Integrate physical engagement into the online teaching and learning environment
A new series of videos is now available for UCSC students, faculty, and staff to help offset the increasingly sedentary lifestyle generated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Organized by Cid Pearlman, performing arts and dance lecturer, 3 minute move (3MM) provides easy access to physical engagement with a variety of three-minute movement experiences, presented by accomplished teachers in dance, martial arts, and contemplative movement practices.
These free videos are designed to promote health and wellness for all body types, and no pre-movement training is required. 3MM is an online education project of UCSC in collaboration with the Department of Theater Arts Department of Dance at UCSC, with support from Porter College and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History .
Pearlman explained how this project came about.
“In addition to my position as a Theater Arts Dance Teacher, I am currently working as an Instructional Designer with UCSC Online Education – this is a CARES Act funded position and gives me the opportunity to help teachers to bring their classes online during these trying and trying times,” Pearlman said.
“Shortly after starting to work with Online Education, I had a remote visit with my friend and fellow UCSC Dance/Theatre Arts, Cynthia Ling Lee. One of the things we talked about was the need to introduce physical engagement into the online teaching and learning environment in a way that reaches people who don’t necessarily have a regular practice of movement. This gave rise to the idea of 3 minute move (3MM).”
“We spend so much time now in front of our screens and we need to move our bodies. I think three minutes is short enough that people aren’t intimidated to try something new,” she added.
Tapping into her network of colleagues in dance, martial arts, yoga, and other related practices, Pearlman first reached out to a dozen artists, those she knew could succeed in the short form. The series began in January, featuring six artists, and more videos are added monthly until the end of June.
Pearlman noted that the homemade feel of 3MM videos is intentional, with each artist creating their own video with whatever technology they have. Some are more produced and edited, while others are shot on one-shot phones.
“What’s important to me is the connection that the 3MM artist makes with the viewer, that the person watching feels invited to move,” Pearlman said. “Some movement practices are more contemplative and can be done seated, and others are quite forceful and can be a little challenging.”
She added that 3MM is publicly hosted on the UCSC Online Education YouTube channel and available to everyone. It can also be imported as a module into any Canvas Commons course. “We hope that teachers of all disciplines will include 3MM videos in their lessons and encourage their students to move.”
Pearlman Campus Colleagues were very supportive of the new project.
“As a dancer, I’ve always known the value of movement practice and how it helps balance emotional and physical well-being,” said Gerald Casel, Porter College provost and associate professor of theater arts. . “These 3 minute excerpts provide us with a rich resource to share and learn about our bodies, and how to connect more deeply to ourselves, from the slow and cellular aspects to the vigorous and rhythmic aspects of dance practice.”
“We also have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of movement styles that are often steeped in cultural inflections that highlight the kinetic diversity of expression and the possibility of emotional richness,” Casel added.
UCSC Director of Online Education Michael Tassio noted that after a quarter of distance learning, there was growing evidence of the impact of COVID-19 on the physical and mental health of students, faculty, and staff.
“None of us were used to being in front of a computer for such long periods of time, or having our interactions with others transposed over Zoom, emails and texts,” Tassio said. “3 minute move is a small step towards improving mental health by introducing physical activity into our daily routines. Even if you can’t keep up with every move, they’re sure to put a smile on your face and improve your day.
3 minute move is available on demand via the UCSC Online Education YouTube channel. It is free and accessible to the public.