Gift Some Following

next gen interplayers photo by carly rosin

*Girl with a Catchy Dance
*Now for some brain science
*Following is fun

Take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh….

“When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.” (poster)  So, why not be intentional! Give a gift of ecstatic following. What you follow with full bodied ease changes things.

Girl with a Catchy Dance.

If we followed more five year olds, humans could be springy-er and looser!

Poem: Eleanor Frye (Elizabeth Mendana’s sister) paying attention as a kind of following…

This was my first assignment for my class.
I was going to do an interpretive dance for this assignment,
but couldn’t figure out how to post it… so this will have to suffice:
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius
At this point in my life, I am young, single, and the possibilities of my future seem endless.
So many factors are unknown, such as: Marriage?  Children?  Location?  Career?
However I do have a vision of who I will be regardless of the above unknowns:
I will listen to people’s stories (even the ones I have heard over and over before.)
I will ask questions.
I will figure out how to replace the windshield wipers on my car.
I will learn from people’s stories.
I will know that I have something to offer.
I will still make mistakes.
I will learn from them.
I will have a garage, so I don’t have to scrape the ice off my windshield in the Wyoming winter.
I will pay attention – to others’ feelings and to my own.
I will seek to understand people, even when I don’t agree with them.
I will understand people because I know their stories.
I will ask more questions, even the hard ones.
I will still be in touch with my inner 5-year-old self.
I will have stories to tell and when I have something important to say, I will say it.
I will ask questions of myself, even the hard ones.
I will contribute.

Practices: (Done with subtle or big, voices, just eyes (try to keep from laughing) or without letting your leader know at all!)

1: Follow from your own center, taking care of yourself: Feel, sense and think for yourself as you follow others! It’s a body thing.

2: Follow with easy focus. Wheee: let go of trying to be exact.

3: Use following as a power tool: underline actions you value to increase fun.

4: Go with, go with, go with. Following longer is Improv’s #1 practice because creative types tend to go off on our own.

Now for some brain science “The salient discovery is that certain things leaders do — specifically, exhibit empathy and become attuned to others’ moods — literally affect both their own brain chemistry and that of their followers. Indeed, researchers have found that the leader-follower dynamic is not a case of two (or more) independent brains reacting consciously or unconsciously to each other. Rather, the individual minds become, in a sense, fused into a single system. We believe that great leaders are those whose behavior powerfully leverages the system of brain interconnectedness.”  Daniel Coleman in the Harvard Business Revie

Following is fun—raise your hands, bounce, do whatever you can

Take a deep breath and let it out with a sigh.


For more on InterPlay following and leading see Dance: the Sacred Art: The Joy of Movement as Spiritual Practice Skylight Paths Publishing: Follow and Lead p. 142 Dancing in Rapport p. 144 Dancing in Sync p. 143 Gesture Choirs p 154 and Chapter 20 on Ecstatic Following in What the Body Wants

P.S. Did you know that our Million Connections Tour is going to Boston, New Haven, Washington DC, Pittsburgh, Seattle and back to Oakland, all before November 7?!? If you’re near one of those towns, click the name of the town to sign up and join us!


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