Even the snow couldn’t keep our lovely participants away today!

Today’s session was based on flying and floating using the idea of what it would be like to fly and float in a hot air balloon.  Of course I had some colourful balloons with me. When participants came in I gave them the task of blowing at least one balloon each, all of which were different colours, shapes and sizes. Once the balloons were inflated I asked the participants to tie them (with assistance if needed). This was a lovely sharing opportunity were the group were working together to inflate the 15 balloons. They soon realised each other’s strengths and we had set participants inflating the balloons and other tying them.

Once the balloons were inflated we took to the space with the balloon all in the centre and began to warm to ‘Let’s go fly a kite’ which we all sung along to. As the snow had made the weather particularly cold we decided to warm up for a little longer and continued to work with a beautiful piano piece called ‘Fly’ by Ludovico Einaudi. Our fingers were cold and red so we decided to play our imaginary pianos to allow the circulation to bring warmth to the tips of our fingers. We played our pianos traditionally first before getting carried away playing out pianos all around the space and on our bodies. By the time we had come to the end of the song we were indeed feeling warmer!

I decided now would be a great time to introduce the balloons. We decided to begin with noticing how the balloons moved we throw the balloons up and watched as some floated directly down and others went on unpredictable pathways to reach the ground.  We took all the speedy balloons out and began to move the light balloons around the circle, taking our time to move and pass the balloons around and taking moments of balance. Once I could tell that the group were focused and were moving well with the balloons I added in the heavier balloons and changed the music to a faster piece. I added challenges in as we progressed like; don’t let any of the balloons touch the floor, you can only use one hand you have to move the balloons, You must use different parts of your body to move the balloons. We had so much fun with this task I decided to continue and not stop the moving. Instead I simply lowered the volume of the track and asked everyone to take one balloon each and balance their balloon on various body parts. I then went on to ask each participants to create one movement where the balloon must leave your body and return to your body (a throw and catch and push and catch ect). As I watched the participants creating their movement I felt their imaginations going wild. We then brought them together to make a short routine in pairs. It amazing to see how well the group are working together and how their creativity has flourished since beginning these sessions. We practiced and performed the dances to none other than ’99 red balloons’ (unfortunately there was only red balloon amongst the pile of rainbow balloons).

We all had a great time dancing, laughing and discovering balloons together. By the end of the session we enjoyed some of the participant’s favourite biscuits; Short bread, Fig rolls and some triple chocolate cookies! YUM!


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