In this post, I talk about my thoughts on the best ages to start dance and how you can measure your growth despite current trends. These ideas spring from my experience as a student and educator of dance over the past 7 years.
In the private studio dance instructor field, I’ve noticed that the biggest market out there right now is for very young children, ages 3-5 years old. Everyone wants to get their children into dance as young as possible, some even at age 2. And there is no denying the coordination, attention, and bodily awareness benefits that a child will be able to gain at that age from learning dance! However, it makes me wonder. What about all of the older children who have yet to experience instruction in dance?
At every private studio I have worked at, as the ages increase, the class size decreases. It makes sense that not all of those children who started dance at a young age will want to continue with dance for one reason or another, and many will have family circumstances change preventing them from continuing formal training in dance. But where are…
What are the fundamental roles of human beings in the larger picture? Are we the “custodians of the planet”? In terms of being the most “intelligent” and “evolved” species on the planet as many claim we are, does that mean we are owed the privilege of taking advantage of “lesser” animals in whatever way suits our cause? Or do we also have responsibilites to protect and defend the innocent lives of those helpless to defend themselves against us?
It can be difficult when developing ideals that are different from the ones you love. Especially when it comes to issues of oppression. Open communication is necessary in order to fully develop one’s own ideas about how the world should be, as well as to help others understand where you come from and why you hope they will change their actions for the better. This video recounts a lively conversation I had with someone close to me about going Vegan. Making this video helped me to recall important points made so that I can carry them with me in the future, I hope it might also help anyone who comes across this video to develop their ideas on the issue further.
The sister is working nights at the moment and was sleeping through the day today, so the boyfriend subbed in for the daily sisterhood fun. I took him to the park and taught him how to do a headstand. It was surprisingly successful! Here are some step-by-step instructions on how to do it yourself!
Prepare by placing your head in interlaced fingers. Your hands should be prepared to support the back of your head while most of the actual weight will be on your fore-arms once you are in your headstand.
Straighten your spine as much as possible, for some, straightening your spine completely and then slowly raising the legs using the strength of your abdomen is better for balance. This worked better for Sean and is shown in his photos at the bottom of the page. Others can straighten their spine at an angle from the neck and then kick up into a straight spine which is what I tend to do.
Kick or raise the legs by synching the abdomen inward and balancing the weight onto your elbows.
Some pictures of the student’s attempts and eventual success:
Ps. When you inevitably fall over in your first attempts, don’t forget to tuck in your head and roll!
Growing up, I wasn’t taught to worship a particular god. I didn’t attend church, and my parents didn’t tell my what I “was” in terms of my religion. My mom identified as Christian, and my Dad (An Englishman and devout atheist) identified as “church of England.” On my own terms, I went through phases of reading bible stories and speaking about the all-encompassing power of God, believing in reincarnation, exploring buddhism, and mistrusting religion altogether. Everyone’s journey with regard to religion is different. Some grow up growing to church every Sunday only to declare their Atheism in adulthood, some find god later in life, some grow up with religion and though not particularly devout, are grateful for the community and morals they were taught through religion.
Here I’ve put together some pros and cons of my experience with being brought up without religion. I’m interested to know what you think in the attached poll, was your experience similar? Is it better to grow up without being taught to believe in a particular religion, or are those who don’t grow up with a god missing out on something important?
I was never afraid of Hell.
I got excited about the bible stories on my own, and interpreted their value for myself rather than having a pre-conceived notion that these stories represented God’s will
When I learned that in many interpretations of various religions God sends people to Hell for loving people of the same sex, I was able to conclude that God was the one in the wrong, rather than developing harmful and prejudiced views about other people
Alongside my explorations about the idea of reincarnation, I developed an immense empathy for all animals
By exploring buddhism I gained understanding of the importance of letting go of unhealthy feelings of need and want, and accepting the way life unfolds more readily
I developed my own ideas on sex, marriage, and love
I developed a moral code based on genuine empathy and a desire to imbue my life with value, untainted by ideas of reward and punishment that go along with religion
As a child, I was terrified of the possibility of a dark nothingness that would swallow me up after death
I am a spiritual person and do not like being identified by others as an Atheist, but that is what many will insist I am
When I was faced with challenging times in later childhood I had no one to pray to, and often felt alone
I come from a small family, and when my family was splitting apart my support system shrunk even further, I sometimes think a church community of some sorts may have helped my family during those times
As I get older I sometimes regret that I am so afraid of labels and choosing Identities, because I notice that when I do commit to something as part of my Identity, that Identity gives me direction and purpose