'Conga Kids' helps LA fifth-graders salsa their way to fitness and fun

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The "Conga Kids" dance program runs across seven school districts and teaches fifth-graders not only how to dance, but improve their English, math and social skills. (KABC)

At Dr. Owen Knox Elementary in Los Angeles, salsa is in full swing with the "Conga Kids" program.

"You learn a lot of new dances and you get a lot of exercise," said fifth-grader Yoselin Madrigal. "You get to meet new people."

Meeting others in a positive way is the reason Principal Keisha Moton was excited to bring the program into her school.

"Such character building in all of our students participating and the health aspect," Moton said. "And you can do a lot of fun things with health other than run or play basketball."

There's also math, English and a social skills component perfect for the fifth-graders.

"On the one hand they're a little skittish and a little shy, but on the other hand they're willing to embrace all the dances and all the things that come form the dancing," said Brad Gluckstein, CEO of "Conga Kids."

More than 6,000 kids are involved with "Conga Kids," crossing seven school districts from Beverly Hills to Pomona.

It's a ten week program, with 20 classes, then a competition.

Gluckstein, who learned to salsa in his 20's and later co-founded the Conga Room, said he sees this type of dance as a win-win for kids.

"It has teamwork, leadership and respect that comes with dancing from another partner," Gluckstein said.

If you want to see for yourself, head down to the Spring finals on May 23 at The Conga Room at LA LIVE.
Related Topics:
healthraising healthy kidsdanceeducationschoolfun stuffcommunitynonprofitfood coachCircle of HealthLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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