Thursday, September 3, 2015

MORE TO LIFE: Inviting InterPlay into a group as a way to team build

ONE HAND DANCE. (photo by Ruth Schowalter)
Ruth Schowalter, certified InterPlay leader and InterPlay Art & Soul Creativity Coach

On the last Sunday in August, I had the privilege of facilitating two hours of InterPlay for a group of people from the organization, "More to Life," who are developing team building skills for a weekend they will be offering to the public in Atlanta this October. 

Contacted by Kerri Shannon, a More to Life training supervisor, I met with her one morning before the InterPlay Sunday session to discuss her goals for "play" with her group. She had experienced a Second Saturday in Atlanta recently and felt that the InterPlay activities would add a fun element to what they were doing in their preparations for being on a team and providing service.

Kerri offered me her intentions in rich words and phrases such as:
  • connection
  • team purpose/individual purpose
  • playing while being in our own intention
  • authenticity
  • playing and taking it into our own lives
  • out of the head
Wow! These were really enticing goals for me to develop a lesson plan for our Sunday afternoon! We decided together that we would have the team do a "DT3" (an InterPlay form during which participants first move and then talk three times) and speak in a made up language (an activity that allows exformation and discovery without "verbalizing" one's thoughts). 

How inspiring it was to consult with a person like Kerri who felt excited about the possibilities that InterPlay held for her group! And playing with a group of people ready to experience whatever activities were offered them was rewarding beyond words. The photos speak of their engaged and celebratory experience!
WALK, STOP, RUN.  After warming up, we took "Walk, Stop, Run" outside. Notice that online team members were participating too, as one of their teammates carried their presence on the computer. Adding the lean was received with joy, including online teammates! (photo by Kerri Shannon)
BABBLING. After returning indoors from "Walk, Run, Stop," everyone delighted in "Babbling" with one another without worry of developing a logical developed story. Easy focus--wheee--went over very well. Make note that the online participant is being engaged in babbling (left of the photo). (photo by Ruth Schowalter)

LEADING AND FOLLOWING.  Since the principles of leading and following are pretty important in team practices, I thought these More to Life folks would enjoy playing around with the InterPlay concept of ecstatic following and discovering "blending." We then expanded the following and leading form with variations of fast and slow, close and far, and large and small. (top photo by Kerri Shannon, bottom photo by Ruth Schowalter)
ONE BIG ONE HAND DANCE TO CONCLUDE. As our two hours of play came to an end, I thought the perfect way to bring the team together was a group one hand dance. When I asked if they would be more comfortable in two groups of five, they expressed their desire to be all together! (photo by Ruth Schowalter)
Today, just before I posted this blog, I had a follow up conversation with Kerri because we both wanted to process what the InterPlay experience meant for her group and how the forms I facilitated helped her achieve the goals she had set. Using the word "phenomenal," Kerri was more than pleased with the sneaky deep ways that InterPlay allows people to connect and integrate meaningfully with one another and within themselves. Hurray!


  1. Ruth, thanks again for being with us on Sunday. It helped me move through some PTSD about my fall when I chose to reenact the fall during the DT3.

  2. Dear Jill! I'm so glad you joined the InterPlay play session with your team even though you were experiencing the consequences of your fall. How wonderful that you were able to have these experiences in community.