A few weeks ago, my local homeschool group held a day-long workshop with Eurythmy teacher Cynthia Hoven. Cynthia teaches Eurythmy at the Rudolf Steiner College and has written a book about Eurythmy. She explains eurythmy as “a modern movement art developed by Rudolph Steiner in which the sounds of language and music are expressed through gesture and dance.”
The workshop was fantastic! The first half of the day we worked on archetypal movement including body carriage, something Cynthia called Three-fold stepping, and eventually walking through a type of choreography that had us partnered off and walking a pattern on the floor while simultaneously moving to different corners of the room to begin the pattern in a new direction! As a dancer in years gone by, it really filled my soul. How I love to move! As a group we worked on being spatially and bodily aware of others while we passed little balls, walked triangles, figure eights and stars. Cynthia recited little poems with appropriate meters to keep us all moving cohesively.
Later in the day we were divided into two groups and Cynthia had us glide through a pattern that first seemed like a big circle, then a peanut shape, then a flowing “X” as the two groups crossed, and finally ended in two separate circles. She indicated that we had just danced something that is studied in the Waldorf seventh grade. Immediately, I could see that we had just “performed” cell mitosis! (I have been looking ahead. Seventh grade isn’t too far in our future!) We then followed her in a fairy tale using eurythmy gestures.
I reflected for days on how enlivening movement is and how I can bring it to my children in our home. Some things I can bring easily; like the purposeful stepping, the reaching exercises to open your back space, and the walking of shapes on the floor. Some things will require more children, and for that I’m glad we have a homeschool group! I ended up buying Movement for the Young Child and Cynthia’s book Eurythmy. Movement for the Young Child looks very promising with many verses and stories and their accompanying gestures. Cynthia’s book contains the descriptions of the eurythmic gestures. Using these two resources, I may be able to put some movement activities together (but authentic it will not be, as eurythmy is a four year course of study that I don’t envision learning!) That is fine by me, just adding some enjoyable movement activities will be enriching.
Do you incorporate archetypal movement or eurythmy into your homeschool?