Dear Students & Families: past, present and future,
Welcome to my preliminary teaching and performing schedule for 2016-2017. All programs are inclusive and are adaptable.
This year, as lead youth/teen yoga and mindfulness instructor at Open Spirit Center, Framingham and their Nourishing Teachers, Strengthening Classrooms project, I am aiming to bring yoga and mindfulness to target populations of students and faculty at Framingham High School and Hoops and Homework, an award winning After School and Summer Program serving the most under privileged kids in Framingham, MA. *** My ability to reach these populations is determined by grants and private donations though the Open Spirit/ Nourishing Teachers, Strengthening Classrooms Project. For more information, please visit our donation page.
On the performance front, I will be dancing for the Boston Arts Consort and Song Caravan. On the stage, you will find me either dancing traditional flamenco or my beautiful creative gypsy-freestyle, which blends my life of dance into my own artistic expression.
I am available for *private and semi private work, site specific choreography, educational presentations and master classes. *My private lesson slots are filling fast.
On Saturday September 24, 2016, I will be participating in Open Spirit Center’s Day of Spirit. Please join me for my gypsy-freestyle class and how mindful movement assists in freeing your artistic voice. Check Open Spirit Center/ Day of Spirit for more details
Just throwing this out there: I am looking to create a 11+ yoga boys class. If you are interested or know of anyone, please share my information with them.
Please contact me for more information. All programs can be tailored to fit your needs.
Last year was the inaugural year for Tony William’s Urban Nutcracker’s Sensory-Friendly performance and it was truly fabulous. From the moment we walked in the doors, the care and attention given to making the whole experience positive was without bounds. I know that with the new sets and costumes expected this year, the show is going to be magical.
URBAN NUTCRACKER HOSTS AUTISM-FRIENDLY SHOW
The Urban Nutcracker is delighted to announce its second ever Autism-Friendly performance on Saturday, December 19 at 11:00AM at John Hancock Hall.
“Thank you so much to our friends at Urban Nutcracker! The best present anyone can receive during the holiday season is to be included and valued,” said Russ Kenn, Executive Director of New England Autism Speaks. The show will be tailored to be sensory friendly in order for maximum audience comfort that will feature house lights at half capacity, sounds lower in volume/intensity, volunteers to provide support, and a quiet area. And the audience will be encouraged to dance, sing and shout! Also, this year’s Urban Nutcracker features never before seen sets and costumes in celebration of its 15th Anniversary.
“It’s great to have shows that are specially inclusive, and I think it’s great that we’re doing it again!,” said Nora who is 11 and playing the part of “Clarice” in this year’s production.
“The highlight of the 2014 Urban Nutcracker run was the Autism-Friendly show we produced,” said Tony Williams, Artistic Director. “We created this show to encourage even more accessibility to the arts, and it was very touching to see such an energetic and appreciative audience, and I am greatly looking forward to it this year. I’d like to thank all the wonderful Autism advocacy groups out there for the tireless work they do.”
Williams re-imagined the classic holiday tale to become a Boston inner-city story with a neon-buzz that blends the rhythms of Duke Ellington with the classical notes of Tchaikovsky. Annually 150 professional and amateur dancers take to the stage to showcase a broad diversity of dance forms celebrating multicultural Boston. The story follows the magical journey of Clarice and Omar through classical ballet, tap, hip hop, jazz, folklorico, flamenco and more.
Laura attended the Autism-Friendly show last year with her son: “From the moment we arrived at the theatre, the caring staff and artists made us feel comfortable, safe and welcome. It was an amazing experience to watch Daniel’s face light up with joy during the show.” The Urban Nutcracker Autism-Friendly performance takes place on Saturday, December 19 at 11AM at John Hancock Hall, 180 Berkeley Street in Boston’s Back Bay. Tickets are available on http://urbannutcracker.com. Special group discounts are available.
About Urban Nutcracker:The Urban Nutcracker celebrates multicultural Boston through a broad range of diverse dance styles. Produced by the Tony Williams Dance Center, the Urban Nutcracker harnesses the power the arts to unite diverse communities to be a catalyst for positive social change.
