Dance Challenge Celebrates 10th Anniversary Tonight, April 13


WEATHER UPDATE: The Dance Challenge will take place as planned tonight, April 13, 2016, at 6 p.m.

Martin Marino’s Dance Challenge has grown in participation and popularity over the past decade. One thing that’s remained the same, however, is the special role this always anticipated event plays for its young competitors.

“The dance program gives Jefferson Parish Public School students a venue for building self-esteem and confidence, as well as learning teamwork,” said the event’s founder and coordinator Martin Marino. “For many students, it becomes a life-changing experience.”

More than 340 Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS) students from 18 elementary schools will participate in Martin Marino’s 10th annual Dance Challenge on Wednesday, April 13 at 6 p.m. The event is free to the public and will be held at the Pontchartrain Center, 4545 Williams Blvd. in Kenner.

17148092338_e6077981e4_zThe Dance Challenge is the first program of its kind in the greater New Orleans area to feature elementary students performing the major dance styles of ballroom dancing. This year, students will perform swing, salsa, tango, and waltz in both couple and team competitions under the direction of six professional dance instructors. In addition to student competitions, the event will feature professional shows and exhibitions.

“We are so proud of all that these students have accomplished, and we are excited to continue the tradition of the Dance Challenge here in the community of Jefferson Parish,” said Marino. “We want to thank all who help make this program possible: the wonderful students, parents, the Jefferson Parish School Board, dance instructors, principals, teachers, and sponsors.”

17149699429_1881fbc1d5_zThe JPPSS school participating include Bissonet Plaza Elementary, Bridgedale Elementary, Butler Elementary, Collins Montessori, Dolhonde Elementary, Gretna No. 2 Academy, Harahan Elementary, Harris Elementary, Hearst Elementary, Kenner Discovery, Marrero Academy, Matas Elementary, Pitre Elementary, Pittman Elementary, Schneckenburger Elementary, Solis Elementary, and Strehle Elementary.