The students from Serrania Charter for Enriched Studies Elementary School in Woodland Hills were the winners of the Conga Kids Dance Championship, held recently at the Xbox Plaza at L.A. Live.
The 14-person student team beat out nearly 9,000 fifth-graders from more than 90 schools this school year throughout Los Angeles County.
Estrella Elementary School of South Los Angeles was second, and Gidley School of El Monte finished third.
Conga Kids serves predominately Latino and African American 10 and 11-year-olds in historically disadvantaged areas that often fall behind in arts curriculum and where students’ educational experience is compromised. Many of these students are immigrants or children of immigrants and are categorized as English Language Learners.
Conga Kids teaches emotional and social learning through five partnership dances: Salsa, Merengue, Swing, Tango, and Foxtrot.
“The curriculum and the students’ response have been amazing,” said Brad Gluckstein, founder and board chair of Conga Kids and managing partner of The Conga Room. “They not only learn salsa and merengue, but Conga Kids teaches life skills including leadership, collaboration, and respect through partner dance.”
During the event, Mixed Martial Artist Brian Ortega and the Brian Ortega Foundation donated $8,700 so that two schools can receive scholarships to participate in Conga Kids during the 2019-2020 school year.