Local family assists at the 2017 SHAPE America national convention and expo

PHOTO PROVIDED From left, are Diana Logan, Drums Master Trainer and Instructor at the Eastern Lycoming YMCA, Carrie Ekins, Creator of Drums Alive, Amber Logan, Diana’s daughter who has a diverse ability, Karen Watanabe-Aakamoto, COO of Drums Alive, and Erica Logan, Lifeskills teacher for the Intermediate Unit 17.

Using small buckets and water jugs as handheld drums, participants at the 2017 SHAPE America national convention and expo in Boston let loose to Justin Timberlake to kick off the event.

The expo is the premier professional development event for health and physical educators. Local YMCA group exercise instructor, Diana Logan, and her two daughters, Erica and Amber, recently were invited to help present the Drums Alive program, which is a unique sensory motor drumming program that helps improve lives, both physically and psychologically.

The three of them helped present to more than 100 participants in two separate sessions alongside the creator of Drums Alive, Carrie Ekins. The Logan family also worked in the exhibit booth, representing Drums Alive as master trainers.

Diana, certified drums instructor since 2011, originally planned to teach it as a fitness class. She decided to try it in her SuperStars class at the Eastern Lycoming Branch YMCA, meant for those with exceptionalities and diverse abilities, and her class size tripled within six months.

“I consider myself as more of an ambassador for the (Drums Alive) program,” Diana said. “We’re creating awareness and bringing Drums Alive to the community. The Y has been an integral part of the program. We couldn’t do everything we’re doing without the Y.”

Erica, a lifeskills teacher for the Intermediate Unit 17, also became a Drums Alive instructor and has used it to create awareness within her classroom. Used as a physical education tool and for “brain breaks” it can help release stress.

Amber also became a certified Drums Alive instructor, but her story is a little different. She was born with a diverse ability and is now able to help others with diverse abilities realize that they too can become leaders. She helped at the expo and also teaches a routine to “Try Everything,” by Shakira in Diana’s SuperStars class.

“It was so endearing and inspiring to watch all of you dance, move and groove with everyone. I was truly impressed when Amber came to the front and drummed along with the entire master trainer team without any reservation. It made me so happy,” said Drums Alive creator, Carrie Ekins. “In addition, I loved how Erika was able to speak with such power, passion and wisdom to other teachers.”

For more information about the SuperStars program, contact the Eastern Lycoming Branch YMCA at 570-546-8822. This is a free class that is offered to those with diverse abilities. For more information on the Drums Alive program, visit www.drums- alive.com.