eurythmy without rain coats

These american eurythmists are more serious then the flash-mobbers I just showed you.

 

When you look at this video, keep in mind that these are exactly the moves wadorf children are learning in school. This particular ‘session’ is called choreocosmos, and ‘was founded to serve those seeking spiritual awakening, a living experience of the cosmos, and a sense of wholeness and healing.’ But it is the same thing. In a waldorf school, you would see children doing exactly this, although less enthusiastically. I’ve been taught these very movements. Children are supposed to move around just like this, waving their arms like that. And they — the eurythmists — do try to immerse the subject of eurythmy in the same austere atmosphere as in the video (I hope something of that feeling comes through); it is the sacred school subject, the one you can’t mess with (although, of course, we’re talking about children, and they’re never as disciplined and serious as the eurythmists might wish). It’s got an air of horror. I know waldorf schools and proponents like to present eurythmy lessons as playful, healthy sessions of movement. They’re not.

59 thoughts on “eurythmy without rain coats

  1. Yes, it is exactly what I saw in our school too, yes this is what they make the children do, and yes, it is completely awful and inappropriate for children. “Air of horror” is correct. It is skin-crawly. When I was present for eurythmy classes at our school, I felt like screaming, or grabbing the children and making a run for it. Eurythmy is very unpleasant and unhealthy for children.

    Alicia, you deserve a lot of credit for somehow conveying both the true horror of it, and yet also making it funny communicates it so well. You are doing a big public service with this blog.

  2. Thank you. I appreciate hearing (well, reading) it.

    I always had this feeling that eurythmy is dead people trying to dance. They’re kept floating on the ground since the pull from the graves is so strong. Something supersensible of course.

  3. To be honest, that particular image just came to me (as if by clairvoyant insight). What I’ve long thought, though, is that it looks like dying people performing an odd dance.

    Like dying birds flapping their wings, and you know they’ll never fly again.

  4. Well, I don’t want to stir up a hornet’s nest here, and I am NOT challenging the fact that some people find eurythmy, creepy, nausea inducing, weird, horrible or whatever, but this is not ‘orthodox’ euruthmy.
    Choreocosmos, a form of sacred dance, is the invention of Robert Powell (not the Robert Powell who played Jesus in a corny film of the 70’s). In the video clip he is the tall thin guy with grey hair wearing a blue robe. It is Robert’s voice one can hear.
    He did train in eurythmy but then changed it and used it in his own way – much to the disgust of the illuminatii in Dornach.
    He is regarded as a sort of heretic by very orthodox anthro’s for starting his own spiritual movement, the “Sophia Foundation of North America’, and because of his support for Valentin Tomberg, a renegade anthroposophist who became a catholic.
    Some of the gestures are orthodox eurythmy gestures but I doubt if they include many of the gestures used with children which almost exclusively consist of the those for the sounds in verbal language,( the vowels and the consonants). As far as I can see they include some of the gestures for the planets and the constellations which are not part of the eurythmy taught in schools as far as I know.
    In contrast, in the rubber robes vid one can clearly see the gestures for 5 vowel sounds, ‘Ah’, ‘Eh’, ‘Ee’, ‘Oh’, and ‘Ooh’. Also the consonants, ‘M’ and ‘L’.
    I guess this post will seem a bit nit-picky to some but I like to see the facts being discussed.

  5. What you’re telling us is not “nit picky” so much as irrelevant to outsiders. You’re describing infighting and factions and internal scandal mongering. Non-anthroposophists don’t care about these dramas. We are NOT comforted to learn that these PARTICULAR gestures are not taught to children. It is moot. This is what is taught in essence.

  6. ‘As far as I can see they include some of the gestures for the planets and the constellations which are not part of the eurythmy taught in schools as far as I know.’

