The first time you experience Be You Disco, it feels like you have entered a portal where social anxiety melts away, and you are left to simply connect with yourself and each other in a way that is liberating, playful, and fun.
You might ask how is a Be You Disco wellness experience interactive when everyone is wearing headphones?
From the outside looking in people are grooving and moving in complete silence, but the second you dawn a pair of headphones you will realize there is nothing silent about it. Participants hear music and the facilitator's voice which is guiding them through different movement and connection activities.
How do people interact with each other?
At times, participants will be guided to dance in pairs and find someone you don't know and simply mirror them. Mirroring is used in dance music therapy as a means of building empathy and allows for two people to fall in sync with each other without words. This is a powerful and fun exercise that participants love. Sometimes people will be interacting in smaller groups of 6 or 8, or as a whole. There are connection and dance prompts for all group sizes that allow people to feel the flavor of 1:1 versus larger group settings.
At times the facilitator will instruct people to reconnect to their body, their intention, or a memory, and have a moment to explore their inner-world while in a group setting, and this contrast of dancing solo while surrounded by the group invites participants to listen deeper to how they authentically want to move. Whether you are being guided through a dance connection activity or solo exploration the experience is entirely interactive.
How do the headphones increase focus/interaction?
If you are looking for corporate social event ideas or corporate event entertainment, this is not your average ice-breaker. Be You Disco was founded by Life Coach Carolina Panoff and musician Kev Ohm. Having studied multiple different movement modalities, they curated an experience that touches the heart, brings people together, and melts away social anxiety. The Be You Disco experience is liberating and allows everyone to be their full authentic selves on the dance floor.
This is an experience that encourages playfulness, vulnerability, and self-expression and through bringing these elements into our corporate event entertainment and team building people have an opportunity to connect on a deeper level in a judgment-free zone where just by wearing the headphones you feel a sense of belonging, a part of the collective.
Another point that makes this experience highly immersive and interactive is that it forces you to be present. The music ringing in your ears and the facilitators guidances ushers you into connection with your body. With what is here now instead of being tied up in the busy mind. For those that experience social anxiety, this experience allows for them to give that busy mind a rest. Instead of worrying and focusing on others, the headphones allow you to focus on the music ad yourself. Furthermore, this experiences creates a container that is not conducive to day dreaming, or "checking out." The nature of these experiences demands your full attention, and when we are called forward to be present, we find ourselves feeling oddly fulfilled.
What sections of the event are interactive?
About 70% of the Be You Experience is interactive and the other 30% is an internal movement meditation. This experience blends together corporate team building which by nature is very outward and social with corporate wellness (mindfulness, meditation, and movement). What we find is that when people take the time to go internal and slow down it allows for them to be fully present for the experience and they get so much more out of it.
Does interaction through dance (without speaking) increase communication between teams?
The short answer is yes, and here is why. Dance has been used as a means of passing on stories from generation to generation even before the invention of written language. This is something that humanity has been doing for a very long time and there is power in such non-verbal communication. It communicates emotions, feelings, and themes through body language.
In a paper from Quachita Baptist University we see that "Language can be a barrier as we try to communicate with one another, but people from countries all over the world for centuries have utilized dance to tell stories and pass down traditions. Dance is a universal language that can be used to tell stories and share ideas. It can break language barriers and open the door for communication across cultures."
Furthermore, we have all heard that 90% of communication is nonverbal. This figure came to be when Albert Mehrabian, a body language researcher, identified the components of face-to-face conversation. He found that communication is 55% nonverbal, 38% vocal, and 7% words only. "The formula was created for a specific context—when the nonverbal channel and the verbal channel are incongruent (not matching). As he writes in his book Nonverbal Communication: "When there are inconsistencies between attitudes communicated verbally and posturally, the postural component should dominate in determining the total attitude that is inferred." (source: Psychology Today) Through dancing we are developing our full capacities of communication and even building empath with those that we dance with which is extremely productive in a team setting.
We can see the importance of looking at communication holistically and in Dance/Movement Therapy they are using dancing as a therapeutic technique to help patients feel a sense of validation and empathy. "Mirroring, an exercise practiced in Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT), is considered by practitioners and patients to enhance emotional understanding and empathy for others. Mirroring involves imitation by the therapist of movements, emotions, or intentions implied by a client's movement, and is commonly practiced in order to enhance empathy of the therapist for the client. In this review, we propose that mirroring in DMT enhances understanding of others’ emotional intentions through enhanced use of mirror neuron circuitry. Research on the mirror neuron system (MNS) suggests that the brain areas involved in perception and production of movement overlap, and that these brain areas are also involved in the understanding of movement intention (Rizzolatti & Craighero, 2004).
In summary, when we dance we are able to practice moving in coordination, we fire off mirror neurons that are responsible for building empathy, and we are taking part in an age-old human tradition. Dance is an important part of what makes us feel connected, and allows us to break through communication barriers. It allows us to feel familiar with our colleagues and have empathy towards their experience.