The Spark! – February 2017

A Note From The Director
Dear Parents, 

When I first took on the role of Director at Discovery, I said that I would only do it if I was able to still teach a few dance classes a week. It was really important to me because it was such a driving force in my own life and I wanted to be able to continue to share that. It’s five years later since I took the job of Director and I am still teaching. I find Wednesdays to be stressful in the morning because it’s a shorter administrative day, but as soon as I call those ballet dancers in, everything changes. Even Emma told me that I come out of class like a different person. 

Besides it being a great stress release, I am truly in awe of the magic that happens. I give a few ideas of movement to the dancers and they are off turning, leaping, jumping, running and they all have this big smile on their face. I love when they copy my every move. I once used my arms to indicate how the feet should move and I saw a few of them doing that too. I love when I see my older students really start to master a difficult step. I love the little ones that grab on to the hand of a friend and start to dance, hug, or be silly together. I love when I see them really lose themselves in the music and movement as if they were on a stage or as if they didn’t even know anyone else was there watching them. I love hearing “Teacher Katie” and sometimes I never know what will come next. They may say they have a playdate later, they may tell me about something that happened at school or they may say watch this and they are so proud! I am proud too- of all of them and the dance program as a whole. It’s really grown in the last few years and I hope to be able to continue to share that joy of dance with the students to come. 

Warm Wishes,
Katie Kheel
Parkour Play
Gabe Manilla, Parkour Coach

Parkour changed my life, and I would not be where I am, as happy as I am without it. I could say a lot about how much I love it’s philosophy and how it encourages you to take risks and explore off the beaten path. I could also talk about the abilities I’ve gained through it–some bordering on superpowers. I could even talk about the confidence I feel in my decision making, derived from the self-assurance that I can throw myself at walls hundreds of time a day and be fine.

But what’s turned out to be the biggest gain has been everyone else who practices it, and the sense of community we all share. Through parkour, I’ve met and continue to meet beautiful human beings with whom I connect on a physical and emotional level through our shared passion. Though many live across the continent and even across oceans, we share a love for each other words can hardly describe, a love that always comes through in the unofficial parkour greeting: the hug.

The Journey Continues!
Emma Ryals Ward, Office Manager 
This month, I am embarking on my next journey: moving to San Francisco, CA! With a full heart and a grateful soul, I have spent a lot of time thinking about how honored and just plain lucky I am to have been a part of the Discovery family! Here are the 10 things I have learned while being a part of our team:
1. There is no sweeter season to be around little ones than in Winter! The mittens! The hats! The puffy coats!
2. A smiling baby can fix just about anything.
3. There is always peace to be found among the noise! Even at the busiest of times, a hug from a family can bring me peace and joy instantly.
4. Nobody in the whole entire world works harder than Katie Kheel, Julia Fidler, and Claude Meliarenne.
5. Work blends with home when you make a family where you spend your days 🙂
6. Gratitude from families here is the sweetest gift I have ever been given!
7. Watching little ones do Parkour will always make me clap and giggle! Those jumps: amazing!
8. Nothing compares to watching a little one overcome their fear of doing a somersault: pure joy on a tiny red face!
9. 3:00 pm is made infinitely more wonderful by a staff coffee/pastry run! How lucky am I?
10. “You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.” – Miriam Adeney
Valentines Fun!
Click here for 15 ways to celebrate love with your little ones! Gratitude, dance parties, and gifts abound in this article. Enjoy the love and creativity you will find!

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