Unleashing Genius! It is so thrilling for me as a teacher, to have the opportunity to watch young people develop and enfold, over time. I remember when I was in 9th grade when my drama teacher, Ms. W~ (Yes, I can’t remember how to spell her name. To my credit, it was over 40 years ago…) allowed me the freedom to “unleash” my creativity, a life defining moment!
Happy New Year!
How can we develop and improve our stamina in this New Year? Not only for ourselves, but for our children too!
According to Mr. Webster, stamina is the ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort. That “prolonged state” can also be described as “being in the zone” or “flow.” Many people believe that the “zone or flow” is reserved for professional athletes or elite level performers. This is not the case! Flow is available to everyone, everyday!
Leading neurosciences tells us that the “flow” is the key for mastery. Developing stamina is the key for creating this state of “flow.” Therefore, Stamina, Flow, and Mastery may be the very recipe for success! Mastery of just about anything has a component of self-mastery. More than any New Years resolution, what we are talking about here is a lifetime of intention that can start now!
For ourselves and for our children, developing stamina begins with really good nutrition. School, work and play takes just a bit more these days, than the old “Breakfast for Champions.” Developing stamina starts with optimum fuel and hydration.
New York Times bestseller, Julie Morris, author of 5-superb, culinary treasures has assembled some of the most creative and delicious, nutrient-dense recipes available for today’s active families. My new personal favorite “Superfood Smoothies” is the most scrumptious, easy to fix and enjoyable blends for all ages!
Check out this talented, internationally-known pioneer in cooking with superfoods! www.JulieMorris.net
Hydration is also key. In San Diego it is easy to forget that we live in a desert. Proper hydration can easily be missed. Here at Scripps Performing Arts Academy, our middle and high school students often report how challenging it is (with very limited time in between classes) to use the restrooms. Unfortunately, many of them opt out of drinking water because they don’t have the “time.”
On the other hand, I often hear teachers frustration over how lethargic students become as the day goes on. Even in ballet class – barre work is enthusiastically executed. Then when center floor work begins some students no longer demonstrate the necessary stamina to complete the class with their best effort. What can we do? Develop Stamina!
Here is one of the most valuable and comprehensive water consumption suggestions I have ever come across:
Promote optimum digestion by drinking 30 minutes before you eat. Never consume liquids while you are eating a meal. Recommended daily water intake for active individuals is 1 liter of water for every 50lbs of weight. Take the total amount of daily optimum water intake and divide by 4 intakes per day. Consumed within the following timing.
- Consume your first amount of water just as you awaken.
- Then again 30 minutes before lunch.
- Wait 2.5 hours after lunch and then consume your water.
- Again 30 minutes before dinner.
Developing the stamina to support your body and mind-is a reciprocal equation!
Happy New Year! And we’ll see you at the barre!
The Art of Mastery as described in Webster’s dictionary includes; proficiency, ability, capability; knowledge, understanding, comprehension, familiarity, and command. We are all familiar with the term “Jack-of-All-Trades, Master of None.” It’s interesting to see how sometimes this is unintentionally translated to our children.
I remember many years ago, one of our clients did not want her daughter dancing more than one-day-a-week. She wanted her to experience all the amazing opportunities offered to children today. Mom felt that by 12 years old, their daughter would be ready to decide for herself what she really liked, and then she would pursue it. On the surface this may seem like sound advice. Under the surface is another story.
Like most little girls she loved to dance. However, at dance she was “left behind.” To be proficient at anything, once-a-week is not enough. She wanted to take more class, but she had commitments to something else everyday. What went unnoticed by her parents is that she experienced the same “left behind” syndrome wherever she went.
By the time she was 12 years old, she excelled at mediocrity, “Jack-Of-All Trades, Master of None.” More importantly to note, she had become the “mean girl” to her peers. Completely unsatisfied, she developed a distorted perspective that made her feel like everyone was “better than her.” It is easier to develop the Art-of-Mastery, than to correct years of a corrupt self-image, reinforced by parental good intention.
True mastery is not about being the best at any one thing. It is about being the best you. Inspiring “mastery-of-self” is one of the best ways we can support our young people. Take for example an ice skater or soccer player. Notice I did not say athlete. Both of these sports have reputations for starting children very young as a way to provide an advantage for excellence. However, when we look again many of these children who start early, burn out, develop weak ankles and joints and fall “out-of-shape” as young adults.
