Before age 5, children observe and internalize the control exercised over them by supportive adults. This enables them to develop self-control. They learn through experience with their bodies and their voices. The optimal environment provides children with the opportunity to test out their own choices as they participate in activities and make social connections. When this happens, they internalize when and how to stop their bodies and their impulses. Rainbowdance helps to provide a space without the typical command based interaction with authority figures so that eventually children, having internalized control, no longer need external regulation.

Within the Rainbowdance circle big and small movements form a dependable pattern. Children use their voices in a loud way, and in a very quiet way. They move like wild horses in the field and nurture the smallest bird in its nest. Most importantly, they use the gesture and word of “stop” repeatedly throughout the group to experiment with their ability to start and stop. They embody a wide variety of extremes and explore where their bodies fit within that spectrum.

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