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The Empowerment Of A Child: A Pitter Patter Feet Class

As I entered the school I noticed T. W. sitting off to the side by himself. Is T. W. in time out I asked his teacher, will he be able to take dance class today? No, T.W. isn’t in time out. His mother doesn’t want him to dance today he had an operation. An operation ?????!!!!!!! I asked perplexed looking right at him. T.W. is usually a ball of fire and energy, very expressive and spontaneous. This was one of the things that  tickled me about him and made him a joy and pleasure to teach.

Today though T.W. sat quietly in his chair just looking back at me waiting to see what I would say. His teacher explained that at 5 years old he had just been circumcised. Inside I cringed but maintained my composure because I could still feel him watching me. She went on to explain that  there were strict instructions for him to not move around so much. I looked at T.W. , his face was so sad. In looking at him though I got an idea. T. W. could still take class he just had to do it in his chair. I explained to the teacher that I would make sure to honor his mother’s wishes  to not move around so much and that T.W. would take the entire class  in his chair.

Before gathering the other children and going into the class room I told T.W. that he would be able to take class with us today and that he would be doing it in his chair. He looked at me puzzled. I explained to him that he would be dancing a liitle differently. He would still be moving his body to music and doing a lot of the things we were doing , the only difference is that he would do it from his chair. I told him he could do a lot from his chair and to prove it to him I asked him to show me all 6 ballet arm positions and name them as he did them.

HE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The expression on his face was priceless. He was elated! His whole expression changed and he was lit up like all the White House Christmas trees. With a big smile across his face we both celebrated. You see T.W. I told you, you could do it! Now lets go have that class. I gathered the other children and we went to class.

I carried T.W.’s chair, he walked into the classroom really, really slow as if he was a really old man rather than a 5 year old boy. He even hunched over as he walked.  I sat  T. W.  down in his chair and proceeded to do our rythmn and timing exercise that all the kids love “Please, please say your name”. We all sat on the floor and T.W in his chair. We pointed and flexed our feet to the “Toes Up Toes Down” song, T.W. pointed and flexed his feet from the chair. We rode on the train and T.W. pretended to be on the train too. We marched around to wake up our muscles, we woke up our eyes, arms, legs and other body parts moving in different ways around the room and so did T.W. from his chair.

T.W did Classical Ballet, Tap and Hip Hop dance all from his chair that day without me telling him how to do anything. I allowed him to use his imagination as well as do what he knew already. He did everything we did just  a little differently but he did them with us nonetheless. I was really impressed with all the creative ways he came up with to do what we did. He was happy that he could participate and belong. We were all happy too.

Inside I thanked God that I get to do what I do for a living. T.W. walked out of the class as if he never had an operation. He was back to his normal self and was not in any pain. He was happy and so was I. He felt great and so did I. He found out that day that he could do something that he thought he would not be able to do.  He was empowered.

With Pitter Patter Feet dance is used as a vehicle to transport children to a happy and empowered place. To learn about the world around them, and themselves, and reinforce what they learn in school. The curriculim is designed to make learning fun and to develop happy, fit and smart kids through dance.

How do you empower your children? I’d love to hear your thoughts and input to share with the community.

Peace and Empowerment,


Excellence is Easy Perfection Causes Pressure

It is truly amazing because this was not the direction I was going in when I sat down to do this post. The original name was going to be Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk: Make Sure You Take Care of Yourself. So how did we get to Excellence is Easy Perfection Causes Pressure.  As I sat down to type I drew a blank . I really didn’t want to do a post at all. I would have been perfectly happy diving into this new book I purchased or reading my email. Had I given into doing either of those 2 things I would not have been walking my walk or talking my talk.

My intention is to give massive content, but not just any old content. It is really important to me to give you something real and that you can relate to. I’m sure that we can all relate to doing what we said we would do and honoring our word and commitment even though at times we may not feel like it.  And if you’re like me a lot of times you will go out of your way to keep your word to others sometimes even before yourself.

So if I ‘m going to tell you to take care of yourself I have to be able to relate to the times when you just don’t feel like it and would rather be doing something else. Even though you said you are going to make it a daily habit to just take 5 minutes to breath  and do nothing but just breath just for yourself, but now there are a million other things that you have to do or would like to do, just take the 5 minutes and breath. Do this just for you.

