The following article is a wonderful case study of what is possible when you combine play, fun and group games & activities in an unexpected setting – a ballet school. This fascinating corporate team building activity was submitted by one of our subscribers:
“… I am just writing to thank you!
Last summer my partner had a major stroke leaving him in a wheelchair and no use of his left arm. Our children are still now only 4 and 7.
I have worked as a choreographer and dance educator my whole career, 12 years as the Lead-Artist in Education at the Royal Ballet School and now I am one of the Lead Dance Artists at the Royal Opera House. And though there has been prestige in where I have worked, you don’t earn big bucks in ballet education!
So when my partner was in hospital (he was in there for 7 months) I thought, ok, what are my transferable skills?
At the Royal Ballet School, I lead and choreographed large scale dance pieces bringing together 50 teenagers half from the Royal Ballet School and half from state schools in disadvantaged areas. It was my job to create a safe space for the two extremely different groups of teenagers to come together, to feel comfortable socially and creatively to make dance works of excellence together.
So when I was thinking about my skills, I thought what I do is basically take groups on journeys.
Now something quite specific about my practice is that I am FUN. My need for FUN and MEANING are massive!
So I went about finding work doing teambuilding workshops in the corporate world and I did my first workshop on Tuesday.
My partner can no longer look after the children alone and the summer holidays (6 weeks off school) were looming!
I had bagged my first gig for September the 3rd and it was a week before school was breaking up. So I spent ages that week preparing a workshop so I wouldn’t have to be struggling with child care and finding space to really focus on my own work.
So when I finished preparing the workshop I called my friend who is the CEO of a big branding company and ran it past him. He said he didn’t buy it at all!
So I started researching books and the internet to find a practitioner who spoke to me and I found Mark Collard the king of fun and meaning!
So I spent the whole summer reading your books and other books you suggest.
Last Tuesday I did the workshop and it was triumphant!
I had followed your advice on nearly every aspect of the process. I was particularly thinking about you as people arrived before the official start of the workshop (editor note: this is referred to as an Un-Official Start.) I hired my favourite studio at the Royal Ballet School to do the workshop so while we were waiting for people to arrive I took the participants present around the amazing photos on the wall and ended up giving them a history of ballet lesson!
The group doing the workshop were actually a management consultancy company and they have actually asked me to be an Associate Member of their team!