My second workshop began at 9PM and I had one participant. Apparently, my workshop was at the same time as Zumba, so most people attended that class instead. However, this experience was my favorite part of Capstone because it reminded me why I chose to explore this topic. The one participant I had came in and told me she really needed something like this. She did not tell me why, but I was glad to provide a service like this for her. I still began the workshop the same way, but soon I felt the instinct to make it a lot more personable and adjusted based off of that feeling. This did pull me away from my scripts and activities at some points, but in general I still followed the basic ideas.
This participant jumped right into this workshop and was instantly exploring all suggestions within her body. I sat beside her as we went over the activities that involved laying on the ground because I felt we were more connected within terms of space. By sitting beside her, I felt less of a difference in power which was important within my workshop. I never wanted to feel like a “leader” or “teacher” because I find that authority is a tough subject for some. Instead, while sitting next to her, I was able to feel more like a guide, which was my over all goal. I was also able to observe at a closer level what ideas her body responded to, so I was able to truly personalize her session. I took the wording that I found to be successful from the last session, and made sure to continue to remind her that anything I suggested was optional and this time and space was for her to explore at her own wanting.
This participant in particular seemed to truly enjoy the floor work, and after the workshop she admitted it was her favorite part. I was inspired by the way she took my suggestions and made every movement go beyond just moving into a shape, but moved through ideas. This participant did differ from some of the previous participants because I knew she had a background, but the what was interesting is that all participants were still willing to move at their own pace, and in some cases not take the suggested movement, but lay still in a comfortable position. This happened in both workshops and I was excited that they felt confident to do so as opposed to my initial mock workshop.
She seemed very comfortable and willing to experience the entire workshop, so I made sure not to skip the group activities, but rather readjust so that she and I made up the community portion. This was where something absolutely beautiful happened. I asked for her to label how she was feeling at that time and truly embrace whatever it was; I do this in all of the workshops. She began to cry, and in this moment, I knew that this is why I wanted to do something like this for my Capstone project. We continued to move through the workshop, and she continued to let herself feel. Instead of just observing, I participated myself and this made me feel even more understanding of her emotions. She continued to open up through her movement and in the end, she hugged me and said that this release was something that she desperately needed, but she did not know how to achieve on her own.
When I began this process, my goal was to help at least one person accept their emotions and find a way to express them without speaking. I did have others tell me that this workshop helped them, but watching the sole participant in workshop #2 proved that to me. I was honestly in disbelief that my suggestions allowed someone to experience their emotions in such a vulnerable way. I was happy to be there guiding her through expressing the emotions she needed to.
After the workshop, the participant spoke to me and wanted me to make sure I had a quote for my project. She stated, “The workshop helps you take the time to take the feelings we hold inside and bring them to life by giving them a visual interoperated by our bodies. Every movement may not be for everyone, but the headspace and awareness that it brings you to is meant for everyone.” (Workshop #2 Participant.)