On October 27, 2011 I taught a Tai Chi Animal Frolics workshop to a group of highly motivated physical education majors, teachers, and health educators at their annual conference, held this year at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells. The appreciative and engaged participants supported the value of teaching calming and mindful movement practices to children and adults of all ages.Pictured below are images of their creative exploration of animal actions or behaviors. By trying on the movements of the five animals in the Tai Chi Animal Frolics form, practitioners feel a deeper connection to both the animals and the form itself.
We began with an introduction of the form to familiarize everyone with how easy it is to perform, yet how quickly it can produce a feeling of calm and quiet concentration.The workshop continued with creative movement, drama techniques, and Tai Chi principles and practices made understandable for both novices or those with previous experience. We also explored the use of children’s literature as a resource for combining language skills, learning about the five animals highlighted in the Tai Chi Animal Frolics form and creating movement interpretations of animal behaviors. This integrated model of learning is a body/mind experience that is effective and appealing to people of all ages.