JCI Barnsley member Emma Labedzki gives her view on her first JCI Yorkshire event.
JCI Yorkshire’s ‘Big Supper’ brought together members from the JCI communities of Barnsley, Sheffield, Leeds and Boston for a networking and team building event centred on the theme of ‘Active Listening’.
During the first part of the evening, JCI Sheffield 2012 President Sandra Pilarczyk delivered a presentation on the five stages of listening, focusing on the importance of positive body language, use of open-ended questions and paying attention to a person’s mental state to engage better and improve communications. This was explored further through a brief exercise where participants were asked to pair up and share life experiences for two minutes each, with the added restriction of not being able to convey any emotion whilst listening to their partner – a difficult situation which felt alien as the natural reaction would be to show interest by responding to their words – this led to the assertion that listening is done through the eyes, the ears and the heart and provided the perfect platform for ‘Samba Tim’ to share his unique style of drumming to see who really had been listening!
As a fervent supporter of Barnsley Football Club, my previous experiences of samba ‘music’ before tonight were restricted to the refrains of “Brazil, it’s just like watching Brazil” reverberating around the stands of Oakwell during the club’s epic 1996/97 promotion season, so I was intrigued to find out how the style had evolved in the town since then and take advantage of the chance to make some samba music of my own!
Louder Than Life’s ‘Samba Tim’ introduced everyone to the surdo, tamborin, agogo bells and the ganza – the four main instruments that make up the percussion section – through a series of interactive “hands-on” exercises that involved mirroring rhythms, vocals and dancing … yes, that’s right dancing! Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I move with all the finesse and co-ordination of ‘Bambi-on-ice’ when my feet hear a beat – ‘think school disco side-shuffle circa 1989 and you pretty much get the idea – still, JCI is all about pushing boundaries, stepping outside of your comfort zone and taking part in new experiences that you would otherwise not get the chance to be involved with and tonight’s program certainly challenged and inspired in a fun and motivational way!
I’m really looking forward to future JCI events like this one and the chance to meet again with some of the lovely people that I spoke with tonight from JCI Boston, JCI Leeds and JCI Sheffield.
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This post was written by Gemma Nicole Fletcher