This post shares 8 pieces of practical advice for Biodanza facilitators offering distance and online Biodanza classes. The guidance comes from my notes taken during a talk given by Annalisa Risoli, an Italian surgeon and Biodanza facilitator.
Keep demonstrating the exercises!
When participants watch a Biodanza facilitator doing the demonstration of a dance, they activate the very same neuronal connections that are activated in the facilitator. Not only that, they also activate the same muscles and begin to feel and to experience what the facilitator is feeling and experiencing during the demonstration.
Be Aware of your own movements
Remember, how you move as a facilitator affects the participants because it passes through their mirror neurons (MNs). If you, as a Biodanza facilitator, are feeling uncertain, then the mirror neurons of the participants will pick it up and they will begin to feel the same. Therefore, be aware of how you are moving, e.g. in an energetic, confident, warm, affective, uncertain, rigid, cold, or in a delicate way.
Sense of Connection
Participants connect with the facilitator because the demonstration is being embodied in their own bodies. This happens without direct physical contact because physical contact is not necessary to create the sense of connection with the other.
Physical contact is not required for communication to happen. Just remember that the greater the movements the better the communication.
Communicate with the gaze
Communicate and invite communication through the eyes with the gaze. Although the use of facial masks is a real limitation, it also allows us to deepen the connection with each other through the eyes and to develop the capacity to know each other through the gaze.
Physical distancing doesn’t need to be synonymous with affective or emotional distancing. The MNs make emotional and affective communication possible despite the physical distancing. MNs allow affective attunement with the other because they respond to stimuli outside of reaching distance.
MNs also allow us to adapt our behaviour to the other. We can be in feedback with the other despite the distance.
Activate those Mirror Neurons!
For example, by proposing segmental movement exercises to increase bodily awareness, which will in turn increase the possibility of activating the MNs.
Being aware of Mirror Neurons can help maintain and improve our social relations with others despite the physical distancing. You can use this knowledge to enhance the sense of affective and relational closeness and to improve relationships.