Frequently asked questions about Bal-A-Vis-X
- Bill Hubert
1) What's your academic background ?
Five years teaching university level literature and writing, 15 years teaching grade one (ages 6-7), and 15 years teaching humanities in grade 7 (ages 12-13). During much of that time, I also taught martial arts.
2) Where did the idea for Bal-A-Vis-X come from ?
It was a process of connecting dots. Dot One: Each year many of my grade one students didn't function well. Dot Two: My martial arts experience enabled me to watch these 6-7 year-olds through the twin lenses of balance and rhythm. Dot Three: I felt it important that all these students have fundamental balance and rhythm capabilities so I taught them such basic physical skills as throwing, catching, walking balance beams, skipping, and so on. Dot Four: Slowly I became aware that of all my students, the ones most deficient in these basic skills were the same ones who struggled academically. Dot Five: I noticed, as we all worked on balance and rhythm, that now and then when a struggling student's balance and rhythm improved, his/her academic performance also improved. Connecting these dots, then, posed this question: might fine tuning a child's balance and rhythm simultaneously address his/her academic difficulties? What followed were more than 20 years of trial and error to find out. The result, as of 1999, was the still-evolving program now known as Bal-A-Vis-X.
3) How does Bal-A-Vis-X differ from other programs based on, or related to, physical movement ?
Several things. First, rhythm. Natural rhythm. Not matching a tone or a metronome or a musical beat or any other outside source. The rhythms of Bal-A-Vis-X are the natural outcome of proper physical techniques--which techniques one learns and commits to muscle memory during our trainings. Second, visual tracking. In a typical 30-minute Bal-A-Vis-X session one tracks across three "midlines" (side-side, up-down, near-far) probably 1,000 times. Third, entrainment. The majority of our exercises are done with a partner and/or in concert with others. Synchronicity is always the goal. In a Bal-A-Vis-X setting no one is allowed to be a Lone Ranger, free to follow his own plan. Fourth, responsibility. As soon as you are competent in execution of even a few exercises, you are immediately set the task of teaching those exercises to a new or less competent student--always, of course, under the trained eye of your instructor. You, still a student, are responsible for the new student while the instructor is responsible for you both. In time, as your competence grows, and you become less a student and more an instructor yourself, your responsibilities and confidence grow exponentially. Earned self-esteem naturally follows.
4) Where is Bal-A-Vis-X used ?
Since 2000 we've provided trainings to some 11,000 teachers, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Speech and Language Pathologists, counselors, Recreational Therapists and parents in 39 American states, five sites in Canada, Mexico City, Singapore. The number of students with whom these adults have subsequently used the program is unknown.
5) After taking your training what will I be able to do ?
You will immediately be able to use Bal-A-Vis-X with your own children or with your own students. You may also infuse Bal-A-Vis-X into other therapy modalities with your own clients. What you may not do is train other adults in the program.
6) Has there been any academic research into Bal-A-Vis-X ?
i) Jaque Groenendyk, an elementary school teacher conducted an in depth study of the impact of Bal-A-Vis-X had on her students' academic progress and social behaviour. You can download this report from here.
ii) A new paper published (2015) by Dr. Dixon Chibanda which compares Bal-A-Vis-X with conventional pharmacological approach to alleviate symptoms of ADHD. You can download this study from here.