Drama Game: Falling Backward (Trust Exercise #2)

Trust Exercise Type:  Ensemble Building.


  • Encourage comfortability among the group.
  • Encourage trust.


  • This is the first of a fall series, so it may work best to demonstrate first either with a brave student or with two teachers.
  • Working in pairs, partner 1 stands with their back facing partner 2.
  • Partner 1 is going to fall back (only a foot at most) into partner 2’s hands.
  • Partner 1 shouldn’t take their feet off the floor, allowing themselves to rock back on their heels only, and should just relax and breathe (may close eyes if they wish).
  • Partner 2 should assume a balanced stance (knees slightly bent, feet shoulder width apart and slightly staggered,  hands up and ready to catch their partner).
  • Work until both partners are comfortable in both roles.
  • If students seem wary of safety because of weight differences, explain that they only have to fall a very short distance to their partner’s arms and that this is an exercise more of balance than of weight.
  • Step in and help if you have a particularly uneven weight distribution between partners.
  • You can then move the students into groups of threes.  One student stand between the two “catchers” only a foot or so apart from each.
  • The middle person can leave their arms down, or cross them on their chest as they gently fall forward and are gently pushed backward by the two outside students.
  • Again, remind the students that their job is to create a safe environment for their team.
  • Remind the “faller” to breathe and relax.  Switch roles until all students have had a turn falling and catching.

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