Impro feels like home for the little girl in me. She breaks free from the rules and boundaries and gets to use her imagination to play, have fun and be spontaneous in a supportive environment. As adults, we forget how important it is to create space for these things. Spontaneity and play is actually a core emotional need that leads to rigidity and unrelenting standards when we don’t get to experience them as a child and don’t give it to ourselves as an adult.
"The Arts and Fitness - not a common pairing. When I started coaching, I watched other coaches to learn. Coaches with no background in the arts or performance explain and demo their classes and how members just kind of went through the motions rather than being actually present in the room and watching and listening to them, excited to jump in. I knew there had to be a better way."
So how does Impro actually develop these skills? Well, like everything else, it relies on a lot of practice. And to get that practice, the opportunities need to be present and accessible. While students are having fun and ‘playing (Impro) games’, they are actually developing core life skills.
I used to think that being a leader was about becoming enough of an expert that you could be right most of the time, and then telling other people what to do. They’d do it because your ideas were “better” than theirs, right? Wrong. First of all, I don’t know how I’d ever deal with the pressure if I felt like the success of 25 people’s work depended on me giving each of them instructions that they would follow to the letter. Secondly, who wants to work for that kind of boss?
Online impro has normalised a new form of accessible impro that is great not just for me, but for people with a variety of access needs – such as those who require mobility aids, sound amplification or support workers, who may have faced obstacles engaging previously.