Reuben & Mummy do 'the dance of life'

Yesterday early evening I spent a good part of an hour pretending to be a penguin, horse, cat, dog, monkey (with noises,) elephant, snake (on the floor,) and holding hands with parents and children I'd only just met. After half term in Reuben's school they are introducing Biodanza to the little ones during school hours. Yesterday parents were invited to a free session with their children to see what it's all about.
 
Literally translated as 'the dance of life', when researching Biodanza words such as 'organic' 'emotional' 'intimacy' 'fun' 'pleasure' and 'relaxation' spring out of the computer screen. Are you sure this is suitable for kids?! It's all about dancing but without having to learn any steps, a relaxing exercise to music where you let your body decide where it wants to go. You're encouraged to be in the here and now and reconnect with your inner senses, whilst long term benefits can include being more creative and clearer in your decision making.

When we arrive at the class we all sit in a circle and the teacher, who I think I recognise as Reuben's teacher's partner, encourages us to introduce ourselves along with our favourite animal. I go for a rabbit, an animal I know in French that I think no one else will choose. Reuben decides to go for a kangaroo. What's kangaroo in French? I say it in English and it turns out (via Google translate) it's the same, 'kangourou'. We start off pretty simple, music is played and we march around the room. Reuben relaxes (though stays close by) and we march big steps and little steps. Reuben and I then have to hold hands and dance to a country and western track (high energy, think 'Cotton Eye Joe'.) It's getting a bit energetic now and I'm wishing I wore a t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms instead of jeans and a jumper. We're encouraged to swap partners but Reuben is having none of it. Then things get interesting. Based on what animals people preferred at the start of the session we move like these animals to different music including the 'Banana Boat Song' and Patsy Cline's 'Walking After Midnight'. Everyone gets into it and the kids love it! There's no embarrassment and even Reuben's teacher, Arnaud, joins in with the session.

To be honest, it was good fun. Reuben enjoyed it and it's important for us to do things like this with him so that he feels included at school and doesn't shy away from group activities, which he has often done in the past. There were a few moments where I caught the eye of another parent and we had a bit of a 'what on earth are we doing' moment, whilst waddling along like penguins or waving our arms about like the trunk of an elephant. The things we do for our children!

Becky x

The image above is from the Biodanza West London website which you can visit for more information about Biodanza!

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