Second sessions in Friendship Training Center

Today Robert started with his session with the children from the chars.

On my side, right from the beginning I had decided that I would take up in some way the topic Robert had been working on during this first session.

I also had decided that I would prepare the first parts of my classes but that I would be very flexible, that I would “read the room” and decide during the process how to go on. That’s what we usually do in any Open Floor class, but I am aware that I would have to be even more flexible here in Bangladesh.

We connected to the theme of rhythm, focussing on our feet and our breath. The students love to move together. Dancing in a single file, one behind the other brings them joy and raises the energy. Very quickly without me telling them, a YES on the exhale punctuated the movement.

This was the moment to introduce Vector: Saying YES to what you really want to do or to the direction that you want to take. So we explored this in groups of 4 across the length of the room. Those who were not crossing encouraged the others. A really positive tension was rising and their dances where beautiful.

Say YES

That was the opportunity to also say NO with the same commitment. They did a beautiful job! Such an enthusiasm for a practice that is completely new to them.

Say NO

We continued to dance in an open circle where they could step in whenever they wanted, saying YES or NO.
Such a tremendous atmosphere!

We met again in the afternoon.

This time we started with a relaxation lying on the floor. It was not easy for them to close their eyes and to follow the instructions, but they did.

We worked on Contract and Expand, focussing on legs, arms and spine. We explored the Becoming very small and the Becoming very big.

Then we explored how we can get very big and occupy a lot of space without preventing the other dancers to grow. This was the moment to speak of mindfulness: How can I spread out, expand, and flourish but be still be respectful towards the others.
I was amazed of how quickly they understood that what they are embodying on the dance floor can be transferred in daily life.

Expand

After a lot of dancing, I invited them to sit down and to share in a circle what they had felt during this dance session. Immediately they started to speak about how they want to grow in their life: I want to become a doctor, I want to become a teacher, I want to become an engineer, a policeman …
They explained what qualities they must have to realize their dreams: determination, clarity, grit!

They are coming from remote areas, life in the chars is far from being easy, they are poor (materially but rich inside) they do not have access to internet or other entertainment. But they have a huge will to grow!

The end of the session culminated in dances and songs from Bangladesh: they showed up and wished to sing or to dance alone in front of all the others. Girls that have been so shy performed the most touching dances, boys stood up and sang songs, we even had the privilege to hear a Bangladeshi rap.

Unforgettable!

Thank you so much to Rifat who worked as a translator for me, and participated in all the activities.

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