Group of young people putting their hands together.

Philosophy

The Mind and Movement Project is a studio for children and families that strives to provide quality academic and movement instruction to students of all abilities and ages, including those who have ADHD, Autism, and are differently-abled. The goal of every session is to provide an experience that allows all participants to grow, both in mind and body, by creating a nurturing atmosphere that allows all students to flourish.

The design for each class and session is grounded in research and theory. Instructors combine that knowledge along with the individual needs of participants to create a unique, customized experience. All instructors are certified and have extensive knowledge about children, adults, and their individual needs and potential.

 

Our Story

Thirteen years ago, Kathy was considering re-entering the workforce after taking time off from her teaching career to raise her three daughters.  At that time, her husband, Mike, asked her what her dream job would be.  Without hesitation she responded, "To create a place that incorporates my love of the arts and teaching.  A place where people of all ages and abilities can come together to learn and to move."  After years of dreaming, learning, and planning, The Mind and Movement Project was created in 2017.

The Mind and Movement Project is a unique establishment that combines the arts, fitness, and academics.  It is a place where students of all ages and abilities can come together to work towards a common goal; academic, physical, and/or social.  When Kathy first started brainstorming studio names, she knew the word "project" needed to be incorporated.  The definition of project is a collaborative effort aimed at reaching a common goal.  Kathy and the faculty of The MM Project are dedicated to working with all individuals to help them achieve their personal goals!

We are beyond excited to offer unique and specialized programs that incorporate both mind and movement.  Our programs allow all participants to be successful and to reach their full potential.  We hope you will join us!

Faculty

The faculty of The Mind and Movement Project have extensive training and certifications in the field of education as well as dance, yoga, and fitness.  All members of the team work together to create an environment and experience that is nurturing and fun for every student.

Owner/Director

Kathy is the founder and director of The Mind and Movement Project.  She is a certified elementary and special education teacher with a Master's degree in Reading and Language Arts.  In addition to running a successful tutoring business, Kathy has spent the last five years teaching in Old Saybrook, CT.  Prior to that, she taught every grade level from Pre-school to 6th grade in Hartford, West Hartford, and Glastonbury.

Movement has always been an important part of Kathy's life.  She received her formal training at The Greater Hartford Academy of the Performing Arts, a performing arts magnet school, as well as The School of the Hartford Ballet.  During that time, Kathy explored many different dance forms (modern, tap, jazz, improvisation, West Indian, African) in addition to her ballet training.  After high school, Kathy continued to explore movement through yoga, pilates, barre and dance and she continues to study those movement forms today!

Kathy has obtained certifications to teach children's yoga through a variety of programs in CT and NYC including Full of Joy Yoga and Radiant Child 1-3.  She has interned with the Sonia Plumb Dance Company's program, Active Minds, Active Bodies, a program designed specifically to meet the needs of children with Autism.  Additionally, Kathy holds a certification in Autism Movement Therapy.  Each experience and certification is an integral part of the unique classes Kathy and her staff offer.  She firmly believes that the learning process is on-going; therefore, she attends workshops and conferences in order to continue bringing her students the best education possible.

Kathy lives in Old Saybrook with her husband, Mike, and their three daughters, Grace, Kaylin, and Abby.  In addition to teaching and dancing, Kathy enjoys the beach, cooking, and gardening.

Linda Romanchok

Yoga/Mindfulness Instructor

Linda has studied, trained others and practiced mindfulness for over 10 years.  She has worked as a Professional School Counselor in both Northern Virginia and Connecticut and has experience working with children from pre-school through college.  Linda is passionate about helping children and their families and enjoys learning about each individual's unique story.  She has seen the benefits of practicing mindfulness firsthand and enjoys helping other to find their area of comfort and success.  Linda has experience working with all types of students and believes that mindfulness can have an incredible impact on anyone who is open to trying it.  Classes include an introduction to mindfulness, guided practice, games, sensory strategies, self-regulation techniques, ways to incorporate mindfulness into daily life, parent workshops and more!

