About Michael Hall

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So far Michael Hall has created 13 blog entries.

Hope Kids Day at Arizona Sunrays

On February 19th Hope Kids spent a very special day here at Arizona Sunrays. Lead by our imaginative coach Pam Evans the group from Hope Kids learned balance, strength, and coordination. They learned all of these things through enjoying the bars, foam pits, trampolines and much more! Hope Kids has a vision - “To restore hope and transform the lives of children with life-­threatening medical conditions, their families and the communities in which we serve.” This mission perfectly aligns with Arizona Sunrays’ values of Families serving Families. Arizona Sunrays specifically worked with the Hope Kids Arizona Chapter. It is so great that there is an Arizona chapter but Hope Kids has chapters all over the rest of the country. To get involved with Hope Kids please visit: https://www.hopekids.org/get-involved/ To get involved with Arizona Sunrays Gives Back program visit: https://arizonasunrays.com/about-us/sunrays-gives-back/

By |2018-02-27T14:28:31-07:00February 27th, 2018|Sunrays Gives Back|Comments Off on Hope Kids Day at Arizona Sunrays

When Should Your Child Start Dancing?

New parents often ask us, when will my child be ready to start dance classes? In our experience, a child’s readiness has less to do with age and more to do with mobility. In other words, if your child can walk, he or she is ready to learn to dance! Here at Arizona Sunrays, we offer a wide variety of classes for dancers of all ages and abilities. From tap, jazz and lyrical to hip hop, tumbling and baby dance, we’ve got something for everyone! And while it’s never too late to get started, there are many benefits to signing your child up for dance lessons at an early age. Here are a few! Physical Benefits Dance classes are a terrific way for kids to get out their seemingly endless energy in a safe and supportive environment. Whether they’re tapping their toes or moving to a beat, kids can begin to get to know their bodies and develop essential skills such as balance, coordination and flexibility. This will help them remain healthy and active as they grow older. Mental Benefits Dance isn’t just exercise for the body, but it’s exercise for the mind as well. Kids will learn to replicate a teacher’s movements, move with both sides of their bodies, and memorize sequences of steps. Without realizing it, kids will be developing lifelong skills such as active listening, patience and perseverance, all while having tons of fun! Social Benefits Dance class is a perfect setting for kids to meet and interact with other kids who also love to move. Kids will have the opportunity to dance with peers of different ages & abilities and will learn how to move together, as well as focus on [...]

By |2020-09-23T13:03:22-07:00February 7th, 2018|Blog, Sunrays Gives Back|Comments Off on When Should Your Child Start Dancing?

Partnership with Civitan

Civitan Foundation’s mission is “to provide our communities an accessible, safe and affordable environment while delivering superior life experiences to enhance the quality of life to individuals with developmental disabilities of all ages.” Civitan and Arizona Sunrays are now partners in a variety of ways. After touring Civitan Foundation’s beautiful facility, meeting all of their dedicated staff and hearing all about the services they offer, the Arizona Sunrays staff could not wait to begin the partnership. Civitan offers home and community-based services, Day Treatments for Adults, Pre-vocational education and employment, Respite and Recreation, and lastly, visual and performing arts. The first way that the partnership is moving forward is through Civitan’s employment services. Arizona Sunrays will gain valuable, hardworking employees while a Civitan client will get employment experience and the chance to shine in a new environment. Another way that this new partnership will flourish is through Camp Civitan. This Program “offers campers a variety of enriching and fun experiences that promote positive self-esteem, teamwork, socialization, and healthy activities.” If you would like to find out how you can get involved with Civitan please visit their support page. With our close proximity to Civitan, we look forward to sharing our new space for some of their wonderful programs.   Written by: Matthew J. Witenstein

By |2018-02-05T11:26:32-07:00February 5th, 2018|Sunrays Gives Back|Comments Off on Partnership with Civitan

