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Friday, August 8, 2008

Sling your Baby & Toss your Toddler with Lynne Wells

Lynne Wells, who teaches the class, and her son Mateo.

HSM would like moms with little ones in the neighborhood to know about Free Introductory Classes for Moms or caregivers with their Babies and Toddlers, in Jennifer Brilliant's studio on the week of September 8, 2008:

Jennifer Brilliant Yoga
732A Carroll Street
Between 6th and 7th Aves.

Sling Your Baby Dance: for caregiver and baby (worn in any type of baby carrier), from 6 weeks to 16 months. Classes include a warm-up, simple technique, a dance combination, partnering your baby and stretching! Bond with your baby and build trust, while babies begin to learn rhythmic dance from your movements, and you get to to exercise. No previous experience necessary.

Monday, September 8
10:45 - 11:30 AM

Toss Your Toddler Dance: for toddler and caregiver, from 16 months to 3 years. Classes include warm ups, basic dance steps, partnering and stretching. Bond with your toddler while they learn rhythms and tempos doing what they do best: moving! No previous experience necessary.

Thursday, September 11
10:00 - 10:45 AM

*If they get at least 3 Moms, they will run a 10 week program.

Hip Slope Mama spoke to Lynne Wells, the Brooklyn mom who teaches the classes, about what inspired her to create these classes for new moms. This is what she tells us, "I had a dance background, but had discontinued due to an injury followed by getting pregnant. After the birth of my son I had a difficult time exercising consistently and the only way I could do it was with my son in a sling or the Ergo baby carrier, so I decided based on my background as a dancer, (I really missed dancing and choreographing) personal trainer, and yoga instructor to create a class that I could teach to other moms while caring for my son and getting a bit of exercise myself. The sling class came from this experience and then my son out grew the sling, or more he and another little girl who was consistently in class with her mother refused to remain in the baby carriers and wanted to get down and move themselves. Little did we fully realize how much they had been learning until I said, "step ball change" and they began to go across the floor as we were, a gallop version as opposed to the "step-together-step, other foot" version that we were doing, but they had been learning all along. (One of the little girls first words were "prancy feet". A move that we used often in class to help keep the mothers heart rate up.) They were loving the partnering moves more and more and becoming full and active participants so I decided it was time to build a class for them in their toddler stage, from that the Toss Your Toddler was created; it's a class I like to describe as "organized chaos."

One of the things I love the most about the class is the vibe and the comfort, caring, atmosphere is created with a room full of mothers and young babies all moving together, some sleeping at the beginning of class who awake at the end and others who are awake at the beginning of class only to fall asleep by the end.

One day as I was teaching class, in Brooklyn Heights, not at Jennifer's studio, an old woman (80-90's) paused at the window reading some of the fliers and then she saw the class, all the mothers and babies dancing and partnering together and she stayed and watched for awhile. It really is beautiful to watch these women move with their babies. Oh, and most begin with the disclaimer that they are very uncoordinated (usually true), but they all move beautifully and gain coordination as they progress in class!"

Classes are ongoing in Brooklyn Heights at the Brooklyn Dojo, and classes will resume in Park Slope at Jennifer Brilliants's studio in September. Lynne is also also starting to write a book based on the exercise from these classes. The working title is "Fitness from Pregnancy to Preschool". She says, "I really believe in including my child in my activity and the importance of modeling an active lifestyle for my child. I feel that this can lead a child, not just mine, but other children into remaining active throughout their lives, after all they all begin very active!"