anthropology · behavior · health · learning · mental health · psychology

I will be speaking on play this Friday, July 20, in Seattle at Parkour Visions

Me showing my serious anthropologist side.

Hi everyone. Just a little self-promotion, plus some promotion for a great organization:

I have been asked to speak this Friday, July 20, at 7:20 pm about play and parkour, at the 3rd annual Parkour Summit hosted by Parkour Visions in Seattle, WA.

As some of you know,  I received my MA in Anthropology this past winter, which focused on play and parkour. My play research has included studies of human-gorilla interaction at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, the primary physical play behaviors found in all primates (including traceurs), and how traceurs redefine and interact with space in new and creative ways.

Full disclosure, I have also been an advisory board member for the Pacific Northwest Parkour Association (the nonprofit behind Parkour Visions) since 2006, when it was having board meetings in my kitchen and I would feed all the board members banana coconut pancakes.

I have been asked by Parkour Visions to discuss my findings about parkour and play, why play is vitally important across the human lifespan for physical and mental health, what human play looks like, and how parkour reflects and answers the need for lifelong play.

There will also be lots of other great speakers talking about how movement plays into health in other ways than just strong muscles, including gut health, mental health, and long life, and ways to incorporate movement and play into ones lives. See a list of speakers here. The talks will be after a community dinner, so if you’re interested you can also bring $5 or a plate of something healthy (think fruit or meat) starting at 5pm, and mingle with the speakers before the talk.

The summit also includes an invitational competition of some of the best traceurs in the world, which is free to the public, on Saturday morning, so if you can’t come to the talk please come by and check out these amazing athletes. There are lots of other events taking place, so check out the itinerary and see if there’s something that sparks your interest.

I look forward to seeing you there!