Big Circle With Social Workers and Students

Kairos Dancing Heart staff  (Maria, Carla, Peter, and intern Leonardo) were recently invited to co-facilitate at The Group Work Institute’s 2012 Spring Workshop at St. Catherine University’s lovely Coeur de Catherine Ballroom.

In a circle of 72 people including professors, social workers and social work students, we introduced interactive elements that we use in Dancing Heart™ sessions. We shook hands and made eye contact with all 72 people in the circle. We created a safe space in the circle by modeling movement to music and assured people that any way they chose to move would be okay. We breathed slowly together, then added deep slow movements to music. We worked with familiar music in ways that helped ensure group members were able to experience mastery in their movements. We worked toward the flow-state concept of Mihály Csíkszentmihályi. We wove in patterns of play as described by the National Institute for Play.

We were pleased to discover that the workshop participants seemed to recognize much of their own work in what we do daily in nursing homes, adult day programs and assisted living settings.

One social worker commented, “This shows we can get to ‘affect’ in a large group just like that (finger snap)!”

Another observed, “some of the best communication is nonverbal.”

By the time the workshop ended we were all in three concentric circles dancing and singing “Oh How Lovely Is the Evening” as a three-part round.

The group had indeed achieved high affect and bonding.

~ Peter ~


The mission of Kairos Dance Theatre is to transform and revitalize individuals and communities. We work with older adults in intergenerational settings to liberate the healing power of interactive dance and story. We achieve our mission by engaging the skills of professional teaching artists.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: