Hand to Hand Contact

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBIaOEsabZk&hl=en&fs=1&]

How often do you giggle these days?

I’m guaranteed a good giggle whenever I stand palm-to-palm with another person in an InterPlay context. There’s something about a partnered hand dance that gets me every time!! Just watch the video, above, and you’ll see what I mean.

The hand dance is one of the most basic InterPlay forms. It builds on the idea of the one hand dance, which I blogged about recently. However, unlike a one-hand dance (which you do by yourself), a hand-to-hand dance is done with another person. As a result, it can be unpredictable. I never know exactly what the other person will do, or how I will  respond.  Talk about being in the moment!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of my life hyper focused on myself (“Am I being a good person?”) or on other people (“How are they responding? Do they like me?”). During a hand dance, these two perspectives soften a bit. Instead, I’m focused on our hands, on the adventure that is unfolding  between the two of us.  And so often, what unfolds is hilarious! And surprising! It makes me laugh out loud! Laughter is such a precious resource; I treasure when it erupts.

I also treasure the opportunity to have safe, affectionate touch with other human bodies. Physical contact is, after all, a minimum requirement for health and happiness. Too often in American culture our needs for physical contact get met only in the context of sexuality. Those of us without a regular romantic partners often get little physical affection, other than an occasional hug or hand shake.  Before InterPlay this used to be true for me, too. But now I have a weekly space where I  am guaranteed  some fun, playful physical connection with others.  It rocks!

Plus, there is something about hand to hand contact that is, quite simply, profound. Amidst my giggles, there are moments of awe, connection, affection, hope. For this reason, I try to build a hand dance into every InterPlay class I teach.  I hope you’ll come play sometime on Mondays in San Francisco or Tuesdays in Oakland. I look forward to the mini adventure that will ensue when our hands meet palm to palm.

7 thoughts to “Hand to Hand Contact”

  1. Thanks, Leah! I bet you’d be a phenomenal hand-dance partner, by the way. I do hope that sometime in the near future we’ll meet live and in person. In the meantime, virtual hugs to you…

  2. How nice to have a simple, well-done video about the hand-dance form — thank you! (I’m an InterPlayer in Albuquerque, NM.)

  3. Gretchen,
    I laughed and sighed, WOW! you two are beautific!!!
    Great demo of paired hand dancing. I often do solo hand dances on the ferry as I cross the water to Whidbey Island.

    Incrementally & Playfully yours

    Play=Peace, Hugs–Mary Alice

  4. two of my favorite people doing one of my favorite things! Just a lovely and simple way to engage with another person and giggle. Thanks Dorothy and Gretchen!

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