We're going to start our choreography unit officially today.
We did some of the choreography last week.
My name is Lisa Girdy.
And I am the dance specialist here at South Lakes High School.
And I also teach Yoga for Wellness and Strategies for Success.
We're going to do a combination with the musicality again like the one we did last week with that one.
In the dance classes, typically you would think of just learning technique, different styles of dances.
But we go beyond that.
We talk about the history behind the dancing and we talk about how to compose dances and how to put them together.
We've talked about that a lot lately.
And all the different emotions and life skills that they will learn through learning to compromise and be respectful with each other and share ideas and yet being vulnerable.
You can take suggestions from other people but the tone that they are delivered in is really important.
I try to create a safe environment for everyone that's not judgmental so they can express themselves the way they like to.
Down up. Spin all the way around. Drag your shoulder.
So, they learn much, much more beyond just how to dance.
They learn why they're dancing and how they can use that in other areas of their lives.
Six. Seven. Eight.
We teach just about everything.
Because we have such a diverse student body, I try to reach out into different cultures and not just the ballet, tap and jazz and lyrical and modern.
But we go into cultural dancing.
And I… it gives them an opportunity to share and teach others what they're used to.
So, we touch on all different styles of dance.
One. Two. Three. Four.
We've done African dancing.
We've done Latin.
We've done a whole unit on learning how to salsa and how to merengue and bachata and things like that.
And so many of my students are Latin that they really enjoy being part of that and sharing their culture with us.
When we perform in our theater, it gives our students an opportunity to build their confidence and be proud of the work that they've created.
As an alumni of South Lakes (High School), I finished here in the 80s and it is very different than when I was here.
And so, I'm thrilled that I could come back and teach dance for them and teach Yoga for Wellness for them,
because those are opportunities we didn't have when I was here.
Being selected as (the high school’s) Teacher of the Year was very humbling for me and very surprising because I didn't …I wasn't expecting it.
But it makes me feel appreciated and recognized in that I’m making a difference here at South Lake,
with different students and knowing that my colleagues feel the same way.
Parents, colleagues, kids, anybody can nominate for our Teacher of the Year. It starts at the school level.
We nominate staff here. And then it goes to the pyramid level which is the high school, the middle school and the feeder schools in the pyramid.
And then a winner is selected there.
They go to the region, etc.
Recently, I got named the Region One Principal of the Year.
And so, I know firsthand how Lisa must feel in being named South Lake's Teacher of the Year.
It just gives you so much warmth and you feel so appreciated for all the work that you do.
It definitely sends a message that the arts are really important in terms of having that type of curriculum available alongside standard curriculum.
My yoga classes are amazing.
This is a group of students that really are in tune with themselves.
Can you all tell that you're getting stronger and the benefit of being able to control that?
When we're talking about movement in the yoga poses, I often interject with them, This pose will help you sleep better,
or This type of breathing will help you calm yourself before a test.
This type of exercise will build strength in your upper body.
Focus is slightly higher.
So, lift your chin.
They're getting a full idea of how and why yoga has been important to them and how it can be beneficial for them.
Tuck your toes. Lift up into downward dog.
This class has definitely made it easier to go home and, you know, just relax or just have more mental space or mental capacity to do homework.
I've always kind of done yoga because my mom was a yoga teacher when I was younger.
But I really like the confidence that it's brought me, how I can like move and feel like myself.
I feel it's giving more of in the moment-type mindset where I know what's happening around me and I'm engaged now.
It is freedom. It's expression.
It allows me to move in the space with control.
It gives me an opportunity to express myself without necessarily having to speak but in a way that people can still understand and relate.
It allows me to release anything that might have been holding me back, any negative feelings.
And it's a really interesting chemical change in my body.
One. Two. Three. Four. Arms. Five. Six. Seven. Eight.
As long as your heart is beating, you can dance.
And even if it's a different rhythm and it doesn't look like it makes sense to somebody else, that's okay.
It doesn't have to. It's not that structured.
You know, there are types of dances that are but dance itself is so raw and authentic and pure that I definitely think anybody can dance.