Monday, December 9, 2013

Book Review: Thelma's Tap Notes. A Step-by-Step Guide To Teaching Tap: Children's Edition

Title: Thelma's Tap Notes. A Step-by-Step Guide To Teaching Tap: Children's Edition
Author: Thelma Goldberg
Publisher: Thelma Goldberg 2013
Theme: Non-Fiction. Instructional Manual for teaching tap dance to children ages 6-12.
Guiding Principles: Release, Relax, Rhythmic Progressions and Full Bodied Rhythm-Making (TM)

Review by Eve Costarelli

This is my first official book review! My dear friend, Thelma Goldberg, sent me a copy of her newly self-published book Thelma's Tap Notes. A Step-by-Step Guide to Teaching Tap: Children's Edition. This is a beautifully laid out manual and I love the catchy and useful sticky note style highlights throughout the book (I also received an accompanying sticky “Tap Notes” pad-which made it very easy for me to jot down my own notes as I went along the book.) Right from the very beginning, Thelma lays out exactly what her approach is to teaching tap to children ages 6-12 and she methodically breaks down her methods level-by-level.

I appreciate how Thelma refers to herself as a student as well as a teacher. I have had the pleasure of taking classes with Thelma, so I know first hand what a dedicated and enthusiastic student she is. I also have seen a number of her studios productions over the years and can equally say she is a committed, passionate teacher, choreographer and leader. Because of this, I can say that Thelma is deeply rooted and she never stops growing!

Thelma's Tap Notes is guided by four principles: Release, Relax, Rhythmic Progressions and Full Bodied Rhythm-Making (TM). In the first part of the book, Levels, each age group: 6 & 7, 7 & 8, 8 & 9, 9-11, 10-12 is broken down into goals, review, musical rhythms, class outline, next step, combos, choreography ideas and improvisation activities. The second part of the book, Series, brings in more tap series needed for the growing dancer: Rudiment Series (courtesy of the Condos Brothers)-basically the ABC's of tap dance; Double Heel Series-to execute clear and specific single sound movements; Shuffle Series-to get loose and increase crispness of sound; Slap and Flap Series-do I hear a challenge??; Paddle and Roll Series-a very advanced series needed for really good technique; Spank Series-to embody the principle of release; and Time Step Series-a series that spans classical steps through present day creations. Thelma gets into the nitty-gritty needed to develop dancers feet, musicality and expression.

The closing of the manual brings in various tap dancers biographies, tying the deep seated tradition of jazz tap to its modernity. Thelma has created not only a clear, accessible teacher's guide but a great reference manual for avid students and seasoned teachers. To note, I too am a children's dance teacher (flamenco, tap and yoga), and I found that this guide will be a great addition to my practices of teaching-especially in helping me to lay down my own step-by-step approach. Bravo Thelma! Encore!

Thelma adds: I invite you and others to send me questions and comments so that I can continue to clarify my method in a way that helps other teachers understand my suggestions. Video support will be coming slowly to the website to demonstrate the 'series' exercises that are at the core of my approach.

Thursday, December 5, 2013



From Spain

featuring ANTONIO CANALES, CARLOS RODRÍGUEZ, KARIME AMAYA, JESÚS CARMONASaturday, March 8, 8pm l Sunday, March 9, 3pm l $79, $58, $48, $30 Reserved seating
Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston

This star-studded evening features Antonio Canales, one of Spain ìs most powerful flamenco dancers of all time; Carlos Rodríguez, the unforgettable choreographer of Nuevo Ballet Español; Karime Amaya, grandniece of Carmen Amaya and a sensationally beautiful and riveting performer; and the young star Jesús Carmona, all accompanied by a fiery ensemble of flamenco musicians.

Sunday, March 16, 7pm l $48, $42, $37, $30 Reserved seating
Berklee Performance Center, 136 Massachusetts Ave., Boston

Boston Debut

José Fernández Torres, known as Tomatito, is a guitarist of major significance within the realm of flamenco. His unique approach and elegant style highlight his unprecedented musical sensitivity and interpretative power. He will be accompanied by a full ensemble and a spectacular flamenco dancer.

