Title of the activity
Meeting / Using Eye Contact
120 minutes per workshop
- Minimum four participants, maximum number depends on space available and helpers.
- Accessible to all except blind people.
Activity proposed by
Meeting new people and using eye contact can be very difficult for some people; this method builds confidence in a fun, playful way in which participants get to know each other and build confidence in themselves and, in time, in others in the group. In our approach working with eye contact is essential. It aims to connect participants and build trust. It is particularly suitable for the beginning of a warm-up.
- Getting to know each other / Learning to look at each other
- Working with partners who have not met before
- Agreeing to be watched
- Agreeing to participate with or without help
- Holding the gaze of others
- Feeling good in the group
- Building confidence
- A safe space big enough for the group
- Several options of upbeat music
- Speaker/sound system
Make sure the floor is clean, music is cued up and the speaker is working. Prepare an area to store shoes, coats, bags etc. Any paperwork needed should be printed and laid out with pens to hand.
Introduction to the activity (10 minutes)
Ask participants to form a circle. Start by asking each participant to give their first name aloud to the circle.
Name two of the participants who are facing each other and ask them to look each other in the eyes (you could ask them to imagine that they are joined by a thread). Once they have established eye contact, partners cross the circle and take each other’s place, without cutting this imaginary thread.
Ask for silence throughout the game. The idea is to use non-verbal interaction and wordless activity. Use calm music. Guide by entering the circle if a participant has any difficulties.
The duration of the game varies depending on the attention of the group and the shared pleasure of performing it.
The second step is for participants to begin making eye contact and exchanging places with their partners without the need for direction. Group members must look for a partner by connecting with them through eye contact only and without talking to them. The rest of the exercise remains the same.
The third step is to cross to a partner on the other side of the circle by first making eye contact with them, then making a circle around this partner without ever losing eye contact with them. Finally, the two partners cross the circle moving together whilst keeping the imaginary thread between them with their eyes.
Music should be lively and changed often, it is chosen by the facilitator.
- Gather the group in a circle to go over the session
- Give positive feedback highlighting all the collaborations that emerged during the session
- Let the dancers express themselves about the experience and feedback about the workshop
- The closing includes indicating how the session may continue
- Prepare any future sessions by noting the successful duets
Hints/tips for facilitators
- Be ready to assess the skills of each of the dancers in different fields (psychomotor, understanding instructions as well as the desire to participate).
- It is important to get a feel for the affinities between dancers so that they can start forming working groups.
Caregivers are able to help dancers pronounce their first name or say it for them if they are unable to do so. The group begins to get acquainted in a playful form. These warm-up exercises will allow you to assess whether the instructions can be understood by all.
If the level of understanding of one of the dancers does not allow them to work alone, one of the caregivers will be able to participate with them. Subsequently, this help will come from one of the other dancers directly.
This method was created by Compagnie DK-BEL. This activity sheet lists the steps of the first workshop. If you would like more information on this method or would like to learn how to manage subsequent workshops, please contact Sophie Bulbulyan at firstname.lastname@example.org.