I received the following e-mail from Kristine M. She gave me permission to post our discussion. Kristine intern-ed at CHI MAC with the Dance for PD program in the Spring and was so inspired that she embarked on her own journey of the training. That training took her to New York City and the Mark Morris Dance Group's "Dance for PD" training program. Kristine is now a fully-trained "Dance for PD" (Parkinson's Disease) instructor.
Many of my non-technique classes, and especially the Dance for PD classes are designed to start in a circle. The circle is a non-threatening way to engage all participants and allow all participants to feel equal. (There are many theories about circles, but those are two quick theories. I encourage you to find your own and share them!)
My Dance for PD class begins with a gentle version of a yogic sun-salutation and imagery of painting rainbows. Some of my dancers roll their eyes at me, but then get really creative when I ask them to pick colors for their rainbows... I often need to check with the Crayola website to see what some of these colors are!)
Kristine is working with an elementary and pre-elementary population this summer.
"I thought you might enjoy this.
This morning, my kids were very rowdy. I decided to forgo my lesson plans (Fish from the movies!) and try something else.
We took our shoes off, put the chairs in a circle (do you see where this is going?!?!?!), and I put on some Beatles. I taught them a sun salutation. We dipped our hands in paint (and picked colors). We did some feet isolations and 'splashed' water around. We played the name game. We went on a journey around the world (something one of the other workshop participants came up with). We finished with One Tribe (and had a discussion about what the song means).
All day I was thinking that I wanted to share it. Can I add that in the beginning they were not into it. About halfway through the feet isolations one of my boys said "We're dancing?!?!" To which my response was "Of course!"
You can tell from the video that they were into it by the end. (My favorite part of the video is the boy in the green shirt doing the disco in the first "freestyle" as it came to be in our class. He would not participate in the circle at first.)"
Kristine sent me a video of the group dancing, which I am not posting to protect the children. But know that I wish I could share it because it's absolutely beautiful! Thanks, Kristine!
Here's to changing the world through dance...