Materials: Music

Exercise description

Choose a piece of music beforehand that all the participants might like and make sure you have the means to play it.

Ask for a volunteer (someone who can challenge the group) and ask them to leave the room. Others will be given the task of preparing a dance with a repeating choreography that matches the music that has been chosen. The group is told that they should come up with steps and practise them so that everyone feels good working together in a supportive and trusting group environment, and so that they don’t want to make any changes to the choreography. Their task is to dance in the agreed-upon rhythm and they are told that the exercise will be over if they stop dancing for 30 seconds.

The volunteer is told that their task is to change the formation of the group or find a way to influence them without using physical violence or standing in their way. They have 10 minutes for their task.

Invite the volunteer back into the room and play the music. For the next 10 minutes, while the group is dancing, the volunteer tries to distract them. After 10 minutes, the exercise is over.

Secret instructions: Before the workshop, choose one person who will be given a secret task beforehand. Their task is to be part of the group but to try and influence the group to change what they are doing and to change their formation. They shouldn’t be too obvious about it and should start their task only once the volunteer is back in the room and the exercise has begun. To be precise, their task is to remain part of the group and to not distance themselves from it but to create change.



Suggested questions for evaluating the exercise:


  • How did you feel playing your roles? (question for the group and the volunteer)
  • What changed once the distractions started?
  • (Ask the person with the secret role to reveal what their task was.)
  • Which strategies of influence were successful and which weren’t?

Type of exercise:


45-90 min


* *Bittl-Drempetic. Gewaltfrei Handeln, pp. 391–392.

Possible difficulties:

Related Workshops:


Workshop example:

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