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La Leche League International
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The Chance to Dance

Patty Jacobs
Alameda CA USA
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 18 No. 5, September-October 2001, p. 180

Dance was the theme at the final luncheon and afternoon closing of the 17th LLLI Conference. Founder Betty Wagner Spandikow introduced and presented the final recipients of the Board of Directors awards for excellence and achievement. Anne Green Gilbert, an educator, author, and dancer, described and demonstrated how movement stimulates the developing child's brain. Haven't we all done the mother dance? lt's that gentle swaying back and forth in the hallway late at night or in line at the store. This not only calms babies, but also stimulates their brains and calms mothers. Gilbert stressed that babies should be placed on their tummies to play, while awake and supervised. This encourages muscular development, and right/left and front/back body awareness. Her slides of babies dancing with mommies and children playing through movement were beautiful.

In keeping with the dance theme, the stars of the closing session were the Chance to Dance and Chance to Cheer performers, ranging from tots to teens, who had rehearsed for several days and delighted their proud parents and other Conference goers alike. My heart swelled with pride as my daughter Sarah's image was projected, larger than life, on the room's big video screens; she danced with the teen group who introduced our next LLLI Conference locale-San Francisco, California, USA. The Chance to Cheer group gave a spirited and very clever cheer for the Founders. The International Ballroom boomed with cheering Conference-goers as we echoed the Chance to Cheer group with a big thank-you to the seven Founders.

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