For tickets and information call 617-876-4275 or visit

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Breath Easy Through The Season: And above all dance flamenco!

Thanksgiving is surely a time to be thankful for all the good graces that are in our lives, but truth be told it can also be a stressful time. All ages, kids to adult, have to combat overeating, stress, sadness, lack of exercise and imbalance.

I like to make sure my students have a few good things  in their tool box of way to cope with these feelings.

Remember if things do get stressful:
1. Breath: inhale though your nose and out through your nose. Try to elongate the exhale to calm you.
2. Do a simple inversion: forward bends, which can be done leaning forward onto a chair if the floor is just too far away. Yoga poses like forward bend and downward facing dog raise your blood pressure enough to trigger the body's natural calming mechanisms (do not do inversions if you have high blood pressure-the best thing here to do would be to sit and rest your head on a table).
3. Do heart opening poses to combat depression: cobra, bridge, bow, wheel, locust, fish, camel. Simply you can sit on a chair, place your hands by your sides, lift up your chest and feel you back arching up.
4. You can tame feelings of fear and instability by doing twists, hip openers and side bends. These will help balance your emotions: butterfly, child's pose, 1/2 lord of the fishes, simple lying twist and dimple seated twist (on the floor or in a chair).
5. DANCE FLAMENCO! Above all let your hearts be free, it will help you digest your food and you will feel great!

Here is a past post of mine called "Smell The Roses In Your Poses" 

Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving!
¡Ole! ¡Namaste!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

My yoga classes of late....

Recently, my yoga classes have been based on the idea of subliminal messaging that is found in ads, movies etc. By adding affirmations subliminally to each pose/pranyama/meditation (in the descriptions), these subliminal messages will in turn affect the "yogi" to feel a certain way...these are the affirmations I am basing my affirmations on : happy, lucky, grateful and peaceful (these branch out to trusting, trustworthy, rooted, grounded, brave my thesaurus).

For art work, we have been making pictures of trees and in the branches and along the roots we have been writing our own affirmations. Also, focus wheels, with the center circle stating "I AM" and then the external circles embracing our qualities of goodness, trustworthiness, bravado etc...

I have also created a sound track for my upcoming Brighton High School classes:

1. Transform by TJ Rehmi (sorry no YouTube for this one)
2. Om Namah Shivaya by Sheila Chandra
3. Sleep Tonight (Jr Boys Remix) by Stars
4. The Sun Can't COmpare by Larry Heard ft. Mr White
5. The Garden by Cut Chemist
6. The Rain Falls And The Sky Shudders by Moby
7. Rock On Hanuman (Omstrumental) by MC Yogi
8. Give Me The Sunshine by Leo's Sunshipp
9. Lost Ine The World by Chamberlain (Kanye West/ Bon Iver cover) 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Day One of PiBoIdMo 2013 & Sevillanas Presentation and Holiday Party

Day One of PiBoIdMo (Picture Book Idea Month) 2013 runs concurrently with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I am working on bending my loves of teaching children, flamenco, yoga and writing kids to young adults books. Mostly they are non fictional but this month I will be working my kid lit angle and trying my hand at picture book writing. I have a voice recorder with about 10 ideas already...still 20 more to go!
My first idea runs along the idea of a non fictional trip to Spain and the ensuing flamenco fun that arises. The family (in the stage version, my lucky husband and son will be participants) travels to Spain, learns about the history of flamenco and then joins in the fun during Feria week in Seville. That's all I am telling you right now. If you want to see the first run of this travel adventure/story book as it comes alive, please join me, Eve Costarelli and my wonderful youth flamenco dancers (and some fun loving adults):

Sevillanas Presentation and Holiday Party
  • Sunday, December 1st
  • 3:00-4:30PM
  • $10 adult/ $5 children 
Come and enjoy a Spanish Fiesta and the Sevillanas by the Always Be Dancing Youth Flamenco dancers. Eve Costarelli's students will each perform Sevillanas in this fun travel story that takes a family to Moorish Granada and then to Sevilla, the heart of flamenco Spain. They arrive in Seville in time for the Seville Fair. On the way they visit the the grand old city of Granada, a gypsy family in the caves of Sacramonte and then arrive in Seville and enjoy the festivities surrounding Feria week . The fun adventure culminates with an all out Sevillanas fest, where members of the audience are welcomed to join the performers in an all age presentation of the Sevillanas. Great fun for the whole family!

