Created by Niki Louladaki, Kiriaki-Maria Papalitsa, Sofia Papaspyropolou, Thaleia Giannakopoulou, Ilektra Tzilali ( Pepsaee), Maria Roumkou, Anastasia Lampaki ( Rhodes Volunteer Community) ,with the participation of students from the Experimental Intercultural High School of Athens” in Athens, Greece, 21.02.20. Activity no 1

        Annotation: Unfolding (Critical Understanding of Self):

  • Unfolding possibilities
  • Unfolding creativity
  • Unfolding hope & joy
  • Unfolding self -awareness

Intention: To explore the possibilities of self by being part of a group.To build trust to unfold creativity and self-awareness. To  re–establish hope & joy.

 Duration: 3 hours

 Target group: 19 young people (age of 13 – 16) and 2 teachers ( age around 35 – 45 y.o.).

 Approach: non- formal kinesthetic learning trough movement, rhythm and dance.   

Description of the exercises.

  • Intro-The Team’s Contract:

At the beginning of the meeting, before we start playing, we need to set the rules of our collaboration. A big piece of paper is on the wall and every member of the group   can say and/or write the rules she/he believes that is essential for him/her for establishing the feeling of being safe, respected and welcome in this workshop.

*NOTE: Recommended for groups that haven’t had any previous cooperation.

The team’s contract ensures that all members have equal rights and responsibilities within the group. They define the framework of its operation and establish the “safe” way to conduct it.

*Observation Notes: Different language was a barrier. Some of the kids don’t speak, understand or write in Greek. Most of the group members speak English. Two of the members had to translate in Arabic and Turkish language for those who don’t speak English.

We had to give time to explain what a contract means. When they understood the importance of the contract and felt accepted despite the language barrier, they responded positively and participated.

The members wrote these 5 rules : 1. Not to make fuss 2. No fights 3. Not to laugh at others 4. Not to steal 5. Not to mock.

Although they created a beautiful multilanguage contract we had to remind them the first rule (1. Not to make fuss) many times, but this is normal when we work with kids or teenagers.

  • ICE BREAKING: We introduce ourselves or re-introduce ourselves to the group.

Intention: To start unfolding by being introduced and accepted.


A small ball passes from hand to hand. He/she who holds the ball say their name and shares the feeling / way they come here today.

For example: “ I come with… joy/fear/expectations/with my phone “ e.t.c.


The one holding the ball repeats his/her name and what she/he likes, such as “I am Niki and I like the music” .Those from the group that have the same taste in music they take a step towards the center of the circle. They return to their position and the person holding the ball throws it to anyone in the circle to repeat the procedure.

*Observation Notes: Positive attitude, participation and joy that led to feel more relaxed and active!


1a) In a circle. The first rhythm is simple (4/4) and works as a base for exploration and playfulness. We  clap our hands and move our body in the basic rhythm and tempo.

-We play loud.

-We play soft

-We play fast

-We play slow

 Once the group feels secure in the rhythm, the coordinators start to encourage the members to improvise using the basic rhythm as a safety net and to create their own rhythmical line connected to the group and free to express themselves at the same time.

*Observation Notes: Members are active and participate. Some of them they even try to change the rhythm and lead the activity. A good sign that they start to feel the process as their own.We had a lot of fun!!!!!!!!!

1b) In a circle the group keeps the basic rhythm.We choose one person (by looking at him/her) and we meet in the center of the circle to have a rhythmical <dialogue.>. We go back to our places and the next couple comes into the center of the circle.

*Observation Notes: Maybe it was too soon! They felt embarrassed. The coordinators took the first step but only few followed.

Ice breaking exercises have accomplished their purpose and appear to have created connections and intimacy among members.

[ By the end of this game coloful paper bags are there for the members. They choose one. These bags are going to be the <secret> place where they are going to keep all the things they are about to discover next].


Intention: Explore  interaction with the space , the pace, the treads.Reconnect with body parts (isolating body parts and let them dance).Alertness and explosiveness in motion.

