City Ballroom in Charlotte, NC. Many studios in that area also offer ballroom lessons for children and youth. I live in the Nashville, TN area and found that Metro Parks has a dance program with scholarships and the YMCA also offers dance classes from time to time.
See video of the children dancing at the Greenville Competition here.
I did a little digging and found that many of the free/nearly free programs seemed to be modeled after a program that started in New York inner city schools by Pierre Dulaine made famous by the movie Take the Lead with Antonia Banderas playing Dulaine, and also featured in the documentary movie Mad Hot Ballroom. Ballroom dancing is a fun and challenging option to build discipline, focus, agility, confidence in dance as well as in social skills and when interacting with the opposite gender. Children can get lessons, shoes, outfits and CD’s for home practice for free or a small club fee of $10 a month in some of these programs.
Ballroom classes for children have long been a part of children’s training in Russia and other eastern European countries  and seem to be catching on here in the states. Parents may want their children to be involved for all the positive things mentioned above – and the bonus is the kids just love it! The increase interest may partly be because of shows like Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, and maybe because, well – it is just fun, as all of us adult ballroom dancers know!! I heard more than once this weekend that “ballroom dancing is life changing!”. I think that was exactly why Pierre Dulaine started his program for children!
“We want to encourage the kids – This is the future.” Clement Joly
In an interview at the Greenville Dance Challenge, Clement Joly commented on the benefits for children and families and the future of ballroom dancing. Watch the interview here.
And the buzz lately has been that ballroom dancing or Dancesport might be considered as an addition to the 2020 Olympics. DanceComp Review writes about the journey of ballroom internationally and the possibilities of joining the Olympics.
Olympics  2024 – get ready these children are preparing to bring Ballroom Dancesport to you!
Debi Camp

Debi Camp

Co-owner of DDC

Debi Camp has been ballroom dancing for 5+ years but has been really been dancing her whole life. Put on some music and she is ready to get moving. Debi enjoys everything about the ballroom atmosphere, especially the community and friendships built on the dance floor. She enjoys writing and wearing beautiful dresses. She is a full time trainer, mother and amazing grandmother. Her joy and hope are contagious. Spending time around her and reading her articles are sure to make you smile.
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