Open Spirit, on the grounds of Edwards Church, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA. For more information, contact Eve Costarelli, 617-216-1643 or;

¡Ole! ¡Namaste!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Templanza/Temperance: Suffolk University welcomes back the Casa Patas Flamenco Foundation!


Tuesday, November 26 at 8:00 PM

Suffolk University welcomes back the Casa Patas Flamenco Foundation, Madrid’s premiere presenters of flamenco and flamenco fusion, for an exhilarating night of dance and music.

Creative temperament is an invisible force found deep in the artist’s blood that makes the heart beat. It is a slow-burning fire in the movement of a bullfighter’s cape, in the steady hands of a guitarist and in the tranquility of a dancer’s soul. Temperance is the power of creative temperament, which promotes an order from within, calms the spirit, and erupts in the emotions that define our lives and, like a glove fitted to a hand, it defines each palo or Flamenco musical form. Temperance is the road of my life. It is a life inexorably tied to and fused with Flamenco, in which the most sober of expressions along with the exaltation of happiness find their place. In Temperance I bare the core of who I am and let myself be
moved by an infi nite number of feelings, which I best express through the art of dance. 
                                                                                                                                            José Jurado

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Using nesting dolls to explain the koshas

Yoga for kids can be geared to teach them the meaning of yoga but with lightness, lots of levity and tons of exploration. Recently, I have been thinking of how to teach the koshas to kids. I have found that studying and teaching Esoteric Anatomy informs my practice and teaching in a beneficial way. The study of the subtle body’s energies and structures supports my true nature. Focusing on the energy inside your body is a great way to notice tensions, relaxation, and a great way to focus inside rather than just externally. I love feeling that the inside of me is just as powerful means for change as the outside.

In yoga, you can describe the functions of the perceptible (corporal) body and you can also describe the functions of the subtle (implied) body. The subtle anatomy of the humans is divided into five energetic sheaths known as ‘pancha kosha’. Pancha, meaning five and kosha, meaning layer or sheath. To explain these layers, I got out my Winnie The Pooh nesting doll-which by luck has exactly 5 layers. The outermost layer is Pooh, then Tigger, Eeyore, Owl and finally Piglet.

  1. (Winnie the Pooh Body) Annamaya Kosha (Food Sheath/Physical Body)- This describes the physical body composed from the five elements but mainly from food and water. With this layer you experience awareness of sensation. Imbalance can be experienced by: muscle tension, too much or too little body weight, obsession with appearance. To balance: Eat a simple diet, rich in organic foods and unprocessed food and do twists.
  2. (Tigger Body) Pranamaya Kosha (Pranic or Energy Sheath)-The Pranic or Energy Sheath, comprises the prana vayus*, nadis** and the chakras***. Prana, the vital breath which man lives by, is the bridge between the gross and subtle bodies as well as between the other koshas. Imbalance: nervous stress, anxiety, shortness of breath, depression, ADHD, exhaustion. Balance: pranayama, foreword bends for anxiety, backbends for depression.
  3. (Eeyore Body) Manomaya Kosha (Mental or psycho-emotional Sheath)– Consists of thoughts and emotions. Expressed by ego and personality. Imbalance: fear, vengefulness, clinging attachment, mental illness. Balance: visualization, meditation, mantra chanting, inversions.
  4. (Owl Body) Vijnyanamaya Kosha (Intellectual Sheath)– Governs intuition. Created by instinct. Imbalance: lack of trust, arrogance, lack of empathy, malcontent. Balance: walking and sitting meditations, solitude, spiritual study, and headstand.
  5. (Piglet Body) Anandamaya Kosha (Bliss Sheath)- The ‘bliss sheath’ is the seat of the inner essence or self and is where we metabolize our experience of Samadhi or a higher level of concentrated meditation. The mind is said to rest in its intrinsic natural state which is pure bliss. In reality (or spiritually) there are no imbalances at this level as the mind is free from ‘chitta vrittis’ or mental confusions and distractions; yet…Imbalance: ungrounded, unfocused, suicidal thoughts. Balance: use all strategies.
*Prana is the force/energy that is in our body which brings forth life. Vayu means winds. Prana viyus are energy winds inside the body.