PREPARATION:  Free walking  in the space following the beat of  the music. We walk in different ways and conditions (with tiny steps, with large steps, on slipery ground, on hot sand etc.)

*Observation Notes: Too many orders too fast seemed to confuse some of the participants due to language barrier. They followed the movement of others.


[The coordinators  inform the group that there will be  a particular sound signal ,for the two versions/stages of this game,which indicates the pause of movement and/or the end of the task.During this pause the coordinators give the next task.]

1a)  Freewalking  in the space following the beat of  the music.

With the signal we stop moving (pause) and we are asked to choose one part of our body which we let dance to the music (while the rest of the body is still in pause). With the next signal we start walking again.

We repeat by choosing another part of our body every time, until the whole body is awake and engaged to dancing.

*Observation Notes: It could last longer. They had fun!

1b) Walking in circle following the beat of the music. With the first sound signal we start walking backwards. By the next signal- walking forward. The changes are geting faster and faster and the group must be alerted and energetic to follow the instructions.

*Observation Notes: They enjoyed every second of this excercise!


Intention: Initiative. To unveil hidden qualities.Reconnect with the best qualities of ourselves without being too exprosed (that is why we use the fabric and the color as intermediate objects of expression).

[The space is decorated with many  fabrics in different colors.The coordinators ask the members to look around and pick a color, the color they like the most, and move on to it.  ]

1a) This color we picked has the power to give us an extraordinary ability that we would like to have. What extraordinary ability are we given by the color?  Now the members of the group can write down this ability  on a piece of paper and throw the paper in the small bag given to them at the beginning of the meeting.

*Observation Notes: Due to language barrier they couldn’t exactly understand the directions but they were so fascinated by the fabrics and the colors that they ended up suggesting their own version of the exercise. It was a positive twist on the process and was adopted instantly by the coordinators.

1b) “Armed” with this extraordinary ability,the members of the group were encouraged to move freely and begin to explore the space in all its levels (ground, mid-level, upright) and in all  directions.

*Observation Notes: The members had a difficulty to move in all levels and to walk freely in the space. They seemed to find hard to break the habit of walking in a circle.

1c) We choose a spot in the space from where we start. Then we choose a direction in which we want to go. This route will need to be made in extreme weather conditions (strong winds, overheating, over cold, the road is uphill, slipping, etc.) but we are armed with that extraordinary ability of our color. Whatever we choose to do in this test is acceptable. There is no right or wrong, we can stop, go back, wait for the weather to improve etc . Everything is acceptable. When the game ends, on a card, we write something we felt during the game or something we found out for ourselves. The paper will be placed in our bag and noone will see it.

*Observation Notes: Again the language barrier made it a bit difficult for some of the members. Although they had peers to translate for them they ended up following the moves other members made instead of expressing their own.


Intention: Uniqueness in the spotlight. Connection with a variety of feelings and behaviors. (A delicate matter that has to be approached with care. The intermediate object of the balloon provides to the group, a safe way to express without being exposed and hurt).

1a). There are balloons in many colors around the space. Each member chooses a balloon. On one side of the balloon he/she draws-writes a symbol or word that will be his/her signature and marks the balloon as his/her own.

*Observation Notes: Amazing drawings!!!!

1b). Back from the break! We dance-play with our balloon with different parts of our body and in any way we want. We get to know it well. It becomes part of our body.

*Observation Notes: The members found it hard to work with themselves and their balloon. They seemed to prefer the interaction with others.


[The directive is that our balloon guides us through its short stories and transmits what it feels like.]

Our balloon leads us to different situations and feelings:

-We are in a place where it is raining and our balloon is scared …. what do we do?

-Our balloon is very happy and it draws us to share its joy.

-Our balloon is in danger … what is our reaction?

-Our balloon is very angry …. it drives us to its anger …. what is our reaction?

-Our balloon is bored ….

