A One Night Gala for a Lifetime Mission: Mad Hot Ball 2018 Celebrates the Dancing Classrooms Program

This year, on 11th of April, at the Pierre Hotel in New York City, Mad Hot Ball comes back to celebrate another year of making a change in dancing. The Gala is open to the general public and starts at 7 pm.

The Founding Of Dancing Classrooms

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

Pierre Dulaine

Peter Gordon Heney, also known as Pierre Dulaine, is no different. He was born in Jaffa and started dancing in Birmingham at around 14. 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 callsa 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 adults that have the power to create and sustain healthy communities?

Dancing Classrooms achievements

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 in. This why it encourages people to bring their children to take part in their ten-week program. 

In 23 years of activity, they’ve trained around 500,000 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.

We have an article on Pierre Dulaine and his amazing journey, make sure to check it here

Also, 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 delve more deeply into the story of Dancing Classrooms, there is a short video below. You can see how a reunion of some of the alumni ambassadors feels like. Also you can hear some words from Pierre Dulaine himself. It seems like many of their students went to performing arts schools to pursue a career in the arts. Because they focus a lot on creativity and freedom of expression, it’s easy to see why people went on to nourish creative lives.

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. He focuses on 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.” 

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

Mad Hot Ball – A Gala Like No Other

The start of the Dancing Classrooms benefit gala, the Mad Hot Ball

Pierre along with the team behind Dancing Classrooms have been holding galas that bring together people from all over the world. Those who believe in his vision come there to celebrate and raise funds to ensure that all the children, no matter if they can afford it or not, can participate in their program. 

Last year, Dr. David Osher, Vice President of American Institutes for Research, held a speech at The Mad Hot Ball Gala. He emphasized the importance of giving everyone a chance, independent of their social status.

As he puts it:

 „Why should it be for people who can afford to come to The Pierre? It ought to be for everybody.”

The Mad Hot Ball Gala, as they like to call it, has been around for at least 20 years. It has been held in places like University Club, the Roosevelt Hotel, and the Plaza Hotel. In the last few years, the location was moved to The Pierre Hotel. It’s an annual fundraiser followed by a dance party. 

What differs from the usual galas is that they actually have a dance crowd that dances to a live band. They celebrate the young people while ensuring that their mission will continue to thrive.

Mad Hot Ball 2018 is here!

As soon as the last year’s edition was finished they had to start planning this one. We found out that they begin the process by putting together a new gala committee. Afterwards, they design and send the invitations and start discussing the auction items that will be presented.

If you have never attended The Mad Hot Ball 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

Helping the children

Because we are talking about fundraising, you get to participate in a Live Auction and Paddle Raise. 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 upon this world.

This year, Pierre wants to honor Mayo Alanen for his incredible contribution to the community. He is a professional ballroom dancer, instructor, and choreographer located in New York City. His teaching methods exceed any expectations because he has the gift of helping his students reach their goals. Mayon does not settle for the easy way. We’ve been told that he may travel extensively in order to teach and perform. You can learn more about him at mayoalanen.com.


We believe that words have to stop somewhere and the experience of the event itself must replace them. The Mad Hot Ball Gala will take place on 11th of April, 2018. It is open to the general public and anyone who believes in Pierre’s vision is welcomed there. There are different types of tickets and premium tables available to purchase here.

Looking at the current world situation, we are overwhelmed to see that there are people who really do believe that they can make it better. Thank you Pierre Dulaine, Rodney Lopez and all of those working hard to push the human race further. We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to go behind the scenes of Dancing Classrooms and their mission.

The night will start with cocktails, followed by dinner, dancing and a live auction by Karen Sorbo. The highlight of the event will consist of a special performance by Youth Dance Company and students from P.S. 291 with music by Paul Errico Orchestra. 

Depending on your needs, there will be different sponsorship opportunities as well as corporate/tribute ads. 

Go to their website for more details. If you can’t make it, you can still support their mission and donate. You will receive special recognition at the Gala and on Dancing Classrooms website.

Mad Hot Ball 2018, The Pierre Hotel, 7 pm, New York.

Be there!


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Dancing has been my passion since I was 13 and since then I've been doing things in that direction. Writing, creating and putting together the biggest community for dancers around the world!

Tags: dancing classrooms Mad Hot Ball 2018 Pierre Dulaine

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