The Spark – May 2016

A Note From The Director
Katie Kheel, Director

Over the weekend I read the article “Raising a Child with Grit Can Mean Letting Her Quit. I was happy to read the article because I was thinking of this topic a couple of months ago, but I didn’t know where I exactly stood on the matter of children quitting activities.  
As a program director, I sometimes get the request from a parent that their child wants to drop gymnastics, ballet, team, etc. I try to work with the parent as best I can to see if there are other solutions rather than dropping entirely. I once had a ballet student that really didn’t want to come to class for a couple of weeks, so one day I asked her if she wanted to try gymnastics instead since it’s scheduled at the same time. Sure enough, she tried the class and she loved it!
I’ve also seen children excel when they seemed to be struggling by simply trying another coach or trying recreational gymnastics instead of team for awhile. As parents, we often don’t want to have our children quit something that we think they feel passionate about, but sometimes they need room to explore other activities to find out what really interests them.  As a child gets older, though, they should be able to commit to an activity an entire session. Of course, if the child’s health is being affected or they are experiencing anxiety, the answer is clear and a break is needed.
This article provides good advice that we, as parents, strive to be a combination of demanding, but also supportive of our child and that we share our own experiences of times that we felt challenged but persisted. I look forward to reading Angela Duckworth’s full book “Grit: The Power of Passion.” 
Ballet Beat                                     
Benefits of Pre-Natal Movement & Music      
Sarah Fink, Ballet Instructor

Anyone who experiences pregnancy knows that babies become active and respond to stimuli from their mother and the outside world long before they leave the womb. My own recent studies to become a Pre-­ and Post-­Natal Exercise Specialist have confirmed my belief that with early in‐utero exposure to fundamental aspects of dance (movement and music), children may start to develop their own love for the art form before they are born! Did you know that all aspects of growth and development in babies of exercising mothers are equal to or better than those observed in babies of mothers who were not active in pregnancy? It’s important to stay active while pregnant!
I had my first experience immersed in the music of the Nutcracker three days before my birth, when my mother went to see the Pennsylvania Ballet. Apparently that experience stuck with me because here I am, living in New York City, performing as a professional freelance dancer, teaching as a dance fitness instructor, and sharing my love for dance with your beautiful children! It’s such a joy to perform for people, to connect with them and to tell a story by moving the body in space.
The happiness I feel from dance is one of the reasons I became a dance teacher. It is my goal to share my passion for dance and cultivate it in my students. I love working with children because I find they already feel the joy that dance brings to me. They move with abandon, without the inhibition we feel as we get older. That honesty, happiness, and creativity is something that inspires me continuously, and as a teacher I hope to help students keep that passion whether they choose to be dancers or not.
Gym Goodies
Team Tryout Tips
Cristian Quesada, Team Coach
I started working at Discovery in the beginning of the school year, and I already feel like a part of a big family! The children are always a pleasure to coach and the community is like no other.
I love coaching Discovery’s competitive gymnastics team and am extrememly proud of their accomplishments this year. Pre-Team and Team tryouts are at the end of this month and we are always looking for new talent. I encourage any child who wants to try out for team to attend.
If you are interested in trying out for team here are a few tips:

  • Handstands and flexibility are very important.
  • The best way to get your stretching in, is when doing homework. Try reading in a split perhaps.
  • Aside from the physical aspect, I believe the greatest asset you can bring to the table when trying out for not just team, but anything in life, is a positive attitude and strong work ethic. If you take on challenges believing you can achieve them and trying your  best, you can accomplish anything.
“There’s no greater investment, than in yourself”
For more information on tryouts, click the link below!
Team Tryouts
Discovery Announcements
Teacher Appreciation
It is teacher appreciation week! Be sure to thank all of your teachers, coaches and tutors for their hard work and dedication!
Team Gymnastics
We want to congratulate all of our Team gymnasts who competed last weekend in States! They did an amazing job! The entire team that competed qualified for World’s in Florida!
Parent Viewing Days
We sent out emails to all families about parent viewing days that take place at the end of the semester. Please be sure to review the information and call if you have any questions, 212-749-8717.
Spring Recital
As a reminder, our Spring Recital performances are May, 22nd at 11am and 2pm. Tickets are now on sale at the Front Desk.  

The Spark archive