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13 Los Angeles Public Schools to Vie for Trophies in 2nd Annual LA BALLROOM Competition

12-08-2008 03:56 PM CET | Leisure, Entertainment, Miscellaneous

Press release from: Squires PR for The Gabriella Axelrad Education Foundation

/ PR Agency: Squires PR
5th Graders at Gabriella Charter School Prepare for LA BALLROOM 2008 Competition

5th Graders at Gabriella Charter School Prepare for LA BALLROOM 2008 Competition

130 Inner-City Kids will Compete in Foxtrot, Rumba, Tango, Merengue and Swing

Los Angeles, CA (December, 2008) –Ballroom dance teams representing 13 Los Angeles inner-city public schools will dance foxtrot, rumba, tango, merengue, foxtrot and swing as they compete for trophies in LA BALLROOM – a kid's ballroom competition to be held at the LAX Marriott on Sunday, December 14, 2008 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. With 130 fifth and sixth-graders performing to a packed audience of 1,000 spectators, the event will culminate the second-annual LA BALLROOM class series taught by the non-profit Gabriella Axelrad Education Foundation and underwritten by the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation and the Carl and Roberta Deutsch Foundation.

The first annual LA BALLROOM competition was so successful; the Gabriella Foundation received additional underwriting enabling it to reach twice as many schools.

Liza Bercovici, Gabriella Foundation's Executive Director shares, "After our first event, one of our funders told me ---'this is the best gang prevention program in Los Angeles' and I know what she meant: we aren't just teaching elementary and middle schoolers how to tango or rhumba in this program. We're teaching children of all sorts of diverse cultures and ethnicities to treat each other with courtesy and respect while at the same time they're learning all sorts of fancy footwork together. Imagine if the Jets and the Sharks had taken ballroom dance classes together. West Side Story would have had a much happier ending."

LA BALLROOM is based on the highly-successful New York City program -- featured in the inspiring 2005 movie “Mad Hot Ballroom” -- in which 11-year-olds from New York City’s public schools journey into the world of ballroom dancing and are transformed from reluctant participants to determined competitors as they learn the merengue, rumba, tango, foxtrot and swing on their way to compete in the final citywide competition.

The ten-week, 20-lesson program covers the basic elements of ballroom dance styles: foxtrot, rumba, tango, merengue and swing. But the dance lessons are life lessons as well, nurturing self-confidence, team spirit, the joy of dancing and even a slight touch of Old World etiquette in an otherwise too-busy-to-be-courteous world. As the principal of one school in the movie says, "Ballroom dancing isn't just about the steps, it's about etiquette... it's about life."

Participating schools for this session of LA BALLROOM are: The Accelerated School, Allesandro Elementary, Berendo Middle School, Luther Burbank Middle School, Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, Gabriella Charter School, John Leichty Middle School, Sutter Middle School, Culture and Language Academy of Success, Logan Street Elementary School, Rockdale Elementary School, Milagro Charter School and Pio Pico Elementary School.

Who/What: 130 fifth and sixth-graders from 13 Los Angeles public schools competing as couples in rumba, tango, merengue, foxtrot and swing

Where: LAX Marriott, 5855 W. Century Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90045

When: Sunday, December 14, 2008, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Contact: Livia Squires, Publicist (310) 993-1702 (mobile)


About Gabriella Axelrad Education Foundation - Gabriella Axelrad Education Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)(3) established in 1999 in memory of Gabriella Axelrad, a thirteen-year-old who loved to dance. Through it's program everybody dance!, the Foundation provides weekly standards-based dance instruction in ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop, creative movement, ballroom and modern dance to over 1,400 underserved inner-city children in Los Angeles. The Foundation also operates Gabriella Charter School, serving 152 children, grades K-5. All students receive one hour of daily dance instruction and dance is integrated into a curriculum which is otherwise closely aligned with State content standards. For more information, visit and

About Squires PR - About Squires PR - Squires Public Relations is a full-service PR firm specializing in getting killer press for great companies and individuals. Based in Los Angeles, we have direct contacts to key decision-makers at every news and entertainment outlet in the nation. Squires PR represents a wide range of clients including entertainment, fine arts, non-profit, legal, family & parenting, and more. Our expertise isn't a specific category of clientele -- it's our ability to "zero in" on what's newsworthy about your business and create press to further your goals. From Good Morning America to the Los Angeles Times to Daily Variety, our "targeted pitching" approach gets you greater media coverage than other agencies, and is consistently praised by reporters and clients alike. For more information, visit

Press Contact:

Livia Squires, Publicist
Squires PR
142 N. Clark Dr.
West Hollywood, CA 90048
(310) 273-4340

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