With all of the intensely competitive activities that our kids take part in these days and the “hurry-up” world in which they live as they sprint from one activity to another, why not give them permission to take an occasional break in a calming and supportive environment? Yoga and dance can help children cope with stress, build confidence and concentration, and allow them to connect with their own bodies and breath. There are several great options for this type of healthy movement for kids in the Wood River Valley that are certain to benefit both your child’s mind and body.
Alight with Footlight Dance Centre.
Local yoga instructor Beth Stuart is a fervent believer in the power of yoga for all ages and particularly enjoys teaching kids. Beth said, “Yoga for me is about opening doors, having a relationship with your breath and helping you be the most authentic you that you can be. Children already have a deep understanding of their bodies and are a beautiful example of being their authentic selves.” Beth teaches kids yoga, teen yoga and hip hop yoga along with her regular Vinyasa classes at various yoga studios around the Valley. In her youth classes, Beth explained, “My kids play and experiment with the body and breath in ways that allow them to be themselves.”
Along with yoga, another local option is the color and music-filled Studio Move in Ketchum. Owner Debra Drake’s program, Mindful Movement for Kids, employs the "Nurturing Pathways®" curriculum which is based on the brain science of child development. As Debra explained the program, “Babies, waddlers, toddlers and caregivers experience developmentally appropriate classes that provide joyful, bonding activities through structured movement, music, instruments, play and dance.” Debra added that the dance and interactive play in her classes promote healthy whole-child development and help parents understand how movements encourage brain development.
Ketchum’s Footlight Dance Centre also offers instruction for everyone from four year-olds to adults, with classes ranging from ballet to Pilates. Their mission is to expose children to the best possible dance education, which includes technical understanding, historical background and analytical thinking skills. Footlight Dance Centre does free educational dance performances each winter throughout the Blaine County School District, and the entire dance school participates in an annual performance each May.
Whether you’re interested in enrolling your children in alternative types of movement for brain development, because they have hopes of being a professional dancer or just to have fun and try something new, check out these classes for some terrific options for your active kiddos.