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Creative Movement "Play"shops

My dear sisters, fellow geula doulas! We have a big mission in this world to bring healing, achdut and ahavas yisrael to ourselves and each other. One of the most effective and joyful ways I know is through connecting in circle with dance, rhythm and song. And what better time than now! 

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Want to gather your friends to dance but could use some more support to create the perfect circle?

Here is a simple list of exercises for you to follow to create a beautiful circle vibe.  (about 45 minutes)

These suggested exercises are simple yet profound, tried and true to lead women to connect inwards as well as to others in the circle.  I’ve also created 2  playlists that go along with each exercise. Here are the links on spotify (the first is more frum; the second more fun)

.https://open.spotify.com/playlist/7gAK9NBuQjlzjyZ8ciCcJz?si=LYGsOsVnRcyO1gjeD1-tsQ

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2yX92GtbMzKQnJvmBnRLr5?si=3f18749668194c80


 

If you are not familiar with the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s sicha for women in 5752 about how our faith in the redemption should be translated into celebrating the impending geula now with song, dance and drum, please read a short summary here:  https://www.tambourinedream.com/about-1-1 (look at bottom of the webpage for the summary)

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THE PLAYSHOP

Get comfortable in a circle. Standing is best because anyways we will be moving.

 

 Introduce yourself in turn around the circle with your name, one word how you’re feeling right now, and a movement that goes along with the word.  Then everyone copies your name, word, and the movement  

 

 Find a song to sing together: suggestions hinei matov, Niggunim, etc. 

 

1. Short breathing exercises to get grounded, focused and relaxed.  Box breathing: 4 counts in. hold 4. 4 counts out. Hold 2. Breathing to the rhythm of the song (“althuiz niggun”)

 

3. Take turns around the circle to warm up and stretch a different part of the body with whatever moves you want. We all copy the movements with the woman. Explore the range of motion with that body part (song: “Miriam’s drum”)

 

4. “Dancer in the Middle” Whenever someone feels like it, or in turn, one woman goes into the center and we all copy her dance. (song “hakol mshamayim”)

 

5. Mirrors: 2 women face each other, looking into each other’s eyes.  Using peripheral vision, they mirror each other. They can move any way they want to the music, but not too complicated so as not to “break the mirror”  Choose who starts, then leader calls out “switch” and the other women leads/follows. Try to be as exact as possible. Shorten the time between switching as the song gets about ⅔ done. Then by the last ¼ or so of the song have them try to mirror without any leader….. Just figuring out the next move as they go. (song “Tzemach Tzedek niggun”)

 

6. 5 rhythms: A classic exercise from the 1970’s…. 

About a 15 minute exercise:  (each song can be ended around 3 minutes even if the song isn't over)

(each song is good for each rhythm) use the whole space of the room (better not to stand in one place/ also this enables more interaction amongst the dancers)

  1. Flowing: move like water. Consistent. Smooth. From one luxurious move to the next (chesed) (“Ana HaShem”)

  2. Staccato: Sharp strong movements. (gevura) (song “sur m’ra aseh tov”) 

  3. Chaos: anything goes- even making sounds, rolling on the ground, leaping, banging on things, or even just doing nothing- just be careful not to hurt anybody/anything. Let it all go (tohu v’vohu) (“ufartzta ”)

  4. Lyrical: The calm after the storm. A beautiful dance. Light. Airy. (tiferet) (“I have everything I need”)

  5. Still: move slowly until you find a good pose and hold it a few breaths. By the end, use the ground for movement. And the very end of the song instruct the women to lie on the ground. (hopefully it will be clean enough ;) )(malchut) (“Tov L’hodot”)

 

7.  As slow as possible, with micromovements, come up to standing. We hardly ever pay attention and allow ourselves to be fully present with how our body knows how to get up from the ground. Explore what part of the body needs to contract/push etc. to be able to lift you up.

(“Harpu u’du ”)

 

8. End this part of the evening in circle holding hands. Women can share what they experienced.

 

9. Put on a song with a good beat and encourage women to practice and play their tambourine or drums or to clap, snap, stomp etc. 

 

Experiment with layering rhythms without any background music. Someone starts with an easy clapping beat. One at a time women jump in with their own rhythmic patterns and combinations that are on the beat. (Snap /stomp /slap thighs /shake shakers and tambourines/ drums)

 

If feeling confident, choose a pasuk to chant with the rhythm. ( הודו להשם כי טוב…עין עוד מלבדו... השם מלך השם מלך וכו… all work well) 

 

(The beat is what glues the circle together. It’s the heart beat—- without everyone on the rhythm the circle falls apart) 

 

10. Put on some more music and free dance! And make sure to keep connecting once in awhile to one another through eye contact, and copying each other in a dance conversation https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5AGGutaux0Kaa0Y533hGqH?si=uv3irXsdSv-v5FTZLo4PRg (playlist compliments of Rivky Katz and Tambourines of Unity)


 

May our joy in being together, praising Hashem and enjoying the dance and song expand our consciousness and Bitachon and show Hashem how ready we are to experience higher and higher levels of Divine revelation and light. 

 

🎶🔥💗💋👏🌟🎶🔥💗💋👏🌟🎶🔥💗💋👏🌟🎶

Would you like to learn more skills for leading circles? or to build your own toolkit for creativity through movement, rhythm, and song?

Contact me directly for information about my upcoming online course and current workshops in the North of Israel. I coach privately and for groups. 

Aviva Spiegel

050-365-0246

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