Had a wonderful experience teaching a body image and dance workshop with middle school girls and their mentors from the Stryker Institute at UNC on Saturday. The goal was to move in ways that were fun as a reminder to appreciate our bodies for all they can do, and not just focus on what they look. We also provided post-it notes for the girls to write and “leave at the door” anything they felt or thought that they didn’t want to bring with them to the dance class.
I started teaching group fitness classes at 16, which is very close to the age of the students in this workshop. Dealing with negative body image then was very stressful and still can be, so it was a personally relevant topic and dance can be guided in a way to connect positively to your body and to others around you. Discussions on the topic were facilitated after the dance session.