Ch.41 Sports at New Colleges
Second of two chapters on how college Sports was evolved to invite learners into whole-brained, win-win thinking and behaviors
The sports program of Experiential Insight Colleges (New Colleges) is easy to describe. Best Practices in several fields were converged. A thumbnail of the sports curriculum for all four years:
- BAVX ball bouncing rhythms (Bal-A-Vis-X),
- Viola Spolin theater improv exercises,
- Waldorf Bothmer Gymnastics,
- New Games/Playfair and Quaker cooperative games,
- Tennis and swimming if available on each campus,
- Aerial arts (trapeze) for those majoring in group facilitation.
Detail follows on each.
BAVX ball bouncing
BAVX beanbags and ball bouncing is technically a remedial practice. Exercises nest within the realm of juggling, jumprope, Waldorf beanbag and copper rod exercises thru the grades.
BAVX ball bouncing exercises (grades 1–3) are a natural lead-in to Bothmer Gymnastics (grades 4–5 up). They can be useful at any age. For example, they have great application for the elderly to retain mental acuity.
In BAVX, peripheral vision and audiating (inner perceiving) of rhythm are the emphasis, the most cognitive concern. BAVX exercises our competency at outer mechanics of vision, rhythm and body awareness.
Later, Bothmer is the practice of inner mechanics of rhythm, audiating rhythm, connecting with your internal awareness, body and intuition.
To its accessible and FUN factors BAVX adds the benefits of identifying individuals with learning disabilities they and parents may be unaware of. Thru activation of peripheral vision; and, rhythmic practice, BAVX exercises address and can remediate visual tracking deficiency, auditory imprecision, impulsivity, poor balance, low self-esteem and anxiety issues.
An aside: In K-5, classroom teachers can be given the choice of regular, daily practice with either Waldorf beanbags with poetry and time tables; or, BAVX exercises whichever they are more passionate towards. Either can be used to practice vocalizing (memorizing) times tables.
Detail on BAVX exercises
BAVX exercises range from tossing-catching one sandbag to bouncing-catching four racquetballs in sequence. Partner exercises require up to six balls to be in motion with accompanying feet patterns. In BAVX bag exercises are often combined with foot patterns. Ball exercises are often done while standing on special balance boards. Exercises address visual tracking deficits, auditory imprecision, impulsivity, balance and anxiety issues.
In partner and group settings, exercises demand cooperation, promote self-challenge; and, invite peer teaching.
BAVX enables a very large fraction of our capacity for aware focus and aware attention, to be active, on multiple levels, at the same time. Activating awareness on multiple levels simultaneously, naturally activates a large fraction of all parts of the head brain and gut brain.
Typical results include improved academic success; yet, requires less effort — http://www.CandiCosgrove.com/what-we-offer/bal-a-vis-x (has 15 short demo videos) More demo videos here: https://integratedbrain.co.uk/examples/ “
To BAVX ball bouncing rhythms the singing and mental math problem solving while bouncing balls is added a Waldorf Best Practice. BAVX ball bouncing rhythms are ideal for identifying students to be flagged as having remedial needs and learning disorders. Often BAVX alone remedies these.
To Learn More: BAVX
Resonance: Elise and other Bal-A-Vis-X Stories by Bill Hubert the (2007)
Video “Bal-A-Vis X Demonstrations” — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQfttMeuAPw
DVDs are here https://bavxresources.com/products/dvds and also at Bill’s website.
Eurythmy copper rod exercises #1,2,3 — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJZnzkY5RW0
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Waldorf Bothmer Gymnastics
To Learn More: Bothmer/rods
COPPER RODS ACTIVITIES FOR WALDORF SCHOOLS [Jeff Tunkey] — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSs9CBrhYds
Movement for Childhood [book and website by Jeff Tunkey] — http://www.movementforchildhood.com/ — A resource for teachers & parents who want to provide healthy development through age-appropriate movement activities inspired by Waldorf Education. he also has a book.
