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Dancing and Singing in Pompey (Portsmouth)!
article by Janet Ayers - [web posted 7 April '12]

This article was written for the Natural Voice Practitioners Network spring magazine by Janet Ayers.
I hope itíll inspire other community choir leaders and voice teachers from the NVPN www.naturalvoice.net to invite DUP teachers.
Ralph Nimmann, Cambridge

Iím now in my sixth year of running community choirs in Southsea, Portsmouth. One of the big developments in my teaching has been about using my body to teach: the whole of me, if you like, something Iíve learnt through my practice. I really enjoyed the movement theme at the Wortley AGM 2011. The Saturday evening entertainment was memorable in so many ways. It was that night that Ralph Nimmann led two Dances of Universal Peace (DUP) which I really enjoyed. So, I was really keen to get some DUP in Portsmouth.

Ralph Nimmann & Vitalija Zelenevska-Nimmann 
accompany the Peace Dances with drum & guitar On Sunday 4th March Ralph and his wife, Vitalija, led a wonderful day of dances from all over the world with chants and singing; it was a great success. Many of the people at the workshop were from a singing background, but we did have some circle dancers there too. Ralph said what we needed to do was to concentrate on our feet! Remembering the words, tunes and movements can all seem too much, but concentrating on your feet meant you were grounded: everything else would follow.

The day started at 10.30am, with a break at 12.30pm for an hour of shared lunch, then more dances until 3.30pm. We did thirteen dances throughout the day which was well paced. Here is a good quote that I think summed up the day:

ďI wasn't sure what to expect, and it took a little while to get into it. I was also worried about picking up the words of the songs. But Ralph was very good at putting you at ease, and I soon realised that the movements of the dance helped you learn the words. I was surprised how calming the dances were - the mantra-style of the music induced a mindfulness stateĒ. (C.L.)
I would recommend booking a DUP leader to run a workshop. Itís inspired me to do more dances at my singing group. Ralph has links on his website for some of the dances with words, dots and instructions. I already lead a couple of easy dances as a way of a warm up at the singing groups, but I think this will help me lead a few more involved dances in the future. Iíve booked the Sustainability Centre in East Meon for some Seasonal Sings throughout the year, so am looking forward to incorporating some dances then.

One final memory from the day: a childrenís party was going on at the Community Centre at the same time as the workshop. As their party finished and the children were being taken home, I glanced through the glass doors and saw 10 children completely transfixed by the sight of adults singing and dancing and having fun. Maybe the next step is a family dance day?

Thanks again to Ralph and Vitalija for a wonderful day!

Dances of      protected DUP Logo: circle of hearts      Universal Peace

More Dances of Universal Peace related articles by Ralph

[ This article is on www.rainbow-cambridge.org.uk/dances/dup-portsmouth.htm ]

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