Takeaways from our August Workshop: Dance With Your Social Anxiety


While working at our coworking space every day has come with a huge amount of improvements in my life (more regular hours, productivity, a welcome community) I feel like it’s in our monthly workshops where most of the real work and self-development gets done. 

For our monthly workshops, we invite a member of our community to share their knowledge, skills and expertise. As you’re such a diverse bunch, we like to alternate the workshops between a “flo” event - which focuses on supporting your wellbeing; and a “lab” event, which focuses on supporting your business. Either way, I always come away with something implementable in my day to day life. 

As a somewhat introverted and anxious person, I was especially excited about this month’s theme, “Dance with your social anxiety” presented by Irene Anggreeni of Expat Wellbeing

We have been unbelievably lucky to have Irene join the FloLab team as our caretaker angel, and upon learning that she is a qualified dance therapist, it was a no-brainer to ask her to host a workshop as soon as possible! 


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Irene brought her experience as a clinical dance therapist and soft skills trainer to FloLab for a very special, gentle and beautiful workshop focussed on overcoming the crippling experience of social anxiety. 

I’m sure many of you have felt stressed out in social situations. Making eye contact or opening conversations can feel so daunting. Raised heart rate, tension, shortness of breath - all signs of our bodily stress response. I know I have! Especially at networking events!

Irene created an incredibly safe space for us to experiment with our comfort zones and boundaries through movement therapy, integrating body-mind-emotions. When feeling socially anxious, we tend to retreat, become small and quiet. Irene instructed us to use a variety of exercises both alone, in pairs and as a group, to tap into our intuitive, non-verbal bodily knowing. This helped us to reflect, create more awareness, create new connections, and empower us to make lasting changes. 

Emma also felt profoundly moved by the experience:

I didn’t know what to expect from the workshop on Saturday. 

Having personally been going through CBT and EMDR therapy since November last year, this was my first experience of physical, embodied movement therapy. Irene invited us to set an intention and permit ourselves to dance with it. I found myself moving through awkwardness, fear, guilt and anxiety. This opened me up to playfulness, joy, laughter and, finally, once everyone was gone, tears. Simple, beautiful, gentle exercises produced deep shifts and movement of emotions up and out of me.

Most importantly, we were deeply struck by the connections we made as a group and within ourselves. It was incredible to participate with a group of individuals who were so willing to step up and dare to take part in this journey. Everybody that attended was so committed to the process, so considerate of each other, and inspiring in their daring and inner strength to step outside their comfort zones. Just because someone is shy or quiet, doesn’t mean that they’re not strong, and we witnessed that in a gentle, safe space together last Saturday. Thank you so much for coming, for letting us share this experience with you.

And most of all, thank you, Irene! The work you do is so so needed in this world, and is so gentle, playful and yet powerful!

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Irene Anggreeni is a clinical dance therapist, soft skills trainer and founder at Expat Wellbeing, where life skills learning is facilitated through creative, embodied (not just talk) and empowering experience. As an ex-engineer/academic expat who has overcome culture shock, loneliness, and depression, she is breaking the taboo about mental health and encourages people to reach out more. If you would like to find out more about Irene’s work, go to her website at https://expat-wellbeing.nl.

Next month, we will be learning about defining a reason behind what drives our choices, our work or our decision in our workshop “Finding and Presenting Your WHY with Yannis Dimitroulas” on September 24th. 

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