Always Be Dancing Adaptive Movement:

Yoga, Dance and Mindfulness for Every(body).

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Yogini Flamencini! ¡Olé Namaste!

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Today’s yoga class explored the wonderful art of flamenco!  I am a flamenco dancer. I teach children and adults (of all abilities) to dance flamenco. I created a flamenco performance/workshop for schools (PreK-High school), colleges, senior living facilities and many other community events such as Farmer’s Markets and festivals. This performance is called ¡Olé Flamenco! and it explores the gypsies, the art of flamenco, and diversity. Dance is a form of communication that can be shared by everyone, whether you know the exact steps or not. Dance helps people come together, share the joy of movement, build confidence and coordinaton and feel happy! If you would like to experience the art of flamenco, you can hire my guitar player and I to come to your party or event  and we entertain you all! 09ba3c7e2440eda34c2f330329622c9a_400x400

Class began by my playing my castañuelas or castanets. I create beautiful, rhythmic music with my hands. Then I danced and played my castanets to a Sevillana, which is a folk dance from Spain that the gypsies flamencoized. I had everyone clapping their hands and shouting ¡Olé! while I danced!

 

 

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We read a wonderful folktale from Spain called The Beautiful Butterfly. Ask your little yogini about it! They all loved it! It is a wonderful story of compassion, friendship and has a good funny catch at the end. With each page, we did yoga poses that flowed along with the story. The kids loved listening and were all so attentive and focused and I let them decide what poses we would do, choosing from the lines of the story.

 

We then did one of our favorite partner dances “Happy Jio” which is actually a moving meditation but to them it is just fun, fun fun!

I gave each child a flamenco fan, turned on a fiery flamenco song, and we all waved our fans like butterfly wings, stomped our feet and danced! danced! danced!

¡Olé con olé!

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Book Review: Striker, Slow Down! a calming book for children who are always on the go by Emma Hughes

This book is A+ adorable! The verses are, on a whole, well metered and really help to put you in the shoes of a very hyper, run around and bump into things, kind of kid (er…kitten). Striker i…

Source: Book Review: Striker, Slow Down! a calming book for children who are always on the go by Emma Hughes


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Book Review: A Girl Like Tilly: Growing up with Autism by Helen Bates

We now know that Autism expresses differently in boys than in girls and this has busted open wide the focus and attention on this field. I love having this self-affirming book for children of such …

Source: Book Review: A Girl Like Tilly: Growing up with Autism by Helen Bates

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Book Review: A Girl Like Tilly: Growing up with Autism by Helen Bates

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We now know that Autism expresses differently in boys than in girls and this has busted open wide the focus and attention on this field. I love having this self-affirming book for children of such a young age. It is an eye-opening experience, walking in someone’s life, with their shoes on. I love how Tilly’s story unfolds naturally, following along the blue squiggle that is every present throughout the book.12 Following this doodle, we swirl in and out of Tilly’s life, through moments with her family, through her social interactions with children and adults and into her own feelings, thoughts and actions. This is a wonderful, relatable book that gives a voice to girl’s with autism. It is a thoughtful and expressive story that educates us about autism and encourages everyone to look past the diagnosis and to see the person for who they really are. The accompanying illustrations by Ellen Li are charming and highlight the story perfectly. I highly recommend this book for every classroom, library and home.

The back of the book is chock full of further reading suggestions and resources. Also, Tilly has her own Face Book page! #autism #helenbates #jkpbooks #ellenli

Full Disclosure: The publisher sent me a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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Book Review: Striker, Slow Down! a calming book for children who are always on the go by Emma Hughes

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This book is A+ adorable! The verses are, on a whole, well metered and really help to put you in the shoes of a very hyper, run around and bump into things, kind of kid (er…kitten). Striker is just go, go go; he is full of spunk and curiosity. After a bit of a tumble, he has to slow down and in that moment his mom jumps in and helps him center himself, bring his focus inwards, and from their the lesson about mindfulness is ingrained in him. This book is a great resource for any adult working with very young children on bolstering their social emotional learning and can be added to yoga classes and at home and classroom learning. The message is simple, but clear, and will encourage self-control, inner peace and a more positive outlook. Striker has a great sense of self . The book takes a fun and light-hearted approach to helping kids take control of themselves and to learn to slow down and smell the roses. The adorable illustrations by John Smisson just “POP” and add spot-on visual fun to Ms. Hughes story. #jkpbooks #emmahughes #mindfulness #johnsmisson

Full Disclosure: The publisher sent me a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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Book Review: Mystery of the Disappearing Dolphin (A Pack-n-Go Girls Adventure) by Janelle Diller

Book review: Mystery of the Disappearing Dolphin (A Pack-n-Go Girls Adventure) by Janelle Diller; Illustrations by Adam Turner @worldtrekpublishing 

This is a special book review for The Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27, 2017, whose mission it is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.

