Greetings from the United States’ East Coast in sunny South Carolina! My name is Tiffany Conary. I am a homeschool mom of seven. Two of my children are already out of school, three are currently being homeschooled, and two are preschool age. I was asked to write a little about my venture into the land of Eurythmy. “Wait, what?” you say, “Eurythmy…? In homeschool…? I thought Eurythmy was only done at Waldorf Schools? We shouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot pole!” Well guess what? I took my ten-foot pole and I poked it! And it was beautiful and wonderful and amazing! It has grabbed a hold of me and imprinted itself on my soul! I have now traded in my ten-foot pole for a three-foot copper rod! (Don’t worry, if you don’t get this joke, you will soon… read on…)
I firmly believe that just because we homeschool that we shouldn’t miss out on this beautiful art form or its therapeutic benefits! Last year through my coop, I had the opportunity to research Eurythmy and bring it to the kids. I immediately fell in love because as I researched it, it seemed so beautiful and so pure. It allows you to express your feelings and emotions without being diminished by bland words… words that pale in comparison to what is actually being felt, words that put a limit on what and how you can express yourself. It is pure, unfiltered expression of profound feelings. Have you ever said, “I just don’t have the words to express how I feel?” I also love Eurythmy because it gives movement to muscles of the body that have grown old and stale because we don’t move our bodies like we used to. In this day, we have machines that do a lot of our work for us, and therefore, our bodies do not get a very good workout. Steiner developed these movements because they are “healthy movements of the body.” At each developmental stage, there are different movements, different muscles, that need to be worked. This can have a very therapeutic effect on children! Not just their bodies but also their minds. As I innocently followed through with my assignment, I didn’t know this was going to be the beginning of my new life goal, to be a professional eurythmist. I studied and studied it as much as I could! I’ve taken online courses and still read as many books as I can possibly get my hands on! Like I said before, Eurythmy has taken a firm grip on me.
I want to bring Eurythmy to my children even though we homeschool. And I want to do it in the fullest way I can possibly come up with. Like I said, my goal is to become a professional eurythmist, to work in a Waldorf school, but to bring it to homeschoolers as well! I AM NOT a professional eurythmist yet, so I am not qualified to teach it. But I can share what I have learned and a little about my journey. I CAN share what I have applied to my homeschooling that works!
So some of you may be saying “What is Eurythmy?” I always laugh when people ask me this because there are no short answers. It is so simple and natural, yet with so many layers! Rudolph Steiner says, “Eurythmy is an attempt to create a visible speech in such a living form that it will be able to reveal the experiences of the human soul more vividly and therefore more artistically than tone and speech themselves can reveal them.” So these movements are actual speaking. Like a good friend of mine roughly put it, “It’s like interpretive dance for phonetic sounds.” These movements are gestures that represent letters of the alphabet, colors, or musical tones. But this is just one layer! There is also form walking, copper rod exercises (remember my joke from earlier? Haha! Now you’re laughing… right?), soul gestures, moods, grammar and syntax, etc.!
Now I KNOW your head is spinning! This is probably why “they” say to leave Eurythmy to the Waldorf schools. But you know what, I disagree. Lory Maier-Smits was the first eurythmist that worked directly with Rudolf Steiner. She helped develop these movements and gestures and taught eurythmy to the soon-to-be eurythmists. She and Steiner instructed them to take what they knew and teach it to their classes, and as they learned more, to apply it. Why then can we not, as homeschoolers, learn line by line, and apply little by little what we learn? WE CAN!! We can do it!! Don’t worry and get overwhelmed. I am here to help as much as I can. Again, I AM NOT a professional eurythmist, but I have spent countless hours studying and researching this. And although I don’t have it all figured out, I can share with you what I DO have figured out, one small step at a time. Are you ready? Let’s go!
(Up next: How Eurythmy works with each developmental stage. Plus, a few basic copper rod exercises to get you started at home or coop!)