25 June 2019
Yesterday, we travelled to Copenhagen by plane, which was a feat given 26 of us! Once we all got settled at the hotel, we headed out for a rapid paced class on Danish Gymnastics.
It was quite different than what we typically think of as gymnastics in the US. Instead of a room filled with beams, bars, and trampolines, we were in an empty gymnasium with no equipment whatsoever. When we first walked in, I figured we would be going to another room- an “actual gym”- once we got warmed up. However, that was not the case. We spent hours doing exercises building trust with partners and body awareness with ourselves.
Several activities included mirror work with partners or the instructor, in fact my favorite one involved both. We partnered up and stood facing each other, then the instructor was positioned at the front of the class so only one partner from each group could see him. That partner mirrored what he did up at the front, and the partner who couldn’t see him mirrored the one who could. It was almost like a game of telephone through moving bodies.
On top of that, we did a lot of dancing and moving, to the point where some of my friends and I became sore in our shoulders and legs! He taught us some choreography to popular songs by having us follow along. It was very repetitive so as to make it easy, but it required each of us to figure out how to move our bodies to match what he did, because he didn’t slow down to walk us through it. Even with my dance experience, some of the moves took me a good while to understand the mechanics.
The “walking on the moon” activity was the most fun activity for me. Since I was the lightest I was the ‘astronaut’ in my group. Essentially, the astronaut would close her eyes and walk/move. The rest of her group would have to figure out how to support her movements and hold her up, so she could keep walking higher and higher, somewhat simulating anti gravity. This was practice in trust, teamwork, quick thinking, and often, strength.
For our group, I think this worked as a group-building activity as much as a workout. Mostly however, it was lots of fun, and a good way to celebrate our first night in Copenhagen!
- Serena Mendoza