Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Houston's Monarch School kicks off its seventh year as part of Dynamic X-Change

At the Monarch School in Houston, the beginning of CORE’s seventh year bringing Dynamic X-Change to their students has been fun and adventurous. Led by CORE's DXC Teaching Artist, local performer and choreographer Leslie Scates, the students at Monarch were thrilled to be having "dance class" with "Miss Leslie" again. The kids have been teaching her Gangnam style and The Wobble, and she's showing them moves from her generation as part of the new flash mob style format we're testing this fall.

This is a true collaboration with the kids and staff at Monarch to create an evolving class structured to facilitate increased interaction and engagement, which can be challenging for these kids, most of whom are on the Autism Spectrum. Nearly all of the students are enjoying the fast pace, repetitive moves, and popular music Leslie incorporates. About her first session back at Monarch, she said, "Eyes lit up and moves started emerging everywhere in the room. We learned to dance collaboratively this morning, which is my favorite sport."


The classes have also moved to a new location on Monarch Campus. They are now in the Living Building which is a freestanding sustainable building. It is solar and wind powered. The space is open, roomy and has doors that open up for outside/inside living. The space is a delight and allows for students that "need to take a break" to sit outside on the decks and still see the class inside.

"I miss dancing and I like how we are doing it again. I like the feeling of dancing and it is really fun." - Monarch student

The Monarch School is dedicated to providing an innovative, therapeutic education for individuals with neurological differences—such as those associated with autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder, learning disabilities, Tourette Syndrome, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, traumatic brain injury and seizure disorders. Offering a learner-centered approach that helps students progress in Four Core Goal areas, The Monarch School is a service of the Monarch Institute for Neurological Differences, where we’re shaping lives from the inside out™.  http://www.monarchschool.org

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