Category Archives: dance games

Celebrating a couple years at Heart & Hands

Photo of nine adults following one person raising their arms in a V-shapeYou are warmly invited:

Dance Games Night
Thursday October 23rd
At Heart & Hands Health Collective
By donation

This will be the final Thursday Dancing for Wellbeing session this Fall, and it would be great to celebrate all the lovely, nourishing dance times at Heart & Hands since January 2013.

A couple options for Dancing for Wellbeing next month:

Starting October 29th there will be Dancing for Wellbeing classes on Wednesdays at 6pm at Fernwood Community Centre.

On Saturday November 22nd there will be a full-day workshop at Royal Roads University, Dancing into Wellbeing: A Creative Toolkit for Stress.

For more opportunities to dance, see the list of upcoming sessions.

Joy & cohesion ~ at this week’s programs

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 Photo: 6 people dancing different movesat 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

Dance Games in the park! + Pride flashmob?

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.

Photo of a rainbow crosswalk and 7 people crossing the street towards the camera
Rainbow crosswalk, photo by Travis Lupick:

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 eventDo you have any examples of flash mobs that you really like? Feel free to comment below or send the link. Thanks!

March themes

Upcoming Dancing for Wellbeing classes at Heart & Hands Health Collective:

Dance as Self-Care / Mutual-Care: Monday March 3 & Thursday March 6

Intersecting Movements & Sound: Thurs. March 13

Spring Dance Games: Thurs. March 20 *By donation

Intro to Dancing for Wellbeing: Thurs. March 27 *Free if it’s your first time

For details about sessions at Heart & Hands see

Also, there is an Art Invite this month: the top gift is a 12-month free pass to Dancing for Wellbeing sessions!

Dance Games Night!

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. Photo of Scrabble game letters spelling: Dance Games Night. Improvize. Community.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!

Click here for details about the location, how to register, accessibility details, and other Thursday Dance for Wellbeing sessions.

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.