By: Julie Mayo
During the spring months, I taught a Yoga and Creative Movement class for teens at the Island Park Library. It’s an integrated class for special needs and typically developing students and we’ve been having a ball. We enjoyed coming into our early evenings with a calming practice focusing on syncing our breath with our movements through yoga and then moving into either learning short dance phrases or, more often, exploring the students’ own choreography through various games. One such movement game is a short dance that is created through a half chance and half constructed method. Students start by picking six pieces of paper out of a hat that each have specific movements such as “stomp your feet,” “fly around the room,” or “create a secret handshake with a partner” written on them. Then the students have to interpret how they will do each of these things. Working in pairs, students share their movements, their ideas and exploring the how of each thing and the order they would like to put them in. The dances are put to music after the dance has already been made, so as to include another “chance” element in the process. Then students share the final dance they’ve made and we all show our appreciation with uninhibited applause!