Paul and Melanie Zeir have been married and working together since 1986. Their family mission is a dedicated research into human development and education for our time.
Talking Hands Talking Feet emerged from their family endeavour in response to the greater need for integration of the arts in education as a central influence in child development.
Melanie grew up in South Africa. The nature and way of Africa and her people was a compelling influence upon her youth. Dance, rhythm and music are heart and soul to Africa. Thus her education and training came very naturally. It is expressed in the way she engages children and grown ups in movement. Passion and grace, natural intelligence and beauty inform her arts. And it transfers to others so easily!
Paul grew up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, USA. He spent every possible hour of his youth adventuring in the great outdoors. Music was always the language he understood and spoke best. Being an adopted child fostered in him a rare sensitivity and empathy for other children from an early age. That has never changed.
Melanie left South Africa at the age of 17 having received her S.A.D.T.A (South African Dancing Teachers Association) teaching qualification. She came to America to continue to broaden her dance & theater education where she graduated in dance and movement studies at Naropa University in Boulder Colorado. She is also one of very few instructors certified in Electrobics® Healing Movement. In Talking Hands Talking Feet she creates movement programs to enhance child development.
Paul's sense of mission led him on many adventures as a young man, always with guitar and song book in hand. He lived with indigenous villagers in Alaska, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela working with the Institute of Cultural Affairs. He also spent several semesters studying at Northern Arizona and Colorado Universities between travels.
Paul and Melanie began working together within a few months of meeting and falling in love. They shared a common love for experimental theater, music and dance as media for human development. When they became parents of two boys beginning in 1995, original teaching songs accompanied by descriptive and rhythmic movement over spilled from their family life. Other parents began requesting these songs for their children and before long the first Talking Hands Talking Feet workshops were born.
Now Talking Hands Talking Feet has worked directly in schools, camps and workshops with over 2500 children in New Mexico, Colorado, New York and Washington State . In addition, the music has found its way to children in homes and schools in Europe, Israel, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, China, South Africa and throughout the United States.
Paul and Melanie are continually in the process of producing and recording new music and dance instruction videos based on an ever deepening research and love for the human potential!