One of the highlights of our week last week was the CityDance performance at the Backyard Theater for Children at Strathmore.
What a lively performance! It makes me feel good that my son got to see the beauty and athleticism of dance as expressed by children and adults, including male dancers. And who doesn’t love the beats of Bollywood!
Below is the write-up I did for my column at the Washington Times Communities Family Today: “Reading Ingredients: Tales of a Health-Conscious Mom.”
Speaking of health, Crunchy-Chewy Mama has been dealing with her own health issues of late (hello, thyroid disorder: welcome back!), so I’m late in posting this, but Strathmore is generously giving away a family pack of up to four tickets for the last in its July Thursday series. This week is Barynya of Russia. Here is the promo info:
“If your kids haven’t shouted yet in glee over their first Cossack sighting, you are in store for a special treat. Barynya has plenty of dancing Cossacks – plus Gypsies and other Eastern European folk icons with authentic, colorful music, dance, costumes and plenty of high flying … and low, low kicking!”
To enter to win tickets for the 9:30 or 11:30 show on Thursday, July 28, just post a comment below by 11 p.m. Tuesday, July 26. Tell me why you’d like to attend or just share what you love about live dance. Winner will be chosen at random and notified Wednesday morning.
Here’s my post from last week: “Parents avoid outdoors amid air quality warnings”
NORTH BETHESDA, Maryland, July 21, 2011 – On a day like today, just breathing is a potentially toxic experience. Here in the D.C. area, our air quality status rivals that of homeland security: Code Orange means no little person with young lungs should be out playing in air that is decidedly not fresh.
In this heat, I was worried about us melting under a tent at an outdoor dance performance, even though I was looking forward to the act. When my son started coughing yesterday and the news reports warned that persons with respiratory issues should stay inside on this scorcher, it looked like we’d have to scrap the dance and move to plan B.
But then the Backyard Theater for Children at Strathmore announced on its Facebook page that it would move its performance inside because of the heat. So we plugged back into our destination for the morning.
And what a destination it was! We were transported to India thanks to CityDance’s performance of The Warrior Princess of Manipur. Both my boy and my baby grooved to the beats of Bollywood; they were in good company amid a packed and pleased crowd.
Although Strathmore staff said they moved today’s event only out of concern for the dancers and that they prefer to keep performances outside, my family thoroughly enjoyed the indoor venue. And the air conditioning!
The high ceilings of the many-windowed Music Center at Strathmore provided a feeling of being outdoors without having to suffer the consequences of the heat and humidity.
Today is an impossible day to keep cool, and a tough day to feel healthy. Not only was my baby’s head sticky with sweat when we got out of our air conditioned car, but the time I’ve had the babysitter run my son around outside on these hot, smoggy days has clearly compromised his lungs. They sound sick. Even though we live near a woods, the D.C. area is just too full of too many people and their cars to keep pollution under control. Break out the cough drops; it’s Christmas in July!
Tomorrow has an even scarier forecast: Code Red air.
This column tends to focus on what goes into our bodies through our mouths – as in, by eating. And while many respiratory issues can be linked to food allergies, what we breathe and what we put on our skin are just as important. These substances become part of our bodies, too. Call me crazy, but I don’t consider carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide part of a nutritious breakfast.
So if you want your kids to be healthy, keep them inside on air quality alert days when crud in the atmosphere is at a high. Just try not to stick them under a moldy air conditioning unit like the one we need to get rid of. Or at least to clean.
And, if it cools down and clears out enough for Strathmore to hold its July 28 Russian Dance performance outside and they offer you a free snow cone, remember this column on artificial colors and flavors. Be prepared and bring your own organic and natural syrup, or some fruit juice, or better yet, just go for the ice!
In air and in water, clear is the healthiest color of all.
One of the things I love most about living in DC is our access to culture and the arts, and to such a variety. When my kids say “let’s go to the mall,” they mean The Mall – not Tysons or White Flint! That said, sometimes I need to challenge myself to make time to exploit these opportunities between soccer games, swimming, karate, etc, etc – the normal range of 7 yr old activities. Strathmore is such a wonderful venue; we’d love to add Russian dancing to our summer schedule.