Social workers are taking improv classes to learn how to think on their feet - Generocity Philly

Method

Oct. 24, 2016 3:45 pm

Social workers are taking improv classes to learn how to think on their feet

Improv comedy: It's not just for your annoying theatre friends anymore.

The founder of modern improv was a social worker.

(Photo by Flickr user OC Always, used under a Creative Commons license)

Improv comedy is a lot like kale: If you love it, you really love it. If it’s not to your taste, your one obsessed friend will keep trying to get you into it anyway.

Social workers and educators who have been avoiding improv might have a reason to give in: For the past three decades or so, studies have shown that improv comedy classes can help service providers better understand social behaviors and improve decision-making skills under pressure.

It makes sense. After all, the founder of modern improv comedy was a social worker who developed the practice to help children from diverse backgrounds interact.

In Philadelphia, consultancy Blue Door Group and People’s Emergency Center are partnering to host a three-hour improv comedy session for social workers and facilitators. It’s called Think on Your Feet, designed to help attendees learn how to incorporate improv activities into the work they’re doing and flex their “essential facilitator muscles of spontaneity and creativity.”

Past workshops have included educators and folks from community-based organizations, said Blue Door Group founding partner Jessica Levy.

“In improv, we use our whole bodies. It got us thinking about how we could use embodied approaches to dialogue – where we can use movement and voice, as well as improvised activities, as a way ‘in’ to discussing difficult topics,” wrote Levy in an email.

For example, one game might ask participants to “move around in different ways,” then reflect upon how those movements felt and the subtle impact those movements might have on space and the people in it.

“How would that apply to your work as a trainer? When do you take up more space?” wrote Levy. “When do you decide to take up less? How does race, gender, class, etc. affect the ways people take up space? We can have these conversations based on a shared experience, and not just on talking about it.”

From our Partners

The next Think on Your Feet will be held Nov. 4.

-30-
LEAVE A COMMENT

From our Partners

Testing a new Generocity

Stomping Grounds Café celebrates ‘magic’ of coffee in West Philadelphia

6 things we know about you

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

Be the leader to bring a 26-year mission into the future in Chester County

Philadelphia/some virtual

The Health Care Improvement Foundation, Inc.

Director

Apply Now
31 East Armat Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144

Covenant House Pennsylvania

Director of Finance

Apply Now
Harrisburg, PA

Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc.

Executive Director

Apply Now

Pennsylvania Humanities Council is offering up to $20,000 in flexible funding — but you have to act fast

Nonprofit AF: It’s time for nonprofits and foundations to implement vaccine mandates

You don’t have to start your own nonprofit to get the impact you want

SPONSORED

Generocity Philly

Village of the Arts seeks to deepen and scale its impact as it reflects on its legacy

Philadelphia, PA

United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey

Lead, Marketing & Communications

Apply Now
Philadelphia

Starfinder Foundation

Director, Development & Communications

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA

Technology Learning Collaborative

Digital Inclusion Trainer (Consultant)

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Generocity