Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom Competition Comes to the BMO Harris Bradley Center on May 20th

Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom Competition Comes to the BMO Harris Bradley Center on May 20th


MILWAUKEE – Swing, Tango and Salsa dancing will fill the bowl of the BMO Harris Bradley Center on May 20, 2017 as part of the Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom Competition.  Nearly 1,500 fifth and sixth grade students from 45 Milwaukee area schools will showcase the ballroom dance skills they learned while participating in the Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap program (Mad Hot). This fun-filled and family friendly event kicks off at 1:30 p.m., with finals beginning at 4:00 p.m. The Mad Hot Ballroom Competition is free and open to the public, and guests are welcome to come and go during the competition as they please.


Modeled after the successful New York City schools program featured in the hit documentary Mad Hot Ballroom, Danceworks Mad Hot engages students in the classroom by incorporating arts education into the school day that wouldn’t otherwise be available. Mad Hot promotes students’ social and emotional development, while increasing their physical activity, as well as their respect for self and others. Students receive 22 hours of instruction from professional teaching artists over 11 weeks. The majority of schools are located in low-income neighborhoods of the city (See list below).


“Danceworks Mad Hot gets our city’s youth stepping in the right direction—helping them become more socially and emotionally confident and more physically active during the school day,” said Danceworks Executive Director Deborah Farris. “Teachers tell us that Mad Hot provides students with a venue for success, builds their self-esteem and creates teamwork within the classroom.”


This is the first year that Danceworks Mad Hot has held separate competitions for both its tap and ballroom dance programs. A tap dance competition was held earlier this year. Offering separate competitions is a result of expanding the eleven-year-old program from half- to full-year.


Danceworks hopes that expanding the Mad Hot program, which has served nearly 23,000 students to date, will have a lasting positive effect on Milwaukee and beyond. “Ultimately,” Farris said, “we believe that Mad Hot helps students grow into healthy, confident individuals who have a positive impact on our community.”


Danceworks Mad Hot Spring 2017 Participating Schools

Academia de Bellas Artes y Lenguajes (ALBA)

Auer Avenue Community School

Benjamin Franklin Elementary

Brown Street Academy

Byron Kilbourn Elementary

Carter’s Christian

Cass Street School

Clara Barton Elementary

Clarke Street

Clement Avenue School

Cross Trainers Academy

Curtin Leadership


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School

Eighty First Street School

Escuela Fratney

Escuela Vieau

Fifty-Third Street School

Forest Home Avenue Elementary

Franklin Pierce Elementary

Golda Meir


Hampton Avenue

Hartford University

​J.W. Riley School

Keefe Avenue

Kluge Elementary School

Knapp Elementary


Lowell Elementary

MacDowell Montessori

Madison Elementary

Mary McLeod Bethune Academy

Maryland Avenue Montessori

Milwaukee College Prep 36th

Milwaukee College Prep 38th

Milwaukee Environmental Sciences

Milwaukee Excellence Charter School

Milwaukee French Immersion

Milwaukee Parkside


Notre Dame

Roosevelt Elementary

Siefert Elementary

Story Elementary


Wisconsin Conservatory of Lifelong Learning



Danceworks, Inc, enhances the joy, health and creativity of our community through performances, classes and outreach activities integrating dance and other art forms. Danceworks is a member of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF). For more information about Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap Program, visit the Danceworks website at


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Join us for the Danceworks Mad Hot Ballroom Dance Competition, where students from 45 Milwaukee area schools come together to compete in Salsa, Tango, and Swing—Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 1:30pm at the BMO Harris Bradley Center! Free and open to the public!

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