** Nāḍis are the channels through which, in traditional Indian medicine and spiritual science, the energies of the subtle body are said to flow. They connect at special points of intensity called chakras.

***Chakra means “wheel” or “circular motion”. They are the psychic centers located in ascending order along the shushumna nadi (the spine) and are part of the nadi (“little rivers or streams”) system of yoga.

We started class lying in constructive rest, hands on belly, just noticing breath. I gave an intention for the practice which was that we were going to give our yoga practice our wholehearted attention-training the mind to regain its ability to be undistracted. This will help them to remain aware and conscious throughout the practice. I also began to explain how to do Ujjayi breath or Victory breath. With breaths in and out through the nostrils, I first had them imagine that the breath was coming from the soft spot directly in the middle of their collar bones, at the base of their throat. I explained the sound was audible only to themselves but it should have a soft oceanic pulse. Imagine they are really Darth Vader but they do not want anyone to know so making Darth Vader breath “silently”. From constructive rest, we moved on to an easy twist, something I learned in Svaroopa yoga, which I like a lot. Standing, breathing up and down from Up Mountain to Bent Over Forward Bend using the inhale to lift us and the exhale as we descended. This establishes a coordination of breath and movement. High lunge on both sides ending with Downward Facing Dog. Of course we had to try 3 legged dog with some leg wags and barks! As we began to use our breath more, I encouraged them to try their Ujjayi breathing. I also reminded them of our class intention, just a few subtle reminders and they kept on track. We then did Triangle, Tree and then Half -Moon, even going for a foot hold, which some people call Sugar Cane Pose...I just call it “Wheeeeee”! Sitting back down, Bound Angle Pose, to Revolved Head-to- Knee Pose, with Karate Chop action...taking the opposite arm, lifting it high by your ear and then bending over and karate chopping towards the pinky toe side of the extended leg to a simplified version of Marichyasana III. Of course, I threw in a number of Child's Poses throughout.

What came next was unplanned, but grew into the perfect activity to tie in the koshas. We lay the yoga blocks out in a pattern, like stepping stones. As each person began their trail, they would take the first block with them and then add it to the end of the trail, reshaping the shape. To make this an exercise in concentration, I first had them say “So” “Hum” as they walked, one syllable for each step. We then internalized this and it became a silent walking meditation. They had to pay attention to their feet or they wold fall off the blocks. The shape moved around and ended up heading into the kitchen, where after each block placement, they would walk around the kitchen island and back to the head of the trail. The shape slithered through the kitchen, back out again and across the floor, to the supply closet, where the carefully placed each block back in place and then quietly went back to their mats for Final Relaxation. This unplanned activity lasted a good 15 minutes. They all worked together, silently, and the joy and happiness radiated from within.

I love yoga!

¡Ole! ¡Namaste!

Here are some Baboushka coloring pages and crafts:

Monday, September 23, 2013



Veteran’s Yoga (Mondays 6:15-7:15) Open Spirit, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA
  • This yoga class is free for all veterans, family members and providers. This class focuses on the specific needs of veterans. Experience the benefits of yoga to relieve stress, recover from trauma, focus the mind and heal the body. All veterans welcome regardless of age or physical ability. No previous yoga experience is necessary. Mats and props are provided. Please wear comfortable clothing and avoid eating at least one hour before class. (Classes are co-taught with Michael Thomas and Lynn Stoller)
Yoga for Tweens and Teens (Mondays 4:30-5:30; starts Monday September 30) Open Spirit, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham, MA
  • Yoga is the perfect complement to all activities as it promotes flexibility, strength, friendliness and calmness. Students will learn yoga postures to work the body, breathing techniques to increase the flow of oxygen to the body’s tissues and meditation to calm the mind.

