Chain Reaction

By | February 16, 2019




Please start milling about the room simulating Brownian Motion.


The leader should alert the players that this exercise will involve shoulder touching and likely close contact with other players. Players should feel safe and supported if they choose not to participate.

Once the players are milling about the room the leader asks them to raise their left hand and mill for a bit longer. When the chain reaction is started each player must find a left shoulder to rest their left hand on. A shoulder can only support one hand at a time. A left hand cannot rest on a right shoulder. The hand shoulder bond should not break after being connected. When working this will form collections of players that have formed into molecules. The molecules keep milling about the room.

The chain reaction is a bit chaotic, but it is not competitive, so there is no need for players to run looking for a shoulder to connect with.

The warm up looks slightly frenetic while the hand shoulder bonds are being made. After a few moments it settles into a random collection of circles and pairs of players bonded together. Occasionally there will be a free radical (unconnected player). The larger molecules should avoid the urge to break bonds and absorb them into the circle. Once stabilized the players return to milling and switch to a right hand right shoulder configuration.

The leader can complicate this warm up by having players raise both hands. When the chain reaction starts the players must find a shoulder for their left and right hands, but they cannot rest on the same player. So the player’s left hand must be on one player and her right hand on another player. Complicated molecules are formed.

The Chain Reaction can take place with more energy (faster) or less energy (slow motion). The nature of the reactions can be endowed with emotions. The leader can also encourage the players to have a sound effect that they make while milling. Once the molecule is formed encourage the group of players to find a new shared noise to make.

This is a warm up that allows for several teaching opportunities. The leader can encourage the players to have fun and not be competitive. It is good to accept that player may become a free radical. The group can also demonstrate supportive behaviour by moving their free shoulders towards unconnected hands.


  • Switch from left hand left shoulder to left hand left ankle.



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