Created by: Marta Zawadzka, Małgorzata Skusa, in Sępólno Krajeńskie, Poland (no 2), 04.07.2020.
Intention: building the trust, openness, awareness of my own body coexisting with others and in the space – especially outdoors.
Participants: 12 young adults (16-29 y.o.)
Duration: 3 hours
Method: non-formal kinaesthetic learning through movement
How does my body work?
This exercise was done last time: everybody lies on the floor with the eyes closed finding a comfortable position, releasing the tension and feeling every single part of their body. With very small movement they try to move joint by joint. The aim is to make the whole body move and travel through the space changing position having eyes closed all the time. The participants can change position little by little from lying up to standing.
Like previously participants seemed not to be willing to move, their moves were very small, insecure and delicate. Some of them couldn’t stop laughing and focus their attention on themselves, their body movement.
– It wasn’t easy to move my body – I wasn’t able to move because my body was stiff. When I finally did it – my movement was disharmonious, every part “live their own life”
– It was nice for me, I went deep into my body and I felt my movement clearly
– When I moved one hand I forgot about the other, I could concentrate only on one part of my body
How can I call myself?
Like last time the participants prepare their name cards. They put down their real names and a word which describes reflects the state of their body after the first exercise (“surname”). They stick it to their chests.
It was difficult to find connection between body and mind, to describe feelings from the corporal side and not from intellectual one. And many of participants put down the word which described their body like “stiff”, “heavy”, “tense”…
Participants’ name cards :
– Marta Tensed – Ola Heavy – Wiktoria Sluggish – Wiktoria Stiff – Natalia Calm – Daniel Opened – Vaid Tired
Where am I?
The space is changed – everybody walks outdoors barefoot around the space and focuses on the feelings: grass under their feet, sun and wind on their skin, listening to the nature sounds
without any contact when meeting other people.
It wasn’t easy to focus on their feelings, to stay with awareness of “being here and now” and not to react to the others.
Who am I? Who are you?
Still walking the participants meet other person and they introduce themselves through body movement, an individual, characteristic combinations of gestures. It can be connected with
the “second name” on their name cards or the opposite. The aim is to create “movement dialogue”, “body conversation”.
It was difficult to create a precise, conscious combination of movement, gestures and to find individual „movement mark”. Despite this issue, it caused a lot of fun and laugh.
How do our bodies cooperate in pairs?
Work in pairs, with the eyes closed partners are connected with the tips of forefingers. The aim is to move together, not to lose “finger touch” and “listen to” the others – who prefers leadership (the leader), who wants to be led (the follower). Maybe the role is changed or there is perfect communication…
It was not an easy task. Some pairs found it difficult to concentrate on “listening” the leader, sometimes it resembled a kind of delicate wrestling. For some
participants the hardest part was to work with eyes closed – maybe because of too many distractors like sun, wind, grass
under feet, other participants’ voices.
How do our bodies co operate in a group?
Work in a circle, like before – keeping the connection with the tips of the neighbours’ forefingers. Trying to move together in a big group, “listening” the others and not to lose the contact.
Like in previous exercise participants first had to “feel” one another. At the beginning all of them seemed to be waiting for one person who would like to lead. As the time went by they felt more secure which was reflected in broader movement, willingness to be a leader and a lot of fun. On the other hand the
movement was limited usually only to the hands. Still it was difficult to engage the whole body. ….
What do you choose: swiss, bang or point?
An integration game which involves everybody and requires quick reaction and rapid response. All
participants stand in a circle and one of them makes:
- “swiss” – movement like “horizontal loop” with their
arms towards a person standing on the right or on the
left saying “swiss”, or
- “bang” – gesture like a shot to a chosen person in the
circle saying “bang”, the chosen person (from “swiss” or “bang”) can answer
- “swiss” to next person or change the direction – so the
movement goes back to the first person, or
- “bang” – to choose a different person, and she or he can answer
- “point” make the “stop” gesture (direct their palms) towards a “bang” person, and the movement comes back to her or him.
Those who make a mistake or think too long – are out of the game. The game continues till there are only three people left.