Youth Flamenco (ages 4-16) (Wednesdays 4:00-5:00 (ages 4-9) & 5:00-6:00 (ages 10-16)
The Dance Complex, 536 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA
  • Youth I (Level 1/2), ages 4-10
This class includes basic technique and technique to improve flamenco dance to include correct posture, hand, arm, and foot placement. The student will become familiar with basic flamenco vocabulary. The course will include exercises that will develop and improve the clarity of the students’ footwork, develop their upper-body to lower-body coordination as well as stamina and endurance are included. Basic castanet playing exercises are practiced. Basic to medium level footwork and choreographic variations are taught. Repertoire will be taught. Required attire: leotard or fitted top, castanets, flamenco shoes and skirt for girls. Castanets and flamenco boots for boys.
  • Youth II (Level 2/3+), ages 10-16
This class offers Flamenco technique to improve posture, hand, arm, and foot placement. Exercises that will improve clarity of the students’ footwork, upper-body to lower-body coordination as well as stamina and endurance are included. Medium to complex footwork and choreographic variations are taught. Repertoire will be taught.
Required Attire: Flamenco shoes, flamenco skirt, leotard or fitted top, castanets. Castanets and flamenco boots for boys. Other dance accessories may be required such as Spanish hat, mantón and fan, when necessary.


Intro to Youth and adult Flamenco Workshops; Saturday October 19th 2013 Open Spirit, 39 Edwards Street, Framingham
  • Introduction to Youth Flamenco 1:00-2:00PM
  • Adult Introductory Flamenco 2:30-3:45PM
  • These introductory workshops will introduce beginners of all ages to the joys of flamenco dancing: the rhythms (compás), correct posture (postura) , arm and hand movements (braceo y floreo), footwork (taconeo) and the flamenco heart (duende). No previous dance experience is necessary.
All participants should wear hard bottomed shoes; women and girls should also wear skirts.
Pre-Registration is encouraged. For more information, please contact Eve Costarelli 617-216-1643 or



  • The Boston Arts Consort and the Democracy Center are proud to be part of Boston’s inaugural ArtWeek.
Zarzuela! Spain’s unique brand of opera filled with music, dance, comedy and passion is coming to the Democracy Center in Cambridge on Saturday, September 28th. Be part of the production by singing the fiery choruses and clapping to the rhythmic palmas of flamenco, while lovers woo and men duel over their señoritas, and get to know a little-known gem in Harvard Square —the Democracy Center, a non-profit haven that has been incubating grassroots organizations and providing space for events, classes, the arts, and community collaboration for over a decade with the goal of advancing peace and justice.
Drawing from the many talented musicians, artists and scholars from the Boston area and abroad since 2008, the Boston Arts Consort presents programs that combine the aesthetic, cultural, and historical elements of its themes for a well-rounded and enjoyable audience experience. The Boston Arts Consort performers include Elizabeth Leehey, clarinet; Eva Lorca, flamenco artist; Donal O’Sullivan, actor; Linda Papatopoli, pianist and director; Roberto Rios, flamenco guitar; Clara Sandler, mezzo-soprano; and Gary Tucker, baritone; with lecture by Margarita Campos, Professor of Communications at Barcelona University.
Refreshments will be provided.

Tour of the Democracy Center at 7 pm, Lecture and performance at 8 pm
Tour is free, “Zarzuela” is free for students, $10 general public
45 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge, MA 02138
Call The Boston Arts Consort
(617-666-7973) or the Democracy Center (617-492-8855) for more information.

Friday, August 23, 2013



Zarzuela! Spain’s unique brand of opera filled with music, dance, comedy and passion is coming to the Democracy Center in Cambridge on Saturday, September 28th. Be part of the production by singing the fiery choruses and clapping to the rhythmic palmas of flamenco, while lovers woo and men duel over their señoritas, and get to know a little-know gem in Harvard Square —the Democracy Center, a non-profit haven that has been proving space for events, classes, the arts, and community collaboration since 2001 with the goal of advancing peace and justice.

