Our program Dancing Communities
How Dancing Communities was born
Dancer and choreographer of international renown, Pierre Dulaine has been offering for 17 years in primary and secondary schools in the United States, the program Dancing Classrooms that uses ballroom dancing as a means of preventing violence and of developing respect for difference. Today 45,000 children and adolescents benefit each year from the program in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, Jordan, Israel and Palestine. Two movies portraying the story of Pierre Dulaine and Dancing Classrooms have been produced (Take the Lead, with Antonio Banderas, and the documentary Mad Hot Ballroom). A documentary about the impact of the program as a means of dialogue between the Jewish and Arab communities in Jaffa / Tel Aviv came out this year (Dancing in Jaffa)
In March 2008, Mr Dulaine was invited to Switzerland for a seminar organised by the Foundation Research and Training in Patient Education (Geneva) and International Commitee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the theme of chronic illnesses and chronic situations. His presentation addressed the possibility of using dance as a valuable tool in the accompaniment of patients and victims. On this occasion, both healthcare providers and humanitarian workers recognized the originality and usefulness of its educational approach as a tool to promote new ways of interacting.
In January 2009, the Dancing Communities program was born with the aim of promoting Mr. Dulaine’s method in different communities and institutions in Switzerland.
Based on the teachings of ballroom dancing (merengue, foxtrot, rumba, tango, swing, waltz and salsa) Dancing Communities:
- encourages confidence and self-esteem
- is fun and very accessible
- values the person
- promotes respect and mutual support
- encourages the development of social skills
- fosters a sense of belonging and the active participation in the group
As a means of community cohesion, the program aims at preventing and addressing issues related to exclusion, to social isolation and to stress at work (burnout).
It allows to focus on creative resources and encourages the discovery of new ways to interact beyond social roles.
Dancing Communities is a standardized program which can be adapted to specific contexts.
Today it is proposed in hospitals, in clinics, in institutions promoting social integration, in businesses and non-profit organizations as well as in community centers with a program open to the general public.
Dancing Communities is also proposed in the context of public events as a very effective and fun means to create cohesion in the group, to “break the ice ” and encourage openness to the other, to drop fears and prejudices.
Through an extremely simple and accessible method, the participants learn steps and rhythms of dances as diverse as merengue, foxtrot, rumba, tango, swing and waltz as well as three different line-dances.
The sessions are conducted by teachers trained by Mr. Dulaine and authorized by American Ballroom Theater and are animated by the team Dance with me.
« Dancing together reminds us that we are all human beings. »