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This was my first encounter with a Pack-n-Go Girls Adventure and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience! The author, Janelle Diller, has a very pleasant and captivating writing style and I love the unique words she uses that lend poetry to the book. The words flow easily and the tale is spiced up with clear explanations that make the book very accessible and exciting. Ms. Diller uses her story to share the culture and traditions of Mexico, interspersed with Spanish phrases and words, and to paint a very clear picture of what is takes to make new friends, to trust others and oneself, to be brave and to be honest. Her characters are multidimensional and they are bright, sensitive and true-to-life. The accompanying black and white illustrations by Adam Turner lend visual support to the story and I especially loved the boat diagram at the beginning of the book and the sweet characters he created.

This book is smart, well written and fun to read and I would recommend it to all children. It is a fun, thrilling adventure with great, strong female characters. Izzy is a modern day Harriet The Spy!

Check out the trailer for the book on YouTube!

I have also included some cute dolphin coloring pages!

Included in the book are some great tips for traveling to Mexico, a delicious Enchilada recipe, a Spanish phrase and word section and also some great travel organization ideas! The recipe definitely got me hankering for Elote’s , one of my favorite Mexican treats! ¡Olé!

Elote or corn on the cob is a popular street food in Mexico, although it is frequently served at home prepared in the same way (boiled or grilled in husk). It is customarily consumed on a stick, or by grasping the husk of the cob that has been pulled down to form a “handle”.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
  • 1/2 cup finely crumbled cotija or feta cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho or guajillo chili powder, plus more for serving
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 4 ears shucked corn
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

DIRECTIONS

  1. Set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.
  2. While coals heat, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro in a large bowl. Stir until creamy and set aside.
  3. When grill is hot, place corn directly over hot side of grill and cook, rotating occasionally, until cooked through and charred in spots on all sides, about 8 minutes total.
  4. Transfer corn to bowl with cheese mixture and use a large spoon to evenly coat corn on all sides with mixture. Sprinkle with extra cheese and chili powder and serve immediately with lime wedges.

Full disclosure: The author sent me a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Ms. Diller has also created learning activities to make it easier for teachers, homeschoolers, & parents to enrich their teaching. Here’s a link to a sample of the activities: https://app.box.com/s/atte1k8cfyp8hkucu8wlzyauyaaudsxx For the full set of learning activities, people can find them on TeachersPayTeachers: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Pack-n-go-Girls

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen fromPragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators.

Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team is on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include ScholasticBarefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. RomanAudrey Press, Candlewick PressFathers Incorporated, KidLitTVCapstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle SwiftWisdom Tales PressLee& Low BooksThe Pack-n-Go GirlsLive Oak MediaAuthor Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

Author Sponsor include: Karen Leggett AbourayaVeronica AppletonSusan Bernardo, Kathleen BurkinshawDelores Connors, Maria DismondyD.G. DriverGeoff Griffin Savannah HendricksStephen HodgesCarmen Bernier-Grand,Vahid ImaniGwen Jackson,  Hena, Kahn, David Kelly, Mariana LlanosNatasha Moulton-LevyTeddy O’MalleyStacy McAnulty,  Cerece MurphyMiranda PaulAnnette PimentelGreg RansomSandra Richards, Elsa TakaokaGraciela Tiscareño-Sato,  Sarah Stevenson, Monica Mathis-Stowe SmartChoiceNation, Andrea Y. Wang

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.

MCBD Links to remember:

MCBD site: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/

Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta

Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teachers-classroom-kindness-kit/

Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents: http://bit.ly/1sZ5s8i


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Book Review: Sitting On A Chicken by Michael Chissick

I was so excited to receive my copy of Sitting On A Chicken, The Best Ever Yoga Games To Teach In Schools by Michael Chissick. I discovered Mr. Chissick awhile back when I reviewed Seahorse’s…

Source: Book Review: Sitting On A Chicken by Michael Chissick