Miss Lindsay reflects on parenthood and Thomas Studio’s new integrative dance program
There’s no greater feeling than the one you get when you see your child light up with joy and a sense of accomplishment. Whether they’re reciting their ABC’s for the very first time or sprinting for a hug after their first day of school, the sensation of achievement and pride radiates and as a parent, your heart swells with love. As a dance educator for ten years, I count myself blessed that I am privy to these moments of joy and have the opportunity to facilitate these special accomplishments daily. I have seen first-hand the immediate physical benefits that dance classes can provide to a young, developing child as well as long-term social and emotional growth it supports and encourages. I am now the mother of two growing boys and, from the very beginning, I have known that the dance studio was going to be one of the main spaces where my children would grow and experience those very important moments of accomplishment and pride.
When I first entered the world of motherhood, I was almost blissfully unaware of some of its challenges. Five years later, my experiences with my own children and their friends have made me acutely mindful of how special each child truly is, and also how different each child’s learning needs really are. From sensory stimulation and how that can affect a child’s behavior, to cognitive and physical challenges and limitations, to a medical diagnosis that can change lifestyles, the list of differences that so many children and families face is endless (and exhausting at times!) In the midst of it all, we do our very best to give our children every opportunity possible- to teach them the lessons we feel are most valuable and to facilitate a happy and memorable childhood. For me, this growing understanding of the unique learning needs of so many children has reignited my passion for dance education and making sure it is accessible for all.
I am proud to be on faculty at Thomas Dance Studio where six of our instructors are certified in an integrative dance program called Rhythm Works. Rhythm Works is a program that recognizes how movement serves an integral role in helping the brain function at its best and was created for individuals with learning differences and a wide variety of diagnoses. It uses music, purposeful movement and defined rhythm patterns to fully integrate the body, mind, and spirit. The program is specifically designed to assist in a child’s individual developmental goals and specific sensory, cognitive, and physical needs. The movement is designed to engage the vestibular system, provide proprioceptive input, aide in adaptive skills, and progress fine and gross motor development. It engages the child and assists in building social skills like taking turns, partner work, leadership, self-control, and various forms of self-expression.
Rhythm Works Integrative Dance can provide a dance experience for children who are unable to participate in a traditional dance class. The pure joy that this program can provide to children and their families is a tremendous gift and blessing. At Thomas Dance Studio, we thrive on our student’s successes and their future and happiness are our utmost priority. With the addition of this specialized program, we are thrilled to be able to reach and expand our dance family.
– Lindsay McNary
Thomas Studio Faculty Member