About Tony Williams:Tony Williams is a dance pioneer and retired international ballet star. Williams’ dance philosophy uses the arts to unite diverse communities in Boston, having had direct experience on how transformative the arts can be on young lives. As a young man, he gained access to Boston Ballet’s dance program and progressed to become their first African-American principal dancer. From there he danced with the Joffery Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and performed all over the world. When Williams retired, he returned to Jamaica Plain, where it all began, and opened a dance school. Not long after, he produced the beloved Urban Nutcracker which annually enjoys a successful run downtown. Widely respected as a progressive dance educator, Williams has won the Dance Teacher Magazine Award and Wheelock Family Theater’s Wheel Award. In 2014, he founded the Tony Williams Ballet and expanded his dance school to Concord, Mass.
Today was the final day of Dance In The Schools 2015 at the Baldwin School, Cambridge. My classes were based on the life cycle of the butterfly (current with the 2nd grade science curriculum) and the concepts of senses we know (touch, sight, smell, hearing and taste) and then the ones we don’t know as much about (proprioception= an awareness of our bodies in space and the vestibular system=balance, gravity and movement information though our inner ear).
The best thing about yoga is that it allows for a sensory experience in a safe/non-competitive environment. You can manipulate your body in space, using poses, breath and meditation to clear pathways to achieve balance.
Breathing Sticks (once again, I noted to them to practice their breathing once they got their sticks)
What is the Butterfly Life Cycle?
Egg (usually laid on a leaf)
Larva/Caterpillar (eats leaves to grow)
What is metamorphosis?
Butterflies are active during the day feeding on flowers. They suck up the sweet nectar with their long, curly tongues. That is because butterflies cannot bite or chew.
There are about 150,000 kinds of butterflies and they and their caterpillars come in all sorts of colors and sizes.
Butterflies Like all insects, they have six jointed legs, 3 body parts, a pair of antennae, compound eyes, and an exoskeleton. The three body parts are the head, thorax (the chest), and abdomen (the tail end). Most have four wings. The wings of butterflies are covered with tiny scales that seem to shimmer in the daylight. Some of them are brightly colored. Others have bold patterns or scary eye-spots. When a butterfly flashes its wings at its enemies, it confuses them, and gives itself time to escape the danger that they might be in.
Butterflies and moth belong to the order Lepidoptera. Lepidos is Greek for “scales” and ptera means “wing”.
Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert
Out in the fields, eggs are hidden from view. Child’s pose
clinging to leaves with butterfly glue. Stretching child’s pose. Fingers crawl to the left and right to stretch sides.
Soon caterpillars hatch. They creep and they chew. Creep forward into inchworm.
Each one knows what it must do. Press up to cobra. Add hissing and snaking back up and down.
Find a place where winds don;t blow, Locust.
then make a case in which to grow. Bow.
Caterpillar changes now begin– Rock and roll on belly, release. Rise up to standing position.
body and wings take shape within. Tapping.
When it’s time, each case is torn– Willow tree and joy breath.
wings unfold; new butterflies are born! Star Pose.
They pump their wings, get ready to fly, Add cross body kicks.
then hungry butterflies head for the sky. Yoga Jumping Jacks.
Looking for flowers with nectar to eat, Standing flower pose (tree)
they catch a whiff of something sweet.: Join a partner for partner tree/or group tree
They follow that fragrant scent of perfume, Melt to the floor. breathing in and smelling the delicious odor of fresh flowers 3x.
until they find our garden bloom.: Seated flower
We’ve been waiting for wings! Seated bat (opening flower)
We watch them circle, land on their feet, Lay on back and hug knees to chest. Legs up towards ceiling, as if walking on ceiling. Foot circles, both directions. Point and flex and then walk on ceiling and then bicycle.
unroll their tongues, and begin to eat.: Rock and roll. Grab feet, happy baby.
They dip and sip, Feet down. Simple lying twist.
then fly away, back home to the fields… Full body stretch-like a gingerbread man.
They have eggs to lay.: Savasana
Song (sung to the tune of Pop Goes The Weasel)…I tried!
I spin and spin my chrysalis
I stay inside to rest
When I come out….Metamorphosis!
Pop! Goes the butterfly.
Of course we then did a rousing version of Yogini Went to Seaand then the Downward Dog Crawl Tunnel. Not taking into account the size of the room, proved to be a stumper for a moment. But I offered up the challenge to the class and we were able to create a circle, which worked very well! I so appreciated the first groups problem solving ability!