As part of the ALF Summer training this year at ALC Mosaic, I had the opportunity to facilitate a workshop centered on spontaneous creativity and expression through dance and movement. This offering was inspired by the Community-based Contemporary Dance Workshop, led by youth leaders from CAUCE (the Center for Urban Community and Entrepreneurial Action of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico). I had the privilege of participating of this workshop during the month of June and it had a tremendous impact on me. In an effort to share all the great learning and discovery that took place there, I decided to facilitate a similar workshop for the ALC Summer Camp.
Children and adults alike participated in the workshop and collaborated in the creation of an improv performance. Below you will find a short description of the areas of focus, activities, as well as video footage with highlights of our time together.
- Move our bodies! Get to know ourselves and our bodies as vehicles of expression.
- Develop group awareness and connection with others.
- Create and perform a collective performance centered on spontaneous creativity and free expression.
- Solid and liquid/collective statue: This activity allowed us to begin developing group and self awareness, and begin exploring ways in which we can move our bodies. First participants walk around the space, then one person strikes and holds a pose in the middle of the room, and another person joins in and strikes a pose that compliments the first person’s pose. After a couple of seconds, the first person “liquifies” and joins the rest of the group moving around the room while the second person holds pose waiting for someone else to compliment their pose. At the end, all join in to create a “collective statue” and melt back to the group.
- Mirror: The Mirror activity focused on leading/following dynamics between participants. Participants pair up, one begins leading movements slowly, the other person follows and mirrors each movement. Both participants are to keep eye contact throughout the whole exercise using their field of view to register each movement their partner makes. Without announcing it, either partner can switch and begin leading movements.
- Magnet: Similar to the mirror activity, the leader/follower dynamic are the focus. The leader attracts/repels one part of the partner’s body at a time using hands and switching roles spontaneously.
- Change your walk: An awareness activity where the group moves about the room to the rhythm of the music and all participants change their way of walking/moving to match the movement of the person leading. At any given moment, another participant can then change their walk/movements and the group follows.
- Backwards walk: This activity allow us develop and refine awareness of the group and others by using all our senses. All participants walk backwards slowly around the room avoiding bumping into each other relying on all other senses (not only vision) to sense other participants and flow about the room seamlessly.
- Expression through movement: Participants brainstorm and write down emotions/concepts/ideas that they would like explore expressing through movement. All pieces of paper go into a bag. Participants close their eyes to connect with themselves and their own experiences and remain with eyes closed throughouth the entire exercise. Facilitator picks an idea from the bag and reads it aloud. Participants dance/move or strike a pose that for them expresses that emotion. Exercise ends with a reflection.
1. Dance workshop highlights
2. Performance reflection (In this video you will see people “twinkle fingers.” To learn more about what this means read this brief blog post.)
3. End-of-camp dance workshop reflection