At the end of last week’s session I made a special effort to talk to the participants and find out more about them. I noticed that most of the group had fond memories of dancing when they were younger and were disheartened that they couldn’t still move like they used to. For this week’s session I wanted to show the group that they can still dance and find enjoyment from dancing some of the styles that they can remember dancing. I decided to explore seated Jive which i hoped would enable everyone to take part.
We spent the session learning various jive steps including; Kicks, flicks, twists, springs, jumps and the hand jive . We tried and tested these movements from a seated position to varying speeds-The faster hand jive being a particular favourite! The group were chatting and discussing their fond memories of Jive the whole way through this process and some even began to describe other movements which I then tried out in the centre of the space. Throughout the learning of the steps I could see the group were become more and more comfortable with each other as they called across the circle congratulating those with fast feet and supported those who appeared less confident with the steps. As I could see the group were forming well I thought I ought to throw in a challenge- Physical contact! I asked the group to create their own hand jive in pairs using contact. I explained that they could clap their hands together link arms or intertwine their movements. Before long I could see the pairs were all working creatively together and friendships forming.
Before we finished I thought it would be a great idea to have a dance off. I split the room in two and asked one side to perform their hand jives first and then once they had finished the other side could perform. This went down a treat. The group cheered for each other and smiled whilst dancing. One participant even said she felt she was at a disco again!
By the end of the session we had opened all the windows and doors and were well and truly worn out. Tea’s, coffee’s and short bread biscuits were definitely well deserved this week!