Susan Schuster

Physical Therapist/Yoga Instructor

Susan is a Pediatric Physical Therapist who has been working with children and families for 28 years in all settings.  She recently completed her Doctorate in Physical Therapy, is APTA board certified as a Pediatric Clinical Specialist and her research focuses on using yoga intervention with children who are differently abled.  She recently completed a 200 - hour Yoga Alliance certified teacher training through CrossRoads at Soul Space Yoga and Wellness in Southington, CT and is a Yoga Alliance certified Radiant Child Yoga Teacher with 175 hours of training completed.  Susan currently works as a Pediatric Physical Therapist in schools on the CT shoreline and is a per diem employee at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford.  Integrating yoga into her physical therapy interventions has been extremely rewarding and she believes in the benefits for both children and families.

She lives in Old Saybrook, CT with her husband and is the mother of 3 young adults. She discovered yoga while recovering from an acute episode of multiple sclerosis, which she has thrived with for 9 years.  Yoga and meditation has provided a foundation for wellness and a source of strength during both uplifting and challenging times.  Susan has a particular interest in supporting families in their journey raising children and adults who have physical and emotional challenges.  Her personal experiences of raising and loving a son with anxiety, depression and OCD have provided insight into the daily inner resources needed to stay well as a caretaker.   She has found much support in advocacy and is on the board of Shoreline NAMI and is a graduate of the State of CT’s Partners in Policymaking training.  Susan also runs support groups for family members and loved one’s of people living with obsessive compulsive disorder and is the founder of OCD CT, an Affiliate of the International OCD Foundation. 

‘I am looking forward to connecting and supporting The Mind and Movement Project and Its members.  Complimentary interventions, such as yoga and meditation, should be accessible to all and I’m excited for all of the possibilities this project will provide for children, families and the community!’

Emily Haight

Family Yoga Instructor

RYT 200, Emily has practiced yoga since she was a high school student but decided to pursue her teaching certification when she was pregnant with her son, Hank.  She thought it was an important time to strive to be the best version of herself.  As a RYT 200, certified through Tiny Buddha Yoga in Ann Arbor, MI, Emily helps her students find their truest selves through their yoga practices.  Emily studied dance at Connecticut College, and believes that body awareness is essential for a healthy lifestyle.  Finding one’s potential and knowing one’s limits are important skills to learn on and off the yoga mat.  Emily leads yoga classes with a focus on alignment, breathing, and mindfulness, and believes that yoga is so much more than just the physical practice.

Nancy Giannini

 Fitness Instructor

Nancy is an energetic and enthusiastic fitness instructor and educator.  She has been providing fitness instruction for over 10 years and is certified to teach a wide range of classes (Spin, Cardio Kickboxing, Bootcamp, Zumba, Bosu, Barre Fitness, Drums Alive, Yoga, Tai Ji Quan: Moving for Better Balance, and F.I.R.E.: Fierce Interval Resistance Exercise).  Nancy strives to inspire each person in her class and to help them reach their full potential by providing a workout that is unique and fun.

Nancy resides in Old Saybrook with her husband, John, and their three children.  She is the mother of a child with severe Autism. Nancy has a wealth of experience working with kids of all abilities.  She has also worked in the Old Saybrook School system for many years as a paraprofessional.

Nancy is thrilled to be a part of The MM Project so that she can share her love of fitness with people of all ages and abilities!

Hilary Hurdis

Yoga Instructor

Hilary has studied and been an avid practitioner of yoga for almost 20 years. She has worked as a certified Special Education teacher in the Connecticut public schools since 2003 and has experience working with students with a variety of exceptionalities. She has a special interest in engaging with students with autism, ADHD, and intellectual disabilities. Having been trained in Radiant Child Yoga, Hilary enjoys melding her educational experience with a yoga practice to create a meaningful experience accessible to every child. Classes include traditional yoga asanas integrated with stories, games, songs, and crafts that meet the needs of the whole child driven by the mantra that "Practice Makes Progress."

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