About Project



through embodied learning, and empowering students, teachers, parents, counselors, health care professionals and staff.



The Storydancer Project, in collaboration with Early Childhood Education Departments of University of New Mexico Gallup, Navajo Technical University, elementary schools in the Gallup-McKinley and Central Consolidated school districts, Gallup Indian Medical Center, Gallup Battered Family Services and area health centers provides the following Rainbow Bridge Initiatives:

  • What’s in a Story multi-lingual story reading and movement arts education to pre-kindergarten through sixth grade classrooms
  • Everyday Self-Care & Movement Arts trainings for teachers and early childhood education students
  • Everyday Self-Care Education for parents and teachers of infants and toddlers through UNM Gallup Early Childhood and Family Center's Lunch & Learn program
  • Community Wellness for domestic violence shelters
  • Self-Care for the Caregiver for health care centers and hospitals



1. ELEMENTARY & PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN: TSP’s What's in a Story (WIS) program



WIS serves infants, toddlers & pre-K-6 graders in Navajo schools & centers. Begun in Santa Fe Public Schools in 2008, and brought to the Navajo Nation in Utah in 2010, WIS has served over 1,000 students per year since its inception. TSP now provides WIS Spring/Fall semester programs in NM at Navajo Technical University early child care center, Tohatchi Elementary, Crownpoint Elementary, Jefferson Elementary, Indian Hills, Eva B. Stokely Elementary and Nizhoni Elementary.

“I think we should read again a lot of time till fifth grade. I want do the exercises till I’m an old man.” - J. Attcity, 2nd Grade

“I could tell the gears were ticking in their heads.” “The exercises are good for their brains and their bodies!” “The kids were so excited to participate!”“I believe children are now even more encouraged to read. Great job!" - Comments from teachers


2. TEACHERS: Trainings in Take a Minute™ Every Day Self-Care - Elementary Schools and Early Childhood Centers



Teachers who learn TSP’s Take A Minute™ Everyday Self-Care Exercises (TAM) have a profound yet easy-to-use tool for on-the-go rejuvenation. TAM includes joint mobilization, gentle stretching, and stress-relieving movements that offer joyful re-connection to the body. Teachers trained in TAM can then teach exercises to their students and coworkers for an instant shift in outlook, relief from sitting at desks, and a moment to refocus and re-energize. TAM teaches that resilience is within reach—right in the bodies we have, in the moment we’re living. Students and teachers learn that moving is fun, makes them feel better, and connects them to each other—a basis for a lifetime of healthy habits.


3.  PARENTS & TEACHERS OF INFANTS & TODDLERS: Everyday Self-Care Education for parents of infants and toddlers through UNM Gallup's Lunch & Learn program, and trainings for teachers at the Early Childhood and Family Center: Empowering the caregivers in a young child’s life to model and teach stress-relief and joyful connection through movement, encouraging confidence and learning readiness.



At UNM-Gallup Early Childhood and Family Center, (ECFC), Kelly Dineyazhe-Hunter, Site Manager, has invited The Storydancer Project to train teachers in Everyday Self-Care and Movement Arts, and to conduct self-care sessions for the families of the Lunch & Learn program.

A group of parents gathers for Lunch & Learn. TSP is presenting Everyday Self-Care for parents of little children. A young father has brought his wife and baby, so that his wife can learn self-care techniques while he cares for their child. As his wife practices some gentle stretching, he also begins to do the exercises, while holding their little one. 

Ms. Dineyazhe-Hunter and TSP envision the new collaborative teacher training program as a way for teachers to model positive ways of relating to self and others for the very young children at the center. As more NM Navajo Nation teachers and parents learn Everyday Self-Care and Movement Arts, communities develop networks of self-care and holistic strengths-based education.


4. COMMUNITY WELLNESS: Domestic Violence Shelters



TSP offers self-care programs for DV survivors and offenders, incarcerated women, and counselors of domestic violence through the Gallup Shelter for Battered Families. TSP gave presentations at Gallup area domestic violence conferences, including Gallup Native American Youth Conference, Gallup Domestic Violence/Sexual Abuse Symposium, and staff and resident programs at area domestic violence shelters.

“Thank you and thank you again! You made our event wonderful. Your professionalism and knowledge is stellar—we were happy to have you as part of the team!” – Gallup DV/SA Symposium organizer, 2016



5. CAREGIVERS: Navajo Health Centers Take A Minute™ Self-Care Trainings.



TSP caregiver trainings focus on Take A Minute rejuvenating exercises that prevent and address burnout and increase health and resilience. Once trained, participants have the skills to teach the program to their coworkers and patients, creating an empowering circle of self-care that ripples outward to the whole community. TSP is presently training medical staff at Gallup Indian Medical Center.

"A simple way to de-stress." "Gave me a release of negative pressure." - Tohatchi Health Center staff

Project Details