It was a great fun for everybody. It demanded a high level of concentration and quick responses. Additionally, it appeared that for some people it was not easy to make a movement like “horizontal loop” and clearly direct it to the chosen person. Also, the difficulty was that they needed to choose one of the various “answers”. The necessity of fast action caused spontaneous, chaotic responses.
What is my body picture?
Cards with surreal images (DIXIT cards) were used to summarize the first part of the workshop. Each participant was to choose a card that was the best
image of their body awareness, feelings, attitude towards what had happened. Everybody was supposed to show the card and tell the others why she or he had chosen it.
It appeared not to easy to choose the right card with a picture reflecting feelings of the body. And next – to share with the others
the reason for this choice and describe how they felt their body after the first part of the workshop. In many cases, the choice
was probably “from mind”. In some cases, the feelings of the body were changed compared to the beginning.
How can we listen to each other?
Everybody takes a comfortable position. The task is to count from 1 to 15 one by one only by listening and deciding who will say the next number. When more than one person says the next number at the same time – the counting starts from the beginning. Everybody should be very concentrated to make this task properly.
The most difficult part of this exercise was to listen to each other and predict if someone would say the number. It generally was easy to count only to 3… One girl “found a way” to count alone very quickly without listening to the others. It was a challenge
for her to say only one number in one set of counting…
Do you trust me?
Work in groups of three or four people, one person with the eyes closed is like “a puppet” and the others animate her or him. This exercise aim is to build the trust between “the puppet” and the rest of the group, respond to signals from the bodies and respect them – as well as give a permission or a resistance. It is important to listen to each other, to be conscious of “the partner’s will” and follow it, not force “my will”. This is the different situation when animating “a real” puppet…
There was not only one conclusion about this exercise – it depended on the participant: some people were easy to be led, some had a problem to give up control and couldn’t keep the eyes closed, some, were surprised how easy it was to be animated
by the others. And there were different ways to be an animator – some participants were attentive to their “puppet”, some wanted to force their idea of the “puppet’s movement”, and some were interested in what was happening around, or in other groups…
– Before I became “a puppet” I said I would not allowed to lie me down, I had to keep control so I was surprised – the moment I closed my eyes I was on the ground!
– I felt that I could do everything with Natalia, she was like a dough, she trusted us and found pleasure in being animated
– I didn’t feel comfortable in this exercise both as animator and as a person being animated. As an animator I didn’t know what to do, how I can operate somebody else’s body and not to hurt anybody. Being animated I couldn’t find any peace, the need to control was too strong
– In relation teacher-student it was hard to animate a person because I felt like “crossing the line”, I couldn’t take part in this exercise as much as I wanted to.
Where am I and how can I call myself now?
Summary: time for reflection about what happened during this workshop:
– What does the openness mean to you?
– What allowed you to open? Are you ready to open?
– How do you feel your body now? Did anything change?
– Would you like to change your “surname” from your name card?
– I felt calm and more relaxed
– Now I am more relaxed and I know how important is body working
– Firstly I was so tensed, It was so hard to “switch off” and let feel only the body – we are so overstimulated that the mind couldn’t stop working and the body was separated. Little by little, it was changed, I became more open, more allow to the other be close to me. I want more, I’m interested in this process
– I’m not into dance and movement that much so at the very beginning I felt a bit weird and insecure-like an acrobat balancing on the rope above some canyon… even if I had the feeling that I’d like to jump down I wasn’t brave enough to go for that… but with time and new exercises that came, I started to think that I am actually ready for even more…I guess now I am ready to jump… and explore… and enjoy…
– It’s surprising and amazing at the same time – I would never expect that I can be so close to my own body and that after a few hours I would feel so much more willing to get more of this kind of exercises to actually feel my own body. Sometimes the intellect is not enough
– I spoke about the important mission of the project – to achieve contact between the participants. This time we had to do it with people who were involved in the process to varying degrees. Someone was frankly bored and from the actions of the coaches I made an important conclusion for myself that even a frank demonstration of unwillingness to participate in exercises is a kind of self-expression
– I’ve never been in a workshop like that. After that I felt my body was so relaxed. It was really good experience for me.
PHOTO & VIDEO EXTRACT created by Mikail Bayir: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3ERpv3pXQY
the Key to Connection is implemented in the framework of Erasmus+: Youth in Action programme – key action 2, Strategic Partnership for exchange experiences