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Does Dancing Boost Student Achievement?

A Southern California dance program is proving that the arts play a bigger role in learning than we realize.

America's pretty dance obsessed lately. Three popular shows—So You Think You Can Dance, America's Best Dance Crew, and Dancing With the Stars—all get stellar ratings, and Natalie Portman won an Oscar for her portrayal of a troubled ballerina. But is there a connection between learning the art of dancing and better performance in school? The example of Santa Ana, California-based nonprofit, The Wooden Floor suggests that there is. Since 1983, they've been integrating year-round dance training for fourth- through twelfth-graders with academic assistance and family service. Since the program's inception, 93 percent of participants have gone on to college, and for graduates from the past six years, that number has climbed up to 100 percent.

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Brainy and Famous! Celebrities With Graduate Degrees

Sure, Harvard grad Natalie Portman is super smart, but here are 13 other actors, musicians and even a model—all with advanced degrees!

Best Peformance at the Oscars? P.S. 22's Chorus!

The fifth graders from Staten Island closed out the Academy Awards and totally stole the show!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgPGdkZ8ulM

Need a reason to oppose school budget cuts that slash art and music programs? How about last night's Academy Awards performance from Staten Island, New York's P.S. 22 chorus. The inspiring fifth graders closed out the show with a heartwarming rendition of the classic song "Over the Rainbow"—and got a standing ovation from the A-list crowd.

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