Uh, Can I Have This Dance?

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Note: This story contains explicit language.

When a Jewish kid of 12 or 13 becomes bar or bat mitzvahed, they take their first step into adulthood. Following the actual ceremony, there's often a large party for family and friends of the newly minted young adult, and at the the center of these parties is dancing. Slow dancing, fast dancing. It might be the first time a kid ever dances or even touches a member of the opposite sex.

That's where Joe Cornell Entertainment comes in. Since 1957, the metro-Detroit company has been offering a 12-week dance class to sixth graders who are about to find themselves neck deep in bar mitzvah invitations. Producer Zak Rosen attended Joe Cornell as a 12 year-old. He and his friends have lots of memories from those innocent days. Now Rosen has found two young men who are just embarking on that memorable, often awkward journey.

Produced by Zak Rosen, a public radio and multimedia producer.

Dylan (3rd from R) and Ryan (2nd from R) with their friends at Joe Cornell (2014)
Courtesy of Joe Cornell Entertainment

David Gluckman (L) and producer Zak Rosen, ready for dance class in 1995
Courtesy of Zak Rosen

David Gluckman and Zak Rosen today
Courtesy of Zak Rosen

Here's a video of Dylan and Ryan showing off some moves they learned.



Bob Carlson


Bob Carlson, Nick White