school of myth & movement arts

 Embodiment of Myth.   Expressive dance into Nature Connection.  Isadora Duncan studies.  Sustainability education.  Wilderness.  Art. Myth















Where the wisdom of culture meets the wisdom of the forest. 


Fairy Tale Forest (age 4 to 8) is an immersion in wonder and joy among the living mysteries of nature and the wisdom of traditional fairy tales.  Children at FTF spend the entire day in a small group with master teacher Laura Melling, in a serene forest environment hearing stories and music, dancing, daydreaming, and crafting.  The day unfolds at a unhurried pace as we learn, work and play together, basking in the beauty and tranquility of the foothills forests.  Fairy Tale Forest has been identified by scholars, teachers and parents as an exemplary model of sustainability education based in an ethic of care.  The programs functions as a laboratory for the generation and display of these innovative models.   

Guardian Mountain (Girls Only - age 7 to 10) is a celebration of friendships, nature connection and mythic imagination. It is a playful introduction into the wild woman archetype, called Artemis-Diana, Lady of the Forest, and many other names. Working in a small group, we form a strong bond of enthusiasm and care for one another.  Every day is an adventure taken through dance, acting, singing, daydreaming, exploring and crafting.  We roam the 100 acres of the Starhouse and discover the bond between the land and our soul.  The forest moves through us and becomes part of our circle.  Guardian Mountain has been described as 'the only place I have ever seen my daughter encouraged to find her artistry and her wildness in the same moment. I was in tears.'    

In 2017, Myth & Movement Art's summer camps are celebrating our eighth year.  Our programs were developed by Director Laura Melling, and represent her unique perspective on human development based in Anthropology of Education, Isadora Duncan education, Waldorf education, nature connection methods from the Tracker school, and wisdom cultivated through her deep study in mythology and the arts. 

Our approach rests on the perception that we learn to relate to the non-human world in the terms laid out by the myths, arts, rituals and visions of culture.   Without a Cultural foundation, our imagination, mind and body cannot open to the true profundity of Nature. 

We hope you will join us! 

Location:  Fairy Tale Forest programs are held in the rolling hills outside Boulder, at the spectacular 100 acre StarHouse property, in Sunshine Canyon, a ten minute drive from downtown.  

For more background, you can read about last year's camps here.

Daily rhythm of Fairy Tale Forest & Guardian Mountain...

We begin with a singing walk through the forest.  Then, we go inside for a dance journey with live harp accompaniment, after which we act out plays, then ramble through the woods relishing our favorite places.  We then recall our morning through watercolor painting, games and drawing.  Next, a hearty snack of healthy treats readies the children for outdoor crafting, using found and natural materials.  Lunch and rest on soft blankets allows time for hearing folk stories from around the world and relaxing.  The remainder of the afternoon is devoted to forest adventures and games. 

Reflections from parents & students...

"Your camp is like no other.  It is absolutely my favorite place to take my girls. The locations you have invited us to, the storytelling, movement, crafts, and magic you create is sacred and treasured."

"Any child who gets to spend time with Laura is very lucky.  She is one of Boulder's true treasures."

"THANK YOU for creating such beauty!  Your camp is our favorite.  Being in nature in this form has a soothing impact on my children and their play, for weeks following...." 

"Thank you for creating WONDER. My son works with what you teach in camp all year long." 
"Laura is a master.  The children were captivated by her magic all week."
"Laura's poetic presence of spirit, mind, heart, and body is a highly developed and skilled instrument which I trust will see and connect with what is truest in my children."

2017 Summer Camp Schedule

June 26-30 Fairy Tale Forest:  'Where Foxes Trot'. Ages 5 -8.   (FULL)

July 10-14 Guardian Mountain 'Flight of the Silver Arrow' Ages 7 -10.  (FULL)  

July 17-21 Fairy Tale Forest: 'Land of Plenty.'  Age 3.5 to 7.  (1 space open)

June 26-30.  Where Foxes Trot:  For age 5 to 8.  Foxes are playful and clever animals.  They are often seen frolicking with deer and birds.   Light on their feet and quick, foxes are excellent dancers.  This week of camp we’ll be inspired by these magic-makers to celebrate the joys of companionship, riddles and games, and exploring the hidden places of the forest.   8:30 am-3 pm.  

July 10-14: Flight of the Silver Arrow: Age 7 -10.   This week we will learn and explore stories of heroines and heroes who will act as guardians of the imagination ever-after.  We will dance, craft, explore the forest, learn songs and play many different types of games, all inspired through reference to these mythic stories.   8:30 am-3 pm.  

July 17-21.  Land of Plenty.  For age 3.5 to 7.   This week will be a classic Fairy Tale Forest adventure into the realm of gentleness, abundance and wonder.  We focus on good cheer, caring for the woods, working together, and giving space for everyone to contribute their gifts.  We will craft and play, paint, dance, daydream and explore in the magical Land of Plenty.   8:15 am- 2:45 pm. 

Age groups: Our programs are designed for a wide age range.  In this model, we see that older members of the group have gifts to share with younger ones and vice versa.   Also, these age ranges are approximate.  Please inquire if have concerns about whether a program is appropriate for your child.  Enrollment limited to 9 children/week.  

Each program is totally unique and unfolds through our encounter with the land:  You can read about last year's camps here. 


Fee: $365.  A limited number of partial, need-based scholarships available through a grant from Boulder County Arts Alliance and generous private donors.  Please request an application. 

Contact for registration information.   

 Magician of sound, Margot Krimmel.

Magician of sound, Margot Krimmel.

Pedagogy & Philosophy...

 "Let us first teach little children to breathe, to vibrate, to feel and to become one with the general harmony and movement of nature. Let us first produce a beautiful human being, a dancing child."  --Isadora Duncan

Traditional tales appeal to boys and girls alike as images of the soulful vivacity they feel alive in nature and in themselves.  These tales carry deep metaphors dense with wisdom, which feed children for years and years to come.  The teachers at Myth and Movement are professional artists in visual, musical, performance, wilderness tracking, and literary domains who care deeply about the soulful life.  The children witness and participate in poetry, instrumental music, storytelling, puppetry, dance, crafting of many kinds, painting, theater, gardening, cooking, singing, and cooperative games.  It is hoped that this exposure supports a lifelong capacity to express their love of Life.