- Waldorf Bothmer Gymnastics, the more extraverted aspects are preserved and expanded on. The Isadore Duncan-Steiner Eurythmy aspects are avoided.
All exercises promoting internal audiation of objects, partners and rhythms are retained.
Waldorf Rods exercises (graduate level of BAVX).
One minute collage of Bothmer activity: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=943541269347639
“Bothmer Israel — Stick work lesson (1)” by Gal Indyk — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxmdN81O5r4
Bothmer Israel — Groupwork in circles & sticks (1) — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJN476eAZow
“Bothmer Israel — Stick work in pairs (1)” — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65Aw7sriRvg
All with a partner: tossing two sticks at once. Tossing two sticks at once AND crossing over, stick to opposite hand. One partner has eyes closed. Stick is tossed to them. They toss it back all with eyes closed. Switch sides, on opposite side of body. Which side is easier? Switch roles. Do both sides.
“Bothmer Israel — Stick work in pairs (2)” — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNcfWTGnCwM
Short-long and short-short-long poetic feet are practiced.
“Bothmer Israel — Stick work with eyes closed” — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SatCOwNJBM
“Bothmer Israel — Groupwork in circles & sticks (2)” — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_59kGHuTis
In a circle, lean your stick so your clockwise partner can catch a falling stick. Requires visualization.
“Bothmer Israel — Jumping over two moving sticks” — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2bsvhIblxk
This requires teaching the rhythm first. Then add the moving stick. Players need to audiate the rhythm to know when it’s safe to step between the moving sticks.
“Bothmer Israel — Jumping over 4 moving sticks” — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLm2vUs2jqg
This requires teaching the rhythm first. Then add the moving stick. Players need to audiate the rhythm to know when it’s safe to step between the moving sticks. Quite clear in video players are not audiating the rhythm internally.
Viola Spolin theater improv exercises
- Viola Spolin theater improv exercises are not modified. Exercises are sequenced for use as college class sessions for classroom-teacher-facilitators to conduct.
For classroom teachers, you’re trying to draw your students out, asking them to do something daring. Model risk-taking with energy; encourage the students to find and invest the same kind of energy.
Allow students to lead you further. For example, if a student is reluctant to take on a character, give them an easier choice. If this allows them to go further — push them further. Not every child gets exactly the same stimulus.
Instructors have to alter the stimulus to both
(1) RESPECT where the child is and
(2) challenge them to their best.
A student may have a natural never-tapped talent in an area. If they’ve never tried something before and they re good at it, the next thing is to develop it.
The question is not only, “Who is most talented at this moment?”, it’s also, “Who is ready for a further challenge?”
In some situations, a student looking directly at another could be seen as an act of aggression. In games that require eye contact, the instructors should clearly state, “In our rehearsal place, the rule is you are not threatening someone by looking in their eyes, you re following the rules of a game.”
IMPROVISATIONAL GAMES AND STRUCTURES
One person throws an imaginary ball to another person on the circle, making a sound as he throws it. The person receiving the ball catches it, making the same sound with which it was thrown. The receiver then throws the ball to another person on the circle, making a new sound.
Status Walk Around:
Participants are divided into two tribes, As and Bs. Each has half the open space available. Within their tribe space, they walk around as the facilitator calls out contrasting status behaviors:
- Limping vs walking,
- Crawling vs limping,
- Limping vs. skipping,
- Taking up a lot or a little physical space,
- Talking vs singing
- Singing vs crying
- In love with All vs, curmudgeon.
Have each student prepare a list of 5–10 contrasting behaviors. When each student competes their prompts, a new student facilitator leads.
Character Walk Around:
Participants walk around the room in random patterns. They develop instant characters by changing simple things about the way they walk, and letting this affect everything else, including voice, attitude, etc.
