Hi there! It’s nice to meet you. I’m Charlotte and I am the founder of the Physio Jazz program. You might wonder who I am and how I came to start this website so here goes:
I am not a doctor or medical professional. Nope, I’m not, not even a little. I’m not even a physical therapist. I’m just a dance teacher who said “yes” to starting a program for students with Down syndrome, who did a ton of research, and over the past 10 years has been developing my own curriculum through trial and error.
I don’t have a physical therapist who teaches class with me. Still no. I’m not connected to a medical trial or experiment, though I call my classroom my “laboratory”. I thought this was a weakness of my program but it turns out the parents of my students love it. They are tired of the doctors and diagnoses. They like that I just observe with my own eyes and get creative with solutions.
I’m not a writer. OK maybe you already figured that out. Dancing is my strength, not writing. I never really cared about the idea of blogging. I don’t even really want to do it right now, but here I am . . . at the computer typing away.
So if I’m not any of those things, why in the world do I have a website? Here’s my story:
When I was first asked to start a weekly dance class for students with Down syndrome at my dance studio, I google searched for any information (books preferred because I love them!) that might tell me how to teach dance to students with Down syndrome. Unfortunately, my search came up short. The information was so limited that I created a lesson plan from a Kinder syllabus I had. There were likely education or medical journals that may have provided some insight if I really dug but for me, the regular dance teacher doing an ordinary search, I found nothing.
So I started with my first lesson plan and it totally bombed. (In fact, I pulled it out a few weeks ago and laughed at it.) And so I did the only thing that I could do at that time: try something new, evaluate, rework it and try again. Through these “experiments” over the past 7 years, I found classroom tactics that worked (and some that didn’t), new challenges for the students that I wasn’t aware of initially, and a good way to teach them incrementally to make real progress. So naturally, I wanted to pass that information on to make having a program for students with special needs easier for others.
Flashback to three years ago when I began creating an article for the Journal of Dance Education to submit to their disability issue. It wasn’t accepted so I kept resubmitting for the next two years. The biggest issue was that all of my work was my observations and not backed my scientific research or measurable results. But that was the whole point/ All I wanted to do was share my work with others who might find it helpful. I didn’t want to be a published writer and I didn’t want to be an expert on medical studies.
So that led me here: to the creation of this website. It’s a place for me to share my classroom observations and to hopefully give some insight to parents and educators about students with special needs. I don’t propose that my way is the only way to teach or to be the ultimate expert on special needs.
I’m just a dance teacher who wants to help and is trying her best.
Welcome to my site!