I have thoroughly enjoyed the past week of community dance programs; the groups have felt even more uplifting and interconnected than previously.
Below are some compiled anecdotes – things definitely are busy even though community centre classes are on break for the summer! So far this month there have been 81 new people at programs, and this week I have danced with 100 different people. It feels wonderful to make so many connections.
Notes from the past week:
Towards the end of last Thursday’s adaptive dance session at Garth Homer Society, we were all moving in a circle in the same direction. A participant started doing the grape vine and a staff person mentioned to him that she had not seen him taking such big steps before. Two participants started improvising together in the middle of the circle doing partner dancing. When the program started in February, a staff person observed that “it’s wonderful to see so many clients across a wide range all engaged by the same activity – it’s rare.”
That afternoon, after a Dancing for Brain Health demo where 25 members of Seniors’ Social Connections at James Bay Community Project had danced seated in a circle, a participant in her late 70s danced over towards me doing an exuberant Merengue step – we danced together for a bit and she mentioned she planned to dance the whole way out of the building.
I began yesterday with Dance Games with a group of 4-6 year olds at a Burnside Gorge Community Association camp. I was amused by how a brand new activity emerged when participants heard my instructions in a different way than I had intended. The participants also had creative suggestions for how to move around and under a giant jelly fish prop. Continue reading Joy & cohesion ~ at this week’s programs→
Would you like to help create a simple dancing flashmob for Pride?
Come by Wed. June 25th to come up with a flash mob together. It will likely be based on dance improvisation games, so that it is easier for people to join in. There will be no need to remember a routine or fancy choreography. No particular dance skills needed.
We’re meeting up behind the Fernwood Community Centre (1240 Gladstone) – either on the field, or on the basketball court if that is more accessible for anyone. For a map: it is at William Stevenson Park in Lekwungen Homelands.
7:00pm Dance Games warm-up facilitated by Joanne
7:30pm Planning a flash mob for during the Pride festival (Sun. July 6th) and/or Alt Pride Community Festival (Sat. July 5th), if we have enough people confirmed. If not, we’ll hang out and have a picnic in the park. (-:
For some ideas for the flash mob, here are some video examples – perhaps the flash mob could involve the liveliness of this flashmob in Mumbai (YAARIYAN presents MUMBAI QUEER FLASHMOB 2013), include a ‘follow-the-leader’ game perhaps led by a child (e.g. Little choreographer), and there could be an option during the flash mob for some people to do a bit of free-form partner dance that people will be learning on June 28th at a Homospun event. Do you have any examples of flash mobs that you really like? Feel free to comment below or send the link. Thanks!
There are some fascinating examples* of changing levels in the air in this video of amazing acrobats on a spinning hoop. (Let me know if you can’t watch the video if you’re not on Facebook and I’ll send a link to another video.)
*And don’t worry, Thursday’s session doesn’t involve any acrobatics!
The next Dance Games session is Thursday November 21 at 7:30pm!
Participants have mentioned finding the games fun, exhilarating and playful, with the side-effect of being a great work-out.
There are a whole bunch of possible movement games we can play, and we take turns picking the next game out of a container. Games are adapted for the people present. A few examples: a dancing version of Go, go, go, Stop, Movement Bingo, slow-motion dance tag, and embodied rock-paper-scissors. We might also use letters from Scrabble to come up with words to include in our dancing. People are welcome to suggest games, too!
Recent Dance Games sessions: Thursdays Sept. 19, May 30, April 25 and March 28 at Heart & Hands Health Collective; Monday April 8 in the park by Fernwood Community Centre. Dance Games sessions work well both indoors and outdoors at wheelchair- and mobility-accessible spaces.