Exceptional athletes on the other hand are invested in the long vision. They train and cross train in their youth, interested in being better than they were yesterday. (Side note- Even Michael Jordan was cut from his varsity high school basketball team.) The same is true for ballet. A dancer who has spent their youth training in ballet can pretty much, do any, dance genre well.
The Art of Mastery for our children is supporting them to establish a sound foundation that will support their dreams. And believe it or not, professional athletes take ballet. It is the secret foundation for the mastering of every skill.
If you are interested in utilizing a balance for both sides of your brain, an essential key for developing laser focus, core strength and emotional intelligence, then we will see you, and your children this week at the barre. The ballet barre that is. And a ballet education is only complete with performance opportunities that offer a well-rounded experience that serves dreams come true.
If you’d like to pair your dance lessons with musical instruction, remember piano and vocal lessons by Lisa LeMay are also available at the Scripps Performing Arts Academy.
The Art of Mastery… I call it magic.
“The Three Questions” is based on a story by Leo Tolstoy, written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth. It is a must read for exploring what is most important with your child. Timeless, these questions have been pondered by great thinkers. When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?
Big questions for young minds that are exploring what life is all about. Beautiful illustrations depict a thoughtful boy who relies on his animal friends to help him uncover the answers. A wise, Yoda-like turtle named Leo connects the dots for the boy with clarity and heart.
So here we are at the end of September. The air tonight has shifted, teasing us that fall might be right around the corner. On the news the weather station threatens the hottest weekend yet. And back to school schedules are settling into routines…
In San Diego (at this time of year) Mother Nature paints some of the most beautiful sunsets across our horizon. The beach at sunset is one my favorite places to ponder big questions. Another is at the dance studio.
We are delighted to welcome our students back to a year filled with creativity, imagination, and a nurturing environment that is ready to help these young people explore their unlimited potential. It you haven’t already reserved your place for this year’s annual holiday Nutcracker- Please join us today! The magic of the Performing Arts offers young people a dress rehearsal for life.
It all begins in the ballet class… where a child gets to practice how to slow down their mind, and ultimately find the answers to their greatest questions…
The most important one is always the one you are with. And the most important thing is to do good for the one who is standing at your side. For these, my dear boy, are the answers to what is most important in the world.”
Excerpt from the “Three Questions” based on a story by Leo Tolstoy by Jon J. Muth
Happy Nutcracker to All!
At this time of year, every child’s imagination takes flight “as dreams of sugar plums dance through their heads.” Why? Because the human experience is all about imagination. It’s about creating all things good. Start with a paint brush or a key pad, it’s all about how we use our imagination. And when we utilize our imagination we feel good! Therefore…
The one thing I really know for sure is what happens to our students when they dance in our annual Nutcracker production. This ballet performance allows them to “live in their imagination…” And that is a magical way to grow up!
Cooking on all burners, accessing a balance of the brain’s right and left hemispheres is how the imagination works. Ballet is everything to a developing mind. You cannot acquire leading edge knowledge by reading alone; you must dance it, drum it, and vibrate every cell in your body to perpetuate inspired learning. That is why we begin with ballet. To ignite the imagination forever.
Every year we observe how the developmental appropriateness of the total child is achieved. Take for instance a 3-year-old snowflake. One at a time they are given the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned with freedom. Freedom in their imagination, freedom in their choices for how to deliver the choreography, freedom to be who they are.
The audience watches with anticipation as each child (unique as a snowflake itself) experiences the range of possibility for emotional growth. We observe sheer, fearless delight, then tender caution of deliberate intention. Their Imagination soars, as weeks of rehearsal transforms the young child into an eternal student for life itself. It is really inspiring. After 38 years in education, I know that performing in the Nutcracker is essential to a well-rounded, education.
And finally, the magic is truly alive in all of our students who have been working for 7-or-more years, (11-18-year-old, boys and girls) developing and awakening to who they really are. Dancing like professionals, they touch the stage with grace, ready to be launched into the adult world, taking their imaginations with them. All that ballet is, is now in all that they do. They have developed into such amazing people from the inside out, that it takes my breath away. All of the creativity, self awareness, discipline, and so much, more showers into all aspects of their lives. They have a tool box to conquer any challenge and a way to celebrate life and friendship like no other.
Register Today to be part of this magical experience. If you are unable to join us from the stage, be sure to get your early bird discounted tickets on Will-Call-Wednesdays.
Starting September 28, 2016 Please visit the David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre Box Office.
This year we will again be performing a Nutcracker Holiday Tea at the magnificent Fairmont Grand Del Mar Hotel and Resort.
We look forward to seeing you onstage or in the audience! We know that your Imagination will thank you!