Communication is not always verbal. A lot of communication during our interactions with each other is actually based on our body language. In this activity, the participants will understand better how others communicate and how different it can be from their own communication style. They will also learn how their attitude can portrait the way that they are seen, either as a leader or as a follower.
Name of the activity: Bachata
Duration: 45 minutes
Preferred location: outside or inside, on a flat surface.
Working method: teamwork – focused on communication (in pairs).
Purpose (expected impact, outcomes): improving the communication skills of our participants, together with their initiation skills and self-confidence.
Materials: speaker for music.
– ask the participants to form pairs;
– then, ask them to choose who is A and who is B; in the first round, A will be the leader and B the follower; the pairs should be facing each other and with the arms placed in the correct position (as demonstrated by the facilitator);
– once they are ready, start by teaching the first step; A will start by giving 2 steps to the right (closing the feet together on the 4th count) and then 2 steps back to the left, where they were initially; at the same time, B will take 2 steps to the left and then 2 steps back to the right, always closing the feet together on the 4th count;
– ask if there are any questions and then let the participants practice while putting music in the background;
– after 5 minutes, teach them the second step; A, who is leading, will now take 2 steps forward and 2 steps backwards, still closing the feet together always on the 4th count; B will do the same but starting first backwards and then forward;
– restart the music and let the participants practice for around 5 minutes;
– in the next round, the participants should switch partners and the ones that were A (leading) are now B (following) and vice-versa; they can now combine both steps, keeping in mind that all movements when started must be concluded, so if 2 steps are given in a certain direction, 2 steps in the opposite direction must always follow;
– let the participants practice in rounds of 5 minutes, switching partners in each round.
Debriefing: when the activity is over, have a short closing with the group to reflect on the way this activity went. Some examples of questions that can be asked are:
– describe in one word how you felt during this activity;
– did you feel more comfortable while leading or following; why?
– how did it make you feel when you were leading?
– how can you relate this activity to your life?
– do you usually lead or follow more in real life?
– what is something that you can do differently in the future?
Possible alternatives, changes for different circumstances: other styles of dances can be used as well, such as salsa and kizomba. To make it more challenging, the facilitator can ask the participants to close their eyes or not to speak at some point during the activity.