Dearborn Elementary Charter Academy

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BEST FOOT FORWARD

Mission Statement:  Through the art of dance, we aspire to instill positive character values, improve social skills and promote the positive benefit of exercise in 4th and 5th grade students of various socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds including students with disabilities.

Best Foot Forward promotes an atmosphere where social, cultural and physical barriers disappear.

We provide ballroom dance lessons to 4th and 5th grade students in elementary schools in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.  A majority of the students come from low socio-economic areas where parents are unable to provide dance lessons for their children.  Many students are learning English as a second language.  We also include students who have a variety of learning and physical disabilities.

Through the learning of ballroom dance, we have seen students demonstrate positive character values, interact in a positive manner with their peers as well as 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.

Through our dance lessons, students develop positive character traits such as respect, responsibility, kindness, hard work, cooperation, and determination among others.  At a time when parents, schools and communities are struggling with an epidemic of childhood obesity, Best Foot Forward has emerged as part of the solution, providing rigorous activity and often inspiring students to practice the dance steps independently for hours outside of class.  Students learn fitness skills, which will serve them well in the future.

We receive extremely positive evaluations from students, teachers and parents each year.