Dancing in the Shadows by Laura Bryannan
BREAKING THE ICE
If you've formed a group of survivors who are strangers, it's a good idea to
some time at the first meeting just getting to know each other. Providing name tags for
the first session or two also helps.
- Have each person take a partner. If there are friends in the group, they should
partner with someone they don't know.
- Have each woman take a few minutes to ask the name of their partner, where
they're from, and one other bit of interesting information their partner wishes to share
- Each woman then introduces their partner to the group.
My Favorite Things
Having each woman share a few things they like: favorite movie recently seen,
good books, music, etc. can provide more ways for women in the group to connect.
There's always a fondness in our hearts for folks who like the things we like.
- Put up a large piece of cloth and have some blank name tags on hand.
- Each woman should think about a particular item or prop that, if she could, she
would like to have with her throughout the course of the group.
- It could be something she would like to have with her for support, security or
protection, such as a sword, wings, teddy bear, or magnifying glass.
- It could be something that stands as a declaration of the woman herself, such as
The Cauldron of the Goddess, an Amazon's bow and arrow, a Priestess' wand.
- Have each woman write her prop on the name tag and place it on the cloth, telling
the group what she has chosen and why it is important to her.
- Tell the group that if they have a real representation of their prop to feel free to
bring it with them to each session.
- Women who own a prop chosen by another may feel moved to bring and share it
with that woman for the duration of the group.
- You may want to hang the cloth with the props up somewhere in the room for
- Bring out a large piece of paper for each member of the group and a box of
- Tell them, "If you were a rose, what would you look like?" Ask them to draw a
picture of the rose they would be.
- When everyone is done, have everyone hold their pictures up so that all can view
them. Isn't it interesting how many different interpretations can be made of a
- Are some roses in pots and some out in nature? Are some big and others small
- Do some have thorns and others not? Did some women draw an environment for
their rose or is the rose alone in the picture? Are some roses growing by walls, trees or
some other protected situation?
- Now ask each member to present their picture to the group, telling the others why
they drew the rose the way they did.
- How the pictures are drawn can provide clues to each woman's self-image. What
insights can the group provide about each picture? (P.S. This is not an art contest, look
at content rather than how "well" the pictures are drawn.)
- Let the group have fun with their interpretations, but each artist should have the
final say about what her picture means.
- You may want to put the pictures up around the room for each meeting of the
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Last Updated: 1 feb 99