20. 12. 2015

Dance Jungle Gym

It’s been an interesting few months so far. And finally the build of the Dance Jungle Gym has been finished and the App has been made. This means it’s time to test it out and see if the idea translates in the way I had envisaged.

The structure has been made so that anyone, of any age and ability can use it. But this has been a challenge in itself. Firstly I come from a career in movement which means what I found simple may be extremely hard for others. So I was constantly asking people to test it out and always found that each person had trouble with different parts of the apparatus.

This obviously made it hard to choose a consistent way to direct the experience. It actually highlighted the varying ways we learn and respond to information. This led me to focus on clearer visual imagery through the space, audio instructions, varying levels and a tactile experience. Hopefully offering more ways for people to connect with the experience.

We gave visual direction through colour coding the body parts to assist the step by step instructions. And made the apparatus colourful & interesting to view. The audio instructions were tested with a group of people of differing age brackets and movement experience. This really helped to find the right terminology. I certainly found the dance lingo very tricky if the participant had little experience. Descriptive words, texture and feel also came into this.

We also found that the response time to the instructions needed to allow for them to hear it, see it and then do it. Being careful to focus on body part, colour coding and then action.

It’s in the early stages of testing and we will be able to see how people connect with it and if there is an excitement to interact with it. Certain things that have come out of the early tests were, the insecurity to try the experience in front of other people. And this was a concern in the back of my mind all along. It seems like some people are firstly worried about what others think about them but also if they get it wrong.

I hope we are able to give people this experience by letting them know that there is no perfect way through the apparatus. Each experience is different and unique. It’s about the experience, not the outcome. I just hope we can show people they can all move, be creative & enjoy the experience without judgment.

Larissa McGowan

Country Arts SA recognises and respects that we are living and creating on Aboriginal Lands and we are committed to working together to honour their living cultures.