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Last week at the Elders Workshop something felt a bit off. It wasn’t that we weren’t prepared. It wasn’t that something in particular went wrong. It was simply a series of ways that things happened or unfolded that seemed to go in directions that we didn’t intend to go.

When it feels this way, it is good to remember how integral intention and energy is to this kind of work. It’s about expressive safety. An emphasis on creating a safe space through a lack of judgment and encouraging a certain level of freedom within the structure is the strength of the work. When things don’t go as smoothly as we hope, we reflect on aspects of delivery, timing, vocabulary and placement of events in the course of a workshop. We consider the transference of the facilitator role between the three of us and how that can be done more smoothly and supportively.

Today, as we spoke about the workshop for facilitators that Karen led this past Saturday, this place of focus and improvisation came up. We spoke about a question/comment that Lindsey brought up that she is very inspired by: “I dance to know who I am”. We speak about using this phrase as a sort of prompt to explore, through improvisation, the question of identity and personal image. The idea is to find ways to explore our multiple identities (social, cultural, political, spiritual, emotional, etc) through an imagistic and energetic body practice.

Our most important goal for the Elders workshops is to find a sense of playfulness and fun within a practice that requires focus and time. The transformation to an energetically sensitive body is a challenging one, but the structure has the ability to create a platform for fun. We are building workshops where one can experience oneself through dance. We explore archetype, and focus on engaging with art experientially rather than objectively.