by Amanda Bartley, B.S.-SLP, Adaptive Dance Instructor, Jasmine’s Beat
With summer around the corner and more people out and about, do you know how to spot a hazard? What if someone is having a seizure or a fall? While this does not include all the ways nor does it take the place of a medical personnel, this is a way to be informed in such a situation.
Generalized- electrical activity affects both sides of the brain at the same time.
Focal- can start in one specific area or group of cells in one side of the brain.
Unknown- the beginning of the seizure is unknown.
A person can be awake and alert during seizure activity.
A person can be confused or their awareness is affected during seizure activity.
Reagan is a sophomore at Wakeland High School who loves dancing, signing, music, traveling, and theater. He especially loves combining what he learns in one with the others. Tap dance is his favorite to do and ballet is his favorite to watch.
Dance has helped Reagan with motor planning and spatial awareness. It has also provided opportunities to expand social skills and connect with others. It’s also great exercise and helps him with gross and fine motor movements but in a way that is fun! He really enjoys Ms. Jasmine’s laugh and how she had fun with him when she teaches. Reagan has been an Adaptive Bollywood dancer and danced in Adaptive Theater shows choreographed by Ms Jasmine as well! We love all the opportunities Reagan has taken on!
Ava is a burst of sunshine and loves to make us laugh during our Adaptive Fusion Dance classes at Next Step Dance at The Star in Frisco with Jasmine’s Beat! She is a committed dancer who is especially fond of her twin sister, Olivia, and her parents. Her mom, Angela tells us, “During pregnancy, we were diagnosed with Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome, which is an uneven share of the placenta in identical twin pregnancies in which the 2 babies share one placenta. As such, the girls were born at 28 weeks and during the NICU stay, Ava presented with PVL on a later head ultrasound. In turn, we were told this could result in Cerebral Palsy, but it may not cause any issues. At around age 2, Ava was diagnosed with CP, and we have been on this journey ever since. Our train of thought is to give Ava every opportunity to be the best she can be! A CP diagnosis can cover a broad spectrum of symptoms from walking with just a slight limp to being non-verbal and without any form of independent mobility. Ava mainly presents with difficulties with her motor skills both fine and gross, impacting her ability to walk and write. She continues to get stronger every day and just let us know she loves her wheelchair!
Ava loves playing Uno and games with her family, swimming, going to school (she and Liv are in the same Kindergarten class!) pretty much everything a 6 year old loves! She likes dance because she loves music and loves to try new things!
Ava wants to be a teacher or vet when she grows up.”
Can you Post a Video of your version of this dance on Facebook or Instagram and TAG @jasminesbeat ? You may be a lucky one for us to share on our page! Let’s show the world how to embrace dance no matter what your disability may be! If you like learning Ms. Ashley’s moves, reach out to us to see if you can do a private lesson with her: email@example.com
October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month. McKenna is a three year old little sister with Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele. This is the most serious form of spina bifida. McKenna had an opening of her spinal cord from her mid lumbar to her tailbone which caused severe nerve damage. She had her first surgery to close her spine during fetal surgery at 26 weeks gestation. Then, she was born 13 weeks later. She has had many surgeries in her three years, brain surgery and most recently had a tumor removed from her spinal cord this summer. McKenna never allows her diagnoses to get in her way. Although her nerve damage caused paralysis and weakness in her legs and hips, with the use of her walker, braces, wheelchair and her joyful attitude, she continues to prove that she can do anything with hard work. McKenna loves her older brother, Ian, and is always looking out for him. McKenna Grace warrior princess loves dancing, singing, art and playing with her friends and family. We love dancing with McKenna! She makes strides every week with us, including in making new friends, attempting assisted walking across the floor with ballet moves, working on core strength and balance, and building self-confidence. Stop by our Friday classes at Next Step Dance to say hello to this charming personality and you will definitely leave with a smile on your face too!
We’ve added a new addition to our Jasmine’s Beat® Adaptive Fusion classes! TAP! As exciting as it sounds, you may be wondering how it will help your neurodiverse loved one. There are so many ways we can modify and adapt this portion of our class. The best part about this summer is that it will be taught by a fellow Recreational Therapist, Caroline Graves, who has many years of experience with tap, among other dance styles as well. How can Tap benefit your child’s development?
* Tap Dance engages many parts of the brain and helps to improve the capacity for learning.
*Percussion instruments like Tap shoes help students develop coordination and gross motor skills.
*Tap classes thrive on rhythmic harmony or understanding individual parts of a whole, and improves musicality.
*The musical training in tap, as well as other dance styles, has been found to improve overall academic achievements.
*Students face and conquer challenges and improve self-esteem in a group setting.