    Well, I wouldn’t contest that — I think you’re right. But it looks much the same; I can’t tell the difference between Powell’s version of eurythmy and the one we were taught. I’m sure we were taught many of these gestures — although I’m very clumsy and lack body consciousness so I wouldn’t be too sure or particular about it, LOL! — even if there was no fluff stuff about zodiacal constellation (the stuff was fluffy enough though!). So it’s… sufficiently similar. The experience is the same. The children don’t understand conventional eurythmy any more than they understand choreochosmos. It will be spooky and deadly serious no matter what. (Because eurythmists are like that. I’m not actually sure what eurythmy would be if eurythmists didn’t take themselves and eurythmy — and its cosmic importance — so darn seriously!)

    I’m looking at youtube for Dornach eurythmy! Hold on!

  7. Well, I found this instead! Unfortunately it’s in Swedish (but Falk will understand!). But it’s funny! It’s a comedy clip from Swedish TV. But the eurythmist is a real eurythmist.

    She’s very clear that it’s for the soul, not primarily the body. I love how they ask her if they can eurythmize the word ‘refrigerator’.

    And Tarzan eurythmy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DME68CEsMk

    I have more trouble identifying something classical. I can’t tell the difference, honestly. Same spooky thing.

    But just because (it is a composer from Finland, not that I have a clue, but I think I should know more about those, so I can as well listen)… here are eurythmists doing Jean Sibelius (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Sibelius):

  8. Besides, how ridiculous, to claim “these gestures aren’t taught.” They most certainly are taught – they are all basically the same thing. This stuff is totally bogus- everyone is faking, none of it has any particular meaning and they all know it. These people seriously need to get a life.

    Having forced myself to actually watch the ENTIRE dreadful thing I must post an antidote:

  9. But I guess they aren’t taught as zodiacal whatnot. In reality, nobody not knowing eurythmy ‘theory’ — and least of all the children — will recognize the difference.

    Yeah — that is much better, though slightly too much squeeking and screeching for my taste… But would never be ok in waldorf.

  10. “nobody not knowing eurythmy ‘theory’ — and least of all the children — will recognize the difference”

    It’s bogus. They pretend waving your arm to the left and making a sweeping motion is deeply significant and totally different “spiritually” from waving your arm to the right and making as weeping motion.

    Nothing has been invented which is more certain than eurythmy to make kids angry and cynical.

  11. And can I just add that “Eurythmy without rain coats” ought to win some kind of prize for best blog post title ever :)

    Erk, Jerry Garcia “squeeking and screeching” :) oh dear …

  12. But apparently, from the anthroposophical viewpoint, there is a difference — even though it doesn’t matter much to anybody else. And it definitely doesn’t matter as far as education goes. It’s a systems internal belief discussion, sort of. It’s like debating the discolouration blobs on the shroud of Turin, taking for granted that the shroud actually means something in the first place. To people who don’t believe — and to whom the shroud’s significance is non-existent — it’s just an old ragged cloth. And what the discolourations mean is, on the objective and realistic level, just make-belief.

    ‘Nothing has been invented which is more certain than eurythmy to make kids angry and cynical.’

    You’re right about that. Lots of frustration. Lots of unruliness. We had to have two eurythmy teachers a while, because of the unruliness. Sometimes the class teacher had to sit in, when we had just one eurythmist. Then there was the ghostly apparition also known as the pianist. They were always so weird, totally anonymous, like piano playing robots. In total, there must have been three adults in the room — to prevent 24 (or something) children from going on a rampage. Or making the eurythmist dispair in every other conceivable way.

  13. ‘And can I just add that “Eurythmy without rain coats” ought to win some kind of prize for best blog post title ever :)’

    haha! Thank you! I’m often just clueless as to what to name the posts. I often lack inspiration.

  14. Ok, ballet doesn’t have the spiritual baggage, but I assume ballet looks different from other ballet to people who know. To me it just looks like blaha blaha, all of it. I’m sure that people who know ballet can discuss the pros and cons of this or that or argue over what ballet is and what it’s not… but it would just be gibberish to me — I wouldn’t be able to figure out if any of them had a point, if there were any merits at all to any of the arguments. To anyone else, it’s just some internal religious discussion that has nothing whatsoever to tell the outside world. What I mean is, it’s not relevant, unless you’re into it — or unless you are convinced of some religious or spiritual truth.

