Created by Agnese Bordjukova, Ilze Zīriņa, in Rauna, Latvia. 11.03.202. Activity no 3.

Anotation: Diversity can appear when we become aware of freedom of choice. Find your own way to move! How many ways you can find? Say, NO, when it is enough! Say, what you WANT to say. By words. By movement.

Intention:  Kinesthetic experience is quite a specific and individual way of learning & getting an experience. Focus of this class was to introduce youngsters with exercises what can be useful expanding their own vocabulary of movement.  Additional aim of the activity is to become aware of the freedom of choice, however it’s possible to stay in a contact and corporate having different views. It’s very important to build the process of learning gradually, including activities what help to get to know better own comfort zone, limits as well as indiviual responsibilities of making choices.

Duration: 2 hours

Target groups: 11 young people (age of 9 – 16). Teachers – just 1 came and we canceled. We do not know if we will keep working with the teachers.

 Approach: non- formal kinesthetic learning trough movement and dance

Description of the exercises.

WARM –UP. All of the participants forms a circle. One person in the circle is the leader, who makes different movements by choice. Others in the circle reflects his or her actions. Everyone has a chance to be specific and to copy all of the motions one notices. Not just those who’s meant to be the ‘right’ movements, but also those which are in between  – motions of doubts, confusion, thinking and similar. When leader wants, he passes the role further to the next person using some key action or motion.

Notes: This simple task suggests us to notice that range of movements can be different and that our body moves when we talk, when we think, when we don’t know etc. However usually people with no experience find it confusing of what to show, as they think that it needs to be something particular, for example, they need to show cool or ‘right’ warm-up moves. One more thing what can be experienced through this exercise is the possibility to sense own wishes and needs as every leader can choose what to show. Few youngsters of this particular group found it uncomfortable to be leaders having all the attention towards themselves.

  • Different interpretations for one offer

  Intention: to widen the vocabulary of movement. Source is individual body as well as possibilities of interpretations.

– Versions of actions are given by facilitator, like : to slide, to roll, to fall, to walk, to jump, to flow, to open & to close, to explode;

– And additives later on: quiet – loud, sharp – soft, minimal – maximal, on a spot – moving in the space, one body part – whole body;

Task is to find as many possibilities as one can for the given action. Additives are suggestions for learners of what can be added to make the difference or to add a different color to their movement.

Note: Finding the best way of communicating this task with learners still might be in a progress. Structured and clear instructions helps them to see what can be the possibilities to verify an action.

  • Individual choice in a coopration with others

Intention: to get to know personal needs and borders better. To suggest the idea that everyone can take a responsibility for individual choices. Following task are first steps towards that.

– personal space: Participants form pairs. They stand in a long distance facing each other. Preferably they keep an eye contact. One person is A, other – B.  A remains standing, B slowly moves closer. A uses his/her palm as a sign to stop and moves it towards B when it’s the edge of the comfortable distance for A. They keep an eye contact and stand still. If after a while A feels like letting B to come closer, he takes his palm down. If not B moves backwards. It’s possible to let them play with coming closer and moving backwards. After a while they switch roles.

Note: teenagers find it extremely confusing to look into each other’s eyes.

– a touch: Participants work in the same pairs.  One person is looking to the other person and names different body parts by it’s own choice. If other person finds the particular body part comfortable to be touched, he/ she places his own palm on that spot. If she/he wouldn’t like to be touched there – no placement of the palm. After a while they change roles.

– Next phase is that A touches B in different spots of the body. Whenever the touch is uncomfortable for B, she/he takes other person’s palm off.  Both of couple experience it by switching roles.

Note: As touch and personal space is rather sensitive topics for young people, good decision could be to let them to experience that gradually.

managing the information about yourself coming from others: Couples stay the same.  Working together for a longer time is a possibility to build certain level of trust between them. Both make quite a long distance between each other again. A says some fact about B. They can be different kind – obvious or personal ( for example: you are blond, you are shy to show your gentle side, you are creative, I saw you were rude to the teacher). Task for B is to evaluate the fact and own attitude towards that with making a step forward or either backwards. Step forward means that person agrees to that and approves it, step backwards – opposite. After a while they switch roles.

  • Finishing the sentence

Intention: To offer kinesthetic way of expressing themselves. Introduction of the possibility to be different because it’s hard to be identical in a movement. To suggest that every version counts and is acceptable.

– Proposed sentences by facilitator: My name is …… I’m age of …….   I’ve got brothers or sisters ………  My wish is………  

 I don’t get along with…….     I’m often feeling………..    I can……….    I can’t……..

– Task is to give an individual response to the statement in a motion.

– The first phase is when all group works together and step by step tries out different versions of movement for every sentence.

– Then 5 minutes are given to formulate and to choose one answer in movement for each sentence.

– At the end of the class a simple structure was tried out:  All the participants stand in one line. Free space they’re facing a performing spot. Facilitator is calling out the statements. Those who want to show their responses goes to the ‘stage’ and shows their response in movement.

Note: Many participants commented that they found it a nice way of sharing an information about themselves.

  • Reflection at the end:

We asked participants to write a letter to us as and tell about moments when they did not feel comfortable during the class, moments where they felt supported. We also asked them to ask a question to us.

Some examples from letters:

– I felt very uncomfortable when I had to repeat a movement of another. I feel very comfortable sitting on the floor or a chair. I would love to come to such classes again. Will we have more classes like this?

– I do not feel comfortable at all. But I agree on everything what we do here. When we will have another class like this? I loved it and hope that it will happen again.

– I felt uncomfortable when I was late after the intermission. I also felt uncomfortable during the eye contact. I liked to do all the actions ( like sliding, falling, jumping etc). Why we are the ones who participate at this project? Why a project like this is happening?

– Hi. I did not feel comfortable when we had to look in eyes of each other. I liked that we had to use movement instead of words. Will we do this again some time?

– I felt uncomfortable when had to initiate a movement and everybody repeated it. I do not like tasks where one person is in the center of attention.

– I felt uncomfortable when I was touched. I enjoyed finishing the sentence with the movement. Will we use more elements of sport or ball at some class?

– I felt uncomfortable when had to come in front of camera and move. So, I did not.

– I felt uncomfortable when had to catch another person who is falling. I loved rotating. When the next meeting is happening?

– I felt uncomfortable when had to touch different body parts of another person. I enjoyed expressing by movement my answers to questions. Other people might divide us in couples.

Some photos from the process:

The Key to Connection is implemeneted in the framework of Erasmus+: Youth in Action  programme – key action 2, Strategic Partnership for exchange experiences.