Physical Fitness and Aztec Dancing at the Phoenix Academy of Los Angeles In Lake View Terrace

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Because physical fitness and regular exercise foster recovery, students at Phoenix Academy in Lake View Terrace take physical education classes that include stretching, running, strength training, team sports (soccer, football, basketball, baseball), and a variety of games. Phys Ed is offered up to four times per week for one-and-a-half-hour sessions In addition, a weight room is available for use either during the fitness classes or at other times, under staff supervision.   This summer, Aztec dancing was added to the curriculum.
Andrea, our Aztec Dancing instructor, has been working extremely hard with young women in our Amethyst Unit on traditional dances of Aztec heritage. In each class, the residents go through physical conditioning which is greatly needed since the majority of these dances in the ceremonies last for hours. Some young women learn about their culture and the history of Aztec dancing; others treat the dancing as an experience and an adventure. While learning the steps and gestures of the ancient dances, the students also learn about respect, self-discipline, and mental strength.  During practices and performances, the dancers support and encourage each other and they learn the value of teamwork.  Community heals.Located in the foothills of San Gabriel Mountains in a suburb of Los Angeles, Phoenix Academy of Los Angeles provides up to 120 teenagers with comprehensive residential substance abuse and mental health services.  Phoenix Academy is an evidence-based Modified Therapeutic Community for Adolescents; it is listed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Registry of Evidence Based Programs and Practices and is also recognized as a model program by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
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