Reboot – Moment


PROMPT. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year.
Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).*


Thursday, May 1, 2014
Palo Alto, California
Design for Dance 2014

May 1 held the moment (or moments) of my feeling most alive. My moment was at the 2nd annual Design for Dance 2014, sponsored by BJ Fogg’s group, Stanford’s Persuasive Technologies Lab, and directed by David Ngo (and over here).

This post is part of Reverb – 2014 Reboot.

On May 1, I led an after-lunch improv activity as part of launching into the second half of the day’s speakers and activities.

1_BJ and David
With BJ Fogg and David Ngo

Verbal instructions. Mimed instructions. Silence. Spoken word. Stillness. Movement. Music. Dance. Visualization exercises. Organic food. Touch. Music. Slide presentations. Meeting people. Sunny day. Dancers. Choreographers. Coaches. Students. App creators. Engineers. Group exercise. Role playing. Improvised sketch. Questions. Answers. Business cards. Pens. Paper. Wellness. Social justice. Improv. Hugs. Smiles. Movement. Community.

As a full day (8:00-5:30) of activities, I was surrounded by those interested not only in dance (and movement) but also behavior design – lunch, meeting and connecting with each other, lots of dancing, and even a behavior design exercise.

After lunch, I led an improv activity – mirroring and slight variant on mirroring by expanding to more than pairs – for more than 60 people.

2_SFR chair
Giving directions early on for mirroring activity. 
[Photo credit: Lan Le]

Similar to an improv exercise a friend (Dwayne) did at an improv jam, the mirroring started with pairs (in silence), who would merge with other pairs (for a foursome), who would merge with other foursome, and so on.

An important part of this exercise is eye contact. And from this, the nonverbal communication of give and take, acceptance, initiation, sharing, agreement, beginning, ending, transitioning, and co-creating.

3_Mirror Pairs
starting off with mirroring pairs [Photo credit: Lan Le]

Although pairs started off in silence, after a few minutes, I shared that noises could be used, if people chose to do so. Keeping with mirroring, whatever was co-created would be upon the agreement of the collective.

With the number of people at the event, rather than end the exercise with the full community, I let them know we would have two communities at the end of the improv activity would be the goal. Which is what happened.

And interestingly enough . . .

4_Begin to 2 groups
Top corner left: The beginning. Bottom corner right – Community 1. Middle area right – Community 2.[Photo credit: Lan Le] 

. . . the two communities had very different personalities.


THAT ONE MOMENT. Of that May 1 day, if I had to choose one, the “MOMENT” that was most pronounced for me – when I realized the two communities, given the same set of directions, at the same time, in the same space, each expressed themselves very differently.


What is your one MOMENT in 2014 during which you felt most alive?

This post is part of Reverb – 2014 Reboot.

*prompt from Reverb10, Author Ali Edwards

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