My third, and final, workshop began at 10PM. There were about 8 total participants. This group was how I initial imagined the workshops to be. It was the perfect amount of space for each person to lay comfortably, all participants took my suggestions but then clearly made them their own, and I could see their bodies physically switch from tense to relaxed. Overall, this group of participants seemed cohesive even though they did not know one another.
Everyone was invested in taking the time to explore and move while laying on the floor. When I gave the suggestion to lay in a wide X position, each person laid on their back, but as you can see in the picture above they still followed what they wanted to do. This continued throughout most of the floor series and I think this group really focused on experiencing this workshop for what it was. I really enjoyed seeing how each person took the words I said and moved within what their body allowed them to do. I think that is something often overlooked in dance; to move in your body, not in someone else’s. This is why I choose not to be moving with the participants, because I did not want my body to influence the way they moved.
Another really stunning part of this workshop was the seed to plant growth exercise. I think in my past workshops, it might have been confusing as to what I was asking them to attempt to embody. I do think I personally improved on communication for this part throughout the night. I saw everyone bring themselves into small, seed-like balls and I could feel in their bodies the sense of contraction and tightness. This then released as they stretched and reached for the sun to grow into their plants. It could have been the participants, but I also think it had to do with my experience and observations getting to this point as I was able to adjust explanations.
What left me speechless within this workshop was the sense of community that was built. When I asked the participants to embody their emotions with movement and clapping rhythms, natural interactions occurred before being prompted. I could feel a sense of release where in other groups, I felt that there was hesitation and some who really wanted to keep to themselves. It was a very interesting observation, but I felt this group as a whole worked very well together; an outcome I did not intend to happen.
“I feel so relaxed and peaceful after this experience; even after just the first exercise!” -Workshop #3 Participant
“They should offer regular classes like this in college.” -Workshop #3 Participant