Regular Jams and Classes in New York City
This page collects in one place information on all the ongoing New York City contact improvisation jams and classes, especially for out-of-town visitors who may only have a few days in town. My hope is that it is accurate, reliable, and recent — your first and only reference when you wonder, “is there a jam tonight in New York”?
This page does NOT contain short-term workshops, classes, or other events. If you would like to inform others of those events, please post a comment. Events must be related to contact improvisation, and I’ll remove expired events. I’ve exercised my own judgment as to what is a contact improvisation jam or class; I have not included barefoot boogies, ecstatic dances, or similar events where people may or may not do contact improvisation.
While you are free to distribute the information below, please do not copy the descriptions without permission and attribution. They constitute my views and original work.
I started this page because although New York City has one of the biggest and most active contact improvisation scenes in the world, few people in New York (let alone visitors) seemed to know about everything that was going on. You had to do research and digging to find out about events, and if you have the goal that I do, that contact improvisation should be accessible to everyone, this seemed like a problem. If you find this page helpful, please spread the word and tell others about it.
On accessibility in a different sense: for those who may have various physical disabilities, I’ve added a section on the physical Accessibility of the various venues in NYC at the bottom of the page. If you have suggestions on how to improve this section, I would love to hear them.
Here’s what I know about as of Wednesday, April 9, 2014:
Monday mornings: Class at Bill Young’s Studio, 100 Grand Street (between Mercer Street & Greene Street), 2nd floor (Buzzer B), Manhattan (SoHo), NYC, 10am – 12 noon. $12. Info can also be found on the 100 Grand Dance Web site. Bradley Ellis is teaching in April.
Monday evenings: Open Movement Jam at 100 Grand Dance (Bill Young’s Studio), 100 Grand Street (between Mercer Street & Greene Street), 2nd floor (Buzzer B), Manhattan (SoHo), NYC, 8pm – 11pm (note slightly earlier time). $5 to $8. Note new space and time. Starting June 3, 2013, the Open Movement Jam moved to Bill Young’s Studio indefinitely. This is billed as an open music and dance jam, but there has historically often been contact improvisation. Recently, however, the amount of contact improvisation has been low or unpredictable. There is an Open Movement NYC Facebook page that contains updates and some community postings.
Tuesday evenings: Jam at 100 Grand Dance (Bill Young’s Studio), 100 Grand Street (between Mercer Street & Greene Street), 2nd floor (Buzzer B), Manhattan (SoHo), NYC, 7pm – 10pm. $5. Cozy, intimate jam with committed dancers — currently one of my favorites. Music is provided by what people bring on their MP3 players/mobile devices. The first hour is usually a little slow; don’t worry if not many people show up until 8pm. Formerly on Wednesday nights, this jam moved permanently to Tuesday nights starting April 2013. This replaced the Tuesday night “lab” or “working group.”
Wednesday evenings: Class at Eden’s Expressway, 537 Broadway (between Prince Street & Spring Street), 4th Floor, Manhattan (SoHo), NYC, 6pm – 8:30pm (note time and day change). $14 (discounts if you buy multiple classes in advance). Local teachers including Tim O’Donnell, K.J. Holmes, Charlie Mosey, and Margaret Paek, usually rotating on a monthly basis. Offered through Movement Research — more info on the Movement Research classes page. I recommend that you show up around 10 minutes early to do registration, payment, and get yourself settled in. KJ Holmes is teaching in April.
Saturday afternoons: Jam at Eden’s Expressway, 537 Broadway (between Prince Street & Spring Street), 4th Floor, Manhattan (SoHo), NYC, 1:30pm – 4:30pm. $5. Silent (no music) jam, currently the biggest jam in NYC (in terms of numbers — not necessarily space!). Lots of dancerly dancers (as opposed to pure contact dancers) show up at this one. Also lots of out-of-towners from around the world. I sometimes find the space a little small, but it’s worth it to stop by this jam if you’re in town, especially since you never know who will show up. Don’t be too intimidated by the crowds of tourist shoppers on Saturday afternoon and the relatively unmarked entrance — the entrance really is there, just to the left of the Guess store (though the scaffolding has come down, so it looks different from what’s on Google Maps). Charlie Mosey runs this as well.
Second and fourth Sunday evenings: Underscore NYC at Eden’s Expressway (see above) from 5pm – 8pm. $5-$10, sliding scale. Underscore practice two times per month continuing through August 2014. The Underscore is hard to explain if you haven’t done it… it’s basically a slightly more structured group contact improvisation experience. It’s a good idea to join the Facebook group “Underscore NYC” if you’re interested in this. People who have not attended an Underscore talk-though before should get one before attending. These are usually at 3:30pm before the Underscore at Cafe Duke (545 Broadway), which is just north of Eden’s Expressway, but you should check the Facebook group and post a message if you’re looking for a talk-through, just in case one isn’t planned. Future Underscores are scheduled for April 13 and 27, and should be continuing on second and fourth Sundays. June 22 will be the Global Underscore, and will be 10am to 2pm instead of 5pm to 8pm. More information on the Underscore NYC Facebook page and the Movement Research classes page.
Unfortunately, none of our New York City contact venues are very accessible. This is something to work on.
Bill Young’s Studio (100 Grand Dance): poor. Bill Young’s Studio is up a step and up two flights of stairs through some fairly heavy doors, none of which are automatic. However, after the first step and two doors (and perhaps another step) there is an elevator. With some coordination with the organizers you can have the elevator car sent down and called up from the second floor.
Eden’s Expressway: poor. Eden’s Expressway is on a fourth-floor walk-up. There is very small service elevator directly inside the front door which I’m told can be sent down and called up from the fourth floor, and opens into an odd “closet” that’s used for changing inside Eden’s Expressway. However, I haven’t seen this work, and it may be too small for wheelchairs, particularly since the elevator doors on the fourth floor open at a right angle to those on the ground floor, with possibly not enough room to rotate. I’ll gather more information.
E-mail Lists, Facebook groups, etc.
- Many but not all NY notices go to the “contactnyc” Yahoo group.
- Edwin Adkins has a Yahoo group for the lab group and certain CI workshops that he sometimes organizes. I think he prefers to keep it slightly underground, so send me a note through the comment box below if you want more information.
- The Monday night Open Movement Jam has a Facebook page.
- The bi-monthly Underscore practice has a Facebook page, “Underscore NYC“.
I’ve made several redirects to this page for easy-to-remember shorthand: