Our Mission

Dancing with the Students, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, offers ballroom dancing to students in schools in underserved areas, with no budget for the arts.

Our 10 week program is both virtual and live. We teach Waltz, Tango, Merengue and Swing while developing positive self-esteem, manners and respect for others as we create an atmosphere of confidence and fun.

We are a welcoming and inclusive organization, that respects and honors different religions, abilities, backgrounds and identities.

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Our History

Dancing with the Students began in 2005 at the Gesu School in Philadelphia, PA, with two classes of fifth graders.
At the end of the Week 10 Grand Finale, the students were asked, “What did you learn?” Three students’ hands went up.
A ten year old boy replied, “Respect for women.”
A ten year old girl replied, “I have more confidence.”
A ten year old girl replied, “I know how to waltz now!”
And just like that, Dancing with the Students was born. As we enter into our 15th year, hundreds of students have danced their way into our hearts, in three different states, in over 20 schools.


Our Teachers

Dancing with the Students would not be the success it is without the many gifted professional artists in our company. We have many award winner actors, dancers and choreographers in our dance family.

Susan Martinelli Shea
Susan Martinelli SheaPresident and Founder
 K. O'Rourke
K. O'RourkeDirector of Programming / Lead Ballroom Dance Instructor
Leah Holleran
Leah HolleranBallroom Dance Instructor


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