Jess – Week 1

A day of workshops at the brilliant National Star College and myriad moments that taught and touched. One student reaching out to touch my hands and then hair as I was holding a mid-air balance off her chair, realising that dreadlocks could be an unexpected tactile tool (though not to be confused with the rope, I hope).

Here all challenges great and small are met with patience and humour. The students – and maybe we? – work hard to find the edges of their comfort zone (or should that be discomfort , in a harness?!) and then to reach far beyond them. Some amazing work emerges and there is a constant background hum of laughter punctuated with great swooping whoops as students start to find their own swings and spins. I feel like I am learning so much from the staff and students – how to communicate with language and bodyweight, how to wait without expectation to allow a truly self-directed, ‘experiential’ moment to emerge for each student. (Meanwhile, I also discover I need driving lessons for the electric wheelchair.)

Necessity is the mother of invention, Rachel said yesterday (as we were trying to work out how the damselflies will counterweight the kingfisher), and flying so many different bodies who’ve never flown before in a day provides lots of moments for invention and creative use of equipment. ‘I think you’ve taken every single piece of kit out of our storage boxes’ says Terry at the end of the day.

Thanks to our fantastic hostess Sarah, for knowledge-sharing, coffee, positivity and then, just before we leave, giving us a go with the interactive floor!

Floor feathers

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