New Partnership with SARRC

         Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center has a set mission “To advance research and provide a lifetime of support for individuals with autism and their families.” Arizona Sunrays and SARRC are now partnering in a variety of different ways.           First, SARRC came to the Arizona Sunrays directors meeting to achieve one of their research initiatives: “ To educate various professional communities to improve their capacity to serve individuals with ASD.” A representative from SARRC taught our directors a great deal about working with their clients and the Autism community. Arizona Sunrays has utilized this information to ensure our programs and staff are One of the most integral parts of this partnership is the employment services. Arizona Sunrays is in the process of building relationships in preparation for hiring new staff through our partnership with SARRC. We are excited about this mutually beneficial partnership to move forward! Another way that the two organizations are working together is through our sales of Beneficial Beans.  These coffee beans are produced by SARRC and the generated sales help benefit their community. The future is bright for all involved with this new partnership!  If you would like to find out how you can get involved with SARRC please visit their Mission Support page.     Written by: Matthew J. Witenstein

By |2018-02-05T10:45:51-07:00January 30th, 2018|Sunrays Gives Back|Comments Off on New Partnership with SARRC

Partnership Announcement

Arizona Sunrays is proud to announce our partnerships with two outstanding organizations. SARRC , Civitan and their communities are welcome members of our ever-growing Sunrays Family. We felt that all of our ideals align and that these partnerships will help all the organizations flourish. Throughout the next two weeks, the Sunrays Gives Back blog will dive into what these partnerships mean for our Arizona Sunrays Family and how you can get involved with them.   Written by: Matthew J. Witenstein

By |2018-02-05T10:43:48-07:00January 16th, 2018|Sunrays Gives Back|Comments Off on Partnership Announcement

Arizona Sunrays Ninja Zone Lessons: What to Expect

If your child is interested in being a Ninja, you’ve come to the right place! Ninja Zone is a new sport that incorporates elements of gymnastics, martial arts, obstacle course training and street dance. Children learn the core values of discipline, athleticism,and confidence as they move uninterrupted through obstacle courses. Students also learn combinations of flips, rolls, jumps, and kicks in order to progress to the next level. In order to advance, they are evaluated on adherence to the Ninja Zone principles. The Ninja Zone Mission The mission of Ninja Zone is to aid high-energy children in building character, social skills, and athleticism. Six character pillars make up the Ninja Zone curriculum: confidence, focused energy, impulse control, creed (core values), work ethic and responsibility. What will your child get out of it? Through focused energy, children are taught to steer their vitality positively and productively. Students learn mental impulse control and the value of work ethic as they encounter obstacles and overcome them. Progression through each Ninja zone level helps them develop confidence. This type of agility training is beneficial for children in a number of ways including injury prevention, improved coordination, and cross-sport benefits. Agility and flexibility gained in Ninja Zone training can help children prevent injury; as they learn to better control their bodies, they are less prone to injuring themselves while engaging in other sports or play. Ninja zone exercises are “multi-planar,” meaning multi-directional. This type of movement makes for better overall coordination in children, especially those interested in sports. Of course, Ninja Zone training teaches children grit, determination and work ethic, which helps them stay motivated in other areas of their lives. When can your child get started? Lil’ Ninjas, the [...]

By |2020-09-23T13:07:37-07:00January 8th, 2018|Blog, Sunrays Gives Back|Comments Off on Arizona Sunrays Ninja Zone Lessons: What to Expect

How Trampoline Gymnastics Became an Olympic Sport

Trampoline Gymnastics has a long history before it became the Olympic sport it is today! Trampolines themselves date back to 1934, according to the official Olympics website. They were originally used as a training tool to strengthen other athletes in their own sports. Later on, they were also used for astronauts to train for weightlessness. While trampolines were being used for other kinds of training, people began to notice certain gymnastic skills that could only be practiced on a spring-loaded surface. Events eventually became standardized so that gymnasts could choose to train in tumbling and trampolining, beyond the more typical offerings of gymnastics. According to USA Gyms, the first World Championships of Trampolining were held in the 1960s, cementing it as a global sport despite remaining less well known. Trampolining as a sport was introduced in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, and since then, many gymnasts use their difficulty level, execution, and time of flight to compete against all the best athletes in the world. The ability to execute difficult movements while flying up and down, all while making sure to land well for the next bounce, make gymnasts strong and precise in their movements. While men's and women's trampolining are the only events currently in the games, there are many other international trampoline gymnastics events that are gaining popularity. Can you envision your child being part of the first Olympics to hold tumbling or other trampoline events? While training competitively as a trampoline gymnast, your child will develop the spatial awareness that is unmatched in other sports, as well as the characteristic poise, strength, and flexibility required for all kinds of gymnastic activities. The process of raising a brilliant trampoline gymnast starts [...]

