Pierre "Mr. Pierre" Dulaine is the founder of Dancing Classrooms, a New York City based program that brings ballroom dance to classrooms. The purpose is to allow students who are typically introverted and reserved to step out and shine. It also builds social skills and builds self confidence.
"We're all on our Blackberries and Facebook and computers. And this is one of the few things in life where you share, where you're touching another person. We teach them to touch with respect," said Dulaine.
The Dancing Classrooms program was launched in 1994 and profiled in the documentary "Mad Hot Ballroom." The film followed several classes of inner city youth through their lessons all the way to the city-wide competition.
Dulaine's visit to Highland Park was sponsored by Carpe Dance, a local group which supports social dance as a way to empower children and build self-esteem. Highland Park Elementary will be granted 10 weeks of ballroom dance lessons next spring.