Ethnic Dance Connection (EDC2)
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Paul brings his expertise and enthusiasm for folk dancing to us for a one week workshop each spring, just prior to our 8th grade International Festival. He Instructs six classes ( approximately 25 students per class) in a variety of dances from Africa to Europe and the South Pacific, As a social studies teacher, I appreciate that Paul not only teaches the dances, but also a little of the history and geography behind them.

By the end of the week, the students are ready to flawlessly perform several dances for about 500 visitors.

Paul has the ability to motivate even the most difficult students. have seen students who miss several days of school a week never miss a day the week he is with us.

He is embraced so warmly that we have added an "alumni" dance to our evening performances. High school students want to relive the experience they had when they were in middle school.

Paul has a gift and we were fortunate enough to stumble upon it. I highly recommend the quality services he provides through ethnic Dance Chicago.

Jan Hess – Teacher – Spring Hill Middle School

I am correspondence secretary for the Wisconsin Dells Art Association which has sponsored Paul Collins as a consultant/instructor for the Wisconsin Dells Middle School’s spring International Festival ever since ethnic dance was incorporated as part of the 8th grade curriculum for the Festival.

As a school board member and former teacher, I must say that the dance performances were always a highlight of the evening’s festivities.  Paul not only imbued in the students a love of the dance they were performing, but their energetic and skillful performances demonstrated the time and intensity Paul applied in teaching his young charges the intricate steps.  He truly knows how to motivate young people, and I am happy to recommend him to you as a teacher of ethnic dance.

Gisela R. Hamm – Wisconsin Dells Art Association

I am a fourth grade teacher at Chaney Monge School in Crest Hill, Illinois, where I have worked since 1986.  For the last four years, I have had the opportunity to work with Paul Collins as a dance teacher.  I have come to appreciate Paul, not only as a knowledgeable and talented teacher, but as a dear friend as well.

In the spring of 2007, our School Board gave the go ahead to bring Paul in to assist with our biennial Multi-Cultural Fair. The seventh and eighth grade students in our K-8 building have a fair to display the results of their research every two years.  This popular event brings exposure to customs, dress, food, and culture not generally experienced by the children in our closely knit working class community.  When Paul came, he worked with all the students in our junior high, including sixth graders, for one week.  Students in each homeroom practiced for about 40 minutes per day.  The students had had no exposure to this type of dance before.

The resulting assembly, held on a Friday afternoon, was both amazing and moving.  The level of expertise gained by the students in just a few days was astounding.  But even more stirring was the level of engagement and genuine appreciation of the students watching.  The feeling of energy in that gym at the end, when Paul invited anyone who wished to join the students on the floor, was something that I , and many other participants, will never forget.

In an effort to hold on to that powerful spirit, I was able to introduce a Dance Club to our school this year.  When I gave out permission slips to students in grades 3-8, I expected a response of 20-30 students out of a school population of about 470 students (including K-2).  To my surprise, nearly 60 students not only started but came faithfully to after-school weekly practice!  We performed a 40-minute program for 2 local retirement homes, and are expanding to 2 groups per week in the spring.

Many parents, teachers, and board members have continued to express appreciation and praise for Paul, and for the wonderful seed he has planted in our school community.  Paul is a gifted and dedicated teacher, who has an important contribution to offer our school children.

Carol Borysowicz – Teacher – Chaney Monge School

I just wanted to thank you, once again, for such a wonderful experience these past few days.  I have heard so many fabulous comments regarding the dancing that you could not even imagine.  Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, and definitely the students have said how exciting the dances were. 

Former students kept coming up to me saying, "Hey, how come we never got to dance?"  They all loved it.  The energy in our gym on Friday and Saturday was phenomenal!!!  Everyone had such a good time.  Thank you so much for sharing your expertise and patience with us.  We really appreciated everything, and we all had such fun.  Hope to see you again soon. 

I went on your site right away and looked at your videos.  How awesome.  Our kids still buzz about their experience.

With happy feet,
Wendy Mammoser – Teacher – Chaney Monge School

Dear Paul,

I can't really find the words to describe the contribution that you, Paul Collins of Ethnic Dance Chicago, made to our 2007 multi-cultural fair.  The dances that you helped our students to master provided the heartbeat to an already awesome event.

Every other year our junior high students have spent the spring months thoroughly researching a chosen country.  Each time, the fair becomes better organized and a bigger success.  This year far outshone the others.  It was because of the music and dance.

The two weeks of instruction from Paul Collins of Ethnic Dance Chicago addressed some needed attention to Illinois State Standards in dance.  But even more exciting to me, was that the more gifted dancers were not the academic stars.  It gave them a chance to excel and lead others.  And boy did they!  I observed students dancing their way to classes.

Thank you again, Paul.  We definitely plan to have you back soon to share your gifts with more of our students.

Cathy Davis – Principal – Chaney Monge School