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Creative ID: 124

Art form(s): Dance, Literature
Language(s): English
Based in: Auckland
Where I'm available:
I am available in West Auckland and Central Auckland.
When I'm available: I am available on Mondays and Fridays. For schools interested in the project I may be able adapt my timetable to suit their needs.

My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)

My background is in Creative Dance and Creative Drama. My first degree was in these subject areas. My focus is to offer children Dance and Drama as a way to express themselves, in order to help make sense of complex emotions, feelings and their sense of self. I believe this is a crucial tool for well-being, in this chaotic and sensory overloaded world we live in. Creative Dance and Drama are child-friendly processes that empower children to express themselves when words are not enough. I now fuse current ideas on emotional insight and regulation, through mindfulness and children's yoga, while still using The Expressive Arts to anchor this work. The Arts have always been our natural way to help children explore complex issues, in a fun, creative and meaningful way. My strengths include: I am highly creative and have over thirty years of experience in teaching kids in this area – this means I can adapt the creative process to the specific needs of the children I am working with, their school, and their community.

My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with

  • Written books on Dance and Drama for teachers. (New Zealand, Australia, UK.) Over thirty books.
  • Co-write the Dance Section of New Zealand Arts Curriculum.
  • Adviser for Team Solutions and Ministry of Education in The Arts and Dance – taught in schools and trained teachers.
  • Worked with a primary school – PYP Units through the Arts.

Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes

I have worked all over New Zealand training teachers in Dance and Drama. Part of this training was modelling classes (Primary and Intermediate years) to teachers. I have trained teachers at tertiary institutions in teaching creative dance to young children. I have taught Creative Dance to young children at a performing arts centre in Auckland – for five years I have taught Kids yoga at a yoga studio in Auckland. I have over thirty years of experience teaching Dance and Drama to teachers and young children. I have written books in this area, and given workshops for teachers.

Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice

I work with many children who have suffered trauma, anxiety, and other well-being adverse issues. I follow the latest science research which shows that somatic therapy is highly beneficial for young children. That is, children (as do adults) hold their stress in their bodies – in their nervous system and their senses become overloaded. Movement, creative dance, and child-friendly yoga supports the body to release much of this stress and anxiety. Creative Dance gives an outlet for the layers of stress and trauma that many children do not have the words for. I have created a programme which specifically educates children to understand what is happening to their bodies, and mind when they have difficult emotions. My programme fuses the best from the disciplines of The Arts, Expression through the arts, self-care, emotional regulation, and tools to calm the brain – to feel good. The team at a primary school are as excited as I am to offer a new Creative Movement programme to support the children who come to the school, with extremely complex needs. This Creatives in School programme gives us the opportunity to move forward.

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