As a community dance company, we like to share and work as a team. So every six months, we do exactly that… share our ideas. And what a great idea that is.

Last week we had our Active Armchairs sharing session. Here we share ideas for props, choreography, exercises as well helping each other with any issues that may be going on with their classes.

First up was Alix who shared some great stuff… I particularly liked her hands and dexterity exercise. Whilst we do use an arm movement exercise in each Active Armchairs class… I don’t really focus specifically on dexterity for a whole dance. This was great, she included turning palms towards and away (great for the wrists) and finger to thumb work… all very good for maintaining finger strength and mobility, which can be very much compromised with sufferers of arthritis and rheumatism.

Processed with MoldivRebecca shared her fantastic new ribbon stick props. Having made them herself using dowling bought at the local DIY store, and ribbons from eBay (we love eBay!)… she had  created a whole dance especially for them. They also have the potential of doubling up as rhythm sticks too… simply remove the ribbons and you can tap out a beat. Great fun to be had there!

Georgia shared her ball props… a bag from the pound shop, again great for dexterity with a little fun thrown in. Each participant has a ball, they can then squish the ball between thumb and forefinger, roll the ball along the forearm (doubling as a gentle massage as well) or even throw up and catch, in order to maintain reactions.

I shared my idea of using lycra strips kind of like the giant scrunchie, but with a little more flexibility if the room doesn’t lend itsel fto a straight circle… we could have the strips crossing the room, forming a web, linking particular people… and so on. I also shared my “When You’re Smiling” dance… which seems to go down very well with most of my participants.

What a great way to freshen up our classes and learn some more tips. A most productive morning.

To finish off, we had a spot of brainstorming over a particularly challenging class that has cropped up recently. A good way to re-think our class management techniques.

We also found out that since Active Armchairs began in 2010 there have been over 4000 Active Armchair experiences provided. How fantastic.

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