By |2018-03-27T18:20:34-07:00December 17th, 2017|Blog|Comments Off on How Trampoline Gymnastics Became an Olympic Sport

What are the Different Dance Classes My Child Can Take at Arizona Sunrays?

Is your child ready to dance the day away? We offer a variety of programs, classes, and styles to choose from for dancers of all ages! Our classes range from ballet to tap to jazz. Check out the class descriptions below to see what class best fits your child’s interests. For tiny dancers, we offer FREE Baby Dance classes every Monday or Thursday from 9:15-9:45 a.m. Classes require that your child is at least between walking age to 2.5 years. Feel free to drop in! (Make sure to arrive early! Classes are limited to the first 20 children.) Aerial Arts provides an exciting way to build strength and flexibility. Arizona Sunrays’ Aerial Arts classes focus on safety, conditioning, basic aerial fabric wraps, and proper alignment. We’ll also focus on using the aerial hoop, or Lyra, which is a large steel hoop suspended from a single point in the ceiling. Ballet is the classical foundation for all styles of dance. Classes focus on proper technique and body alignment. Our Pre-Pointe classes are for those recommended by teachers and focus on the work to prepare and strengthen the feet and ankles for pointe work. Carriage, poise and dance terminology are further developed. Pointe classes emphasize classical ballet work in which dancers support their body weight on the tips of fully extended feet. A minimum of three years of ballet is required, as is teacher recommendation. All levels of ballet dancers are expected to wear pink tights, a black leotard, and pink ballet shoes. Our Tap classes help dancers develop rhythm, style, and sound. Classes are focused on building flexibility of the feet and ankles, coordination and quick movement. Tap shoes are worn with metal plates under the [...]

By |2020-09-23T13:04:44-07:00December 4th, 2017|Blog, Sunrays Gives Back|Comments Off on What are the Different Dance Classes My Child Can Take at Arizona Sunrays?

Hurricane Maria Relief Effort

  You all are the reason to be so proud of our Sunrays community. Your donations have raised over $350 to Family-to-Family’s Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Relief Effort. The Sunrays family voiced concerns that they wanted to help the people of Puerto Rico, Family-to-Family made it possible to support the effort. There have been complications with shipping to Puerto Rico that have stopped organizations from sending items to people. For us, through Family-to-Family, sending money is the best course of action. So, over the past month, we have had a table set up at the front entrance of the gym selling our Grand Opening Sunrays Strong for donations. Special thanks to our talented builder, Chasse Building Team, for sponsoring these t-shirts and to our Sunrays Support Staff members and front office staff who set up and managed the table every day. We send our heartfelt thanks to you, our Sunrays family, for your generous donations. We are overwhelmed with the $350 in donations from our Sunrays family. The SGB program continues to work with our community and will update you all on the SGB program blog. Donations are still being collected if you’d still like one of the limited edition Sunrays Strong t-shirts :)     Written by: Matthew J. Witenstein

By |2018-02-05T10:41:43-07:00December 4th, 2017|Sunrays Gives Back|Comments Off on Hurricane Maria Relief Effort

iTeam’s Hurricane Harvey Relief

Arizona Sunrays enlisted our iTeam gymnasts & families to give back to the community. iTeam is an invitation-only program that allows athletes a chance to compete internally at Arizona Sunrays. This team of 25 gymnasts and their families has partnered with Family-to-Family through the SGB program for the past month to support a family that is in need of some relief after the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. “I love that Arizona Sunrays’ iTeam has really embraced the charge to give back to this Hurricane Harvey relief effort because together we have become an active part in fulfilling a mission that’s bigger than our average day-to-day objectives,” said Taryn the Director of non-competitive gymnastics. The family they have been supporting is the Sherry B. family. Sherry, 61 years old, is a part-time substitute teacher and is also a single mom with three children. The kids are: Reginald - 14 year old boy Kmariyon - 13 year old boy Nevaeh - 10 year old girl Our iTeam donated clothes, kitchen items and toys for this family. Family-to-Family serves a variety of people in need all over the world. Check out our next blog to hear about the SGB program’s next partnership with them.     Written by: Matthew J. Witenstein

By |2018-02-05T10:40:03-07:00November 27th, 2017|Sunrays Gives Back|Comments Off on iTeam’s Hurricane Harvey Relief