*Students improve balance, pointing and flexion of the feet.
It’s not too late to join us! Just come on down to Next Step Dance at The Star in Frisco, and come find out what all the buzz is about!
If you are like me and have been having issues sleeping this past year, you are NOT ALONE! Simply staying to specific places have an effect on the brain and body as well. Here are a few tips I’ve been given along the way.
Sleep routine. Have a pre-bedtime routine every night. It triggers the brain to start calming down.
Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. All interrupt quality of sleep.
Use the bed only for sleeping. Keep work and T.V. off of it. This one is a tough one for me!
Having a hot bath 1-2 hours before bed will raise your body temperature, causing you to feel sleepy as your body temperature drops again.
Exercise, stretch & eat light before bed.
Darker and cooler space work best for relaxing.
Try to get some Vitamin D from sunlight every day! This effect can be seen in toddlers as soon as they have a couple hours in the sun how quickly they nap afterwards. It’s the same for adults!
Affirmations and not thinking about stressful items in the middle of sleep. There is a “5 second hack” I recently learned about. Once the stressful or distracting thoughts come into the forefront of your mind, count out loud “1,2,3,4,5” and refocus on what you need to think about, i.e., sleep, comforting thoughts, affirmations, etc. It really does work! Thinking about how to positively uplift your day or week in order to create or meet your affirmations is a great last thought of the day.
Using white noise or guided meditation without looking at a blue screen can help. Some of my kids rely on this to calm down quicker for the night. This is also a great way to encourage closing the eyes and resting them.
Journal or talk to someone. Having an outlet about your thoughts and feelings to a third party with no judgement is super important. Can’t get a person? Start journaling. It’s a great way to re-prioritize your wants versus needs and helps you realize your sleep is way more important than you think.
~Hope this helps you get some re-energizing Z’s tonight!~
Thanksgiving break is around the way and here’s a great way to have some family fun! Watch a show about Moana & friends from the comfort of your laptop! Go to www.ntpa.org/starcatchers to purchase your tickets for “The Wayfinder”! We had the pleasure of choreographing and assistant directing this show. The hard work of these actors is undeniable! Don’t miss it! This weekend only!
Karen is a beautiful student, dancer, singer, actress and daughter. She has been active at North Texas Performing Arts for several years. Karen first started with the production of You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown in the summer of 2014. She did plays with the mainstream kids’ shows until she aged out and then started performing with the Starcatchers Therapeutic Arts group. She is polite and kind. She is helpful and always checking on everyone else, greeting them at her first opportunity. Karen became a Jasmine’s Beat student through learning adaptive choreography at NTPA Starcatchers during several shows, including Beauty & The Beast, Elf, Jr., Summer Showtunes and The Wayfinder (currently). She works hard to learn her lines of major casting roles, figuring out choreography, and belting out beautiful songs! She portrays the perfect vision of recollecting oneself when you get overwhelmed, takes deep breaths, and begins again, trying even harder. This is exactly what we teach our students and clients as well, for stress management. We could learn a thing or two from Karen!
Here is a picture of Karen at our latest AMP awards at NTPA, making the most of 2020!
Karen in Elf, Jr. :
Karen taping for the virtual Summer Showtunes, 2020:
We can’t wait to see what she is going to do next!
Adaptive Fusion Dance involves including many different types of dance styles, techniques, and music. Jasmine’s Beat recognizes this form of instruction and uses an introductory level of these for most adaptive fusion dance classes provided. Currently, adaptive fusion dance has taken choreography based on foundations of ballet, jazz, bollywood, and hip-hop. We are currently looking for ways to include tap, ballroom, african dance, polynesian dance, and many others in the future. Adaptive Fusion Dance also uses contemporary music as well as traditional dance music for instruction, as well as recitals. Adaptive Fusion Dance also welcomes inclusivity of all abilities and all ages, therefore promoting inclusion towards all dance arenas. Whether you’re in a wheelchair/bed or if you’re physically able but need more mental breaks, this class is adapted for you! Ideas/Questions regarding this? Feel free to reach out to us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you or your loved one interested in keeping busy with DANCE during this season plagued by Covid-19? Contact us to schedule a 1 on 1 virtual dance class through zoom OR a 1 on 1 in-person Private Session (with masks) near you! E-mail us at: email@example.com so we can help give you some therapeutic relief through dance. (OR fill out the form below!)
*Prices are based on current Recreational Therapy session costs, as they are catered to each individual student. **Interested in having a weekly telehealth session using dance as well as other fun modalities? E-mail us and we can give you details on how to see if you can qualify for services through Medicaid/private pay/various insurance plans!
