I have a question…

If you have a question about contact improvisation, I would love to hear it and will be happy to answer it.

Don’t be shy. I’m happy to hear any kind of question, on any topic, no matter how vague, subtle, or far afield. There are no stupid or offensive questions. Here are examples of questions that are NOT stupid, but this is by no means an exclusive list:

  • what does “sluff” mean?
  • should I date someone from my local jam?
  • how do I get better dances?
  • why are there so few racial minorities in contact improvisation?
  • why do I sometimes finish a contact class that I really like but I’m not sure what I’ve learned?
  • there’s this one dude that creeps me out… what do I do?
  • how do I dance with people larger/smaller than me?
  • why is it hard to get the motivation to go to the jam sometimes?
  • there’s only one jam a week in my area, and no classes. How can I get better?
  • what are some skills I can work on when I don’t have a partner?
  • sometimes I’m sitting around at the jam with no one to dance with, and I feel kind of awkward and self-conscious. What do I do?
  • how do I improve my dance stamina?

Send me an e-mail at “questions” AT “contactimprovblog.com”. Or fill out a comment form below

14 comments for “I have a question…

  1. Wendy
    2014/09/17 at 12:31

    I have no contact improvisation experience at all and just a few years of modern dance training at my leisure.
    But i would love to try out CI, is Tim’s CI class Monday morning a suitable level for beginners like me?

    Thank you!

  2. richard
    2014/09/20 at 18:39

    Hi Wendy, sorry for the delayed reply. I think Tim considers a range of levels in his classes, but no CI experience at all might be a difficult introduction, as much as I enjoy his teaching. There are Thursday night drop-in classes going on in Brooklyn that are aimed towards beginners. I don’t know much about the classes, but I know the teachers are definitely interested in teaching folks who are coming to CI without much previous exposure. But I strongly recommend Jesse Johnson’s Monday night courses, which you can read about at http://www.relentlessjoy.com/events/ . Jesse is a warm, wonderful, thoughtful, charismatic teacher, who leads multiple-class CI series. She’s very used to teaching people without much CI or dance experience. Let me know if you’d like me to get you in touch personally with any of these teachers.

  3. 2014/12/06 at 14:22

    Hiya I am in town only a few weeks and would love to start contact.
    From you amazing schedule it looks like I could attend –
    Mon nights at 100 grand
    Tue night at 280 Broadway
    Or sat day at edens ex.

    Could you say if these are/are not appropriate to a newbie?

    Huge huge thanks for your work!!!

  4. richard
    2014/12/06 at 14:37

    To be clear, Tuesday night is at 100 Grand, not 280 Broadway. The Thursday night class is at 280 Broadway.

    If you’re very new to contact, the Thursday night class is intended for newbies, and might be your best bet.

    As for the jams:

    Monday is perfectly friendly for newbies, but isn’t necessarily contact improvisation. It’s more just “show up and dance,” and may or may not have music from people bringing instruments.

    Tuesday night is a great jam, but has a little bit of a monastic feel these days — very serious and quiet. Depending on your comfort level, this might be a little intimidating. However, it has the benefit of being much smaller and more focused than Saturday.

    Saturday afternoon has historically been very intimidating — large and a little overwhelming — but there’s been a few turnovers of the crowd there, and right now it seems a little smaller (= more manageable) than in the past, and a little cheerier than Tuesday. I think this would be my personal preference if I were you, without really know your situation better.

    I’ll send you an e-mail separately too.

  5. nika rozman
    2015/01/20 at 15:19

    Hello.
    I am going to be in NYC from 27.1. to 6.2.
    Do you have any info or links to a few days CI workshop or lab?
    I am looking for an intesive dance/performance W/Lab during those days.
    Thank you!
    Nika

  6. richard
    2015/01/26 at 19:19

    I don’t know of anything over several days in New York City during those dates. There is the Mission Improvable in Buffalo, 3 Feb to 8 Feb, but that’s about 7 hours away by car. There is a Martin Keogh workshop in Philadelphia, 7 Feb to 8 Feb.

    However, you could dance almost every day during that time: Tuesday night, Wednesday afternoon/evening, Thursday night, Saturday afternoon, Monday morning, etc.

  7. stuart
    2015/03/04 at 01:46

    artist ashram is once a month, always includes CI & I think should be listed:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/artistashram/
    https://www.facebook.com/events/928149723870829/

  8. richard
    2015/03/07 at 22:44

    Hi Stuart. Well, it’s a judgment call. With the exception of Open Movement, I typically don’t list events that “include CI,” only those that are focused on CI. It’s a little bit of an artificial distinction, but a broader focus becomes too difficult to maintain. Similarly, I don’t list events that are “CI-influenced dance improvisation” or “CI dancers are welcome.” Nevertheless, your comment is here for folks to see.

    Also, you might consider posting this event on the comments on the Contact Improvisation in NYC page.

  9. ines
    2015/10/01 at 01:35

    Hi! I am not a dancer, I don’t do a lot of sports, my body is not exactly well trained. I did some very basic modern dance classes around 10 years ago, and that’s when I was introduced to CI.
    Although I’m not a dancer, I have “cravings” for movement and physical touch, and CI really flashes in my mind after all these years!
    Where can a person with barely any experience and no special physical form/ preparation go take classes or attend sessions?

    thank you!

  10. richard
    2015/10/01 at 01:39

    Well, I had no movement training when I first started CI, nor was I particularly athletic. So don’t let that dissuade you. CI is a dance form that can accommodate any level of training or physical ability.

    Where do you live? There may be classes or jams offered in your area.

  11. Alejandro Fernandez
    2016/01/30 at 14:09

    Hello
    My name is Alejandro and I live in Toronto; I belong to the community of contact improvisation in Toronto; I am going to travel to New York this coming March 12, 2016 until March 19, 2016.
    I would like to know if I could stay with someone from the contact improvisation community in New York to go to all the events related to contact improvisation during that week.
    Please let me know if you can make that possible for me.
    Yours,

    Alejandro Fernandez
    From Toronto

  12. richard
    2016/02/04 at 17:31

    Hi Alejandro,

    That’s a slightly tricky time because a number of people will be traveling during that time period, either to the Kirstie Simon workshop in Boston (Mar 11-13) or to the Earthdance Spring Equinox Jam the following weekend (March 17-20). Nevertheless, I would post your housing needs in the Contact Improv NYC Facebook group. Maybe specify why you’re in NYC and what your schedule will be during that time. I can’t guarantee success, since space is always limited here. But there are other options if that doesn’t get you any leads.

  13. Jen
    2016/06/28 at 16:35

    Attending a jam while menstruating…. Is that a no no? I mean part of me feels like it’s only polite to bow out, but normal bodily functions and smells are already especially present when people are sweaty and working hard. Just wondering if there is a set etiquette on this. Thank you.

  14. Alexander Ataii
    2017/09/19 at 12:27

    I wonder why people ask for classes in that frame, by the way wonderful thing this blog much needed as I think in the most conscious movement development approach that I know so far.
    I was expecting reflection not direction.
    I also didn’t get the point of answers. ? Are they coming as a privat Post?

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