“You've always been a supporter of mine that showed me unconditional love. Hard to come by and special for a young man of my background and upbringing. Sometimes when I look back I see you cheering me on from the sidelines as I danced. I see you putting us in places that exposed us to where we can go if we stayed the course! You showed us what it was to love someone no matter what they are going through! Love is love and you showed us just that. I wore my first suit because of Ballroom dancing.”

— K.A., Former Student

“My favorite memory at La Salle Academy is Ballroom Dancing. Ballroom dancing lets you show off your personality through dancing. My favorite dance is the Tango. I must really like it because I won Best Tango twice!”

— J.R.

“It was really fun, especially our very last Ballroom Dancing Finale. At one point, I really wanted to win a trophy . After a while, I realized how much fun Ballroom Dancing was. I didn’t care if I got a trophy or not. I got a trophy for being the best swing dancer. I was so amazed because I didn’t think that I would. But to me, the most important thing is that we had an enjoyable time and we looked fantastic!”

— N.T.

“You are here one day, but I see the results all week; there are even improved manners in the school cafeteria.”

— Sr. Maggie, principal, Drexel Neumann Academy

“I see fewer disciplinary incidents with the seventh grade.”

— Sr. Nancy, Principal, St. Martin de Porres

“I have new respect for women.”

— Seventh grade young man at Gesu School

“I have more confidence in myself.”

— Seventh grade young lady at St. Peter the Apostle

“You have given them a gift for life.”

— Sr. Ellen, principal, Gesu School

“I have been dancing for three years. I love ballroom dancing because we have fun and learn how to respect girls. At first when I heard we were going to do ballroom dancing I thought I would hate it. But — Now I love it. I am the only kid on my block who knows that ballroom dancing is fun. Dancing is now my favorite hobby.”

— Eighth grade student

“As you know, Samantha Bellomo, is an excellent teacher. When I first started ball room dancing in the sixth grade. I was thinking, “Okay, I guess I am going to learn how to do ballroom dancing. Yeah, like that is going to be fun?????” However, as it turns out, it is really fun! I found out right away that dancing can teach you a lot of things. I have learned out to treat a lady and how to be polite. It has showed me the beauty of two people moving as one. This teaches us team work. Team work is a life long lesson! Ball room dancing is so much fun! I thank everyone who organized this program because it has taught us so much. Truthfully, we enjoy every moment that we dance. Thank you!”

— Ninth grade DWTS Troupe member

“I am in the eighth grade and I love the ballroom dancing program. I still remember the first day my fifth grade teacher told us that we were starting ballroom dance. Our entire class protested the event and dreaded the thought of being so close to the opposite sex. Surprisingly, we became excited when we learned we were the first grade school children in Philadelphia to be involved in ballroom dancing. We found ourselves admiring movies like “Mad Hot Ballroom” and “Take the Lead”. We were able to identify dances and soon we mastered them. My favorite dance is the merengue. I love the energy of it and it always excites me. As a result I have gained self confidence in front of my peers. Thanks to ballroom dancing I no longer have the stage fright I used to have. I am grateful for ballroom dancing. It has given me the confidence to stand before you today.”

— Eighth grade student

“I was just looking at my medal I won for the ballroom dancing and I feel so proud,lol (: I wish I could do it all over again. (:”

— Nierra

“Through ballroom dancing, I learned how important it is to be motivated, which will help me in high school and throughout the rest of my life.”

— H.M.

Chester can be challenging. the children who attend DNA are often exposed to incidents and experiences which are hard to even imagine. However, when they come to school, they are in a safe environment where everyone takes care of each other. This past year, a new student began in seventh grade. Carrie did not seem happy to be at a school where everyone seemed to know each other and in the small classes, where everyone had established relationships. Carrie’s uncertainty and unhappiness evidenced itself in behaviors which had her placed on probation and just a few demerits away from being expelled from the school She was not able to connect with the teachers or her peers. Her mother desperately wanted Carrie to attend Catholic school, but knew her daughter’s behavior would most likely have her expelled by the end of October. BUT… then came ballroom dancing. Not only did Carrie dance well, she was exceptional. All of us noticed Carrie for her dancing ability and it was the first place where we saw her smile. After dancing, the other students in the class would congratulate her for her performance and Carrie beamed with pride. That experience of ballroom dancing totally changed the attitude of Carrie and she now is a seventh grade shining star. She comes to school happy and wears a smile of her face during the day. Yes, we have no doubt, ballroom dancing was a blessing from God (and Sue) that brought about a change in Carrie that will forever impact her future.

— DNA Leadership