Last weekend I got to represent Greek Life and Dance Marathon at Student Life training for new students as a RUSLpride mentor. We began the day with introductions before splitting off into break out sessions.
Luke Modzier and myself mentored Break Out Session A. We were really excited and agreed that our break out session was going to be the most fun. However, when we first walked in our group members seemed tired and uninterested. Well, maybe it was just because they didn’t know each other yet!
So we got everyone up and into a circle to play a name game/ice breaker. The way the game worked was that everyone would come up with a adjective to describe themselves starting with the first letter of their name and an action to go along with the adjective. For example, my adjective was ‘Kind Kelly’ and my action was a hug. We then went around the circle saying our adjectives and doing our actions as well as repeating the person’s who went right before us. At the end we asked if some people remembered each others names, adjectives, and actions and some did!
The ice breaker/name game worked to get people more acquainted with each other, but it was difficult to explain. Luke and I had to demonstrate a couple of times before everyone in the group understood what we were doing. Worst of all though, when we moved on to the next portion of the break out session: going through the aspects of PRIDE, everyone still seemed exhausted and uninterested. The same few people answered everything.
Luke and I agreed. This just wasn’t going to fly for us. We wanted all of our members engaged and excited to be learning about their positions. So we tried another ice breaker. This time we ‘Shook it out’. In this ice breaker you begin with your right arm shaking it 7 times, then shake your left arm 7 times, right leg, left leg, and start up at the right again at 6 shakes, repeating the whole process until you count down to one.
Our whole group went along with us, and we thought that everyone would definitely be awake and animated by now. They weren’t. We moved on to our last resort of waking everybody up. It wasn’t so much an ice breaker as a silly, really active, amazing dance that we learned at Unified Training. That’s right: The Interlude.
Now for those of you who don’t know what The Interlude Dance is here’s a link. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cuS_31zJ6U. It explains how to do the dance by one of the students that created the dance at UNI in 2010. The dance has a few simple moves which the creators call “Warmin up ’round the fire”, “The Interlude”, “Sparkles” or as I call it “Crazy Cats”, “Ninja Robot”, “Jersey Shore Fist Pump”, and “Revenge of the Interlude”.
Some of the members thought we were crazy, but as they started dancing they realized they loved the Interlude dance too. Finally, after two ice breakers and one awesome dance, we had engaged members of our break out session. Guaranteed some members still had their cool caps on, but we had won over the majority of our group. In the end, I think and hope that most of them wound up having fun and enjoyed their experience.