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Mad Hot Crouse wins Gold

By John Published: May 16, 2011

     The fifth-grade ballroom dance team from Akron's Crouse elementary won the top award at the Grand Finals competition Saturday at the Ohio Theatre at PlayhouseSquare.
    The competition is for fifth-graders participating for the first time in the Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio program, which promotes social development through ballroom dance.
    The Crouse fifth graders were sole winners of the Gold prize, said Jo Jo Graham the organization's founding executive director.
   Fifth graders from Shumacher elementary tied for the Silver with two other schools and fifth-graders from McEbright elementary tied two teams for the Bronze.
    Seven Teams representing Summit, Cuyahoga, and Lake Counties (Akron Public Schools, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and Painesville City Schools) competed in the Grand Finals after winning semi-final competitions earlier in the year.
     Dancing Classrooms is an offshoot of the New York City ballroom dance program developed by Pierre Dulaine. It was made famous in the 2005 film documentary Mad Hot Ballroom and the 2006 movie Take the Lead.
      Districts pay half of the total $3,000 cost of the 20 sessions that are held over 10 weeks. Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio, a nonprofit organization, pays the other half through fundraising.
     The program was brought to Crouse, Leggett elementary, and Hyre Middle School last fall.
    Eighth-graders at the Akron Opportunity Center and fifth-graders at Seiberling and McEbright elementary schools took classes in
the winter.
   Fifth-graders at Schumacher and Rimer elementary schools participated this spring.

Here's a video I took of the Crouse dancers earlier this year:



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