Examples: Change the part of the body that leads. Change length of stride, width of stance, pace, footfall, toes in or out, etc. This can move on to impersonating types of people in the participants lives, such as siblings, teachers, and impersonating themselves in the presence of others (parent, younger family member, someone smarter, someone who irritates them, etc.).
Making Faces at the boss:
A boss is flanked by two (or four, or six, etc.) flunkies, who behave in a low status manner when the boss can see them, and lower the boss s status by making faces behind his back when he turns away. When he catches them, they must immediately lower their status back to an acceptable level or they will be fired, to be replaced by new flunkies.
One Scene, Different Ways:
The improvisors do a very short scene, then re-do it in different styles, historical settings, etc.
Have four students stand in front of the class to be the storytellers. The instructor will be the conductor. The conductor will point at individual storytellers who will make up part of the story for as long as the conductor is pointing at them. As soon as the conductor stops pointing at them, they will stop talking. The next person pointed at continues the story where the other person left off.
Conducted Story Variation:
Whenever one of the story tellers messes up in the handing off of the story, they must leave, perhaps performing a “death” before going.
The actor starts by miming a physical activity with a particular attitude (Tim idly cleaning out a closet, for example). The audience asks the character questions.
The actor develops the character by answering.
Character Interview Variation:
The actor is given some characteristics before starting, such as: they are a particular type of person in a period in history (a rich manufacturer in 1929), or a character from a work of fiction (Sam from My Brother Sam Is Dead, Newberry children’s book award winner). More discoveries are made about the character through the interview process.
One partner interviews the other on a made-up topic. Everything the “Expert” says is true and fascinating. Every question the “Interviewer” asks is perceptive and deserves an answer. Of course, every answer is some form of “Yes, and…”
One partner mimes giving the other a gift. The second partner takes the gift and, by using and talking about it, makes it clear what the gift is and says, “Thank you.
[Offer, Blind Offer, Specific Offer]
One Scene, Different Ways:
The improvisors do a very short scene, then re-do it in different styles, historical settings, etc.
“Yes, And…“ Story:
In a circle, each person adds anything he or she wants to a story as long as they begin their contribution with, “yes, and .
The following games and structures require both the class and teacher to be experienced using improvisational theater in the classroom.
Human slide show:
Three students are audience. they face a “screen” ideally a moveable blackboard with just a frame, a moveable frame. One or at most two or three students stand behind the frame and freeze into their rehearsed positions. The audience has to guess what the story is the slide is depicting.
This requires some homework prep thinking of stories to enact which an audience can interpret in 30–45 seconds.
Advanced variation: slow motion movies: the slide actors very slowly perform an action. Audience tries to guess the story being acted.
Theater Games for Young Performers by Maria C. Novelly, 1985
Theater Games for the Classroom by Viola Spolin, 1986
Viola Spolin on Amazon books https://www.amazon.com/Viola-Spolin/e/B00J6PPG40/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1471739004&sr=1-1
- New Games/Playfair cooperative games
Modified for physical safety issues when student groups include co-learners over age 35. For example, wearing light gloves when playing Earthball. Sequenced for use as college class sessions for classroom-teacher-facilitators to conduct. See also teaching tips at: “New Games — An Historical Perspective” — https://www.deepfun.com/new-games-an-historical-perspective/
Quaker cooperative games.
Everyone Wins: Cooperative Games and Activities by Sambhava Luvmour and Josette Luvmour
Cooperative Games for a Cooperative World: Facilitating Trust, Communication and Spiritual Connection by Dada M.
- New Games, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Games_Book
- PlayFair: Everybody’s Guide to Noncompetitive Play (1980) by Matt Weinstein and Joel Goodman
Inner Games of Tennis and Swimming
- Tennis and swimming if available on each campus. The Inner Game of Tennis is the textbook
dg- Inner Game of Tennis
Senior year: Trapeze training for group facilitators
Introduction to Aerials, primarily Trapeze. Seniors enrolled in the Group Facilitation Arts training program have priority for all available student openings.