Active Bodies, Active Brains
Dance Classes for Children on the Autism Spectrum
Active Bodies, Active Brains is a movement program developed in partnership with the University of St. Joseph, specifically developed to serve the needs of children with Autism. Active Bodies, Active Brains is designed to help increase coordination, self-esteem, socialization, spatial awareness, attention span, creativity, and abstract thinking. The goal of this class is to give children with Autism a chance to engage in dance and express themselves without feeling overwhelmed or self-conscious. Many times children don’t get the chance to “just do” without being told they are wrong or that they are supposed to be doing what someone else is doing. Dance is a great way for children to learn about themselves, feel good about what they are doing no matter what that is, and gain positive reinforcement while still following directions and focusing on coordinating multiple parts of their bodies at one time.
Classes are taught by Sonia Plumb Dance Company member Kayla Rodriguez, who graduated cum laude from Roger Williams University in 2012 with a double major in Dance Performance and Psychology. University of St. Joseph students studying dance, psychology, or other related fields also participate as interns. Two eight-week sessions are currently offered for winter and spring 2017. Session dates are 2/1/17-3/22/17 (winter) and 4/5/17-5/24/17 (spring). Classes meet on Wednesdays and are $10 per class/$75 session. Active Bodies, Active Brains currently offers two levels of classes for age groups 10-15 (4:15-5:00 pm) and 6-9 (5:15-6:00 pm) at the 224 ECOSPACE, 224 Farmington Avenue in Hartford.
Next Session Starts Wednesday, April 26th
Ages 10 - 15, 4:15-5:00
Ages 5 - 9, 5:15-6:00
Location: 224 Farmington Ave., Hartford, CT (PARKING NOTE: Please park ONLY in spaces that face the purple 224 building)
Cost: $10/class or $75 for 8 weeks
Each 8 week session is taught by instructor Kayla Rodriquez in partnership with interns from University of Saint Joseph.
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How long is this class? 45 minutes
Can I stay and watch? Yes, parents tend to stay and watch. However, we ask that parents allow the teachers to help guide your child with the class, the learning, and with the social skills. So please observe, but do not instruct your child during the class.
What if my child won't participate? This may happen initially. Sometimes the child just needs time to evaluate his/her surroundings and adjust to new faces. Kayla reports that this is not uncommon, but once children are comfortable they will almost always join in.
Can I sign up my child if they have never danced before? Absolutely! No experience is required.
If my child is being disruptive should I continue to bring them to class? Generally, yes, as children adapt to this new routine and dance class environment things should improve. Kayla's class provides a fun, stress-free environment for children and she is available to talk with parents about any concerns or behavioral issues.
Can my child participate if they have trouble walking/standing? Yes. Our goal is to accommodate children of all abilities.