Key Readings for the Intermediate Dancer

I don’t actually recommend that beginners read these writings. I think they will be at best confusing, and at worst, unnecessarily influence or constrain a beginner’s sense of the form. I mean, it’s not like they’ll kill a beginner — they’re just sort of a waste of time for someone without more experience. Better to spend your time rolling around on the floor, maybe doing some crescent rolls. But for the intermediate or advanced dancer, these are useful reference points from well-established teachers1 and facilitators presenting different, important views on contact improvisation.


  1. But see note below regarding Karl Frost
  2. While I think Karl’s writing here is very cogent and valuable, he is a well-established teacher, and I’ve personally learned a lot from being taught by him, I recommend that those who want to study with him first investigate his history with female students and attitudes towards women, both of which I find problematic. See, e.g., “Twenty Years of Coming to Terms: Shifting from Disempowerment to Activism and Systemic Thinking“; Karl Frost Transparency Process and Accountability (site discontinued by Karl).
  3. And then you should probably read Michelle Beaulieux’s response/critique, “Starting by Believing Maria: Responding to Sexual Violence in Safer Brave Contact Improvisation Spaces,” as Martin’s essay is now somewhat dated.

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