Model the exercise first,
Less pressure when everyone participates.
Standing in a circle, begin by sharing your name while performing a physical gesture. Participants in the circle then repeat the name and perform the action, “Hi, Sarah” (e.g., while spinning arms in a clock-wise direction). After each introduction, participants repeat each person’s name in order (with the accompanied movement) so that each round there is one more name and movement added to the “dance”.
“Hi, Allie” (e.g., jumping up and down), “and Sarah,” (spinning arms in a clock-wise direction), “and….”
The next time through, experiment with making a sound (instead of a name) and a movement. The sound and movement might be the result of a prompt to: express how one is feeling that day, or communicate how one feels about a recent event. Encourage participants to reflect on how it feels to express without words. What feelings or sensations do they experience?
Facilitator Notes: Reflect back to the group the changes you see day to day as they become more comfortable and free with the exercise. Does the volume change or the range of motion?
After the group has experimented with sounds and emotion, try adding words to the emotion, “Hi, I’m Sarah and I’m tired” (spoken while embodying fatigue: slumped spine).
Facilitator Notes: Encourage participants to reflect on whether it was easier or more (or less) enjoyable to add words back into the exercise.
- A simple introductory exercise
- To energize a group after a break
- To contemplate which movements feel habitual (comfortable/uncomfortable)
- To start to reflect on verbal and physical communication
- Improvisation for the Theatre, Viola Spolin
- Free Play, Stephen Nachmanovitch
- Impro, Keith Johnstone