Despite most in-person activities being cancelled, we can still get together online and connect with community, movement and sources of strength.
Dancing for Wellbeing sessions will start online this Spring, and are a chance to connect with each other, move in new ways and release tension. You are invited to help shape the details for sessions.
If you are interested:
About the sessions:
Each session will include a variety of guided dance activities that encourage freedom of movement. Each person can choose how they feel like moving and interacting, in the ways that work for their body, brain and senses.
The online sessions are improvisation based and people of all abilities are invited to join. In this class there is no wrong move, and there are no routines to remember.
There will be a different theme each session, for example:
Week 1: Site-specific play (creatively interacting with the room you are in).
Week 2: Sources of strength (reflecting on inner and outer supports).
Week 3: Connecting across distance (dancing with expansiveness and solidarity).
Week 4: Moving with words (feel free to bring a favourite poem or quote to share).
Optional resource: We will do a couple of activities from the Capacitar Emergency Kit, an ’emotional first aid’ community resource (available in 20 written languages on the Capacitar International website). If you would like to download the toolkit in advance: direct link to download the English Capacitar Emergency Kit (PDF file).
About the online format:
Sessions will take place on the Zoom platform, which is similar to Skype. A web-link will be sent by email. To join the session, participants can open the link either in their web browser or on the Zoom app. (The details about how to join sessions will be shared after people register.)
A week in advance there will be an optional practice session for anyone who has not used the online Zoom platform before and would like a tutorial. It will be a chance to try Zoom out and start to become familiar with it so that during sessions you get to focus on dancing and connecting.
Most dance sessions will be video-based, with all participants joining by video. This is ideal for dancing and interacting as a group, but video does require participants to have access to the internet and a device with a web browser (or the free Zoom app on a smartphone).
There may also be the possibility of an audio-only group, if requested. If there is sufficient interest from people who only have access to a landline at home, then a separate audio-based dance group might be formed (to join the session participants can call Zoom’s Canadian phone number and enter a meeting code that will be emailed in advance). The audio-based sessions would focus on gentle movement, because there would not be visual feedback of how participants are moving.
As a participant, you are responsible for:
- attending to your needs and what works for your body, brain and senses;
- staying within your own capacity, including a safe range of motion, exertion level and sensory level;
- if relevant, seeking an assessment or approval from your health care provider prior to joining; and
- attending with a support person if you require any support to participate or ensure safety.
Due to the online format of sessions (instead of in person at a venue with first aid staff available), these safety protocols will be taken seriously.
Participants at previous Dancing for Wellbeing sessions have said they appreciate:
- dancing in a supportive, welcoming, non-competitive setting,
- respite from anxiety, stress and fear,
- releasing tension and increasing fitness,
- getting to laugh, have fun, and make new friends,
- nurturing self-esteem, confidence, and joy,
- feeling accepted, lively and free,
- enjoying connecting within themselves and with the group.