The idea to provide ballroom dancing instruction at Calabash was the brainchild of Larry and Gloria Weinstein. Mrs. Weinstein was a Volunteer Reader at Calabash and was inspired by the documentary “Mad Hot Ballroom”, where elementary kids in NYC vie to compete in a citywide dance competition. The Weinsteins were interested in starting a program for the San Fernando Valley, and approached former Calabash Principal, Susan Shaffer, to ask if Calabash could be their pilot school. She agreed, and over the years the Weinsteins’ “Best Foot Forward” blossomed to include 18 local schools. Sadly, the Best Foot Forward program was discontinued as a result of Covid, but Calabash wants to continue the tradition of ballroom dance at our school.
As part of the Calabash curriculum, students in both the 4th and 5th grades will receive ballroom dance lessons, with focus on the Tango, the Merengue, the Swing, the Foxtrot, the Jive, the Viennese Waltz, Disco and the ChaCha.
The PTO proudly funds this program. The program teaches our students so much more than just Ballroom Dance (though what a gift in itself!); students demonstrate positive character values, interact in a positive manner with their peers and come to understand the positive benefit of regular exercise in their daily lives. Students have shown improved self-esteem as well as increased self-confidence. They exhibit respect for each other and positive social interaction skills with their peers.