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The Health & Safety of a Young Performer

 

Health Benefits of:

 

Dance

Evidence suggests that control and mastery of the bodies movements, through the discipline of dance, gives children the opportunity to express themselves emotionally and leads to the physical well-being, and improved self concept. Movement is clearly related to physical and intellectual development. Spontaneity of emotion such as jumping for joy, shaking with fear or excitement, literally happens to young children. They express feelings fully and freely.

As they become adults these actions may become minimised, reduced or suppressed. The positive experience given to children to express themselves physically without inhibition or awkwardness are more likely to induce them to ‘feel good’ about themselves, eat more healthily and achieve their full potential in other areas of their lives.

 

Acting

Three benefits of acting:

Self Confidence

According to The Book of Lists, the fear of public speaking ranks number one in the minds of the majority of people. Far above the fear of heights, confined spaces, disease, and even death comes the fear of standing in front of a crowd. We have been told to picture the crowd in their underwear, but truthfully there are no real tricks to public speaking. It is simply a matter of self confidence. Acting class is a wonderful way to build self confidence. The class is a “safe haven” for public speaking. Through acting exercises, students become quite used to speaking in front of each other. As they become more comfortable, their confidence increases correspondingly. Character development allows students to feel more confident about public speaking, as it is not they but their characters who are speaking. Additionally acting focuses on vocal projection, articulation, and timing—things that trip up the anxious public speaker. Armed with the confidence gained in class, students take to the stage with ease. That confidence in themselves and in their ability to speak in public will help them throughout the course of their lives—oral reports, job interviews, first dates, phone skills—the list is endless.

Empathy & Communication

Actors are always embodying new characters. Through character development, the actors have to get in touch with their characters’ thoughts and feelings. They have to figure out what is motivating their characters to do the things they do. Getting in touch with their characters’ thoughts and feelings often helps actors to be more aware of their own thoughts and feelings. A flow is created between using real-life situations to help with their acting and acting experiences to help them deal with real-life situations. Understanding what motivates different characters helps people better understand those around them. This awareness allows actors to empathise with others and communicate effectively. President Ronald Regan was nicknamed “The Great Communicator”. All politics aside, it is clear that the skills he developed as a Hollywood actor helped him to understand the mindset of the American public, so that he could effectively communicate his own beliefs and policies. The ability to empathize and communicate effectively will help students in their personal and professional relationships long after the curtain closes.

Team Leader & Team supporter

Another important benefit gained through acting is the ability to work well within a group. Through acting, students learn to take direction, lead, support, and trust others. Teamwork and cooperation are critical to acting. Then again, can’t almost all activities claim teamwork as a benefit of participation? Team sports require participants to get along and work together as a unit, so what makes acting so unique? The difference is that in sports and other activities, usually the group is homogeneous-all girls, all boys, one age group, one skill level. In putting on a theatrical performance, participants work with a diverse group-different ages, genders, and skill levels. Participants learn how to interact with a wider scope of people. Younger students learn from older students. Experienced performers encourage the novices. Through the experience they learn about group dynamics, finding their leadership and supporting roles to each other both on and off stage. Each one understanding that the show does not exist without them all.

 

Singing

Singing works deeply into our physiology: deepening breath and heart rate, altering brain wave patterns and strengthening the immune system. It also releases endorphins, the body’s pleasure hormones, into the brain and body. Singing also exercises all the muscles in the head and neck. It can also help to build a person’s confidence and self-esteem, and can increase their capacity for self expression. Recent research also indicates that a wide range of music experiences have a powerful effect on influencing language development, as well as increasing concentration, memory, visual and listening skills, spatial orientation and physical coordination.

Music makes your kids smarter!

Besides being fun, a musical education offers children benefits that are more fulfilling than any other educational experience. Studying music may be one of the most academically beneficial things a child can undertake. Making music is also fun and rewarding. Although musical aptitude will vary from one person to another, music educators tell us that early exposure to music, particularly during the learning and growing preschool years, can be an important influence on a child’s development. Early exposure to music also encourages the power of concentration, coordination and self-discipline, enhancing creativity and creating a positive attitude to schoolwork generally. Learning music from an early age will not necessarily turn students in to modern day Mozarts, but it may give them a head start in other areas of their school work.

 

Safety

In giving children this wonderful opportunity it is important to make sure that what they do now will have no negative effect on their bodies or minds in the future. To this end and through extensive research and study by Miss Trudy, her school is well versed in the anatomy and physiology of dance and practices safe teaching. Corrective techniques have been taught to individual children who have needed help with great success.

http://www.roydonacademy.com/

Miss Trudy
Unit 13/15 – Leighcliff Building
Maple Ave, Leigh on-Sea,
Essex. SS9 1PR.

Tel: 07780952928
E-mail: dancetrudyjane@gmail.com

How NCT helps you save money and eases the pressure of tough times for mums with babies

In the last budget, the chancellor announced several cuts and changes to benefits that low- and middle-income families are now starting to feel. These include the much-discussed three-year freeze on current Child Benefit rates and axing of the benefit for households where one person has earnings above the 40% threshold (currently around £44,000).

