A wide range of activities has been used to promote team-building, leadership, and cooperation in the workplace and in schools. From paint-ball contests to wall climbing, these physical, group activities are challenging and enjoyable. The stress relief and shared fun they provide certainly build cooperation and productivity. But none of these offers the level of team-building that can be achieved through Latin Music and Group Dancing Activities.
And now, with the partnership of Barb Bernstein and Meredit Kaunitz, there are many team building activities beyond music and dance that are offered--from traditional problem solving to improv & beyond!
In modern times, many of the skills that are important for business and professional success are also ones that foster good relationships. To be effective in our highly interconnected world, people must cooperate and communicate well. So team-building skills translate directly into productivity.
According to Margaret Wheatley in her seminal text, Leadership and the New Science, "The era of the rugged individual has been replaced by the era of the team player." She goes on to say that "leading an organization requires attention to the web of relationships through which all work is accomplished."
Teaching Salsa to the Ravens Cheer Squad
Latin music and dancing are enormously popular world-wide. So team building activities that involve dance and movement also provide participants with a new social skill (and loads of fun)..
Meredith Kaunitz and Barbara Bernstein offer these team building options:
Improvisation: The art of improvisation requires many of the same skills as teamwork in a professional environment. In order to create a coherent story that goes somewhere, performers must develop listening skills, the ability to acknowledge and embrace others' ideas, the ability to build on others' ideas, and creative problem solving skills. Choose from a menu of activities to focus on the skills your team must needs to develop while having a great time being silly.
Dance: The art of dance, and especially group and partner dancing, requires many of the same skills that are useful in corporate collaboration. In order to stay on the music one must be able to listen and focus. Partnering requires the ability to know when to lead and when to follow and group dances, such as Cuban Salsa, require an awareness of oneself and others and the ability to work within the group so that the dance can continue after partner changes. Music and using cross midline movement has been shown to improve creative analytical thinking in recent studies.
Movement: Actors use these techniques to become more self-aware, reduce unconscious habits, and connect more deeply to their artistic team. These exercises are relaxing, focus on release of tension and tapping the imagination. Teambuilding benefits from having more self-awareness, improved connection to creative thinking, and breaking up our reliance on our "go to" ideas.
Traditional problem solving: These exercises, developed by Bernstein and Kaunitz, are unique team-based problem solving games. They are fun ways to practice working together in a more familiar format for the corporate world.
Storytelling: The art of storytelling and public speaking go hand in hand. Storytelling helps public speakers structure their speeches in a more engaging way. All teamwork requires some public speaking during meetings. The ability to speak clearly, specifically and confidently enhances productivity by saving time and avoiding mis-communications.
THROUGH LATIN DANCE
Students give each other a "High Five" as part of a team building program at an Alexandria, VA high school. June 07
Bernstein and Kaunitz are uniquely qualified to direct these programs. Bernstein holds a Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Maryland's College of Education. She has competed and performed an array of Latin dances, and has been teaching Salsa for years. Kaunitz has been a voice coach, an acting coach, danced, done movement work, and worked with children.
Bernstein produced a show for the Kennedy Center. You can see it by clicking here.
Salsa performance at the Kennedy Center
Below is a video link to a Salsa show that Bernstein produced at the Verizon Center. This is a 20,000-seat indoor sports arena in Washington D.C. click here
Performing at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC
All of our many team building activities are organized in a "warm" environment to set everyone at ease. We start with the basics of all actvities, assuming no prior experience.
Moreover, programs are flexibly designed to suit the goals of each organization. .
Thank you for your interest in the Institute for Team-Building, Leadership, and Cooperation Through Latin Dance, where working cooperatively was never more fun....and where working cooperatively goes well beyond dancing together!