The 26th March Marked our last session of an 11 week project at Alvaston and Boulton Welfare club. Whilst this was quite a sad concept we decided to do all we could to create a celebratory atmosphere to round up what had been a creative journey for us all.
We began the session reflecting on the past weeks and remembering some of our favourite parts of the project. I was determined to make our last session as memorable as the rest and got started straight away with a very high impact pompom warm up. With every shake, cheer and shuffle smiles appeared on the participants faces. Before we even had chance to think I had embedded a creative task into our warm up. Each person was to create and show a movement- as quickly as they could- The first thing that comes into their head! We laughed as each person quickly responded with a movement. The whole group responded like bullets and it was great to see how quickly each person could come up with their own unique idea using the pompoms.
When we finally stopped for a deep breath I introduced today theme- Props! Today we were going to explore a range of props with lots of little tasks and at the end we would hopefully create a performance using the props. I decided to do lots of creative tasks this week to really allow the participants to let their creativity take priority and move how they like to move.
We continued the session exploring with a huge range of props; Scarves, Ribbons, hoops and the pompoms which each offered a different movement quality. It was amazing to allow the group time to experiment and create movements of their own but also to share their movements and teach others their movements. This was a great learning experience and again contributed to the community feel that the group has.
By the time we had explored all of the props and given the time we needed to each piece we were quickly running out of time.
I asked the groups to imagine the space was a canvas and to create a picture using all the props. After not very long at all the participants had their theinking caps on and were playing around with some ideas. One of the participants created this.
The group decided to create different animals out of the props and one participant decided to link them all together using a sun in the centre.
I then asked them to remove all the props from the space and use their movements to bring each prop into the picture. The group had a little bit of time to experiment before I calmly placed some music on and asked them to start from the start and enjoy dancing with each other one last time. This created an incredible atmosphere. All of a sudden everyone was focussed. The group stood professionally around the outsides of the room really thinking about when and where to start placing their props. They moved in and out of the space slowly creating their piece of artwork. They didn’t rush they all took their time; they responded to each other and even joined in contact. After 6 minutes the piece was created and participant were incredibly proud of what they had made.
When I asked how that made them feel they expressed it was calming and creative and they enjoyed the experience of moving how they felt necessary.
I decided to do our cool down around the images and brought in the stretch band that the group had enjoyed working with previously. We stretched and were brought closer together by the band before finally letting go and celebrating as the back bounced into the middle of our art work.
The group helped to pack the room away before having tea, coffee, biscuits and some well-deserved mini-muffins. We also decided to get some of our thoughts down on paper, drawing around each other’s hands and writing a little comment inside.
The group ended on a definite high as each member expressed they joy the sessions had given them and thanked each other for the time we had spent together.
What a fabulous end to a fabulous 11 weeks at Alvaston and Boulton Welfare Club!