GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

February 27, 2013

Rockport fifth-graders hit the ballroom

By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — In 2005, the documentary film “Mad Hot Ballroom” chronicled a ballroom dance program for 11-year-olds in the low-income Tribeca, Bensonhurst and Washington Heights schools in New York City.

The film was a huge hit with movie theater audiences. Since then, ballroom dance programs have cropped up all over the country, and have been offered by several schools on Cape Ann and the North Shore.

This year the students at Rockport Elementary School have the opportunity to strut their stuff.

Funded by the nonprofit Educational Foundation for Rockport, Tina and Ronald La Flam, dance instructors on Cape Ann for the past 48 years, have been teaching the school’s fifth graders the tango, swing, merengue, polka and cha cha, with lessons twice a week for eight weeks.

The students are learning proper etiquette, and will showcase their new talent for family and friends at the first annual “Ballroom Blitz.” That event, a performance of swing, tango, cha cha, merengue and polka by fifth graders as well as cheerleading and dance performances by Rockport High students will take place on Friday, March 8, at 7 p.m. in the Rockport High School gymnasium.

In case of snow, the performance will be Sunday, March 10th at 1 PM. Tickets will be available at the door at $5 for adults and $2 for kids.