"Orange, Banana, Orange, Banana, Orange, Banana" I chant over and over. My toes pressing into the grain of hardwood floor as I curled my body into itself momentarily, then leaping upwards stretching my arms overhead, my body creating a perfect reverse C in the air. I am flying! I am experiencing pure joy! I am 4 years old.
Fast forward 24 years...
My name is Jessica and somehow I manage to do what I loved at age 4, everyday! Now I definitely do more then skip across open expanses of dance studio floors (but I wont deny I continue to do this on a regular basis). I am a dancer, turned teacher, turned mother, turned business owner... did I mention I am a bit scattered, with
too many ideas, and energy to spare? Maybe a better way to put it is I am a openly expressive educator who is passionate about creativity, movement and children. And most importantly to two amazing little girls, Bria and Malia, I am "Mom".
4 years ago after the birth of my first daughter, Bria, I also birthed a dance company called J'Adore Dance. I definitely I laboured less with Bria! But like any labour, the end results are more then worth the it. J'Adore Dance is a non-traditional dance studio in Edmonton, Alberta Canada (yes the city with the BIG mall). I've created programs for mothers, babies, families, and children to experience the joy that dance, music and movement offer. Programs where simply loving dance is enough. I don't expect perfection (in fact I don't believe in it), but I do believe in accessibility, inclusivity, and creativity. I believe movement is expression, health, and growth. I believe early life experiences make huge difference in shaping who we grow to be.
My role as a parent and educator have grown simultaneously. I learn so much everyday from my two
divas girls, watching them grow and learn. Somedays I wish they'd stop growing so fast, it feels like sand slipping through my fingers. Those aren't the "Diva Days". Like any mom those are days I could do without. But honestly those days probably teach me the most!
I also continue my learning with the thousands of families that have participated in my programs. I hope all these families know they are teaching me as much (or more) then I can hope to teach them. They motivate, challenge, and inspire me to keep learning and share what I have learned with others. I hope that the way I parent my girls and connect with my dancers will give them the confidence to find a path that allows them to capture the joyfulness of a carefree 4 year old every single day.
Sharing with others is why I have decided to start a blog. I want to share my fun, conceptual approach to dance and movement education. I want to document my approach to parenting, where creativity and love rule in harmony with consistency and logical consequences. I want children to have more time enjoying the process versus the product, I want parents to feel empowered in their role. I want educators to push boundaries and continue to develop best practices. I want to hear your feedback, your stories, your feelings so I can continue to learn and grow, so please leave comments, share my blog, or send me an email. Hope you'll stick around to dance through it all with me. Now repeat after me, Orange, Banana, Orange, Banana, Orange....