Martin Marino’s 12th Annual Dance Challenge Takes Stage April 11

More than 340 fifth grade students from 18 schools across the Jefferson Parish Public School System take to the dance floor April 11 for Martin Marino’s 12th Annual Dance Challenge. This free ballroom dance competition starts at 6 p.m. at the Pontchartrain Center at 4545 Williams Blvd. in Kenner.

“Over the past 12 years, Dance Challenge has worked with a total of 36 elementary schools, over 7,000 participants, and more than 3,000 competitors,” said Marino.

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. For many students, it becomes a life-changing experience.

The JPPSS schools participating include Audubon Elementary, Bissonet Plaza Elementary, Bridgedale Elementary, Butler Elementary, Dolhonde Elementary, Greenlawn Terrace Elementary, Gretna No. 2 Academy, Harahan Elementary, Harris Elementary, Hart Elementary, Hearst Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Kenner Discovery, Matas Elementary, Pittman Elementary, Solis Elementary, St. Pierre/Marrero Academy, and Terrytown Elementary.