Where does the excellence is easy perfection causes pressure come in? Sometimes we have this all or nothing attitude that if it can’t be absolutely perfect forget about it. This does not serve us and causes us to miss out on a lot of things that would make us feel better, happy, pleased, fulfilled, make us laugh, smile etc. When we want to do everything perfect this causes a lot of pressure for us as well as stress and anxiety. Pressure that is not necessary, especially when all that is necessary is that we do our best. This is excellence, doing our very best. We get to remember that all I have to do is my very best. This may change from time to time and that’s okay. Just do your best and  keep it moving.  This we can do, this is easy. This is takiing care of yourself and honoring yourself.



One of the Best Things You Can Do

One of the best things you can do for anyone is to encourage them. Cheering is not just for games and sports but for life too. Encouraging and cheering someone on not only makes them feel great but you too. It is a wonderful gift that doesn’t cost a thing. You don’t have to go shopping for it or order it online or look in a catalog, it’s free.

As teachers and parents it is especially important to encourage and be a cheerleader for your children. It goes such a long way to build esteem and confidence. Two essential qualities we want our children to have in becoming happy and productive people. When your children feel that they can do something they will take the initiative and explore more often. This helps them to grow emotional and become less dependent upon you. Take every opportunity to encourage and praise the behavior that you want. It will go along way and make your life a lot easier.

Adults love encouragement too, we are never too old to be encourage especially when are exploring new territory.
Sometimes though we have to encourage ourselves. Make sure you do this for yourself too not just others. It keeps your spirits up and helps you get through your day a lot easier. Try it and let me know what happens. Remember it can be big or small just remember to do it.

Peace and Laughter,

Who Is D'TaRelle Franklin Tullis and What Does She Do

Hi, My name is D’TaRelle pronounced Dee Ta Rell, see real easy once you break it down. I help parents and teachers develop happy, fit and smart children using dance. It’s really great and we have loads of fun. I go to work every day with a big smile on my face and laugh a lot. I work with children from infancy up to 12 years old. My specialty is from infants to 5 year olds.

I work with private schools to develop curriculums for each age group birth – 10-12 months, 12months-18 months, 18-24 months, 24-30 months, 2 1/2 – 3 etc. up to school aged children.  For children from 0-5  I use dance to teach them about their bodies, movement and music, dance terminology and the different dance disciplines in addition to help balance the brain and develop confidence and self esteem. The  5-12 year olds receive more advanced training in dance with an emphasis on problem solving,  creativity,  memorization skills as well as exposure to the different dance disciplines. The emphasis is on learning and fun. When children are having fun it is much easier to teach them and for them to learn. This makes my job easier.

Why I Created This Blog

I created this blog to provide massive value and support to two very important groups of people, parents and teachers. As both a parent and educator  I appreciate other parents and educators and realize that it would be a lot easier for us all if we shared and supported one another. It is my intention to make all our jobs easier and provide a space where we can have fun,  laugh and share useful information.

Your questions and comments are greatlly appreciated and highly encouraged. I will start with the first question which is what is your greatest challenge in raising/teaching your children.




Hello world!

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaa I made it. Hello World is an appropriate title. Just wanted all of you to know that I am happy to be here and look forward to meeting all of you. My name is D’TaRelle Franklin Tullis. I normally just use D’TaRelle F. Tullis for short.  Since 1993 I have owned and operated Pitter Patter Feet, a fun and exciting dance program that uses dance as a tool  for learning and developing happy, fit and smart children, boys as well as girls.

The Pitter Patter Feet difference is, I am very interested in how dance can be used not only as a medium for performance, fun and creative expression but also how it can be taken further to  to develop the brain and make future learning easy and fun. It is from this perspective that I teach, how can learning be fun not just now but for the future. I take into consideration the different ways that all of us learn, visually, auditorially, kinestically, linguistically and many more . There are multiple intelligences that we all use to  learn and to make learning easier and fun it is important to use as many as possible. 

It is my intention to share my successes and the successes of others so that we can all benefit and prosper. Your comments and questions are encouraged.

Until next time,