Kids these days! As a former kid and a child arts educator, I have observed the youth of today facing high expectations and cram-packed schedules- basically, our kids are stressed! Wouldn’t it be great if there were a program where kids could be themselves, spend time with their friends, enjoy music they love, and shake their sillies out- all at the same time!? Well… I don’t want to rock the boat too much… but…that program already exists!
Hi! My name is Liz Behnke and I’m the director of OULA’s program for our youngest OULAgins… jr. OULA! You may be more familiar with the other three OULA formats, but I’d love to take a little time to tell you about jr. OULA and what makes this program so special!
First off… What is jr. OULA?
jr. OULA was created when an instructor was learning choreography at home, and her son became interested in what she was doing and wanted to dance with her. Since then, jr. OULA has grown into the program it has become today- taking the same core values of OULA (being present, connecting the mind, body, and heart in a community atmosphere) and opening them up to the young people in our lives.
jr. OULA strives to foster creativity and individuality, while creating a safe space for children to explore music and movement with their peers. Just like in OULA, jr. OULA is not about how it looks, but it’s about how it feels- and we hope it feels FUN too!
So…How is jr. OULA different from regular OULA?
The typical jr. OULA class is 30-45 minutes, and it includes brain breaks and dancing games to help break out of the ‘follow the leader’ pattern of a regular dance class. We encourage our participants to use their imaginations and be themselves through kid-appropriate music selections that they already know and love (for example: music from kids’ movies, teen pop stars, etc.). The choreography is created with kids in mind, and is designed to help participants feel successful and give them the opportunity to add their own flair!
There is currently a repertoire jam packed with all our kid’s favorite music: Moana, JoJo Siwa, Trolls, The Lego Movie, Shawn Mendes, Kidz Bop, Coco, Carly Rae Jepsen… and more! A new track is released once a month and instructors are free to build their playlists with whatever songs their classes already know and love! Honestly, there is something magical about a room full of kids singing ‘How Far I’ll Go’ at the top of their lungs.
Alright, I’m interested- I love Moana… where is jr. OULA taught?
Good question, dear reader! What is great about jr. OULA is that it is a versatile class. There are classes happening in gyms, offered to members and families as Kids Fitness classes. Classes are being taught at child care centers on Friday afternoons. Classes are being taught in classrooms by teachers of rambunctious students. There are classes happening in gymnasiums with entire schools! There are even classes happening in garages with groups of neighborhood friends who go get ice cream together afterwards. Dance studios, community education programs… the list goes on and on! jr. OULA is a unique program and is adaptable to so many different places!
Sounds awesome! How do I become certified to teach jr. OULA?!
Never fear, friend! It’s actually quite an easy, painless process! There are two training options:
Upon signing up for the online training, you will have access to all of our training materials, Vimeo channel, and Facebook group. You will have three months to practice teaching, and then film a certification video to become fully certified.
2. In Person!
Our first EVER jr. OULA in person training is happening FEBRUARY 2019. One afternoon full of training, practice teaching, and all around FUN. You end the day as a FULLY CERTIFIED jr. OULA INTSTRUTOR!
You can sign up for both of these training opportunities HERE:
Now, before I sign off, I’d love to leave you with some images from a jr. OULA class, as well as some lyrics from some of our jr. OULA repertoire:
“Everything is possible
There’s nothing we can’t do
It’s a wild and beautiful fire
And I believe in you”
-Believe by Shawn Mendes
“Dream, see, write, live your story
Every day keeps unfolding
Make it your own
The power is all yours”
Auli’I Cravalho (yes, the voice of Moana!)
If you have any questions about jr. OULA or how to become a certified instructor, please reach out- I’d love to chat with you! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope to dance with you soon!