2019 Dancing Classrooms “Mad Hot Ball” Gala – Celebrating 25 Years of Making the World a Better Place

The “Mad Hot Ball” Gala 2019 will be a special year. It’s the 25th. Anniversary and will be held at The Pierre Hotel in New York City on April 10th…another unforgettable heart-warming event.

The Start of the Dancing Classrooms Benefit Gala

Pierre Dulaine, along with the team behind Dancing Classrooms, have been holding galas and bringing together people from all over the world. Those who believe in his vision come to celebrate and raise funds to ensure that all the children can participate in their Dancing Classrooms program.

In the past years, Dr. David Osher, Vice President of American Institutes for Research, held a speech at The Gala, emphasizing the importance of giving everyone a chance, independent of their social status.

Why should it be for people who can afford to come to The Pierre? It ought to be for everybody.”
Dr. David Osher, Vice President of American Institutes for Research

The “Mad Hot Ball” Gala has been around for a quarter of a century already and it has been held in places like The University Club, The Roosevelt Hotel, and The Plaza Hotel. In the last few years, the location moved to The Pierre Hotel, a high end and one of the top ten hotels in New York City

The “Mad Hot Ball” Gala is an annual fundraiser dance party. What differs from the other galas is that the people attending love to dance and actually dance to a live orchestra.

They celebrate the young people and the love of dancing while ensuring that their mission continues to thrive.

Find more about Pierre Dulaine here.

The Founding of Dancing Classrooms by Pierre Dulaine

We all know that from time to time, our world gets to be called home by some of the most lovely people. They are the people that actively engage in making it better than it was before they arrived and that is why their story needs to be told out loud.

Peter Gordon Heney, also known as Pierre Dulaine, is no different. He was born in Jaffa and started dancing in Birmingham when he was 14 years old. In 1994 he founded Dancing Classrooms, the Social and Emotional Development Arts in Education Program, designed to cultivate essential life skills. Dancing Classrooms is a non-profit organization that teaches ballroom dancing to the upper elementary and middle school students.

Pierre Dulaine found a way to unfold his vision about a world that is more open and connected through what he calls a celebration where all the children have the opportunity to experience the gift of ballroom dance and the social confidence that results from it”.

How can we improve the society that we live in, if not by educating our children so they can grow into confident and respectful adults that have the power to create and sustain healthy communities?

Social dancing is a form of art where two people come together to form a connection and act as one. This is what Dancing Classrooms believes and why it encourages people to bring their children to take part in their ten-week program.

“The music was so good, I forgot I was dancing with a girl”

Henry, 5th grader New York City Public School

In 25 years of activity, they’ve trained around 600,000 children.
Can you begin to imagine the social impact they’ve had so far? Those kids develop incredible skills that, Pierre believes, will help them take risks that are necessary to learn and grow in other areas also, not just dancing.

Get familiar with Pierre Dulaine by listening to his TEDxHollywood talk.

The Dulaine Method

Now that we’ve come close to who they are and their vision, we want to introduce you to what they call The Dulaine Method. It’s their own unique way of approaching the process of teaching.

The dancing artists that teach, are trained to understand how to use the group to help the individual. Creating a safe space where everyone’s feelings are respected is very important. They are advocates of equality in order to foster the same qualities in their students.

If you want to see how a reunion of some of the alumni ambassadors feels like and hear some words from Pierre Dulaine himself, there is a short video here. It seems like many of their students went to performing arts schools. Because the Dulaine Method focuses a lot on creativity and freedom of expression, it’s easy to see why people went on to nourish creative lives.

You can discover more about Pierre Dulaine beautiful past and future projects here.  

Making the World A Better Place, One Dance Step At A Time

After getting to know more about these extraordinary people, we found out that Sir Ken Robinson wrote an article on Why dance is just as important as math in school. He is documenting, step by step, the power of dancing to change the behavior of a human being and how Dancing Classrooms is improving the way we teach.

”Dance can help restore joy and stability in troubled lives and ease the tensions in schools that are disrupted by violence and bullying.”

Sir Ken Robinson

Children that go to social dancing from a young age are much more likely to develop a strong sense of empathy, thus having a capacity for creating strong bonds with others. This leads to healthy and self-sufficient communities.

What Have You Missed From “Mad Hot Ball” Gala 2018?

If you have never attended The Gala before, get ready to dance!

Rodney Lopez, the executive director of Dancing Classrooms, told us that, unlike other similar events, they try to keep speeches to a minimum so they can leave as much time as possible for socializing and dancing. Besides this, the guests get to enjoy the performances of the current year’s class of fifth-graders and the amazing Youth Dance Company.

Fundraising being one of the key moments, you get to participate in a Live Auction and Paddle Raise where you can bid for some interesting prizes and contribute to their program. There is also a portion of the ticket and table sales that go directly to Dancing Classrooms.

In other words, you make sure that those kids will have a place to nurture human qualities that will continue to positively leave their mark on this world.

If you’re curious to find out more about the “Mad Hot Ball” Gala 2018, read our previous article.

If you have never attended The Gala before, get ready to dance!

2019 Dancing Classrooms “Mad Hot Ball” Gala

The next “Mad Hot Ball” Gala is set to take place on 10th April 2019 at the historical Pierre Hotel, Manhattan, New York.

It is going to be an amazing event because they will celebrate their 25th anniversary! This a good opportunity to honor all the amazing people who changed so many lives through their love for dancing and humankind.

Amongst all the former students and friends who supported the project along so many years, you will be able to raise a glass of champagne to Founders of DANCING CLASSROOMS who are being honored at the event: Pierre Dulaine himself, his talented dance partner Yvonne Marceau, along with the former Executive Director Otto Cappel and the longest serving Board Member Sheila A. Hoerle.

You will be enchanted by the Youth Dance Company, 24 ladies and gentlemen between the ages of 14 to 16. They are former students of the program and are currently part of the Weekend Dance Academy. They will perform a beautiful Ballroom & Latin medley choreographed by their Artistic Director, Ms. Alee Reed.  

If you’re not able to make it to the event, not to worry, you can still support their mission and donate. You will receive special recognition at the Gala and on the Dancing Classrooms website.

“Mad Hot Ball” Gala, 10th April 2019, The Pierre Hotel, New York.

 Be there to share with them your love and appreciation for dance!

Dancing Classrooms Website

Dancing Classrooms Facebook Page

Dancing Classrooms Instagram Page


I've started dancing when I was 9 years old and it has been a part of me ever since. I love to surround myself with everything dancesport related. Now I get to experience the world of dancing through a writer's lens.


Tags: dancing classrooms fundraising Gala Mad Hot Ball Pierre Dulaine

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