Consensual Coordination


Activity:  hand dance

Kind: individual or with a friend, can be a child

Duration: 5-10 minutes

Location: anywhere

Instructions: (also see demonstration video below)

  1. 1)Stand facing each other, with your hands up, palm outwards, not quite touching each others’s hands (leave a space of an inch or two).

  2. 2)Choose who will start.  Let’s say that is you.  Begin a slow movement with your hands, both of them in synchrony, and the other person, without talking about this, simply follows the hand movement. 

  3. 3)After a minute or two, when it feels right, switch to the other person by saying “your turn”.  The other person now moves his or her hands, and you follow.

  4. 4)Take two more turns, and if it flows easily you can add a bit of complexity, such as moving hands apart and together.  Don’t push it, this is not a performance, this is about comfortably “dancing” your hands together.

  5. 5)When you are comfortable with either person being the leader, say “now lets just dance without either of us leading” and let yourself move into the flow.   

This is consensual coordination, and when we enjoy dancing together or playing music together, it is often part of the joy of this experience. 
The flow can be delightful; so treat it lightly, playfully!

this image is not from this activity, its just two people dancing!

Mary and Debbie, both doing this for the first time ...