IFSW was used in a workshop at Slippery Rock University in May 2017. Dance majors, in the context of a performance workshop, completed the statement ‘I FEEL SAFE WHEN ______’. Each student placed their statements into a box, the box was shaken up, and students were asked to chose a statement (that was not their own).

The group gathered in a circle, and each participant read the statement they had chosen. Collectively, they talked about observations, understandings, and questions about what had been read. They were then asked to generate a movement phrase that they felt embodied the statement they held. The individuals were then placed into groups of 3-4 students and they taught each other their movement phrases. 


24 dance students from Slippery Rock University completed the statement "I feel safe when ....", traded stories and choreographed short dance Slippery Rock University pieces inspired by them. Their responses where then sorted and grouped in the following categories.

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10 Responses

Makes reference to and is dependent on others (family, friends, loved ones, partners, animals, children, ‘people’).


5 Responses

Has to do with self, state of mind or state of being, evocative of emotion (state of being).

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4 Responses

Refers to a specific place (without people), primarily, as a provider of / container for safety.

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3 Responses

Contains statements that are completely self reliant – reflects complete autonomy in relationship to safety.

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2 Responses

Refers to disappearing, being invisible, or completely removing oneself from view.


What we created

Once every student had a phase of movement — their own, plus the movements of their group members — they were asked to turn back to the  story they had chosen form the box. They were asked to create a small piece overlaying the spoken text with choreography made from the movement phrases they were just given. They could manipulate the movement and the text in anyway they wished. 

They rehearsed and performed their short pieces for the class as solos. The group then gathered and discussed:

  1. The art that was made
  2. The impact of the statements
  3. The difference between simply reading / hearing the statements and witnessing them be embodied and physically interpreted
  4. The use of text with movement as a choreographic / performative choice.