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Martin Marino’s 11th Annual Dance Challenge Takes the Stage April 5

More than 340 fifth grade students from 17 schools across the Jefferson Parish Public School System take to the dance floor April 5 for Martin Marino’s 11th Annual Dance Challenge. This free ballroom dance competition starts at 6 p.m. at the Pontchartrain Center at 4545 Williams Blvd. in Kenner.

“We are so proud of all that these students have accomplished,” said Marino, “and we are excited to continue the tradition of the Dance Challenge here in the community of Jefferson Parish.”

The Dance Challenge is the only public school ballroom dance competition in Louisiana. Students will perform salsa, waltz, tango, and swing. Along with couples and team competitions, the event will feature professional performances and some special acts. These elementary school students have spent months training for the big event with area dance instructors.

“The dance program gives JPPSS students a venue for building self-esteem and confidence, as well as learning teamwork,” said Marino. “For many students, it becomes a life-changing experience.”

The JPPSS schools participating include Bissonet Plaza Elementary, Bridgedale Elementary, Butler Elementary, Dolhonde Elementary, Gretna No. 2 Academy, Harahan Elementary, Harris Elementary, Hart Elementary, Hearst Elementary, Kenner Discovery, Marrero Academy, Matas Elementary, Pitre Elementary, Pittman Elementary, Schneckenburger Elementary, Solis Elementary, and Terrytown Elementary.