December 28, 2010 |

Pittsburgh Phillips K-5 earns gold, advances in ballroom dance competition

Members of the Phillips “green” team proudly display their gold certificates, which qualified them to advance to the finals of “Colors of the Rainbow” in May 2011. The youngsters competed in the merengue, tango, foxtrot, swing and rumba.

Fifth-graders from four Pittsburgh elementary schools — Pittsburgh Allegheny K-5, Pittsburgh Phillips K-5, Pittsburgh Sunnyside K-8 and Pittsburgh West Liberty K-5 — took home gold medals in the "Colors of the rainbow" ballroom dance competition, capping off the fall 2010 season of Mercy Behavioral Health's Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh.

Held in the auditorium at Pittsburgh Allderdice on Saturday, Dec. 11, the event featured six young couples from each of nine Pittsburgh Public Schools and Pittsburgh Catholic Schools that participated in Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh in the fall 2010 semester. The 108 dancers were selected from more than 400 students who underwent 10 weeks of in-school instruction to represent their respective schools in the semi-final event.

Dressed in their finest, the young ladies and gentlemen danced the Merengue, Foxtrot, Rumba, Tango, and Swing while parents, school officials and fellow classmates cheered them on.

Because the competition was so close, it took two rounds of tiebreaker dances for the judges to narrow the field to the four teams who would ultimately take home the gold — Pittsburgh Allegheny (yellow), Pittsburgh Phillips (green), Pittsburgh Sunnyside (indigo), and Pittsburgh West Liberty (red).

Those four schools will advance to the finals, scheduled for May 2011, where they will meet the winners of the semi-finals of the upcoming spring 2011 semester. Complete results for the Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh semi-finals are as follows: Gold Medal: Pittsburgh Allegheny K-5 (yellow), Pittsburgh Phillips K-5 (green), Pittsburgh Sunnyside K-8 (indigo), and Pittsburgh West Liberty K-5 (red) Silver Medals: Pittsburgh Spring Hill K-5 (blue) and St. Benedict the Moor School (emerald) Bronze Medals: Pittsburgh Arlington K-8 (orange), Pittsburgh King K-8 (violet), and St. Agnes School (magenta)

Mercy Behavioral Health introduced the program to Pittsburgh in 2009 as part of its prevention program, with the Pittsburgh Public Schools as its initial partner. In 2010, Catholic schools that are funded by the Extra Mile Foundation incorporated the program into their curriculum.

For more information about Dancing Classrooms Pittsburgh, contact Mark Rogalsky, prevention services supervisor, Mercy Behavioral Health, at 412-320-2321.

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