Gotta find the groove.

Everything ebbs and flows, and I’m in an ebb place with one of our classes right now. I can’t seem to get into the groove with our PRIDE class. The group is small, low-energy and while there are wonderful women in there, I think I’m missing several key players we had in class over the summer. No obvious leaders have emerged in the current group so I feel like I need to exert more energy to keep the class going. Like we don’t quite have a gelled community yet, but a group of random women kind of bumping against each other. So let’s go back to community, I guess – let’s get back to teambuilding and group bonding and looking at how we all fit together.

Less sitting is important – I know that.

We’ve been doing more writing in that class, which means more sitting and sharing which means everyone’s energy slowing draining into their seats. I want them to share their writing but it can also feel like a huge time suck and like half the class sort of wanders off into their heads. If anyone has any ideas about better ways to share, pass ‘em on.

We did share writings in the PEACE class in an interesting way. Instead of sitting and reading, we split the class into 2 groups and asked them to pick their favorite lines from their pieces and create a group performance piece from it. It was fun and difficult – my group had a hard time working together but it was good to let them feel that frustration and work through it. It can be difficult for me to know when to lead and when to step back and let them do it all on their own. I think I led a little too much today but I also felt like the group wasn’t going to move forward at all without a little facilitating. Maybe I need to step back and let them work it out… this is a good lesson for me in terms of following one of our Pillars: Life and Leadership Skills. I need to remember that part of cultivating those is stepping out of the way.

The two pieces were so interesting – Michelle’s group had an almost For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf feel while mine was sillier and structured more like a debate or a political rally. One woman in the PEACE class has been wondering when we’re going to get to the “real” acting, so I think she was happy that today felt more like a performance class.

At the end, in our “say one word for your feeling at the end of class” circle, one woman told us how thankful she is that we come teach this class and offer them a space to be creative and to explore their dreams. There is some formidable talent in that room, so I’m interested to see what other pieces will emerge.

-Kat Craft

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