“Would you like to dance?” The question that’s been asked billions of times in gymnasiums across the country is now being asked during physical education classes in four schools in Everett. Students at Everett High, Evergreen Middle, North Middle and Lowell Elementary schools are learning to ballroom dance with the help of Oly’s Dancesport Studio of Everett.
For one week, students at each school learn a style of ballroom dance from instructor Olga Foraponova, former U.S. Ballroom Champion and World Dance Finalist. As a ballroom dance champion, Olga emphasizes the physical fitness and training it takes to be a dancer. She also includes etiquette in her lessons.
“The program is designed to build self-esteem, confidence and to teach teamwork, how to look someone in the eyes, introduce oneself, posture and manners,” explains Kym Zion, Olga’s administrative assistant. “Students learn social and life skills while learning partner dancing.”
“It’s so great to see the students interacting this way,” commented Jo Levin, Everett High physical education teacher. In these classes, everyone is dancing including special needs students. Boys and girls offer their arms and walk their partners on and off the dance floor – a courtesy new to many students.
In these classes, the answer to the question, “would you like to dance?” is always, “yes.”