Regular Jams and Classes in New York City
Update Tuesday, March 17, 2020, 12:20am: due to ongoing community spread of the COVID-19 virus in New York City, the following ongoing events have been suspended or cancelled:
- Monday morning class is suspended, for at least the next two weeks
- Tuesday pre-jam class and Tuesday jam are suspended indefinitely
- Wednesday & Thursday Movement Research classes have been cancelled through the end of March
- Friday Brooklyn jam is suspended indefinitely
- Saturday jam is suspended indefinitely
- Sunday Underscore is cancelled through March
- Sunday WMAC jam is cancelled for March
This means that all contact improvisation events that I track on this page are currently cancelled.
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”?
Without further ado… more miscellaneous commentary after the listings. This page was last updated on Tuesday, March 17, 2020:
Monday mornings: Class at 100 Grand Dance (Bill Young’s Studio), 100 Grand Street (between Mercer Street & Greene Street), 2nd floor (Buzz “Bill Young Dance”), Manhattan (SoHo), NYC, 10am – 12 noon. $12. Buzz “Bill Young Dance / 2nd Floor” to get in. Info can also be found on the 100 Grand Dance Web site. This class is suspended until further notice.
I no longer track the Monday night Open Movement jam, both because I’ve found it too difficult to track their schedule and because I’m uncertain about the amount of contact improvisation still done there. But I believe you can get more information about Open Movement NYC on their Facebook group page.
Tuesday evenings: Pre-jam class at 100 Grand Dance (Bill Young’s Studio), 100 Grand Street (between Mercer Street & Greene Street), 2nd floor (Buzz “Bill Young Dance”), Manhattan (SoHo), NYC, 6pm-7pm. $5. Buzz “Bill Young Dance / 2nd Floor” to get in. This class is suspended until further notice.
Tuesday evenings: Jam at 100 Grand Dance (Bill Young’s Studio), 100 Grand Street (between Mercer Street & Greene Street), 2nd floor (Buzz “Bill Young Dance”), Manhattan (SoHo), NYC, 7pm – 10pm. $5. Buzz “Bill Young Dance / 2nd Floor” to get in. This jam is suspended until further notice.
Wednesday evenings: Drop-in class at Eden’s Expressway, 537 Broadway (between Prince Street & Spring Street), 4th Floor, Manhattan (SoHo), NYC, 6:30pm – 8:30pm. $14 (discounts if you buy multiple classes in advance). Buzz 4 and the green arrow to get in. Movement Research has cancelled this class through the end of March. Bradley Teal Ellis teaches in April. Offered through Movement Research—more info on the Movement Research classes page.
Thursday evenings: “Contact Improvisation – The Basics” drop-in class at Gibney Dance Center (280 Broadway branch), 53 Chambers St., Manhattan, New York City, 6pm – 8pm. The entrance is NOT at 280 Broadway as listed everywhere, but at 53 Chambers Street, around the corner to the southeast. (This is the former Dance New Amsterdam location.) $14 (discounts if you buy multiple classes in advance). Movement Research has cancelled this class through the end of March. Offered through Movement Research—more info on the Movement Research classes page. You can use a Gibney class card, but then it will end up costing more. Tim O’Donnell teaches in March; Gabrielle Revlock teaches in April.
Friday evenings (as of March 2019): Jam in Brooklyn (Park Slope) at Aikido of Park Slope, 630 Sackett St., Brooklyn, New York City, 7:45pm to 10:45pm (note location and time change from BAX). $5-$20 sliding scale donation. This jam is suspended until further notice.
Saturday afternoons: Jam at Eden’s Expressway, 537 Broadway (between Prince Street & Spring Street), 4th Floor, Manhattan (SoHo), NYC, 1:30pm – 4:30pm. $5. Buzz 4 and the green button to get in. This jam is suspended until further notice.
