East Receives Dancing Classrooms Award

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East Elementary School is one of only three schools that received a “Taking the Lead” award from Dancing Classrooms of Long Island. East has participated with the residency program for ten years, fostering social and emotional learning among children through ballroom dance. Each year, for ten weeks, students ballroom choreography in lessons that cultivate mutual respect, teamwork, collaboration and self-esteem. 

Ivanka Priymak, Jonathan Nguyen, Gabriella Lopez and Matthew McCaffrey did an outstanding job representing East in a performance at DCLI’s 10th Anniversary Benefit Gala, held at the Mansion at Oyster Bay in Woodbury on April 18. They were joined by Principal Kathleen Connolly and Assistant Principal Cristine Zawatson, as well as family members and other guests. The gala also honored award-winning video journalist Waldo Cabrera for his in-depth coverage of the arts-in-education program. 

“When you take a classmate in your arms and learn to ballroom dance, you become a little more kind, a little more confident, a little more accepting, a little more tenacious and a lot more connected to the humanity around you,” said DCLI Program Director Katie de Bruin.

 East will additionally participate in Dancing Classrooms of Long Island’s Spring Colors of the Rainbow Team Match. This event, scheduled for May 1 at Hewlett High School, will feature students from across Long Island that took part in the residency program during the winter. The teams will compete for bronze, silver and gold medallions.