The following activities are part of dance therapy methods. They allow the group to feel connected and explore body movement on their own and in pair.
Aims: emotional awareness, empathy, collaboration, presentation skills, imagination, creativity
Exploring body movements
1. Walk in the room (cover the gaps, use the space, change speeds, change ways of moving)
2. How does it make you move: Participants are spread in the room. The facilitator asks them to start moving and dancing freely, however they want. While everyone is moving, gently, the facilitator then, proposes that participants start moving the way they would move if they were supposed to be experiencing a feeling or situation. For example: “imagine that you are now feeling very angry” or “imagine that you are in an argument with your mother because she does not let you go out tonight with your friends” or “you have just met a person that you have felt in love with” etc. The facilitator can give one proposal and let the participants start moving and exploring their suggestion. While everyone is dancing, the facilitator can then instruct the participants to choose one of the movements they have been doing and start repeating this movement however they want with a certain rhythm in it. They can do it slow fast, moving, standing, sitting etc. After sufficiently having explored one scenario, they can now explore another scenario. After exploring 2-3 emotional states, decreasingly bring participants to calmness and a standing position. Allow a couple of seconds for everyone to readjust.
Building trust in pair
3. Mirroring: Participants go in pairs. Partner A starts moving, and Partner B acts like their mirror, repeating their movement as similar and simultaneously as possible. Explore the idea for a couple of minutes and then switch roles. The participants are able to see themselves into another person’s body. The game is then developed into mirroring the dance. Partner A starts moving to the music being played and Partner B follows Partner A, mirroring their movement. (switch roles).
4. Tuned walking of pairs. Partner A has closed eyes and Partner B is leading (stop and go, change of speed, siting and standing. Aim to observe and listen, move as one).
Contact improvisation in pair
a. Feel the push (3 levels: arms, push, add also pulling, then push with other body parts beyond arms) Participants go in partners. Partner A stands still, with closed eyes, slightly bended knees and core tight in order to be more stable. Partner B starts to push with their hands different places of Partner’s A body. Partner A remains focused and feels the touch. Partner A puts resistance to where they feel they are being pushed. Partner B gradually starts using other body parts apart from their hands. After a while, the facilitator asks them to switch roles. The exercise is repeated one more time with a variation. Partner B tries to find ways with which they can be supportive to the other person. Partners A will give their weight to Partners B and Partners B will become their support. They can explore different ways of doing this. For this exercise, is better to find big body surfaces of the beginning and then gradually become riskier. Partner B is responsible for the safety of Partner A and Partner A trusts Partner B and enjoy being supported. Advise Partners B to have core tight, keep their knees bended, have a good base with their feet and to exhale when receiving weight. Explore the idea for a couple of minutes and then switch roles.
b. Back to back go down and up again (remember the synchronization of the breathing, both partners have to push each other, core tight)
General Note: In general throughout the exercises is good for people to try to work with different partners and not to be working only with one person throughout all the activities.
General Note: It’s important that participants are reminded about their body position (well grounded at the floor, core tight, breathing, slightly bended knees)