With rising VAT, mums-to-be have also lost out on the £190 Health in Pregnancy grant, which has been scrapped along with the £500 Sure Start Maternity Grant, for all but your first baby. All this at a time when prices are rocketing and parents are having to juggle their finances.

NCT wants new families to be free from being pulled apart by the struggle to meet their financial needs and feel able to meet the needs of their baby. We also want to see a more supportive environment for families in the UK before it’s too late to repair the damage later on down the line. And it’s here that NCT charity can help parents who are struggling to make ends meet.

NCT’s Nearly New Sales offer new and expectant parents a financial lifeline, with an alternative to forking out for brand new baby products. In this tough economic climate, NCT’s popular Nearly New Sales provide a haven for cash-strapped parents.

The Sales also provide an opportunity to make money from selling baby clothes and equipment families no longer need. Goods must be in excellent condition and sellers will pay just £15 for a table and keep 100% of the proceeds from the sale. By visiting your local NCT Nearly New Sale which costs £1.50 p/p, parents can kit out their kids for less than high street prices or save a fortune on preparing for the arrival of their new baby plus beautiful home made cakes and teas are available.

The Sales are not exclusively for NCT members, they are open to everyone whether buying, selling or both! On average, parents spend £27.25 at a Sale, which could buy a range of items such as bedding, clothes, a changing station or high chair. With average Sale prices being a third of full price goods on the high street, a family can expect to save around £54.50.

NCT charity can also help cash strapped parents in other ways. Bumps and Babies groups offer parents an affordable way of meeting friends and getting out and about. And they ensure parents do not have to face these tough financial times alone.

“Like many families who are feeling the pinch, the sales have helped us save money. There’s usually a vast range – just what you want when you’re pregnant for the first time and need ‘everything’. As an NCT member and volunteer, I also get to go in early for first dibs on the bargains. I don’t think children need brand-new clothes and equipment because they grow, and grow-up so quickly, that everything is still perfectly functional when they have finished with them, even if a bit pre-loved.” Janet Elllis, Stebbing.

Our next sale is the 5th March, 3pm entry for members and 3.30 for non members and we will have a reflexologist on hand to help stressed mums as well as Baby Sensory in the cafe area plus an offer of a free fitted child seat for any mums who buy a Pashley Princess Sovereign bike.

Pls email flowery_lowry@yahoo.co.uk or call for details or call 01371 820408

Visit www.nct.org.uk to find out about events, groups and courses in your area.

Mum’s the Word: Real men play football

It is a cold and wet Sunday morning and I am standing at the touchline, freezing cold in spite of several layers of clothes, hat, scarf and gloves.

If anyone had told me when Josh was born, that I would be a football mum, I would have thought that they were certifiable. I grew up with a football mad father, who would watch every game while my mum, sister and I made a hasty retreat.

I hated the game. I just couldn’t see why my Dad would get so excited and emotional (for yes, there were often tears) about 11 grown men kicking a ball around. Even my boyfriends were limited to those who shared my aversion to the beautiful game. I had far too many friends who were ceremonially dumped at the weekend whilst their other halves joined ten other grown men to chase a ball up and down a muddy field.

So when I met and married my significant other, who also failed to get the football thing, my poor Dad despaired. He liked my hubbie well enough and they would often stay up until the early hours putting the world to rights over a glass of whisky, but my Dad never quite lost the belief that ‘real men play football’.

Fast forward several years and my son, Josh, arrives. My Dad lived long enough to meet his new grandson but died before Josh was old enough to kick a ball.

It has to be said that some strange osmosis comes over Josh when you put him on the football pitch and my gentle son becomes a giant with total focus and control and, at the age of nine, already has more football trophies than the shelf in his bedroom can support.

Quite how two adults with such a lack of understanding and appreciation of the game could produce such son is beyond me. Josh obviously has his grandfather’s genes. He evens supports the same team – Arsenal. I have no doubt that when Josh scores for his team, my Dad is smiling down on him in approval.

So, in common with parents of boys up and down the country, our weekends are now dominated by football. There is little time to fit in much else between training, matches and tournaments.

Every Sunday I go to support Josh and his team. I went the first time, because he asked me to and a strange thing happened – I became hooked!

Now I can shout ‘find your shape’ and ‘heads up boys’ with the best of them. It is not unusual for me to arrive home hoarse. Hubbie and I still look at one another blankly when one of the other parents is talking about some of the more subtle points of football but we are amongst the most ardent supporters.

I have even sat through matches at home, watching some obscure team on TV with my son, discussing positioning, fouls and fair play. No doubt, if he is watching, my Dad will be enjoying a chuckle at my expense. I know for sure that he would be incredibly proud of his grandson and it is a great sadness that he is not here to watch him play but he will be happy to know that we are – finally – following in the family tradition.

Forget the weekend lie in, the Sunday League beckons. I, for one, wouldn’t rather be anywhere else!

By Essex Mums Guest Blogger, author of the blog Mum in the Middle