- Health and Wellness
Creative Movement & Social Distancing: How to Foster Confidence in Self Expression Through Dance During a Pandemic
“How can we keep students distanced during Creative Movement class?” That was one of the challenges facing Mrs. Pingle at the beginning of the school year. In true Aspen Academy style, solving this problem required some creative thinking...and help from our very own MODI!
MODI Educational Furniture
Years ago, on a tour of a different school, Ms. Scala heard a teacher talking to a student, “Why can’t you just sit still and be good.” Her entrepreneurial spirit was inspired: why were these two concepts mutually exclusive and could moving actually improve learning performance and behavior. In those moments, MODI was born. The educational furniture line (MODI stands for MOve and DIscover), allows children to sit in any number of configurations and gives them the opportunity to move while they learn.
MODI Learns to Dance
Creative movement and dance typically include participants in various positions with each other around the room, often touching, sometimes close, and sometimes distant. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, and our passion for keeping our students, staff and families safe, modifications had to be made. Mrs. Pingle and Dr. Resendez brainstormed at the beginning of the year and wondered if incorporating MODI into class was possible. Mrs. Pingle ran with the idea, and the students are loving it.
The idea to use MODI came from the necessity to keep kindergartners properly spaced, and to give them a “home” to return to after various activities. Then, it became a dance prop that provided curiosity of movement - in it, on it, and around it. Since younger students tend to crave touch, Mrs. Pingle has incorporated lots of ways for them to connect with each other using their feet and a lot of eye contact, mime, and expressiveness while staying in their own space. MODI has also worked well with older students, as they increase core strength, engage in ballet floor, barre, and pilates work. Rather than heavy cardio, students work on less intense cardio, with more yoga, breathing, meditation, and thought creation. Her goal is always to provide structure and freedom in her classroom, and MODI has allowed that, even in COVID times.
Inspiring Students Through Dance
Mrs. Pingle loves teaching Creative Movement because it stimulates students’ minds, bodies, and souls. Her joy and inspiration come from “seeing students’ personalized movement, learning from healthy mistakes, their discovery and their confidence.”