    The thing about eurythmy is of course that it’s a part of the curriculum. And eurythmy, whether it’s conventional eurythmy or choreocosmos eurythmy or any other kind of eurythmy, is essentially a spiritual activity.

  15. >debating the discolouration blobs on the shroud of Turin,

    Exactly. This would make another good title for a blog post, btw :)
    Another synonym for counting angels on the head of a pin.

    The unruliness/ rampage-just-about-to-happen-at-any-moment quite sums up how eurythmy worked in our school. I have never before or since seen anything so unpleasant and so deeply unsettling conducted in the presence of children. Inevitably, if parents were present (which they usually weren’t, of course, because they know parents aren’t going to like this), parents always ended up very dismayed.

    > the ghostly apparition also known as the pianist. They were always so weird, totally anonymous, like piano playing robots.
    Yes, I know what you mean. I think they’re taught/required to act that way.

  16. Right. But the tension is worse when the rampage is just about to happen. When it’s actually happening it’s sort of a relief. Afterwards there will be recriminations and punishments, but that’s better than the build-up period when you know it’s coming and can’t be averted. Some kids are crying, some are hiding under the table, others beg to be allowed to go to the bathroom, and you have to sort of admire the ones who have the guts to actually make a disruption and get it over with. Clears the air.

  17. I don’t think that sort of stuff ever happened, as far as I can remember, when I was in waldorf. The lessons were just complete mess, sometimes the teachers screamed or even cried. But none of the children cared and nobody had to hide. The lesson ended eventually, and that was it. The class teacher had to have talks and hold speeches about not destroying eurythmy lessons (same thing with choir actually, because that teacher was awful, or if it was orchestra, I still have it mixed-up… I don’t even know what we were supposed to be doing!!). About how that couldn’t go on.

    But, you know, nothing ever changed. Maybe there were recriminations, but there weren’t any punishments. I think occasionally kids were sent out (I think even I was once), but that was exactly what they wanted, so it was more a reward than a punishment — and certainly nothing to be crying about!

    That’s all they could do — send kids out to sit in the corridor. And nobody considered that a punishment. Maybe they could call the parents, but to what avail? Perhaps they did, with the worst trouble-makers. But very few children were behaving themselves during eurythmy, and we had eurythmy twice a week… it’s a full-time job to keep all the parents updated on the misbehaviours… and the parents aren’t there anyway, so what are they to do? They can tell their kids to stop. But when boredom and frustration sets in, the children are at it again.

  18. LOL. I think the main difference is that I’m talking about kindergarten. Crying is going to be more common in kindergarten than with older children, I assume. Likewise hiding under tables. But yet, some were disruptive on purpose in order to get sent out of the room.

  19. It wasn’t such a big thing in Kindergarten. There was eurythmy, but it didn’t become *as* serious until in school. I don’t remember there being much fuss about it at all in kindergarten. I’m not even sure we had a special eurythmist coming in that often. It was probably mostly just the kindergarten teachers attempting to do some simple eurythmy stuff. Not *quite as* insufferable as it was in school. But then… if children were crying, I’m bound to have forgotten about that… me being a child myself. But I don’t remember a lot of crying. I know it was suggested that (when we discussed this on the list) that kids might be scared, sad and begin to cry from the fairytales. But I can’t remember that ever happened either. Sure, children cried when the hurt themselves. I cried, in periods, because I didn’t want my parents to leave me there. But as far as crying goes, that’s what I remember. Crying can’t have been a huge or frequent thing anyway!

  20. That’s the purpose of children. They’re there to help eurythmists start crying over eurythmy. We live in a universe imbued with meaning, after all!

  21. I am a eurythmist, or at least I have that education. I was a teacher for one year in eurytmy and my children were nice, did what I told them to and looked happy.But I think it was because they liked me.And it was not funny teaching eurytmy anyway.I think they should stop waisting time on that.It is no use if you are not an excellent loving teacher who really knows how to make the children happy about it.And that never happens.Well for me,it happened with one of two classes…one girl even said;NOW I understand what eurythmy is.They were 12 years old.I am still proud of it.
    But as I said, it takes a lot.Better drop it.

