My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
I am a multidisciplinary creative with expertise in the emerging field of Well-being Arts. My University qualification is BA Psychology major, qualified practitioner of Shiatsu and MindBody Therapies and a Children's Yoga Teacher. My arts training is in dance, movement, music, theatre and I have a great interest in storytelling, creative writing, visual arts/crafts, meditation, imagination and well-being practices. I am a tutor of Drama education at a performing arts theatre, founder/head teacher of a children's yoga, creativity and well-being programme and a children's dance programme. My strengths are my ability to work in many art forms, being a trained practitioner of well-being arts, my passion for working with kids, communication and collaborative skills, and my strong creative spirit. My role is also advocating for well-being arts and 'Everyone is a Creative Being'.
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
Currently I am a practicing creative – leading weekly programmes in drama, imagination yoga and imagination dance. Since 2001 I have facilitated many creative projects for kids in both Melbourne, Australia and Christchurch, New Zealand. Success has come in the form of feedback from organisations, teachers, parents and children – reporting greater levels and calm, contentment, creativity and positive change after programme delivery. Also through event invitations and media recognition.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
I have been working creatively with children since 2001 and have delivered over 1000 classes and worked with over 1000 children in this time in Australia and New Zealand, at both public and private events in schools, communities and festivals. Latterly, my yoga programme has been my greatest creative experience. It is a creative well-being programme (for 4- to 12-year-olds) that empowers children to deeply know, connect with and explore their creative self during their greatest years of growth and development. The programme has two keys focuses. 1) Introducing children to a highly dynamic and fun education in mind-body practices for greater calm, focus, engagement and happiness, in and out of the classroom. 2) Cultivating creative confidence through exploring a variety of artistic/expressive modalities with an emphasis on tapping into one's imagination and unique creative spirit. Generally children are drawn to themes to do with nature, animals, planetary causes, space, technology, pre-history, adventure and imagination. From my point of view, the greatest theme is our young learning to prioritise their mind-body well-being and self care, and being a creative being everyday! I have had experience collaborating with other artists/creatives in a variety of settings and this has been highly enjoyable.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
National Statistics about the current levels of anxiety and depression in Children are a cause for concern. My yoga programme is my response to this, as the programme directly addresses these mental health issues and the link to creativity, all in one. If my programme is part of the Creatives in Schools programme more children will have the opportunity to learn vital skills and also gain confidence in tapping into their unique creative self. A wonderful part of my yoga programme is the imagination part! All students are encouraged to dream big, innovate, merge modalities, connect with others and create what we need most in this world today. My role will be supporting and guiding each child through this process and providing opportunities for them to learn more about themselves and their capabilities, both individually and collaboratively, in a variety of creative modalities. My hope is that my yoga programme is a thoroughly positive initiative for all concerned – including teaching staff, whānau, the wider community and of course the tamariki. Let's imagine New Zealand in the future, being a nation of extraordinary young thinkers, makers, creators, leaders and solution-finders, who are also well beings.