Monday, October 24, 2011

Space - never ending and always worthwhile to explore

My daughter is 8 years old.  She is spirited and full of energy.  Her space is boundless which means her space can inadvertently invade my space and the people around her.  She likes to touch, get close, and hug.  As I work with her on understanding her spatial boundaries I think back on the words in dance that I use to teach space.  These are the same words I use to help her keep her spatial boundaries with others.

For example:
  1. Respect other people's personal space.   Don't get more than arms length from someone ( even if it is your best friend.)
  2. Hands to yourself.  When you touch someone, you are putting your body into their space.
  3. Do not push someone out of your way.  There space is just as important as yours.
Funny how I taught her this in dance but yet it needs to be relooked at, relearned and remembered.  This is a perfect example of the way we learn.  We relearn and re-explore as we get older.  We are always learning the information on a deeper level.

Another element I am working with her is energy.  When she walks up to a group a kids she is so excited that her energy does not always match the group.  When I teach dance, I always ask the kids to listen without words. Sense the groups dynamics, energy level and focus.  These are the same things I am reteaching to her now.

And lastly, effort.  Sometimes we need to be strong and other times light, depending on the situation. Whether it be touch (like picking up the dog) or a light or strong way of talking.

The lessons we are taught in dance stay with us, whether we are dancing or not, teaching dance or not.  They are universal.  So the next time you are not teaching a dance class, see if you can utilize your dance knowledge to keep the training going - but in a different environment without dance attire, mirrors of even a structured class.

Have fun explore dance concepts outside the dance studio/classroom with the little ones in your life.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Lion King is King!

My friend emailed me this article last week and I was so excited about what I read that I had to pass it on!  I was moved to read about The Lion King creating a special performance accessible for people with autism.  The arts are for everyone.  With a little understanding and a lot of love and care, the magic can be shared by everyone!  Read and enjoy!

Have fun creating accessible dance and theatre experiences with the children in your life.