One evening Johari Mayfield played Jenga with a lively bunch of architects at a party and failed miserably. The game’s instructions were simple enough-- a balancing act with an unquestionable end point of “success” or “failure.” This pedestrian event inspired a rethinking about dance, fitness, and the act of teaching. When do we take a risk? How much do we risk? When do we need to establish stability in order to invite mobility? How do we transcend the binary of success and failure?
As a dance instructor and lifelong child at play, Johari reminds her students that we are all movers. Every person has their own physical and emotional architecture, and the act of learning about personal balance, risk, sensitivity, adaptation, surrender, and control are paramount to the act of knowing one’s self.
She creates a safe and inclusive environment where all movers can be in the immediate moment of not knowing, learning from themselves, and risking failure. She believes in everyone having a working knowledge of anatomy, a diverse movement vocabulary, an appreciation of gravity as both resource and teacher, and a sense of humor.
Johari encourages students to leave behind the win-lose, success-failure outlook and embrace a view of dance where foibles and missteps are the building blocks of discovery. Each student works to combat inner critics with joy, simplicity, and wisdom, and to play, laugh, and grow.
- African Dance and Cardio Jam
This fun, interactive and high energy dance class is geared towards adult movers new to African dance. All participants will be introduced to the energy, style and movements of the African continent while building mind/body awareness and cardiovascular strength. Come and get your bliss on! This class is happening at BHATI Space for Creative Wellness in Brooklyn.
- Let's HIIT It (High Intensity Interval Training)
Burn major calories in this workout! We'll use functional movements and traditional weight training combined with intervals of cardio and active rest for this high intensity fat burning cardio experience. Fast and fun moves from African and Hip Hop can be added for added movement flavor.
- Mat and Flow
We will have a challenging mat workout that incorporates principles cultivated by Joseph Pilates and yoga. Breath, postural awareness, and core strengthening exercises will be fueled by a yogic understanding of the value of the balance of power between stillness and movement and how this balance will enable you to accomplish your fitness goals.
- The Hip Hop Lit Squad!
This fun, interactive and high energy dance class is geared towards young movers new to hip hop. All participants will be introduced to the energy, style and movements of hip hop dance while having fun and building strength. Special emphasis is placed on team building through movement while working to support others. Join me on Fridays at Athleta for the Hip Hop Lit Squad classes in for 8-13 year old girls!
- Ballet Explorers (Ballet for toddlers)
Using storytelling, basic ballet terminology, and obstacle courses, young children ages 2-5 are invited to learn about their bodies, the value of movement and stillness. motor coordination and musicality.
- Movement and Expression. (Choreography for kids)
This class focuses on how movement plus music becomes dance. Bodily positions, musicality, and uses of weight are explored while fostering self discovery, collaborative skills, risk taking and making connections between different topics, themes, and areas of learning. Students are physically active throughout class sessions practicing improvisational skills, developing technical skills, working in small groups in order to create an original dance pieces.
- Cafe Tutu
is a children's dance and healthy snack making class designed to help children to value their bodies through movement, dance and nutrition. Primarily geared towards kids ages (4-6) or (8-10), this first part of the class focuses on getting kids active through dance offerings like hip hop, ballet or African dance. In the nutrition portion of the class, each child will artfully become a "chef" and learn how to create his or her own healthy snack.