Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A New Year for New Adventures (How About a Space Adventure?)

Hi. I am very excited to share a post entitled 10 Questions with Stacey Pepper Schwartz on www.4dancers.org.  I was honored to be interviewed and wanted to share this article with you.  While you are there check out this site, it is full of wonderful resources and information.

In other news, I am looking forward to a New Year and sharing many movement adventures with you. Here is a little adventure you can take with the children in your life and see if you can reach the stars.

Space Adventure: Become space explorers! 
  1. First before you explore outer space, explore the space all around you.  Stay in your spot and reach your arms as far as you can.  Reach and stretch one leg and then the other.  How about an elbow or a knee?  Can you reach high, middle, low, underneath yourself??
  2. Next see how high you can jump.  How high can you reach.  Try to stay up as long as you can.  What is pulling you back down?? GRAVITY! (the force that pulls us to the earth)
  3. Next, put on your space suits (pull on your pants, pull on the arms, zip up the suit from low to high and make sure you twist the helmet on.
  4. Crouch down low and count down - 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 blast off!  Travel through the space exploring all the various places in the room until you land on planet NO-GRAVITY!
  5. Now explore the first step of this adventure again, this time without gravity. You will have floating arms and legs, elbows and knees.
  6. Now, explore traveling through the space, slowly floating since there is no force to push against.
  7. When you and your explorers are ready crouch down and blast back to earth!
Enjoy your adventure.  You are working on the concepts of space, time and force. Have an out of this world New Years!

Keep moving up down and all around together!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Give the Gift of Movement, No Batteries Required!

As a movement educator, I teach parents and teachers how to incorporate movement and dance into everyday activities.  Not just for overall health, which is crucial, but for other essential learning concepts and life skills like spatial awareness, body awareness, creativity and gross motor skills.

So here is a challenge I present to you. Everyday give the gift of movement to the children in your life as well as to yourself. Integrate movement ideas into the lives of you and your children. Sounds hard? It’s not and I will give you the tools you need.

Movement is broken down into four basic elements: body, space, time and energy. Today let's focus on the body. It is important to understand how your body moves. You may be thinking that you already know how your body moves but do this simple 1 minute challenge with the children in your life and see how you do!

Answer these 5 simple questions:
  1. How many body parts can rotate or circle? What are they?
  2. How many can bend? What are they? How many can bend in more than one direction?
  3. How many can swing? What are they?
  4. How many can stretch? What are they?
  5. How many can do more than one of these suggestions. What ones can do the most? What body parts can do the least?
By completing these questions together with your children, you are discovering your bodies range of motion, enhancing flexibility and muscle control.

See how many people you can get going on this one minute challenge! Moving can be great fun, especially when you are discovering new things together. 

Keep moving up down and all around,


A Letter From Leaping Legs

Welcome to my blog! I call this blog “Letters From Leaping Legs” because my company Leaping Legs has its own website but I do not get a chance to write directly to parents and teachers about the infinite possibilities movement can play in the lives of children, adults, families, schools and communities and so this blog was born.

To give you a little background information about myself, I started this journey as a dancer and choreographer. I had a career ending injury, so I thought, and did not know what to do with the rest of my life. As I delved more into what dance really meant to me, I continued my education and received a Master of Arts from Teachers College, Columbia University in dance education. And as my body healed I realized that dance was so much more than just performing. That movement was so much more then grooving with the music, even though this is loads of fun. Movement is a vehicle to experience the world.

I hope this blog will help inspire, encourage and give you ideas on how to create enriching kinesthetic learning experiences for the children in your lives as well as yourself.

Thanks for opening my letter and I hope you enjoy the letters to come. Keep moving up down and all around together!