Most communities around the world have a traditional dance as part of their folklore. For this activity choose a dance that is familiar to the participants and represents the community they are from. Make sure there is enough space for the participants to do the dance. If there are more than 15 participants, arrange to have more than one facilitator.
1. Explain to the participants that they are going to dance a traditional dance they are familiar with.
2. Divide the participants into two groups with equal numbers.
3. Give the participants in one of the groups blindfolds. (These can be scarves or other small pieces of material. Make sure participants cannot see through the cloth).
4. Ask both groups to create a dance routine, but give them different instructions as to how to do this:
a. Ask the one group to create a dance routine without speaking or holding hands. This means the group will have to communicate by signing and showing one another what to do.
b. Ask the second group to put on the blindfolds and then create their dance routine. This means the group will have to communicate by speaking to one another and by holding hands to walk through the dance routine.
5. Give the groups 10 minutes to prepare their dance routine.
6. When they are ready, ask each group to present their dance routine to the other group. The group with the blindfolds should only wear their blindfolds when they are performing their dance routine. They should take the blindfolds off to watch the other group perform their dance.
7. When both groups have done their dance routines, ask the participants to sit in a circle and ask them the following questions:
• What was it like doing this activity?
• What were the challenges in creating the dance routines? How did you overcome these challenges? For example:
o What were the group dynamics?
o Did everyone take part in creating the dance routine, or did one or more people take the lead and guide the others?
8. Now ask the two groups to work as a single group and make the two dance routines into one dance. Encourage all participants to take part in the decision-making needed to do this, and make sure that all participants take part in the dance.
9. Once the joint dance routine has been finalized, explain that the group should now plan to do a performance. Ask the group to decide when, where and for whom they will perform the dance. Ask them to consider practical things such as:
a. What will they wear?
b. Do they need to practice more? If yes, when and where?
10. End the activity by thanking everyone for their participation and cooperation. Explain that the aim of the activity was to energize the participants; to give them responsibility towards each other, to encourage feelings of togetherness and belonging to a community, and to promote pride in their cultural heritage.