A Body in Motion….
Being a “Renaissance person” in the most traditional sense, is to be a well-rounded individual who explores a variety of ideas and seeks wide-reaching opportunities. Great discoveries and innovations were made during that historic period as people combined concepts, examining conundrums through multiple lenses and interlacing evolving disciplines. To be contemporary in that time of scientific development and cultural expression, scholars studied literature and poetry, delved into mathematics and sciences, played musical instruments, spoke multiple languages, and enjoyed physical and artistic pursuit. To accomplish this requires time and balance. The reward, even today, becomes a rich cache of possibilities, delight in innovation, and confidence in self-expression.
At Renaissance, we strive to create a blend of humanities, analytical sciences, and physical movement. Movement and exercise for healthy bodies and minds are integrated in a variety of ways, depending on age level and time of year. Informally, movement is built into the course of the academic day, throughout the year, as children venture out to find materials and utilize different spaces for learning and independent work. Children naturally move between studio, literacy, snack, story, and numeracy, before lunchtime. Some children “take a stroll” (and absorb ideas from other classrooms!) when they need a “brain break.” Others find refreshment in standing, rocking, or wiggling as bodies need a change of position during work periods. In the classroom, physical movement is often choreographed as a key strategy to understand and integrate concepts. Thirty minutes of recess every day provides an opportunity for free play, even during inclement weather when our ballroom hosts a variety of movement games.
More formalized movement instruction is taught by specialists throughout the year. We offer activities that develop awareness and control, along with strength, flexibility, stamina, coordination, and teamwork. All of the children engage in a form of dance. Our youngest children encounter cooperative physical games, energetic and rhythmic activities, and centered stretching. Teachers take their youngsters out for additional play or exercise when that need arises, or for fresh air field trips as part of nature studies. Older scholars develop social and physical grace through a variety of dance electives, NIA, and self-selected mid-day groups.
Options are provided for all children. Performance groups meet during the lunch hour to develop advanced skills. Exploratory classes offer a wide range of possibilities from which to choose for the last hour of the day.
We continue to search for new and interesting opportunities to mix into our repertoire, with the goal of helping children access instruction and specialists in areas they may not readily engage elsewhere. While we do not offer more traditional large-scale organized sports, they are abundant in local communities and fill a niche in which children who have such interests can participate and expand their circles of support and friendship outside of the school framework.