FLIGHT, FIGHT, FREEZE! Moving Toward Peace is a successful, interactive dance program that promotes non-violence and anger management with inner-city youth and adults in Cincinnati, Ohio. The program builds participant’s self esteem and empowers people to to take a stand for positive things in life. Some examples would be: getting good grades or a promotion, rejecting peer pressure, saying no to drugs and crime, supporting one another in moments of need, listening to inner feelings and impulses, and expressing oneself creatively.
By introducing people to a healthy creative outlet for anger, stress or helplessness, we instill a sense of self worth in each participant, aiding their drive to get better grades or continue their education, enter the work force, continue to be creative, support local artistic programs and become active community members.
Facilitators guide participants through a dance warm up to music, including an opportunity to improvise on their own, followed by exercises designed specifically for that day’s topic. Topics include: body awareness, anger management, how to support others, violence prevention and creative expression. The activities are designed to teach how to: respect personal space; identify things that make them angry; explore how anger grows and ways to decrease it; and support each other in hard times. The workshops transform fight and flight energy into healthy assertion and positive decision making, and always finish with a large circle of the students holding hands.
The workshops are facilitated by the FLIGHT, FIGHT, FREEZE! Ensemble, a group of local dance artists who are a part of a unique professional company, radical in its commitment to teach children different ways of expressing and releasing anger and acting non-violently.
“Since we began the program with our seventh and eighth grade students, we have seen remarkable results. Violent confrontations . . . are down from last year by 10%. . . The students rave about the program and can’t wait from one session to the next. Even our most hesitant students are taking an active part in the program, and they love it!”
—Kathryn Chambers, principal“95% of participants showed development of anger management skills. The students reported learning “there are different ways to handle anger,” “anger is not to solve everything” and “to take anger out on a pillow or a ball rather than a person.”
—Based on program results from 2003-04
“Our students learn coping skills that will reduce stress and contribute to life long habits of well being and social adjustment.”
—Meredith Hardin, Hays Elementary