Second and fourth Sunday afternoons: Underscore NYC at Eden’s Expressway, 537 Broadway (between Prince Street & Spring Street), 4th Floor, Manhattan (SoHo), NYC, 2pm – 5:45pm. $10 suggested donation. Underscore practice second and fourth Sundays of the month. Underscore is suspended through the end of March, along with all other Movement Research events. More information about the underscore on the Underscore NYC Facebook page and the Movement Research Underscore page.
Third Sunday afternoons: Jam at World Martial Arts Center, 540 Atlantic Ave, 3rd floor, Brooklyn (downtown Brooklyn / Park Slope), NYC, 2pm – 4pm. Free, $5+ suggested donation. Casual fundamentals instruction for those who want it during the first 30-45 minutes. Jam in Brooklyn in a large wheelchair-accessible hapkido dojang (mats!), facilitated by Tania Velásquez and Camilla Davis, new as of March 2019, moved to third Sundays from last Sundays as of February 2020. This jam is suspended for March 2020. Check out Tania’s Web site for more details.
More about this page
This page does NOT contain short-term workshops, multi-session progressive classes/courses, or other non-recurring 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 above, please do not copy the descriptions (or anything else on this page) 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. If you have suggestions on how to improve this section, I would love to hear them.
If you find that the information on this page doesn’t match your experience, or if you find crucial details are missing (e.g., “this always starts late,” “teacher cancels class without notice,” “no one shows up to this one,” “there was music when I didn’t expect it” / “there wasn’t music when I expected it”) feel free to let me know. I’ll let the facilitator know, and if it’s a frequent issue, I’ll update the listing here and/or remove it.
Unfortunately, many of our New York City contact venues are not very accessible. This is something to work on.
Aikido of Park Slope, Brooklyn: fair. About a four- to five-inch step at the entrance to get in, and a similar four- to five-inch step up to get onto the dance space. Space is on ground floor, so no elevators necessary. Bathrooms are not huge, but not too tiny, but don’t have handrails—I’ll post some pictures when I get a chance. Changing rooms are down a step once going through the dance space, although the bathroom is before the dance space and could be used to change in as well.
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, there is an elevator. We’ve been able to get a wheelchair in and out of the space with some teamwork. Very small single-occupancy bathroom with no handrails, and is up a step. No changing room separate from the bathroom.
Eden’s Expressway: poor. Eden’s Expressway is on a fourth-floor walk-up. Ground floor entrance is up a step behind some narrow manual doors. There is very small service elevator directly inside the front door that can be sent down and called up from the fourth floor, and opens into a small space used for changing inside Eden’s Expressway. The elevator doors on the fourth floor open at a right angle to those on the ground floor, and there’s not much room to maneuver; it can work with some patience for smaller wheelchairs, and with LOTS of patience for larger wheelchairs. Very small single-occupancy bathroom with no handrails. No changing room separate from the bathroom.
Gibney Dance Center (280 Broadway branch, entrance at 53 Chambers): Very good. Newly renovated (as of 2014), elevators, big modern all-gender bathrooms.
World Martial Arts Center, Brooklyn: Very good. No step in front of the building, elevators to the third floor dojang, no steps in the dojang or to get on to the mats. Large locker room / bathroom / changing areas with no steps to enter them, male and female — I don’t believe there’s a all-gender bathroom or single-occupancy bathroom. Bathroom stalls have handrails. Men’s room doesn’t look like there’s been a person with a wheelchair in it for a while — some passageways have some obstructions that may be too tight to pass through with a chair.
E-mail Lists, Facebook groups, etc.
- The Facebook group “Contact Improv NYC” is one of the main hubs for the New York City contact improvisation community. Recommend you get on this. Questions like “is there really a jam tonight?” are best directed there if for some reason you’re unsure about the content of this page.
- Many but not all NY notices go to the “contactnyc” Yahoo group. This is a great Yahoo group to sign up for no matter where you live — it gets announcements from around the world of all kinds of contact events. And it’s the main e-mail group for the NYC contact community, though somewhat underused these days.
- The monthly Underscore practice has a Facebook page, “Underscore NYC“.
- The Monday night Open Movement Jam has a Facebook page.
I’ve made several redirects to this page for easy-to-remember shorthand: