“Irresistible to behold” – The New York Times
Pierre Dulaine, four-time ballroom dancing world champion, is fulfilling a life-long dream when he takes his program, Dancing Classrooms, back to his city of birth, Jaffa. For generations, Jaffa has been a city divided by two communities that continue to grow increasingly apart. Over a ten-week period, Pierre teaches Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children to dance and compete together. The film explores the complex stories of three children, all of whom who are forced to confront issues of identity, segregation, and racial prejudice as they dance with their enemy. We watch Pierre transform their lives, confirming his belief that dance can overcome hatred and provide the first steps towards real change.
Although set in Israel, our film is ultimately about one man’s hopeful endeavor to shift the paradigm and stop the hate.
More than anything, we hope that Dancing in Jaffa can help transcend geographic and cultural boundaries by raising awareness of the challenges involved in dealing with hatred, while also proving that change is always possible, even in the direst of situations.
The film demonstrates the powerful role that the arts, and dance in particular, can play in enabling children to overcome prejudice and build strong personal ties with one another. Through his work, Pierre has demonstrated that the Dancing Classrooms method can be easily and successfully replicated worldwide.
By sharing Dancing In Jaffa with communities, parents, teachers and their students and making them ambassadors to dance and co-existence, we will increase awareness of this successful program and cultivate greater coexistence, equality and respect.
Pierre has created a fun and challenging tool to generate behavioral change. Hate starts at a young age. If we can wipe it out early on by teaching mutual respect and understanding, we can encourage children to find their own ways to bridge chasms through the arts and community service.
Our overall goal is to have Dancing Classrooms in every school, in every city, in every country and bring change worldwide. Our film happens to take place in Jaffa but both the film and the program transcend geographic boundaries and can be utilized worldwide.