Early on the morning of July 6, North East Essex members met at FirstSite, Colchester’s new contemporary visual arts centre, to celebrate the arrival of the Olympic Torch in Colchester, Great Britain. Although raining lightly, nothing dampened our spirits. The police on their motorbikes did “high fives” with the crowds to keep them amused while waiting. Olympic cars, coaches and floats passed by until the Olympic Torch came through the High Street, along with mascot, shortly after eight am.
Then back to the arts centre to do some taster sessions with a few hundred primary school children from local school. ut first the children gathered for a good breakfast—just what was needed before trying some Taoist Tai Chi.
The first hundred children, along with teachers and assistants, arrived in the foyer, where we were asked to hold our taster sessions amid two striking contemporary statues. The children lined up in rows and columns and, over 20 minutes, were introduced to the first part of the set, up to single whip.
Soon after a siren sounded—that was our prompt to swap groups. Another hundred children arrived for another session, equally eager and waiting. The second group seemed more tranquil—or had we calmed the space with the first group?
We spoke to the children at the end of each session to see how they felt. Comments like “I feel calm and relaxed,” “my bones are aching,” “I feel hot,” and “it was not easy” were heard. Just what you might expect adults to say! We had a lot of fun, joining in the community festivities that day. And of course it was another opportunity to promote Taoist Tai Chi to a wider audience, undoubtedly sowing a few seeds along the way.