St. Louis Dancing Classrooms was founded in 2008 by two community members, Arash Sabet and Lauren N. Wilmore, who where looking for a novel way to empower youth in St. Louis. The company was fortunate to attract additional core members and several key community advisers early in its existence. Thank you to all those individuals and organizations who continue to help us as we strive to make this vision a reality.
The Dancing Classrooms curriculum is the result of the decades-long work of champion ballroom dancer and teacher Pierre Dulaine of the American Ballroom Theater in New York City. The method has evolved over nearly twodecades of interaction with students and other populations, and is specifically designed to engage students of varying backgrounds and skills. Over ten weeks of fun and learning, students begin to function with a heightened sense of respect for self and others, responsibility, and community.
Dancing Classrooms programs currently exist in seventeen cities across the United States and World…and St. Louis is one of them! Last year, the program served over 40,000 students, and continues to grow steadily. Widespread exposure came to the Dancing Classrooms program with the release of the 2005 documentary, Mad Hot Ballroom, and 2006 motion picture starring Antonio Banderas, Take the Lead – both based on this program.