Round & round we went. We stepped & we swayed; we moved rhythmically & not so rhythmically, as the music led us on. At times we danced expressively & individually mostly we danced together following steps danced by thousands of others over time from different cultures, in a connecting circle. How good it felt to be moving together in the dances – judging by the smiles and laughter mostly everyone would agree; how good it felt to be celebrating & acknowledging our creative community in this way.
After a morning of dancing we proceeded to put the calories we had burned off back on again with a lovely bring & share lunch.
Our afternoon session started with a set from ‘Skiffuffle’ – a skiffle group complete with washboard – who played an upbeat set of songs derived from country blues & jazz to which many of us with itchy feet jigged & jived around the room.
The day ended with a rather beautiful slow meditative circle dance to Andean music, which has become a favourite at Inside Out.
The event was led by Stefan Freedman in his beautiful inclusive, gentle, inspiring, thoughtful, self sharing way, with the assistance of the ‘band in the corner’.
Connecting Circles was organised as part of our exploration of the theme community. Our vision of Inside Out is of a creative community to which everyone who comes may benefit from & contribute too. We want everyone who joins Inside Out to feel warmly accepted and a valued part of that creative community. As the year unfolds we will be looking further at what that means for us as individuals to have that connection & how we can strengthen our creative community further. A study reported in New Scientist recently found that when people move in synchrony they experience a stronger sense of community and are more altruistic (selflessly caring) towards one another.
Listening to people talk about Inside Out as a community during the day, I heard people say how they felt safe, accepted, welcome, connected to others, inspired & supported by others. It is that culture we want to promote & grow at Inside Out.
A sense of community is important to the well-being of all of us and in these socially fractured times, it is not uncommon to feel isolated & apart; we know too it is not always easy allow ourselves to feel part of something, sometimes something holds us back. Look out for further Inside Out community events.