  22. You’re absolutely right — I think the teacher makes a huge difference, it’s the difference between the children at least accepting to do this (even if they might not enjoy it or understand it) and total disaster. A teacher who manages to establish some kind of contact, a bond, with the children gets away with a lot more — even when the subject itself is pretty much impossible. The eurythmy teacher we had most of my time in waldorf seemed to be totally horrified at working with children — she just couldn’t connect at all. She was stiff and serene and seemingly detached from this world altogether. Eurythmy was deadly serious to her. To the children it didn’t matter. So there’s this clash — a gap that can’t be bridged. And with a teacher who most likely hates to have to work with children (even if she might not have admitted it to anyone or even to herself, it shone through).

    For a while though, I think it was in first grade, we had another eurythmy teacher who was less extreme — more easy-going, not so austere (I think she even knew how to smile, and not in that spooky spiritual manner, but in a normal human manner), not so detached from the rest of the world and from the children, not so hysterically serious… I imagine she had much less problems in dealing with children. She may not have made the subject eurythmy meaningful to kids, but I think her way of being around children meant she caused much less conflict and frustration.

  23. But the Star Trek civilisation is more evolved. Hadn’t they already reached the Vulcan-stage? (Or was Vulcan in Star Wars… well, don’t ask me…)

  24. I never got that far, becauseI fell off my chair in shock upon noticing that the Star Trek people speak with a British accent. I have always assumed it was an American tv series. Well, you learn something new every day. I’ll watch the rest of it too.

  25. Molly:
    “It is no use if you are not an excellent loving teacher who really knows how to make the children happy about it.”

    And if you are an excellent loving teacher who knows how to make children happy anyway, what do you need eurythmy for?

  26. Yes, that is the question.What is eurythmy good for?I guess, if you can really make the children do it, happily and at the same time forget about themselfes(when they do the movements)it will make them healthy.But as it is to day,it will not make them healthy.To have a teacher who is crazy doesn´t make anybody healthy.

  27. The problem is, that the waldorf education today is not healthy at all, because the teachers, or most of them, did not get the point about “a normal human way”.They do not look at the children and ask what they need and want,they only look at them selfes and what they have to do.So after a while,they start to loose The common sense, and becomes detached like you say.They forget why they really are there,in the school, and that weird meetings they have on Thursdays never remeber to remind them about it.Without common sense,you cannot do anything good in this world…

  28. What makes Star Trek interesting to me is that Mr. Spock begins to develop soul qualities. Particularly in the sequence of movies he progresses from a very utilitarian morality, ‘The good of the many outweighs the good of the few’, which is purely logical, to the realisation that the many may risk their own ‘good’ (their lives) for the good of one. – which is altruistic.
    I have read that it is very difficult to explain altruism in Darwinist or Dawkinsish evolutionary terms. Marx had to deny it existed.

  29. Molly — yes, true.

    I remember how many of them really seemed to be into this because it gave them an employment opportunity — it’s one of few jobs where anthroposophists can practice anthroposophy. I think there’s less potential for crap if a person is teaching children because they like to teach children and because they need a salary. All this spiritual development takes over — and the children are forgotten.

    Eurythmy — even assuming it is healthy, it’s movement, sort of… is it healthier, physically and mentally, than taking the children out in the woods for walking and running around?

    Falk — Interesting, I’ve never seen Star Trek (well, I guess that much was obvious already…). On the contrary, I have the impression that there have been several attempts to explain how altruism might have arisen in evolutionary terms. Maybe there’s no final explanations that explains it all, as it were, but the hypotheses don’t seem too bad. (Some people, like psychopaths, lack capacity for altruism — and that’s also an intersting angle, I think.)

