Today was fantastic, and full of life, dancing and giant elastic bands! During today’s session at Alvaston and Boltons welfare club I really wanted to get the group connecting and working together. For this I brought a variety of elastic band loops- one very big band and 6 smaller bands in various colours and sizes in which we were going to use to create movements and dance together.
We completed our usual seated warm up to the song ‘Footloose’ from the musical. This consisted of some light stretches and breathing exercises as well as some hand jiving and leg flicking. This was very much a high energy start to a Monday Morning!
We began the session working with a large band finding ways of moving the band. We had various suggestions of movements and actions including a whole phrase based on the song ‘Wind the bobbin up’. Once we had experimented we decided to put all of our movements together in a short phrase. As the group became more and more confident our movement’s got more and more complex. We ended up bringing our legs and feet onto the bands and really getting ourselves tangled in both the band and our imaginations! This was so exciting to see small ideas developing into fantastic choreography.
After working particularly hard whilst sitting I decided it was time to stand. I wanted to teach a short sequence of steps that could be performed with a partner. For this we paired up, and whilst facing each other we held tightly onto a band (1 between each pair). We played with the tension- how far away can we stand away from each other and how close we can stand together. We then began to learn the phrase. I wanted to teach a phrase based on a simple barn dance, this will be both social, and enjoyable as well as holding some technical steps. Whilst holding the band we were able to really connect with our partners (without being in direct hold).
Once we had learnt the set phrase I gave the group the task of creating their own ending using the band. There were tons of great ideas but my favourite had to be the pulling of the bands and letting go at the same time. When performing this the duo were so focused on each other and were so happy when they were able to let go at the same time and watch the band ‘ping’ into the middle of them. We were all so thrilled with this move we decided to go back to the large band and give it a go! We quickly learnt the ins and outs of a successful ‘ping’. If we don’t let go at the same time the elastic will jump at the nearest person. We must have tried 7 or 8 times and before we knew it we had been moving together for almost 75 minutes! This was definitely the call for Tea, Coffee and bourbon biscuits!