Embodiment/SEL Teacher | Ravens Assistant Teacher
Kelly joined Middle Way in 2019 and has brought so much to the school, expanding her role year by year. She brings a calm and grounded energy to all she does and has joyfully embraced the task of creating connections between her deep understanding of children and the wisdom of the dharma. In 2021-2022, Kelly teaches embodiment to the entire school community, which includes traditional yoga practice for the students. In addition, Kelly is a support for the social, emotional and ethical learning teachers bring to their classrooms. She is trained in Responsive Classroom, with tools to create a positive learning environment, and the SEE curriculum, which was created by the Dalia Lama. Kelly will continue to support the Ravens class in the morning. Kelly began at the School of the New Moon in Mt. Tremper in 2001. In 2007, she joined Woodland Playhouse as a preschool teacher and movement/yoga specialty teacher, and worked there with Grace Louis (who is now head of MWS) for 12 years. We asked Kelly to introduce herself in her own words:
“If someone were to ask me what my dream job was, this would be it. I am very happy working at Middle Way. It has been my dream to weave yoga and movement into a curriculum for students of all ages. This is possible with the support of Middle Way, the dedication and inspiration of all the teachers, and the amazing community. I am grateful and feel fortunate to be a part of this initiative to bring Buddhism into the classroom.
At Woodland Playhouse, I had the pleasure of working closely with physical and occupational therapists to incorporate movement into group play and everyday activities. For the past ten summers, I’ve led a one-week movement camp for three to eight-year-olds where children engage in creative writing activities, art projects, and collaborative group stories that incorporate different yoga poses to process and embody their experience. One of my favorite parts about working with children is their curiosity and ability to be in the moment. I embrace their creativity, ideas, and thoughts with the same curiosity.
I received a BFA in Dance Education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, where I also received a diverse musical education through dance. I also did extensive studies in yoga. I took my love for movement to NYC where I studied at the Limon Institute and performed with the Rae Ballard Dance Company. These experiences led me to teach movement classes at several YMCAs throughout New Jersey. I have also taught movement classes at the Studio of Light, the Copperhood Inn & Spa, and at Mt. Tremper Arts. I am also a certified Pilates instructor and lead classes at the Moving Body in Woodstock.
I have lived in the Catskills since 2001 with my husband, Tim and our three beautiful children Emily, Hailey, and Calvin. During my free time I enjoy hiking, cooking with my family, gardening and vacationing by the ocean.”