The Boston Arts Consort performers include Elizabeth Leehey, clarinet; Eva Lorca, flamenco artist; Donal O’Sullivan, actor; Linda Papatopoli, pianist and director; Roberto Rios, flamenco guitar; Clara Sandler, mezzo-soprano; and Gary Tucker, baritone.

Doors open at 7:00 PM for guided tours of the Democracy Center. At 8:00 the music event begins with lecture by Margarita Campos, Professor of Communications, Barcelona University.

Tours of the Democracy Center are free of charge. Tickets for “Zarzuela” are free to students with ID and $10 general public, and can be purchased at the door.

The Democracy Center is located at 45 Mount Auburn Street, a short walk from the Harvard T Station.

Please call The Boston Arts Consort at 617-666-7973 for more information. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Flamenco & Yoga: Summer 2013: Northeast Youth Ballet, Reading, MA.

Flamenco & Yoga: Summer 2013: Northeast Youth Ballet, Reading, MA.

This summer, for my 12 consecutive year, I joined the staff at Northeast Youth Ballet for six weeks of flamenco and yoga classes. To say that teaching at this school is an absolute pleasure would be an understatement. This is an amazing dance school. The dedication of the owners and the teachers to the students is unparalleled. You can tell this from the moment you walk in the door. The total vibe of the place is one of harmony, cooperation, focus and positivity. I am so fortunate to be part of it all!

The last four weeks have been dedicated to the intermediate and advanced students. Having them both for flamenco and yoga has really upped my game. I can work theories of physical and energetic movement throughout flamenco class, using the pulsations of the specific rhythm they are working on and then bring those same energetic movements back in during yoga class. I am so satisfied being able to combine these two art forms. This is where my heart lies.

At the beginning of each class, I would lead a flamenco centering exercise to get them in the mindset for flamenco. I needed them to connect to the songs they would be dancing too and to soak their minds and bodies with the rhythms. Most of the time, we started lying on the floor. After an initial breathing exercise, we would listen to the song to ingest it. I would talk about the essence of the song, how it's particular rhythm would motivate the movement and allow your soul to show through while you danced it. I would talk about grounding, being able to hold the song in the heart, almost being able to grasp it with their hands.

The intermediate students and I worked on the fourth Sevillanas. Now it is true, that you would normally learn them in order -1, 2, 3, 4- but I chose just to work number four with this group. It is full of -step, ball change- which I knew would be a motor skill they already possessed and by working on only one Sevillanas, we would have time to do it in partners and in a circle formation. For the demonstration, they are dancing it four times. Firstly they will do it facing the audience; second, they find their partners; third, still in same partnerships; and the fourth time, they move into two circles, one inside the other, and then those two circles partner each other. It reminds me of Bugsby Berkeley’s choreography from the 1920's (stylistically, my favorite era).

The advanced students took on a Tangos de Triana ( I was so motivated by my workshop with La Lupi to explore the rhythm and movement of this song style. It is really snarky (from the Urban Dictionary “A witty mannerism, personality, or behavior that is a combination of sarcasm and cynicism. Usually accepted as a complimentary term”) and full of bravada and fun. The attitude just jumps right out of my heart. I tell them it feels like hip hop danced on the street-an expression of the creators, the gypsies in Andalucia, fighting persecution, like the blues. We worked tirelessly on giving the dance the right attitude and grounded-ness

I cannot wait for tomorrow's performance to see these students dance. To see them perform my flamenco but also to see them dance ballet, character, modern and musical theater. I adore seeing them in all these different elements and how each of their souls comes out. It just is so revitalizing!

Teaching yoga after a full day of flamenco is idyllic. My dream job. I love to use energetic movement, from inside the body, the subtle body’s movement, to heighten the yoga experience. This is a perfect age group for this as it allows them to drop down and totally relax, take notice of their breath and how their bodies are feeling, and then begin movement from a place of presence. I find a good combination of activities in a youth yoga class, keeps the kids present and fully engaged. Some of the things I like to include are meditation, breath-work, poses, games and open discussions about principles such as Ahimsa (a principle of yoga that means to do not harm), karma , practicing yoga off the mat.

