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This is a fun and energetic exercise, which is simply semi-structured, culturally and physically appropriate movement to get participants moving their ‘core’, or the center of their bodies. It can be adapted to any group, with care for cultural sensitivity and awareness of participants’ mobility.


Group exercise, Icebreaker

Required materials


Key explanation points

  • Ask each participant to demonstrate a favourite dance move or any movement or stretch.
  • One option is describing a South African tradition where older women teach young women about sexuality, using the term ‘fuduwa’, which means to mix. Adolescent girls are taught how to move their hips. Get everyone to move their hips in a mixing motion and shout ‘fuduwa’!
  • This is a fun way to get participants laughing and moving around, and reminds us of the importance of fun and pleasure. This could be adapted or completely replaced by dance movement from different regions (that is, you could incorporate Nepali arm movements, Arabic belly dance movements, Latin American flamenco or salsa).

Facilitation notes

  • Use this when participants need an upbeat and somewhat physical energiser.
  • Almost every culture enjoys some form of traditional movement (dance, martial arts, stretching) that releases the stress and tension that gathers in the ‘core’ of our bodies (the abdomen and pelvic area).
  • Depending on the cultural context, gender mixture and the physical preferences of the participants, select an appropriate method to get the group moving their core area for five to ten minutes.

Alternative option

For a more reserved group, do a series of simple rotation and stretching exercises, begin by gently rotating the head, then the neck, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. Draw on martial arts techniques here (tai chi, qi gong, taekwondo or aikido), or on gentle movement from pilates or yoga. This should be done gently and with care.