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Teens take ballroom dance challenge at Mckinley JHS

Take your partners for the waltz, tango and fox trot, please.

Thirty-six nimble-toed students put on the glitz, fine-tuned their finesse and transformed their auditorium into a local Roseland for a ballroom dance challenge at William McKinley Junior High School.

Smooth steppers from the seventh and eighth grads engaged rapt visitors with their suave moves at the Bay Ridge school, 73rd Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway.

The challenge was judged by a group from New York USA Dance, which represents Amateur Ballroom Dancers (ABD), and featured a performance by national amateur ballroom dancing finalists Damien Kulec and Joanna Malczak, a McKInley graduate.

The winners were: Nick Santana and Maria Perea, who tied in first place for the rhumba with Andrew Sim & Lucy Mansour, and with Shawn Zamy and Kimberly Fragosa for the salsa.

Andrew and Lucy clinched the tango, and Shawn and Kimberly won the swing segment.

Ballroom dancing creates a comfortable structure for students and gives them guidelines on social interaction and respect for one another, said Patricia Applegate, who has been teaching dance at the school for eight years.

“It’s a satisfying and pleasant feeling to move with another person,” added Applegate, herself a ballroom dancer, who competes in dance competitions.

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