Karma class. Karma is defined as an action or a deed; a result of an action; destiny or fate, following as effect from cause. Synonyms are fortune, fate, destiny. Karma yoga is the yoga of selfless service (altruism= one acts without being attached to the fruits of one's deeds).

Kinder people live longer lives; people who volunteer experience fewer aches and pains. We feel good when we give because we experience the “giver's lift”, a distinct physical sensation from helping. Kindness makes us happy. It reduces depression, lowers anxiety and builds our self esteem.

How to you practice Karma? One way is with Random Acts of Kindness (RAK). It is stated that one RAK a day keeps self-centeredness away! As Aesop said “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

I read to the class-I love reading stories out loud to kids of all ages-The Three Questions (Based on a story by Leo Tolstoy) written and illustrated by Jon J. Muth. It is a wonderful story about Nikolai who wants to “be a good person” and so proposes three questions to his friends: When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? They never answer him directly, but by the end of the story, Nikolai has answered the questions for himself. I had them contemplate kindness and the ways they are already kind and the ways they might like to add more kindness into their lives. I gave each of them two pieces of paper and a crayon and they wrote two examples of how they are and how they want to be kind. The recurring themes were of helping out family members, giving attention to those around them, and being positive, friendly, loving people. We left our slips of paper in a vase soother people could read our notes and feel connected.

We then stood and did some fun flows to different songs on my play list: Jamaica Resting by The Pool; Give Me The Sunshine by Leo's Sunshipp; The Sun Can't Compare by Larry Heard presenting Mr. White.

Taking a cue from one of my mentors, Shakta Khalsa, I taught them the “Detective” game (from the Radiant Child Yoga's teacher's manual). Dividing the the girls into smaller groups, I had them sit in circles. One person, the “detective”, would leave the room. The group them decides who will be the secret leader. The leader makes different motions such as leg taps, hand claps, eye blinks, small quiet movements or loud fast movements and everyone else follows as immediately as possible, trying to accomplish this seamlessly as to not give away the “it” person. The detective then returns to the scene and tries to determine who is it. This game develops powers of observation and the ability to be subtle, focused and alert. The game was a huge success and the smaller groups allowed for each girl to take a turn.

I wandered around the room listening into their giggles and relaxed chatter.  We gathered into one large circle, held hands, breathed in and then lay back (usually we play the hand squeeze game here, but today I just had them relax).

These students have been the most willing participants in everything I have given them this summer. They have expanded their repertoires, their presence, and their characters. They have expanded mine. 

Ole Namaste!

Eve Costarelli

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Outside the Box Festival Boston: Eve Costarelli to perform!

Summer 2013
Always Be Dancing!

Anthony Tiriti Tran and I are thrilled to be a part of Outside the Box, a free, outdoor arts festival in Boston, July 13 - 21, 2013!

You will find YAMA artists/ensembles: 
Alastair MoockBehind the Mask, Eve Costarelli, Mystic Paper BeastsOdaiko New England and Roots Music Collective on the "Lily Pad" and "Squirrel's Den" stages on Boston Common.

Come see Eve Costarelli and Anthony Tiriti Tran presenting “The Birth of Flamenco” on the Lily Pad stage (next to the Frog Pond) on Thursday July 18th and Saturday July 20th, both shows start at 12noon.

A revolutionary event is happening this July in the heart of Boston, one that promises to unite neighborhoods, citizens, and artistic communities throughout the city: Outside The Box.
From July 13th – 20th, the first annual performing arts festival will turn public spaces like the Boston Common and City Hall Plaza into performance spaces, with over 200 events showcasing the best of Boston and Massachusetts.
And one of the things that makes Outside The Box so revolutionary? Every event is completely FREE!
In true festival tradition, Outside The Box not only aims to unify the community, but to make art accessible to everyone. From theater to dance, the symphony to independent bands, classic to cutting-edge – whatever your preference, Outside The Box will intrigue you, draw you in, and introduce you to new talent. All you have to do is show up, and let our diverse programming do the rest.

Now more than ever is the time to support the city and show the world our talents, so join us this summer at Outside The Box, Boston’s MASSive performing arts festival.