I See You, Seeing Me
This mirroring activity promotes relationship, empathy, communication, concentration and insight
What you’ll need: One other person
What’s it for?
This activity can be used as a warm up exercise for further drama play but can be fun in itself. It supports dialogue, empathy, attention and relationship between the participants. This activity can feel quite intimate and intense so adopt a slow and steady pace. It can also be used to change the energy in a relationship or group.
Notice how you’re feeling right now. Close your eyes and notice what’s going on inside your mind and body.
How are you feeling?
What are you thinking?
How does your body feel?
With your partner, pick who will start the movement - this person is the 'leader' and the other partner the 'follower'
This exercise is not to trick or challenge your partner with complicated or fast movements. The key to this working effectively is to take a very slow pace
Stand two meters apart opposite each other and observe one another with a gentle gaze
Both partners maintain eye contact during the exercise
Remaining in one place to start with, the leader very slowly starts moving parts of their body while the follower copies as exactly as possible
After a while, switch roles so that each partner has a turn at being leader and follower
Pay attention to how it feels to mirror or lead someone else exactly
After a few turns, both partners can attempt to move together without a main leader or follower. How was that? If movement occurred, what happened?
Spend a moment looking at each other and notice how you feel after the exercise.
Extra Activity: Add sounds with the movements and see if you can 'mirror' those, too. Try to make the sounds relate to the movements. For fun, you could try to use sounds only without movement. How easy or challenging is it to mirror sounds without movement?
When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:
How did it feel to be the leader and follower?
What did you notice?
Were there any repeated patterns of movements?
Were your movements, slow, quick or a mixture?
Did you move all your body during the exercise or did you just move one or two body parts?
Did you use facial expressions as part of your movements?
If you added sound, how easy was it to follow?
This activity supports relationship, empathy, communication, concentration and insight. Mirroring is a natural part of attunement a fundamental building blocks of relationships. Even in this very structured activity, mirroring can feel intense. How did it feel for you?
Take a moment to notice how you are feeling at the end of this activity. Did you discover anything surprising? What can you take away to make you feel better about yourself from this activity?
Emunah, R. (2020): Acting for Real: Drama therapy process, Technique and Performance, 2nd Edition, London: Routledge
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Created by Vanessa Reid © September 2021
Creative Arts Used: Drama
Psychological Areas Explored: Self-Exploration, Communication, Relationship, Attention, Play
If you enjoyed this activity, you might also like: Amazing Adventures: Think about yourself as a hero or heroine in a made-up story!
These activities could be done by children of all ages, but some may need the support of their parent or carer to read the instructions or complete the activity safely.
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