  30. I would say;Do both.One is natural-one is cultural,and children need both.But children need to be absorbed;By life,by play,by activity.And as long as they are not absorbed by eurythmy,the other alternative is healthier.This is the secret of childhood.And it is paradoxical that eurythmists use to be the less absorbed (or read;present)of all people.Why?Because they think they are going to “do” things,but they are going to “be” in the present with their things,and that is easy,but seams so difficult.And if the children are not that,if you cannot make them absorbed,be in the present, forget about themselfes,there will be no development,no progression,they will probably protest if they are not very polite…There you have the problem with waldorf.If you go to another school,no spiritual movement or human knowledge behind like in waldorf, but the children are present,absorbed,”happy”,they will develope,and the waldorf children not.For a child it is unhealthy to never forget about itself.
    Well,this is my view and I guess I got it by life-practis.I do not know if waldorf teachers sometimes have this aim,but I have not seen it much.And the children are very often dissatisfied and make fun of their (eurytmy)teachers…

  31. And, most important…I believe what I said before IS antroposophy in praxis,because we are meant to be like that.And my clear oppinion is, that is the way antroposophy is going to be present in waldorfschools.NEVER with som kind of KNOWLEDGE put on the students.The WAY we teach is going to be antroposophy, and nothing else.Amen.

  32. Molly wrote: ‘For a child it is unhealthy to never forget about itself.’

    That’s a lovely observation. As a mother of three (not as small now) it’s wonderful to see a little child absorbed in play, digging on the beach, watching a dragonfly, looking at a book – completely forgetting itself. We spend the rest of our lives trying to forget ourselves.

  33. I agree with Thetis.

    But in waldorf, dogma takes over, and there’s no such thing as being in the present moment. It’s mostly a lot of fuss over how things ought to be. Lots of ideals that are unrealistic — and that perhaps, if they were reached, would not actually save the world anyway.

    I have a slightly different opinion, though — I think waldorf students deserve to know more explicitly about anthroposophy. Not as a topic of ‘preaching’ or anything. But to give them the opportunity to gain some knowledge about what served as a foundation of their education. Not the small children; but before these teenagers leave school, I think they deserve to know. It could be a part of the lessons in religion, spiritualities and worldviews, for example.

  34. Right. Waldorf children are allowed to “be in the moment” if they’re contemplating a butterfly (image of reincarnation, in anthroposophy) but not if they’re contemplating their Barbie dolls or their toy bulldozers; doing eurythmy they’re allowed to “be in the moment,” doing soccer or karate or ballet, not so much.

  35. ah, yes! On the beach the other day I saw two brothers – about 9 or so – playing by a hollow in the sand – jumping over it, hiding in it, exploding over it… within a few minutes they were superman, spiderman, a spy, a plane, a bomb.. ‘You stay there and I’ll fly over you and then .. bang! Crash! Waaah!’ (theme tune from James Bond) ‘yabayabayaba ‘I’m Tarzan! Now the rope is broken… look at me!’ (Tarzan cry) ‘You be an ape’ ‘No, you be an ape,’ ‘No you,’….

    The sheer inventive hilarity of all this, the speed of it, the physical exuberance – the charming retro themes – the enormous imagination,, who cares if wedged in the middle of their play are a few franchises owing nothing to Nature.

    I think it’s a crime to interfere with children’s play, Steineristas are the only people I’ve ever seen do it. And not for the expected reasons.

  36. And nothing even remotely similar would EVER happen during a eurythmy lesson.

    (Well, on Steineristas being the only only people to interfere, I’ve seen a couple these gender nuts — I wrote about one such kindergarten a while ago — suggest in the newspaper that the ‘gender pedagogues’ should interfer in children’s play of the play adheres to some such gender roles. They should then interfer and stop it. So I guess some people think that’s quite ok.)

  37. No,maybe it would not.But i am sure it could,anyway,with the right teacher.I am not sure we are talking about the same things here but interesting to read anyway.I have also heard about gender pedagogues and it is not my style.But is that not the whole “socialist society “we are talking about here.We think,and therefore we live(never heard of the presence above)…and we like gender pedagogique.Many steineristas,they are like that,disquised in antro-terms.But their thinking are exactly the same.Or,they have the same brain-construction.Or whatever…(and the same type of clothes,too,who never fit their faces,maybe because their souls don´t fit themselfes…)But they are always kind and gently,so nobody can ever question them.

