This fall, Ms. Donna Burgess will lead Folk Dancing for 4 weeks; Ms. Alicia Patrice will take the other 8 weeks and introduce WLR students to fun and engaging Children’s Yoga.
The elementary grades are an ideal time to introduce different styles of dance. At this age, children are eager to explore all the ways their bodies can move and are open to taking risks and following cues. They enjoy moving to music and interacting with their peers on the dance floor. Furthermore, students who have positive experiences with dancing are much more likely to seek out these experiences as they get older. It’s been shown that dance benefits children (and adults!) physically, socially, and emotionally.
Parents are welcome to join the Folk Dancing classes as well — the more, the merrier! Classes are held Monday mornings starting 9/14/15. See the Schedule for more details.
For the remaining 8 weeks of the session, Ms. Patrice will gently guide students into another highly effective form of movement for children: yoga!
Yoga is about exploring and learning in a fun, safe and playful way. Yoga and children are a perfect match. Here is what children (and adults!) can learn from yoga:
- Yoga teaches us about our bodies.
When we practice the physical postures or exercises (called asanas), we learn how to move more freely and with greater ease and awareness. These postures help our bodies become strong and flexible.
- Yoga teaches us how to breathe better.
When we breathe deeply and fully (called pranayama) and become more aware, we can bring peacefulness or energy to our bodies.
- Yoga teaches us how to use our energy more effectively.
When we practice yoga, we learn how to use the life force energy in our bodies (called prana) to feel more relaxed, focused, or motivated.
- Yoga teaches us how to quiet the mind.
When we practice yoga, we learn how to be still. This helps us to listen with attention and make good decisions.
- Yoga teaches us about balance.
When we practice yoga, we learn to be more aware about the need for balance in our lives. This could mean equal stretching on the left and right sides of our bodies or making sure we balance our very busy time with equal quiet time and relaxation.
- Yoga teaches us to be the “boss” of our bodies.
Yoga teaches us to listen to our bodies by modifying or changing poses that are too hard or cause pain.
- Yoga teaches us about taking care of ourselves.
Yoga is a great way to move our bodies and feel healthy. And teaching children how to take care of themselves is one way to show love. As with all forms of exercise, a good yoga practice can mean a good night’s sleep!
Professional organizations that focus on children also support the idea behind yoga. For example, The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and The National Association of the Education for Young Children (NAEYC) recommend that children should participate in activities that support the development of the whole child. This is exactly what yoga is about!
Folk Dancing & Yoga offer positive movement and physical education experiences for children. Register soon: classes start 9/14/15!