For the first time, Rhythm Works Integrative Dance (RWID) will offer in-person certification workshops in Australia this September. RWID aims to offer dance teachers and studio owners tools for making their classes and programming accessible for students with special needs. Using evidence-based practises from sensory integration, behavioral analysis, movement safety and kinesiology, RWID will demonstrate how to apply rhythm and dance activities in a way that helps students reach their developmental goals, according to Tricia Gomez, global director of RWID.
RWID will offer its three-day-long Premium RWID Instructor Certification Workshop in Ipswich, from 20-22 September at NY Dance; and in Melbourne, from 24-26 September at Transit Dance. The organisation will also host the hybrid version of its RWID Instructor Certification Workshop in Perth, on 29 September at Beverly Margaret School of Dance; and in Sydney, on 3 October at Dance Domain. All workshops include RWID’s 377-page Instructor Manual, program music, access to The Rhythm Works Society (an online support community) and a listing on the RWID website as a certified instructor with a direct link to the instructor’s contact information. Registration is now open and strongly encouraged in advance.
“Even though the workshop focuses on how to work purposefully, effectively and confidently with students who have learning differences and special needs, the material taught will apply to any student and any age group,” Gomez affirms. “We cover topics and material that many teachers don’t even know they need to know. I love seeing that moment when the wheels start turning in the attendees’ brains when they realise what they have at their fingertips! The information and tips we cover in the course is something that every dance teacher needs to know. In fact, the most common comment we get on our exit survey is, ‘I feel like I’ll be a better teacher for all of my students!’”
Gomez, who was the keynote speaker at the 2016 Australian Teachers of Dancing Come Together Dance Convention, says she’s excited to return to Australia because of the integrity and commitment that Australian dance teachers apply toward their work, both for their students and for their community at large. “That’s the type of person who’ll make a great RWID Certified Instructor candidate,” she says. “Plus, I just love the easygoing nature of Aussies!”
RWID workshops are geared toward dance teachers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, behavioral therapists, speech and language pathologists, special education teachers, early childhood educators, and physical education teachers. Workshop topics include sensory processing and how it affects behavior and the learning process, behavioral strategies used by ABA therapists, kinesiology and movement safety, special population considerations, learner types and teaching styles, teaching and using rhythm to activate the brain, creating developmentally appropriate choreography using simple and functional hip hop dance steps, using dance games as a learning tool, and more.
“Research is finally showing the importance of rhythm and dance when it comes to creating new neuropathways in the brain and helping people work through challenges such as Parkinson’s Disease,” Gomez explains. “Because of this, the medical and education industries are beginning to take note. As a longterm goal, I would love to see Rhythm Works Integrative Dance offered in every school, dance studio and therapy clinic! But in the immediate future, it’s all about providing participation opportunities for a community that is often left out. This community desperately needs dance teachers who understand their challenges, will not give up, and who are willing and able to teach in a way that works for each individual student. This community desperately needs you!”
For these Australian events, Gomez says she is looking forward to getting to know the attendees, as those who participate in RWID workshops tend to be kind, compassionate, supportive people.
Gomez says she highly recommends attending any of the workshops with multiple people from the same studio or facility. “Having trained assistance and co-teachers is key when working with this population,” she explains.
A 15%discount is offered when two or more people from the same facility register for a workshop together. To take advantage of the group discount, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Workshops in Australia or to register for a course, visit www.rhythmworksid.com.
By Laura Di Orio of Dance Informa.