  38. oh yes, the gender people. I’ve not run into them, luckily. I don’t like anything that interferes too much, although children like consistency not chaos, and neglect is something else.

    The kindly faces and gentle voices are a headf*k in my experience.

  39. ‘(and the same type of clothes,too,who never fit their faces,maybe because their souls don´t fit themselfes…)’

    Haha! Well, yes.

    (We discussed the gender pedagogy — and certain similarities (I saw) with waldorf — here: https://zooey.wordpress.com/2011/07/10/ideology-and-reality-egalia-and-waldorf/)

    And, as Thetis says, it’s the interfering too much that’s the issue. Which is odd for me to say, because I usually take issue with waldorf as waldorf teachers tend to avoid intervening. What I think, though, is that the kindergarten teachers (and other adults) need to keep an eye on the children — and pay attention so as to prevent that anybody gets hurt. And they need to intervene when a child is being treated badly, for example, by the peers. But intervening in normal, happy play? No, preferably not.

  40. This is a very curious website. Descriptions of Waldorf education and eurythmy are hardly recognizable, often polar opposite to what I’ve learned and observed of their philosophies and practice. Play, from what I’ve seen, is highly respected in Waldorf education as a part of healthy child development — while US public schools, increasingly testing kids from Kindergarten and cutting recess, are not so encouraging.

    Whether a Waldorf student will have a positive experience of eurythmy or Waldorf education in general depends greatly on the skill and personality of their teachers. I’ve known of situations where a student body is fed up with eurythmy, and the school brings in a new teacher, and within half a year the attitude has shifted 180 degrees. Does this speak about eurythmy, or about the varying skill and personalities of individual teachers?

    This site seems to suggest that all Waldorf and eurythmy teachers are dogmatic and insensitive to the needs of their students. Certainly that is not true (though of course bad teachers can be found in every field), and if one reads Steiner’s writings or biography carefully, one will find the opposite of these qualities both in his educational philosophy and in the way he lived his life.

    As for eurythmy, one may or may not have a taste for it, just as one may or may not have a taste for classical music, or ballet, or jazz. None of these traditions are invalidated by the fact that many people don’t care for each of them. But watching a video, though for most people it’s their only chance to see eurythmy, is unfortunately not a very good way to judge it.

    I personally had little interest in eurythmy after I watched a DVD, but a year later when I saw a live performance I found much of it quite enjoyable. As I’ve become more familiar with the art form and seen quite a few performances, I’ve found there is a wide variance in quality and style from one performance, and one school, to the next. Many live performances I enjoy, to a greater or lessor extent, many I don’t care for, but none of the videos I’ve seen have been satisfying to watch. In the Sibelius video above, the visuals and music are so far out of sync (at least on my internet connection) that it’s really impossible to appreciate what was intended. Analyzing something like that becomes, as this site appears to be, a giant straw-man argument.

    Presumably the authors had some genuine negative experiences with particular schools and teachers, which have motivated them to form such strong negative concepts of Waldorf education, eurythmy, and anthroposophy. However, the way these things are represented on this site bears almost no resemblance to what I’ve learned of them by my own study and observation.

    As an analogy, many episodes in the history of Christianty — I’m thinking of the Crusades or the Inquisition — speak volumes about the dark side of human nature, while reflecting nothing about the teachings of Christ (other than many Christian’s failure to understand them, while ironically professing to represent them). It has been said, “I love humanity; it’s humans I can’t stand.” One can fill in “anthroposophy/anthroposophists” or “eurythmy/eurythmists,” or any number of things to make the same point: a school of thought (whether scientific, philosophic, religious, artistic) should not be confused with the (inevitable) idiots who profess to represent it.

  41. “Presumably the authors had some genuine negative experiences with particular schools and teachers, which have motivated them to form such strong negative concepts of Waldorf education, eurythmy, and anthroposophy. However, the way these things are represented on this site bears almost no resemblance to what I’ve learned of them by my own study and observation.”

    Well, naturally, your personal experience trumps that of dozens and hundreds of others.

