At JCPA we endeavor to create a culture rich with support,to harmoniously compliment the formal education system available to us today. The arts are fertile ground to build the skill set we so want for our children to acquire and that they so deeply need. As researcher, Angela Duckworth reports, “When kids are in class, they report feeling challenged – but especially unmotivated.
What a month to reflect…I have been looking at my life and asking myself, is this how I want to e living? What do I want to change? Where am I not living my ideals? What am I missing? I keep coming back to the idea of “presence”. Being more present. With myself, with others, with the triumphs and joys with the aches and the pain. To listen. To hear the message.
Echoing the words of our wonderful Jpro intern, Gabby Foster, accomplished and educated dancer/artist/social activist in response to an assignment I gave her to create an online classroom where the assistant/peer mentors in the JCPA Leadership Program would tackle assignments to keep us positive, proactive and growth-oriented during this period of separation and isolation.
I believe that it is everyone’s right to dance. Regardless of age, body type, or experience, YOU are worthy of dancing. Come to my class to explore your relationship to yourself, to other individuals, to your own expression of Jewishness, and to Hashem. We will work with contemporary dance techniques to explore the wonders of our bodies and the breadth of possibility they hold.
Rhythmic Gymnastics is a beautiful sport that combines work with apparatus – rope, hoop, ball, clubs, and ribbon – and ballet-like poise, as well as requiring advanced flexibility, muscle strength, and acrobatics. Avoiding the harsh effects and rigours in the training process of regular gymnastics, rhythmic offers a more feminine (indeed, an exclusively female sport worldwide) and artistic approach to athletic skills. Its balances, pirouettes, and rolls provide infinite combinations to try out and perfect.
Note from Rachel: I honestly don’t know what possesed my totally normal, Japanese-American parents to support me in choosing dance as a career path or even why they supported my interest in dance at all. It was not at all an acceptable choice for a profession back then and certainly not given the recognition it has today for the powerful mind-body conncetion (those days emphasized the mind-mind connection and use it to become a doctor!!)
I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and has the courage to develop that potential. From coporations, nonprofits, and public sector organizations to governments, activist groups, schools, and faith communities, we desperately need more leaders who are committed to courageous, wholehearted leadership and who are self-aware enough to lead from their hearts, rather that unevolved leaders who lead from hurt and fear.
Pirkei Avos concludes with an oft-quoted teaching of Ben Hei Hei: אגרא צערא לפום. I have found that the Arts is a wonderful playing field where we can exercise this concept, building skills which help us achieve our goals in life: physically, mentally, emotionally and ultimately, spiritually. – Rachel
Why does it matter, anyway? How we interact and encourage students affects their attitudes toward learning.
Nechama Leah earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS). She performed violin with the CSUS Symphony Orchestra and taught violin with the University’s String Project, where she learned pedagogy under Master Teacher Judy Bossuat. As a classically trained singer, Nechama Leah has performed in many operatic and musical theater roles, choral groups, and jobs as a soloist.