Body centering with material︎︎︎
A good exercise for getting a group in their bodies quickly and setting a playful working tone, especially if the group is still unfamiliar with each other.

Step 1: In pairs, Student A is the leader, Student B is the resistance. Student B stands behind Student A and gently places their hands on Student A’s hips. While Student A walks around the room, Student B follows, offering a small amount of resistance to Student A. The two should think of themselves as one unit. Student A can think about leading with the strength of their core and the effort it takes to move with this extra resistance. They can change tempo and direction. Student A can offer challenges to Student B, like tricking them directionally or pushing them with speed. This can be a means of ensuring they’re in solid communication. Once they’ve done this around the room for a few minutes, switch so Student B is the leader and Student A is the resistance.

Step 2: In groups of three this time, each group gets a length of fabric (about 2 1/2 meters by ½ meter is ideal). They choose one person to begin with. This person places the length of fabric around their hips, it should be folded over so there is roughly 10-20 cm width across their hips, enough so it doesn’t cut into their hips when they move. The two others stand behind the student in the centre. Each one holds one end of the fabric, which should remain taut. The student in the centre moves around the room with purpose, and the other two follow offering resistance, communicating through the length of fabric. Again the student leading can play with tempo and shifting in direction, but as a group they must work to maintain the resistance in the lengths of fabric, so it doesn’t fall down or go slack.

Once they’re comfortable, the following layers can be added:

  • challenge each other with direction and tempo
  • slide the fabric band over different body parts, so the resistance is focused elsewhere while moving… the arm, a leg, the chest. Be very gentle with the neck and head.
  • without verbal cues they can switch up who is in the centre of the fabric.
  • without verbal cues change partners with another group
  • trap each other with the fabric.
  • allow multiple groups to join if they come in contact with one another
  • allow the groups to separate when it feels natural.
  • can the whole group connect?
︎︎︎ideally the group will find a flow together and play around with the way they communicate with each other

︎︎︎from Robert Leveroos, learned from Gavin Krastin