Lainie Hodges, Human Development Specialist
Lainie Hodges, Human Development Specialist
Play is the MOST powerful way to learn. It is not an activity exclusive to children but rather, it’s an activity we all must engage in for healthy, happy lives. Play builds connections, deepens relationships, and opens up creative channels which leads to elevated thinking and innovative solutions. The opposite of play is not work, it’s stagnation. Are you ready to leverage the power of play to take your team or ensemble to the next level?
Humans are born improvisers. We don’t engage in our world reading from a script – we make it up as we go along. To improvise is to create something new with what we have available to us, no matter what our circumstance or resources look like. Improv creates joy and laughter but it is not about wit and comedy. It’s about trusting and moving with our instincts and supporting the ensemble to look good.
We improvise at work, as parents, in relationships, and in our daily conversations and interactions. Improvisation allows us to be ready for whatever comes next. It helps us to handle anything artfully and skillfully. It helps us gracefully go with the flow. You already improvise. Learn to do it with intention. The results will astound you.
Development is our innate, human ability to continuously learn and grow. It is our never-ending capacity to try new things and acquire new skills. Development means attempting that which we don’t yet know how to do, which is the only way we learn. Are you striving for continuous development or are you stagnated? My work creates an environment that empowers people to develop and thrive.
Lainie Hodges was first introduced to the power of play and improvisation through her work with the All Stars Project in New York City. Since then, Lainie has used play and improv as transformative developmental tools to support the growth and advancement of youth, adults, athletes — even herself.
A Denver native and graduate of integrated public schools, Lainie earned her bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Science from Syracuse University and earned a master’s degree in World History and Culture from the University of Denver. She also studied Sport Counseling at San Diego University for Integrative Studies. With a high level of cultural competency developed through study and lived experience, Lainie is uniquely able to lead and facilitate diverse groups of people.
Lainie studied improvisation at the Magnet Theater (NYC) and Grafenberg Productions (Denver). Her experience includes developmental work within public school systems, private business, criminal justice, and professional athletics.
"Improv Alchemy's work with our rookie players is an important part of our life skills programming. Lainie's workshops allow athletes to safely come out of their comfort zones and experience themselves, and each other, in a different way. Players tap into skills that allow them to adapt and adjust to anything, which is important in the demanding world of professional athletics. Using improv games and exercises, she also creates an environment that fosters conversation and allows players to make discoveries about themselves and life. The interactive workshops she facilitates are highly supportive of an athlete's growth and development."− Jameel McClain, Director of Player Engagement - Baltimore Ravens
"The workshop Improv Alchemy facilitated was a fun and genuine experience that changed my outlook immediately. The connections of improv to my work helped me reflect on the way I communicate with my staff and how to make adjustments to bring about positive change. The games and exercises safely took me out of my comfort zone and I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly they brought down the walls, allowing us to speak frankly and honestly about our work. I absolutely believe all leaders can benefit from this type of workshop after experiencing how it brings about positive change and thought-provoking possibilities."− Cesar Cedillo, Operational Superintendent - Denver Public Schools
"Improv Alchemy's athlete development services are an integral part of our Player Engagement programming. Their workshops rapidly remove walls that may exist between players, allowing the group to make connections and build relationships more quickly. They create an environment where players can be themselves and make their own learning discoveries, which is key to their personal development. Improv engages players in a unique way, which allows us to learn more about them in the workshops. We are incorporating Improv Alchemy's services into more of our programming this year to support not only the players but also their families. "− Connie Cate, Director of Player and Family Engagement - Seattle Seahawks
"As consultants, we connect with clients and coworkers in a broad range of situations, from one-on-one meetings to large group facilitation. I asked Lainie to help us deepen our skills and give us additional tools for working in dynamic environments. Lainie did a terrific job tailoring improv content to my team's needs - giving us practice at reading the room, hearing the offer, and building a virtuous "Yes, and" cycle. I wholeheartedly recommend her for helping your team 'sharpen the saw' and work on their communication skills!"− Cameron Ward-Hunt, Director - Guidehouse
"The team building workshop Lainie conducted with my company immediately renewed our energy, increased camaraderie, and established deeper relationships between team members who'd been working together for a long time. It also supported the integration of a new team members in a fun, interactive, and engaging way that helped everyone to understand each other on another level. Through group exercises and dialogue, we enlarged our toolbox to work with each other more effectively and with our clients. Lainie's knows her stuff and we will definitely use her again."− Charles Malek, CEO - VintageView Wine Storage Systems