Tomorrow, we begin our 2nd journey with Superhero Me, an inclusive arts organisation that brings arts experiences to delight children of mixed abilities and disabilities. With them, we will be in residency at Rainbow Centre from Jan-Mar 2019, for the PEEKABOO! Festival. Preparations have been on-going, including a 3-day Play Lab, where we tested and refined our project, and in the process, got to know some warm, intuitive and inspiring children, teachers and therapists.
I’m now stressing about tomorrow because we start off with an assembly-sized mass improvisational dance, something we are trying for the first time. The musician is ready, the volunteers (Superhero Me Captains) have been briefed, the equipment and floor tape are on standby. Am I ready? How do I lead a meaningful experience of this scale, when most of our work involves facilitation of creativity and expression in smaller, more intimate groups?
What I’ll try to focus on, instead of becoming limited by the anxiety:
Huge thanks to Superhero Me for bringing us back to work with their community of children, and for the trust in our approach. We are fortunate to be aligned in our belief that each child is worthy to be respected and to be given the opportunity to participate and express their feelings and ideas. If not for the charismatic and dedicated leaders of Superhero Me pushing us to go beyond our comfort zone, we would not have ended up with this new way of dancing improvisationally with so many children at once. That said, I’ll be glad when we meet the children in smaller groups in the subsequent sessions, that’s for sure ;)
There is also much to be grateful for that no one in this project expects the artists and teaching artists to be working for free due to our “passion.” There is recognition here for the training, research, time and commitment put into such artistic collaborations. Though there is room for anyone to give their time and commitment without monetary compensation, there is no such assumption when we work with Superhero Me, and that motivates us to work even harder with them.
2) Trust the children
Trust the children to receive our proposals, intentions, and movement, and trust them to make of it what they will. Some of the children are able to express themselves more independently, while others need physical facilitation and support to express their ideas and movement. Remembering that we may not always get to receive affirmation of their experience or enjoyment, especially in such a large group, is quite key. I look forward to getting off the assembly stage and interacting more personally with the children.
3) Enjoy the dance myself
Twist it, shake it, snake around it, stretch it, freeze it, floss all over it… work it! Alright… enough typing and looking at the screen. I’ll go put on some music (by Yong Kailin, our trusted composer and musician “Captain Kazoo”) and put my feelings into motion.
We will report back from our first week at Rainbow Centre Margaret Drive!
Till then, peace and love,