Today was my second time volunteering at Balance 180 Gymanstics for children with special needs. Today I worked with a boy named Liam. Last time I had worked with a young girl. Liam was wonderful to work with because he had so much energy, and he really wanted to do all of the activities! He did a great job jumping off of two feet, jumping from hula hoop to hula hoop, walking on the balance beam, and doing flips on the uneven bars. He struggled a little bit with jumping on the trampoline—I was trying to encourage him to jump higher and to tuck his knees sometimes when jumping–but I am sure that will come with time. I was told not to help him through the exercises like we might with the other kids because Liam may be moved to the more advanced gymnastics group. He really had a lot of energy, and we had to often keep him from bounding ahead to the next station when it was not our turn yet! He was really delightful. I really enjoy working with Balance180 Gymnastics because they employ the concept of movement as a useful tool for kids with disabilities to express themselves and have fun. I really believe that physical activities (dance in particular, and yoga) have helped me through some of the abuse and suffering in my life, and I hope that I can do the same for these kids. I will not be volunteering next Saturday because of my sister’s wedding, but I will be back for the month of July, and I may be teaching dance at that point along with gymnastics. That would be wonderful because dance is more my area of expertise, although gymnastics and dance have a lot in common!
For more information about Balance 180, click here:
And here is a picture of Liam, the great and enthusiastic gymnast: