This week's New Yorker is bringing his community together through movement, something he teaches to anyone who wants to learn. NY1's Roma Torre filed the following report, which was written and edited by Rachel Smith.
Jumping, stretching and dancing are just some of the things students learn from Paul Keoni Chun, someone who knows how to get people moving.
"I know the thrill of jumping in the air and doing a somersault and landing on your feet," Chun says. "I know the thrill of moving to music as a dancer would, and I know the thrill of finding that center of peace in yoga and meditation."
As a professional dancer, gymnastics student and yoga enthusiast, Chun learned what he needed to found Keoni Movement Arts, a nonprofit that brings "yo-da-nastics" to as many people as possible.
The classes are open to anyone who wants to learn, but focus particularly on those without access to the arts.
"I figure out where they're at, and I give them something they can do, and then I keep building from there," Chun says.
Chun and KMA have taught children as young as three, adults who may have never danced before, and young adults with special needs.
At a recent KMA class at DANY Studios in Hell's Kitchen, parents looked on as their kids learned how to shake, rattle and roll.
"When I see the smiles on the faces of the children, the students, that's what's really makes me happy, and then I see the pride in the parents," Chun says.
It's a feeling shared by teacher Paul and those learning from him.
"It's always a great honor, and I would just want to say thank you to him and all the teachers that help out with so many things," says student Deborah Lee.
So, for giving New Yorkers the opportunity to move and feel good doing it, Paul Keoni Chun is the latest New Yorker of the Week.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information about Paul and Keoni Movement Arts, visit the group's web page at keonimovementarts.org.