Founded in 2006 by Danceworks Executive Director Deb Farris and Rotarian Mario Costantini, Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap (MHBT) is an educational dance program, providing desperately needed arts and physical education programming to underserved urban youth in low-income, central city schools. The RCM Community Trust has supported MHBT at varying levels since its inception. Most recently, the Trust funded the participation of Brown Street Academy - one of RCM’s two partner schools, - in the MHBT program the last two academic years. In addition, the Done-in-a-Day committee selected the MHBT competition as a Rotary volunteer event – see more information below.
Danceworks MHBT runs February-May. Participating schools select one 4th or 5th grade classroom to participate in tap and one 5th or 6th grade classroom to participate in ballroom. Danceworks instructors provide one-hour dance classes twice per week for each style of dance over the course of 12 weeks—24 total hours of dance per classroom. Culminating performances at each school, as well as an annual Danceworks MHBT Competition held at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in downtown Milwaukee, cap off the program in May.
The 2014 MHBT program served a record 50 Milwaukee public and private schools and nearly 2,600 kids. MHBT aims to provide arts and physical education opportunities for students who otherwise lack access, to encourage respect, and to improve attitudes toward physical activity and an active lifestyle.
Volunteer with Rotary for MHBT
Done-in-a-Day is looking for volunteers to assist with the MHBT competition on Saturday, May 16 from 8:00 am -12:30 pm at the BMO Harris Bradley Center!
The competition features over 2,500 students from 50 private and public urban schools, in 4th-6th grades, demonstrating what they have learned after 12 weeks of professional dance instruction through Danceworks.
Volunteers can choose to sit, stand, or be on the move. Duties will be coordinated by DIAD committee member Amy Jensen prior to the event. This guarantees to be an exciting, colorful, and fun-filled afternoon. Register online
The competition is free and open to the public, so even if you can’t volunteer, all Rotarians are encouraged to attend!
Mad Hot Celebration
Each year Mario and Cathy Costantini host a fundraising event on the elegant factory floor of the La Lune Collection to celebrate the winners of the MHBT competition. Rotarians who have attended previous events report that it is a “can’t be missed” early summer party! The 2015 Danceworks Mad Hot Celebration will take place on Thursday, June 11th, 7-10pm – admission will be $75 per person.