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Martin Marino’s 13th Annual Dance Challenge Takes Stage April 10

More than 340 fifth grade students from 17 schools across Jefferson Parish Schools take to the dance floor April 10 for Martin Marino’s 13th 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 13 years, Dance Challenge has worked with a total of 36 elementary schools, over 7,500 participants, and more than 3,400 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 JP Schools students a venue for building self-esteem and confidence, as well as learning teamwork. For many students, it becomes a life-changing experience.

The JP 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, Hearst Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Kenner Discovery, Matas Elementary, Pittman Elementary, Solis Elementary, St. Pierre Academy, and Terrytown Elementary.