    “As for eurythmy, one may or may not have a taste for it, just as one may or may not have a taste for classical music, or ballet, or jazz. ”

    And yet Waldorf children are FORCED to perform Eurythmy 3-5 times a week – for twelve years! Imagine if the school was promoting ballet 3 times a week for 12 years… Don’t you think somebody would wonder what all the ballet was about?

  42. Interesting point, Pete. And unanswerable in the context of Marcus’s offering.
    I was FORCED to do physical education for 12 years, despite being dyspraxic and having exercise induced asthma. It is amazing what adults will do to children in the name of ‘what is good for them’. This tendency isn’t confined to anthroposophists.

  43. “I was FORCED to do physical education for 12 years, despite being dyspraxic and having exercise induced asthma.”

    Anybody who has ever been in a phys ed class knows there were always a few kids with doctors’ excuses who didn’t participate. The phys ed instructor probably heard that excuse one too many times and rightly wouldn’t excuse Marcus without a note from a doctor. Why didn’t the family doctor write an excuse exempting Marcus from phys ed? I think this is probably a case of self-diagnosed “exercise-induced” asthma – and probably many years after the fact.

    Teachers making sick kids exercise is not a big problem as far as I know.

    There have, however, been sever cases of Eurythmy-induced insubordination found in all Waldorf schools? Kids hate it! And the more they hate it, the less tolerant the eurythmy teachers tend to get (hey, this is sacred stuff to them). Pretty soon, kids are getting sent out of the room… and they quickly learn disruption=no Eurythmy. And once that happens, anything goes… right down to suspensions from school. It’s truly shameful that Waldorf schools continue to push, and don’t bother to explain Eurythmy.

  44. I’m sorry Tom… I find myself unclear as to whether you were forced to take phys ed classes or if Marcus was. My apologies if I’ve confused this.

  45. @Pete K – …”It’s truly shameful that Waldorf schools continue to push, and don’t bother to explain Eurythmy”… Yes, when I was at Steiner school I and a couple of my peers asked our Eurythmy teacher what the purpose of Eurythmy was (We used to call it “Flower-power dancing”, lol) Not trying to be funny, we were genuinely curious, and open to hearing whatever he had to say about it… his response was to be totally evasive by telling us that we’d only understand when we were older, or something (we were in our late teens) Talk about being dismissive, and bloody disrespectful!

  46. “telling us that we’d only understand when we were older”
    This response is part of a theme with Waldorf… If you’re a potential Anthroposophist and you don’t understand, you will someday… If you’re a critic, and you don’t understand, there’s no possible way that you *could* understand… despite having tried for decades and no matter how much of Steiner you have read.

  47. Actually — my feelings about sports teachers are quite similar to my feelings about eurythmy teachers. (Although, curiously, in waldorf school we had one quite decent sports teacher. He wasn’t a fanatical nut about anything. That always helps.) Eurythmy has an added layer of spiritual motivation, which makes matters somewhat worse, but there are similarities.

    You see, here’s the thing: these teachers all become sports or eurythmy teachers because they’ve found the MEANING OF LIFE and even the meaning of the universe. It is eurythmy or sports. Thus, eurythmy or sports is DEAD SERIOUS.

    People with such an attitude make life HELL for children who can’t cope with the subjects they teach.

    This is actually a fact. This insanity of it all makes it necessary for children to lie — or half-lie — about various illnesses and conditions — for no other reason than to protect their own sanity.

    Believe me, I’ve done this; I’ve gone to great lengths to avoid sports. And I understand that sports teachers are sick and tired of having to deal with children who make things up again and again, who do anything to avoid participating. But in my view, the damned zelotry of these sports morons themselves is at fault — it isn’t about the children. It’s about adults who use children to validate and get an income from their own fanaticism.

    Sports ha a certain air of religiousness around it. Few mathematics teachers or arts teachers would act the same, even if they’re enthusiastic about their subject too.

    Emma: ‘his response was to be totally evasive by telling us that we’d only understand when we were older, or something’

    One wonders what the point is of a subject that can’t get any kind of explanation. And then they wonder why children don’t take to it. Adults who are dead serious about something they can’t talk about and none of the children understand why they have to be doing it because it makes so little sense.

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