Weaver Elementary students practice the art of tai chi

Students at Weaver Elementary School recently demoed a classic Chinese martial art. The campus received a visit from Confucius Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas teacher Xiujuan Hu, who has taught tai chi for 25 years.

“Weaver is home to Garland ISD’s Mandarin Chinese Language & Leadership magnet program. We are recognized as a Confucius Classroom, which is why Dr. Hu visited,” said PE teacher Tracie McCroan. “It was wonderful. Students learned it takes a lot of self-control and focus.”

Hu demonstrated and taught several movements and techniques during her daylong visit. Younger students learned five animal forms, while older students practiced beginner tai chi moves.  

“I didn’t know what the excitement level would be because a lot of the practice is very precise, deliberate and slow,” McCroan revealed. “Their excitement was a surprise. She was with each class for 50 minutes and held their attention.”

The tai chi experience was not only enjoyable. It was also an enlightening lesson in disguise.

“This helped educate students about different cultures around the world and maybe things they are not ever exposed to,” McCroan stated. “When they think about martial arts, they think about karate. But there are so many different aspects to martial arts, and they gained that knowledge from the visit.”