In partnership with Groundswell Arts, Mothers Dancing has successfully delivered dance sessions at Triangle and Woodlands Park Children Centres (North London) at the end of 2020. I now want to continue the project as an individual dance teacher and reach out to more families by delivering 6 weeks of wellbeing-focused sessions to small groups of mothers with young babies (numbers depending on current guidelines), followed by an exciting opportunity to create a dance performance together and share it with an invited audience (numbers permitting, socially-distanced, indoor or outdoor environment as appropriate). The impact of these sessions will go beyond the few weeks spent with each participant: on the wellbeing front they will be able to continue moving at home using the tips, props and music provided. On the creative front they will discover ways to self-expression, share that feeling with other people, and access the recording of the final performance for years to come.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
In times of disconnection and isolation, the internal landscape of a new mother can feel even more fragile than it normally does. These classes bring to participants a sense of wellbeing, also giving them practical tools to incorporate more movement and creativity in their daily lives. The wellbeing sessions place the individual experience at its centre, helping mothers to release tension and touch base with their feelings when the norm is to have their attention is constantly turned to their babies. It combines simple practices movement explorations that can be done by anyone and easily repeated at home. The creative sessions offers a path into self-expression which is a great way to increase confidence and self-esteem. It also offers an opportunity for local mothers to connect with each other, feel part of a community and devise a dance performance together.
Steps to get it done:
When we offered Mothers Dancing classes last term we had to change their format so that the project could carry on within the restrictions that came along just before the project started (November 2020 Lockdown). Apart from showing how possible it is to adapt the offer to changing circumstances, it was also great to discover the benefits that small group classes can bring: because my time and attention were exclusive to each mother and child, we had a chance to delve deeper into the class material according to participant's own needs and interests. Mothers who needed some time for themselves could have it, others who wanted to play and connect with their babies could also do it. All of them expressed big waves of gratitude at the end of each class, with reported feelings of freedom reconnection to self. One mum discovered that when she dances it becomes possible to calm down her thoughts! Another revealed that she hadn't moved her whole body in that way since she was a teenager...
About the space
Triangle and Woodlands Park Children Centre
London Borough of Haringey