Much of the arts subjects schools offer these days are considered secondary, meaning, they are not funded by the government, rather by the school and the parents.
Nine years ago, Larry and Gloria Weinstein pioneered the Best Foot Forward Dance Festival Competition. On June 3, 2017, at the El Camino Charter High School, in Los Angeles County, the ninth annual dance festival competition took place.
After Larry and Gloria watched the movie ‘Mad Hot Ballroom’ the couple decided to create a USA West Coast dance program for 4th and 5th grade public school students. In 2006 their dream came true when they launched the Best Foot Forward Program. What began at six west Fernando Valley schools has now grown to eighteen schools throughout the Valley.
With all of the growing pains, Larry and Gloria have had their heart and soul in Best Foot Forward. Larry passed away over three years ago and is greatly missed.
But the kids who partake in the program will forever make the Weinsteins proud. And Gloria still keeps on making sure that all goes well to the very last detail.
4th and 5th grade students from ten elementary schools participated today in the end of year competition and danced the Marengue, Tango, Foxtrot, Disco, Salsa and Swing. They were a pure delight. It was much fun, rather emotional and very exciting to see these young students perform ballroom dances. It was not ‘Dancing With The Stars’, rather dancing as stars. Some danced so well they have shown a budding talent as future professional dancers.
Each school has a dance instructor who, throughout the year, in after school activity and beyond expectation dedication teaches the young to dance. Along with dance, they learn discipline, communication, social interaction, rhythm, coordination, creativity, and physical exercise. They also learn to have a competitive edge, and all of this while having much fun.
Not everyone won but as the dance instructor teaches his students, “your winning best may not have shown up today, but it is there and it will show up one day, sooner or later.” Meaning, work harder, try harder and you will get to win, you will reach your goal. What a way to teach the young to form a strong and determined character.
As far as it is known, there is no other such program in California or in the United States. If that is the case, it should become a national dance fever. Every state should emulate this program.
It is not easy to keep such a spectacular and precious program going. It certainly can do with greater support and much more financial contribution, as well as volunteers’ work. Put your Best Foot Forward and help.
For the future of our country.