-Our balloon is sad … it drives us to its sadness …

what is our reaction?

-Our balloon is shy …. what do we do to help it overcome its shyness?

-Our balloon is undecided …. what to choose? to go up or down; Right or left?

-Our balloon is tired … what do we do?

-Our balloon is beautiful and happy!

*Observation Notes: Despite the language barrier (again!!!!) somehow the members managed to respond to the directives and create beautiful improvisations. The great success is that no one left the action!


[Exercise variant 2. / Field “Trust – Collaboration” from the proposed program of “RHODES VOLUNTEERS COMMUNITY”]

Intention: Connection and collaboration.


-We are divided into 4 groups and we make 4 lines where everyone has their hands on the shoulders of the person standing in front of them.

We all have our eyes closed except for the person who is first in line and will be our driver. Each line is led by its leader who is the only one with eyes open. Leaders make sure their team is moving with safety in space and among other teams. All members of each line will become leaders and have the opportunity to lead the team. At the end all the lines become one big line.

*Observation Notes: The alternative directive for those who don’t feel safe to keep their eyes closed ,is to have them open and look down. This was used, by some members ,as a chance for playing around and teasing each other . Two of the lines took the directives seriously and tried to achieve the task. This exercise reveald the difficulty of the members to trust and have a responsibility. That all changed when all the lines became one. Suddenly they stopped laughing and tease each other and started enjoying the process.


[Exercises 1. & 2. / Field “Initiative Exercises” from the proposed program of “RHODES VOLUNTEERS COMMUNITY”]

In pairs we stand opposite to each other and one member suggests moves while the other mirrors them. We change roles so that both members of the couple can propose their own moves.

*Observation Notes:  We felt they were a bit afraid to suggest moves, and kept it on the safe ground of immitating each other. We could say that,they transformed the directive to a “Group Mirroring” exercise. The positive aspect is that members feel safe enough to adjust the exercises in to something they are willing to follow.


[Exercise variant 3. / Field “Trust – Collaboration” from the proposed program of “RHODES VOLUNTEERS COMMUNITY”]

In pairs:

– We try to walk with a balloon between our shoulders  without loosing it.

-We try the same thing with the balloon between our backs.

-And between our heads.

*Observation Notes: Fun! Fun! Fun!


1. HUG DANCE (Aggaliastos )

Directive: Observe and do what others do!

 Intention: A group dance. All together! Each and everyone special! Observation, Collaboration, Co existance.

In a semi- circle using handkerchiefs, we hold hands and we follow the leader of the dance. We dance in circle and when the leader gives the sign, the first pair of the line are  forming a ” bridge” with their arms. The rest of the group pass under the “bridge” without leaving hands. When the last person passes the “bridge” the first “hug” is made with the hand of the second person of the pair laying on the shoulder of his/her partner. The dance ends when all the members are in the position of the “hug”.


In a semi- circle using handkerchiefs, we hold hands and we follow the leader of the dance. Every person in the circle is important, everyone will become leader.

*Observation Notes: It was a surprise! Most of the members are from different cultures and at first they felt a bit awkward.But, curiosity prevailed and they started to dance. Surprisingly the moment the dance started everyone was focused on the process. No fuss, no laughs, just dance! They felt safe, special and calm in this group activity!


-We discuss how we felt throughout the workshop.

What was difficult to understand, what we enjoyed,what was boring etc.

-The coordinators ask the members of the group to capture on a card their experience from the workshop, in any way they like (it can be a drawing or just words )and at the end to write a word or phrase that descripes the overall feeling of the workshop.

*Observation Notes: Not much of a discussion due to language barrier. The members told us that their class was the only one which had to come to the workshop while the rest of the school was going for a walk at the park. We felt it was extremely frustrating for them. We think it is amazing how they engaged to the process, despite their frustration, how they made the most out of it and how much trust they offered us in such a short time.

They created cards with the feedaback . Most of the feelings are positive!

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.