Watch this video to see 'Theater of the Oppressed: Opposites' in action...

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The purpose of 'Theater of the Oppressed: Opposites'

Focus and concentration.

Activity description

  • Useful for
  • Preparation
  • How to do it
  • Duration
  • Adaptations

Warming up before class or after a break in a longer class. Encouraging use of the body, refreshes students’ bodies and minds.


  1. Start with encouraging students to mirror the teacher’s movements, introducing a “duo” of movements at a time (e.g. clap and stomp). At first, students mirror the teacher.
  2. After they get used to mirroring, tell them to do the opposite. When the teacher says clap, they stomp. When the teacher says stomp, they clap
  3. Repeat 1&2 for different movement “duos”, including one popular one which is sway or wiggle and stop.
  4. Do this for 3 or 4 rounds, combining all the movement duos you’ve accumulated.

Can take 5-10 minutes.

You can make this a regular thing you do each class, and encourage students to come up with their on “duos”.

Additional resources

For opportunities to attend workshops on these activities, see Theresa Ronquillo’s Embody Change: 

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How do I use these resources?

We have created a welcome video and some introductory text that explains in detail how to use these resources. You can also find answers to some key questions below. 

Yes you can. We have included descriptive text and slides that you can reuse / adapt for this reason. We have suggested some variations for activities to help you make adaptations.

We show how much time an activity should take and what resources you need to help you make a decision.

As we include more resources over time you will have a greater choice of activities and more information about the different contexts within which they work best. 

Any technique can block some people out, make them feel unwelcomed, or be used in a way that privileges some and makes it harder on others.

All of these techniques should be used in conjunction with pedagogies of care and what we call Intentionally Equitable Hospitality

If you try an adaptation of this activity, or try it as is and have interesting results to share, please contribute your adaptation/reflection in the comments or get in touch through social media / email.

Coming soon: there will be room to discuss these activities in private discussion forums in OneHE’s.

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