In January, I took over the gym classes at Sacred Heart Elementary in Waseca to teach my Raise The Barre workshop! I also had the honor of reading to my princess Ellie's kindergarten class.
Taking over every gym class for the day seemed like a big task, but it was so fun! I was happy to be able to give so many students their first dance class. Dance is such a great art form that can teach students so many wonderful skills they can use in school and later in life; however, many families don't have the means to be able to enroll their student in dance.
A study done by Stanford University states, " Dancing integrates several brain functions at once - kinesthetic, rational, musical, and emotional - further increasing your neural connectivity."
Once I finish a dance warm-up and show
the students across the floor dance moves, we begin to challenge our minds with an improvisation activity.
For our activity, I asked the students, "When you look in a mirror, what do you see?" They all responded, "Yourself!" "Your reflection!"
I explained how to do a dance improvisation technique called. "Mirroring."
The students paired up and began to move very slowly so their partner could mirror their dance moves. I always tell the
younger students to pretend we're moving in your favorite flavor of jello, and
we have to move very slowly.
Then I challenged them further by standing back to back with one student who is posing. The class had to use their observation skills and dance terms to tell the other partner how to mirror the pose without peeking. As we changed partners, we had a competition to see how fast we could explain the pose and mirror each other.
Reading to the Kindergarten Class
Later that day, I had the honor of reading to the Kindergarten class. They chose for me to read a book about a pig who pretends to be a frog, and confuses his friend the elephant.
The children giggled along with me as we read together and enjoyed the illustrations. At the end of the story, the elephant joins in by pretending to be a cow. Afterwards, I asked the students what their favorite animals were and they had so many! Of course they asked me what my favorite animal was (a cheetah), and they had so many more wonderful questions for me. I loved telling them all about my platform, Raise The Barre, and discussing the dance they learned earlier in gym class with me.
A Thank You That Melted My Heart
Shortly after my day spent with the students of Sacred Heart, I received this heartwarming letter and thank you card in the mail. This is why I teach dance and chose Raise The Barre as my platform. Hearing back from the students I teach means so much to me, because I know how much they enjoyed my dance workshop. I truly feel that each student I am able to reach through Raise The Barre, I am able to inspire them and touch their life in such a positive way. They are all inspiring me in so many ways!