Do I have to commit to all 10 sessions?
For anyone who is curious and new to Open Floor movement practice and/or Beyond Chocolate, you can come to the first session to try it out and see if it's for you without having to commit to the remaining 9 sessions. If you decide to stay on, you will be committing to the series as each week builds on the previous one.
How big will the group be?
I'm capping the group to 20 so that people taking part from a laptop can see everyone on one screen.
What will the sessions be like?
Each weekly session will last 1h15mins. The sessions combine movement explorations and free dance, creative enquiry, some time for constructive rest and opportunities for sharing with others in the group (see below for more information on each). As in all Beyond Chocolate workshops, you are free to take part as much or as little as you want and can. The movement explorations are suitable for people of all abilities. Participation does not require any particular level of fitness, ability, skill or stamina.
What if I'm not a dancer?
Open Floor movement practice is mindfulness is motion. We use music as a catalyst for movement - and that can look like anything. There are no steps or routines to learn. It is not a performance. We do not aim to make pretty shapes. This is not 'dancing' as such, simply inspiring movement with music. Dancing can look like anything, from a wild boogie to a gently tapping finger. You are invited to move as much as your body can and wants to. You can choose if you move on or off camera…or do a bit of both. In true beyond Chocolate style, I'll encourage you to be your own guru and do as much or as little as feels nourishing and satisfying.
What if if I can't move much / have limited mobility / get tired quickly?
The time dedicated to movement each week will vary between 30 and 40 minutes for each 1h15min session. Participation does not require any particular level of fitness, ability, skill or stamina. If you're thinking you're not fit enough or not able enough or too shy, please... think again. Every BODY is welcome to take part. When I teach in person, there are always chairs on the dance floor and a "cosy corner" with a mattress, blankets and pillows for those who need to rest, for those who are injured, for those who can't move - and don't want - much at all. You can sway in your chair, you can groove on your feet and you can rock under your duvet. You can alternate all of those. The practice is to keep being with, and aware of, yourself and to keep inviting comfort and ease.
What kind of music do you play?
I play all sorts of music. Everything from pop to jazz to tribal to classical. Fast and slow, edgy and corny, with words and without...the music played at each session is as varied as the individuals who make up the group. You might love it or hate it, how you respond is up to you. Doing a “I-don’t-like-this-music-dance” can often stir up some great insights.
What is creative enquiry?
We'll be spending some time doing exercises using creative enquiry . This might be creative writing, collage, drawing, poetry and other creative based explorations. Like movement, this can look like anything - it's not about writing flawless prose or making pretty pictures. A scrawl, a scribble, a picture snapped with your phone - these are all opportunities to ignite the creative process and explore our relationship to our bodies from new perspectives.
What is constructive rest?
We'll end all our sessions with 10 minutes or so of constructive rest. Our rest will be inspired and adapted from the Alexander Technique. It is an invitation to rest into awareness and invite comfort and ease into the body. Time to pause, tune in and settle before going back to our offline lives.
Isn't it selfish and self indulgent to spend so much time just thinking about my self, focusing on me, my body image, on what I think, how I feel and what I want?
Many people are reluctant to spend time and resources just for themselves. The culture we live in often portrays self reflection and self care as indulgent, unnecessary or selfish. And yet, if we are not willing to take responsibility for ourselves, when we don't pay attention to what we want and need, that impacts all those around us. Being selfish enough to take the time to own our bodies, respect ourselves and value ourselves has the power to positively impact everyone in our lives. Being selfish, in this way, means taking responsibility for our own lives. Who else is responsible for us if we are not? Who else has the job of empowering us to live a purposeful and satisfying life. People who are fulfilled and happy are the ones who have the lasting energy to empower others to do the same. Everything you do and say as well as your participation on the course is confidential.