Ronald McDonald House is a home away from home for families of children with critical illness. Treatments may last for several weeks, either as a follow up for surgery or on-going therapy. Children in critical condition awaiting organ transplants stay at RMH to be close to the hospital if an organ becomes available. Rooms are reduced and meals are provided by volunteers. But children need more than a room with their families and sustenance. They need to be able to keep experiencing as much of childhood as possible. That was the reason that Dance To Live! offered dance/yoga and movement therapy to residents of Ronald McDonald House. Our once a week, onsite classes, offer exercise and fun all at the same time. We structure the classes around interactive games that involve cooperation, coordination, participation and good humor. Everyone may participate at whatever level he or she is comfortable. Sometimes side effects of surgery or treatments dictate that a child remain seated while participating - but still they are a part of the group and share friendship and fun with other class participants. Each class is dictated by the ages and abilities of the children currently staying at RMH. If we have a class of children awaiting transplants or having recently undergone difficult surgeries, then there may be less stretching and more gentle movement and calming breathing exercises. Each week our program is different, but the decades of experience brought to Dance To Live! by the therapist readily accommodates shifts in the prepared lessons. There are certainly physical benefits that are derived from Dance To Live! but we all love most the smiles and laughter throughout the evening. Thank you for your support of this worthy project. We encourage you to view the photo gallery at our website www.DanceToLive.org
Dance to Live! has served the children and their families who stay at Ronald McDonald House for over a year. In the previous quarter we have worked with children awaiting organ transplants, children struggling with chronic conditions such as cancer, kidney failure, lung disease and recovery from severe burns.
Each participates in the classes (and much is determined by their current health) to the best of his or her ability. But always, always enthusiastically with smiles on their faces as they interact with one another. Props add to the fun of the session and classes are individually choreographed to work with children staying at RMH that week.
The exercise you see in the attached photograph depicts Yoga positions and the Yoga positions are determined by rolling the dice. That way each child has a chance to roll the dice and perform whichever position turns up - and then his classmates follow suit. Great exercise, stimulating, challenging and fun.
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