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Dancing Classrooms Philly

Dancing Classrooms Philly Welcomes Rasaq Lawal; Andrew Polunin takes on an expanded role

Dancing Classrooms Philly (DCP) is thrilled to welcome Rasaq Lawal as Director of Student Development and Family Engagement. In this newly created role, Rasaq will support DCP and partner organization Musicopia on the student experience, will engage with families and community partners, and will be a staff liaison to the Board of Directors’ Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.

Rasaq is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified group fitness instructor, director, producer, and choreographer, who has performed on leading platforms such as So You Think You Can Dance, Season Six (Celebrity Judge Round). He has also shared the stage with Academy Award Winning group “Three 6 Mafia” and Grammy Award Winner Wizkid. He was a Semi-Finalist in the American College Dance Associate, an inductee of Nu Delta Alpha Dance Honor Society, and Houston RAW Artist Nominee. Rasaq went to Washington and Lee University (B.A. in Economics and Dance Composition). He has always been an agent for Diversity and Inclusion as exemplified by his Princeton Prize on Race Relations.  His passion for dance, youth, and personal development led him to be a Dance and Mindfulness Educator at Mastery Charter School and at the School District of Philadelphia. Rasaq has facilitated community programming for over 10 years with the intention of getting communities to engage in joyous movement and wellness practices.

“I am excited to deepen the connection with our DCP and Musicopia families, as well as help students, maximize their experience while participating in our programming,” said Rasaq. “I am looking forward to meeting more families, hearing how we are making a significant difference for them, and also learning new ways to improve and build upon those experiences.” 

Andrew Polunin, who has served as Coordinator of the DCP Academy since 2017 and has been a DCP Teaching Artist since 2011, was recently promoted to Artistic and Education Manager. In this role, in addition to coordinating the DCP Academy, he will oversee DCP Teaching Artist training, DCP Liaisons, and program quality and consistency. Andrew started ballroom dancing in the Ukraine when he was 11 years old, and competed in International style, Latin, and Standard, for 10 years. He also trained in American style for 5 years. He moved to the United States in 2006 and subsequently earned a tri-state championship title in the International Latin Champion division. Andrew has a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Temple University and taught ballroom dance at an Arthur Murray Dance Studio for nearly five years.

“Dancing Classrooms Philly has been my passion for a long time. I am very excited to expand my responsibilities and get involved even more,” Andrew said. “My goal is to bring that passion into as many classrooms as I can by supporting our wonderful Teaching Artists and assisting in any way I can. I am grateful for this opportunity.”

DANCING CLASSROOMS PHILLY

The Dancing Classrooms Philly (DCP) mission is to foster self-esteem, social awareness, and joy in children by providing the opportunity to learn and perform social dance. DCP envisions transformative arts programs in all school communities, building confidence, nurturing creativity, and promoting a culture of mutual respect and well-being. Since its founding in 2007, DCP has served more than 36,000 students. Through our social dance instruction, we help to improve the climate of school communities across the Philadelphia region by building confidence in students, breaking down social barriers, and inspiring respect for all individuals. In addition to the 5th and 8th-grade students that participate in the DCP Ballroom Dance Residency, students in 3rd through 12th grade can also learn Latin, Salsa, Hip Hop, and K-Pop, in school assemblies or classroom-based residencies.

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