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Dancing Classrooms Revives Annual MAD HOT BALL Gala to Keep Children Dancing Through and Beyond Pandemic

Date: Apr 05, 2022


Join Dancing Classrooms on May 12, 2022 at 7:30pm EST at the Edison Ballroom in the heart of the Theater District for a night of dance and celebration! The long-awaited annual MAD HOT BALL is making its defiantly joyful debut back in-person for the first time since the pandemic began. MAD HOT BALL 2022 is Dancing Classrooms’ largest, annual fundraising event and the public is invited to support and attend. Get tickets here.

The mission of Dancing Classrooms is to cultivate essential life skills in youth through the joy and practice of social dance. Over its history, DC has engaged more than 600,000 children worldwide, many from under-resourced communities. They welcome students’ diverse individuality into the classroom and dances, teaching respect and belonging in one of the most diverse cities in the world. In NYC, Dancing Classrooms works in all five boroughs with students that represent the demographics of the city – 13.3 percent of students are English Language Learners, 20.8 percent are students with disabilities and 73 percent are economically disadvantaged. NYC public school students are 40.8 percent Hispanic, 24.7 percent Black, 16.5 percent Asian, and 14.8 percent white (NYC Department of Education). As a champion of multiculturalism, DC intentionally works to honor the diverse histories and innovators of the dances they teach, build more inclusive dance floors, and foster social dance spaces for all young people. They do this through culturally responsive and sustaining teaching practices that introduce students to developmentally appropriate American Style Ballroom and other social dances, welcome individual style and artistry, and celebrate the history, originators, and cultures of each dance form.

MAD HOT BALL 2022 will celebrate “Dancing Through It All,” highlighting student transformations, resulting from the joy, connection and social-emotional benefits of social dance during a multi-year, global pandemic. The evening will also honor the collective leadership and bravery of organizations and individuals that helped New York thrive and power through these tough times.

Bringing Back Dance Award:
Honoring New York City-based ballroom dance studios that bravely opened during the Coronavirus pandemic, helping to lead the resurgence of dance in the city. (Listed with studio owners.)
  • Ballroom Hub – Igor Litvinov and Renata Shvarts
  • Big Apple Ballroom – Michael Choi and Vanda Polakova
  • Dance Loft NYC – Dmitry Nikishkin and Olena Shvets-Nikishkin
  • Danznik Studios – Nikolai Shpakov
  • Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine Dance Studio NYC – Carrie Shea Steinmetz and Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine
  • Stepping Out Studios – George Ciao and JingJing Lai
  • Queens Ballroom Dance – Mary Liu, Annie Xiao, and Yuriy Nartov
Social Dance Innovator Award:
Honoring an innovator, social dance practitioner, or advocate who is forging connections between styles and cultures and bringing more attention to the field.
  • LaTasha Barnes, Choreographer, Educator, Performer, Cultural Ambassador, and Tradition-bearer of Black American Social Dance
Social Emotional Learning Champion Award:
Honoring a leader in education, youth development, or mental health who has championed the role of social emotional learning for K-12 learners.
  • Dr. Meisha Porter, President and CEO, The Bronx Community Foundation

LaTasha Barnes is an internationally recognized and awarded dance artist, educator (Asst. Prof of Dance ASU), and tradition-bearer of Black American Social Dance. Currently operating between New York and Phoenix, Barnes’ expansive artistic, competitive, and performative skills have made her a frequent collaborator to arts organizations around the world. She is also honored to serve on the Brain Trust guiding the ground-breaking stage production SW!NG OUT, as well as the visionary creator and Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed intergenerational and intercommunal cultural arts experience ‘The Jazz Continuum’. Visit to learn more about her journey, achievements and cultural efforts.

Dr. Meisha Porter has joined The Bronx Community Foundation as the inaugural President and CEO. Meisha was previously Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, the largest school system in the nation. She was responsible for educating 1.1 million students in over 1,800 schools. Prior to taking on the role as Chancellor she most recently served as The Bronx Executive Superintendent where she was deeply invested in sharpening school leaders’ equity lens and building collaborative practices across schools. Meisha also served as the Superintendent for Community School District #11 and Principal of The Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice (LGJ), an Urban Assembly school. During her tenure at LGJ, Meisha served as Community Coordinator, Internship Coordinator, and taught English before becoming an Assistant Principal and then taking the helm as Principal in 2004. Having worked her way up through the ranks, she is exceedingly aware of the challenges city schools and communities face and has dedicated her life to improving the learning environment for all students.

Dancing Classrooms and The Edison Ballroom will uphold all safety guidelines, and full COVID vaccination will be required to attend. There will be direct communication with guests in the weeks leading up to May 12 with further requirements and updates, adhering to safety mandates.

This year, MAD HOT BALL 2022 will be Co-Chaired by Dancing Classrooms Vice Chair Patrice Tanaka and well-respected ballroom dance icon Edward Simon. The main program will be emceed by Dancing Classrooms alumni Jeremey Adam Rey and auctioneer Karen Sorbo will lead the Live Fund-A-Need. There will be exciting student performances, live music by The Paul Errico Orchestra, a silent auction, food and beverage design by celebrity chef Mina Newman, and of course, dancing! Following the main program, an After-Party will be held in the Edison Ballroom’s Chandelier Room hosted by Dancing Classrooms alumni DJ Josuel Plasencia.

Details on corporate sponsorship, VIP Tables and Tickets, general Supporter Tickets, and After-Party tickets can be found here. Individuals may donate and/or RSVP using the link here.

For more information on the Dancing Classrooms, visit and follow @DancingClassroomsNYC on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and TikTok. #DancingClassrooms #MadHotBall2022 #MadHotBall


For more than 26 years Dancing Classrooms has partnered with schools and community-based organizations to cultivate essential life skills in children through the joyful art and practice of social dance. To date we have served over 600,000 young people worldwide. Our vision is schools and communities where every child is connected, respected and given an environment in which to thrive.


Marielle Young, Communications Manager
Dancing Classrooms