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KIDS: Creating Opportunities for our Kids to Move with Joy.
Inspiring New Possibilities
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DANCING OUR WAY HOME
TTW youth residencies, whether in school or afterschool, start with simple, playful exercises that build over our weeks together into a final performance for the students’ peers, family and communities. Based on the four performance projects in our book, “Dancing Our Way Home,” each program is a collaboration in the moment.
With our teams of experienced facilitators we encourage children and youth to explore their families’ cultural histories and to tell their stories through dance, theater, singing, poetry, mask making, and photography.
These programs are based on models of inclusiveness and mutual respect that:
● inspire creative expression
● build personal and artistic confidence
● enhance self respect
● foster social bonds and healthy life choices
REACHING DIVERSE COMMUNITIES
Building Stories Together
In addition to classes in local schools and afterschool programs, TTW works in senior centers, community centers, rehabilitation centers, and programs for the mentally and physically challenged. We bring teens in to play with preschoolers, middle school students to perform for elders, and a myriad of different combinations that strengthen communities and build connection.
Throughout the year, Turning the Wheel offers free, introductory classes in local schools and after-school programs. These demos illustrate the power of what we can do and then you can sign up for a program in your school.
Fostering Connection for our Youngest
“Children in poverty hear 30 million fewer words than their wealthier peers” before they reach kindergarten (Mile High United Way). For this population, school readiness is a major issue.
We have designed a program that fosters creativity, movement, and expressive exploration intertwined with arts education. Research has established that spontaneous activities foster early childhood cognitive, motor, and socioemotional development.
Children expand their natural movements and begin to connect with each other, with their caregivers, and with their instructors using using palette of activities that are fun and engaging while getting them ready to participate in school programs. These activities include:
● movement games,
● imitative patterns,
● visual art explorations,
● call and response,
● rhythm patterns,
● and singing games.
TEENS: Supporting Young Teens To Develop Their Gifts
Activating Their Gifts in Community
Increasing the Visibility of Our Youth
Teens engaged in this program train in our facilitation model, “The Body Now,” and gain supervised work experience in schools and community centers. The excitement is in finding out that they can have a positive impact in their communities. This ongoing career development culminates in paid professional facilitation positions with TTW.
The Great Masquerade Escapade
In this program, high school interns commit to mentoring a group of middle school students for a ten-week program that culminates in a multi media public performance. As part of this very successful program, interns participate in 15 hours of leadership training, which includes learning new communication skills that are centered around positive reinforcement systems.
Preparing Innovators for Tomorrow
Every year TTW offers full scholarships to a team of teen leaders to attend The Body Now Summer Retreat. These teens are committed to showing up in their communities as advocates for making good choices and choosing healthier lives.
Teens will laugh, play, and move while learning how to:
Immerse themselves in fun new ways to think creatively
Find ways to manifest their strengths as leaders.
Experience the power of being mentored in a healthy vibrant community.
Learn our model of sustaining positive change.
THEATRE IMPROV CLASSES
Building Artistic & Personal Confidence
Teens learn collaboration and team building skills by focusing on the power of saying yes to each other and to themselves. Through creative play, theatre improvisation, movement games, and street theatre performance forms, teens build their confidence and self esteem.
Backed by research that supports the power of spontaneous movements, teens are guided in interactions that explore the intersection of their own authentic
expression within the context of healthy community.
Student interests guide the themes explored in this class, such as: emotions,
status, relationships with friends and family, body comedy, personal story, school environment, world issues, and conflict resolution. Read our success stories!
EDUCATORS: Creating Positive Learning Environments for Our Youth
The Body as Teacher
We bring the magic of knowing that you do not have to change the past to create a new future combined with real opportunities to start fresh in the moment.
Our lively and innovative training model brings a tool basket of practical exercises for personal growth and professional support to our participants. We teach facilitators, caregivers, and educators movement and theatre games that will get youth moving and being seen in successful team experiences.
Simultaneously, through a series of training exercises developed over the last 30 years, we offer the opportunity for participants to develop their ability to create and sustain unconditionally accepting containers that are safe and healing. Participants learn ways to deepen their interpersonal relationships and reconnect to their unique gifts as leaders.
In these fun and experiential workshops, different themes are woven throughout our movement explorations including:
● How to create an environment of genuine curiosity and wonder.
● How to encourage appreciations and listening in communities and
● How to access a deeper understanding of body awareness.
● How to be a guide who builds loving, blame free, cocreative classrooms.
Find out more:
Bringing Together Theory and Practice
A team of highly skilled, experienced facilitators travel the country and train teachers, youth leaders, and others in TTW’s methods and curriculum. The Caravans make it possible to reach far more youth exponentially, as we send more and more educators out with new skills to bring positive loving energy to the youth they work with.
The Caravan combines a one day “The Body Now” leadership training with a weeklong residency in local schools, culminating in a performance for the whole school, the community at large, or a “Dance Mob” performance in a public space.
Participants in the “The Body Now” training help teach the exercises they just learned, which strengthens their commitment to our program. As many as five schools are served in this immersion, with master facilitators from around the country mentoring local programs.
A recent LA Caravan included a professional development workshop with “LA’s Best” Youth Facilitators. The final performance was an epiphany for Mario Davila, director of LA’s BEST After School Arts Program. “I’ve seen it work!” he said to the teachers on his team who hadn’t been part of the process, “The performance was amazing, and the kids were focused and participating the whole time!” He especially loved the layers of art the kids created–the tapestry
of writing, visual arts, dance, song, and theatre.