If you have kids at home like me, let alone kids that have extra needs, being forced to stay home with the same walls can be boring or annoying. But, safety first! We can always show our kids how strong we are with the current time, and make use of the time given to us to bond or spruce up the house or better ourselves. Of course, it all cannot start without a deep breath, parents! Kids are like sponges, so they can sense if we are stressed. We can always take some notes from the kids as well.
Routine is BEST! As far as I am concerned there is NO WRONG way to schedule your homeschooling day! As long as you hit the main points.
1. My child is learning and progressing.
2. My home is not stressed and anxious everyday to meet our goals.
3. Have 5 or 10 minute brain breaks after 30 minutes.
8:00 Breakfast/ Dressed/ Tidy Up
8:30 At the Table Ready to Work
9:00 Prayer/Hand Wake Up
9:30 First Block
10:00 Second Block
10:30 Snack/ Mom Reading
11:00 Third Block
11:30 Fourth Block
12:00 Lunch/Free Hour
1:00-3:00 Big Projects/ Arts and Crafts/Free Time
3:00 Chores DONE then Tech Allowed
6:30 Bedtime Routine
Here are some online links that may surprise you for their capabilities to help!
Not one, but TWO students of the month! Introducing Manas & Chetan!
<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">Manas & Chetan are brothers who love to dance and have a variety of music interests. The excitement on their faces and excellent memory of everyone's voices and names at every class would never make it apparent that they both have been completely blind from birth. Both brothers have a condition called Rod cone dystrophy (which is also known as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA)). Manas, who is also autistic, is a teenager who loves hip-hop, country, and bollywood music. Manas gives the class its high-energy and always has a smile on his face. Chetan loves pop and bollywood music as well. He shows high flexibility, great coordination and musicality in his dance skills. The boys have not been in the class for the full year yet, but have made themselves accustomed and known well by our consistent volunteers, Ms. Emma and Ms. Kate. Some goals they have achieved in this class has been spatial awareness without their walking stick, room to step ratio, following choreography instruction, knowing routine and modifying stretches as needed. Some adaptations we do during adaptive dance class is hand under hand assistance at times, person to person contact, and tactile stickers on the floor. Because dance is a whole-body experience, the boys have shown happiness in their experience through verbally assisting other students in the class as well! The boys are a delightful inspiration and exciting performers for everyone to see!Manas & Chetan are brothers who love to dance and have a variety of music interests. The excitement on their faces and excellent memory of everyone’s voices and names at every class would never make it apparent that they both have been completely blind from birth. Both brothers have a condition called Rod cone dystrophy (which is also known as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA)). Manas, who is also autistic, is a teenager who loves hip-hop, country, and bollywood music. Manas gives the class its high-energy and always has a smile on his face. Chetan loves pop and bollywood music as well. He shows high flexibility, great coordination and musicality in his dance skills. The boys have not been in the class for the full year yet, but have made themselves accustomed and known well by our consistent volunteers, Ms. Emma and Ms. Kate. Some goals they have achieved in this class has been spatial awareness without their walking stick, room to step ratio, following choreography instruction, knowing routine and modifying stretches as needed. Some adaptations we do during adaptive dance class is hand under hand assistance at times, person to person contact, and tactile stickers on the floor. Because dance is a whole-body experience, the boys have shown happiness in their experience through verbally assisting other students in the class as well! The boys are a delightful inspiration and exciting performers for everyone to see!
Fun-loving Matthew enjoys busting a groove to “Tarzan”-themed music. He proves that Downs Syndrome is just a diagnosis and not an obstacle. Some goals Matthew has improved upon, since attending our class, are: social skills, coordination, following instructions, understanding principles of counting to music, adjusting to rhythm and being able to refocus so he can show his love of dance and music! He has even encouraged his best friend to try out the class with him. What a great friend! We love having his funny sense of humor and awesome energy in our class and can’t wait to see all the new goals he will accomplish in the near future!
Come take a look at this past weekend’s performance at North Texas Performing Arts in Plano and the Choreography from Jasmine’s Beat! The collaboration is making these stars RISE!! So proud of this cast and crew! https://youtu.be/uAJeCgfd7VA
Meet Samhi. She is a vivacious girl who thrives on being the teacher’s “assistant” in our Adaptive Fusion class at Next Step Dance. She is diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome. She doesn’t let that get in the way of having fun and enjoying her passion for dance though! Some goals she has been working on through dance: being more active in general, having more focus and following directions, learning to hop, jump, and march, having patience with peers, as well practicing self-control and active listening. Quite a set of goals, huh? Guess what though? Through dance, she is making gains towards these goals and truly enjoying dance and making friends in the process! We are so blessed to make waves into her past year with us. Come by and say hi to this bubbly personality!