While my teaching efforts started long before ‘Breathe & Move’ was born, there was a specific moment in time that unearthed these ideas.
I secured grant funding to incorporate movement and mindfulness in second grade PE classes at Woodvale Elementary. There was a teacher there who witnessed my work and believed in my message. She wanted to support students there, who found themselves less resilient and calm than a generation prior. There was a shift here in their capacity to self regulate and we initiated a mission to help. I met six sections of second graders to help them explore ideas of regulation, expression, community, balance and more. We were documenting success and traction before the halt of our efforts in March of 2020..
With the support of a school counselor at Evangeline Elementary, we gathered a group of troubled fourth grade boys for a breakout group to explore their struggles with movement. We were learning to express frustration and anxiety through gestures and open communication. We practiced meditation, creative movement, and yoga to support them. We journaled weekly after each session and were consistently surprised at the drastic shifts in their ability to self regulate. Our last meeting on March 13, 2020, was the last day of school before the world shut down after only six weeks of the project..
After what felt like heartbreak, I had no idea how to move this body of work forward. Becoming a mom, losing my income, and a global shift left this business effort on life support. I had no idea how to move forward.
I opened an after school iteration of these ideas. It was marketed as an extra curricular and I created summer camps and later evening classes that echoed the model of dance studios I had taught in for so much of my career.
After only seven months, I closed the physical space. The work felt misaligned here. I didn’t believe my message belonged as a recreational activity. I felt and knew, it deserved space in schools and to students from all economic backgrounds. I needed the freedom to move the work, where the work was called.
We secured an ongoing relationship with a private school to teach a weekly session of the mindfulness, movement, and Montessori ideas I had amassed. This continues to this day.
I develop and teach a professional development workshop for educators on integrating movement in their own classrooms. The feedback was incredible and this now has ongoing interest.
I develop Teaching Artist sessions such as “Moving through Testing Anxiety” & “Ocean & Emotional Regulation”.
The work continues..