CI Groundswell aims to support the individual and community practice of Contact Improvisation in the Southeastern United States by offering workshops, developing communities of practice, and supporting contact improvisation communities and facilitators through skill building and sharing and development of resources.

CI Groundswell is focused on areas in the southeast which are no more than six hours drive from Western North Carolina and Florida.

CI Groundswell was started and is currently organized by CJ O’Reilly.


CJ O’Reilly

CJ O’Reilly started his movement exploration in the world of martial arts and extreme sports, and discovered his love for dance when he unraveled the puzzle of self consciousness while traveling in Mongolia. Since then dance has been a part of life. He discovered Contact Improvisation as a dance major at University of Colorado, Boulder, but moved to Inner Mongolia China soon after; unable to find other CI practitioners, he studied TaiJi and danced in nightclubs for years until the lack of shared practice become unbearable. After translating for two workshops by Irene Sposetti & Johan Nilsson in Beijing, he moved to Asheville with a clear intention of learning to cultivate the culture and practice dance in community. Other than Contact Improvisation and commonly associated modalities, CJ’s movement background is influenced by experience with: Taiji, Aikido, Capoeira Conditioning, Acro Yoga and partner acrobatics, partner dance forms including Swing, Blues and Tango, and a passion for the physics.

Hana Rakhshani

Coming from a Persian and Nicaraguan background and growing up in India, Hana’s life has been a tapestry of culture, music and dance. Her personal journey with dance began at the age of 6, with 7 years of intensive training in Bharatanatyam in Tamil Nadu, South India. She let go of this practice in her pre-teens, realizing that she felt limited by a primary focus in a traditional structured movement form. After graduating high school, Hana began delving into the realms of yoga therapy, Mahayana meditation and psychedelic trance music and dance as she spent a few years backpacking through North India. After obtaining her YTT in 2013, she moved to the USA to undertake her undergraduate, this is when a whole new world of movement opened up to her. A few years into college, Hana began practicing contact improvisation and partner acrobatics on a regular bases. By the time of her graduation in 2018, Hana had included West African dance, contact improvisation (for two semesters), somatic movement levels 1 & 2, performance and compositional studies, and contemporary dance 1 & 2 in her college curriculum while maintaining a steady practice in contact improvisation, partner acrobatics, and teaching one-on-one therapeutic yoga. Since 2016 Hana has been studying a data base, focused on studying anatomy in dynamic motion, called axis syllabus and another somatic form called Body-Mind Centering. Her passion for contact improvisation, axis syllabus, and Body-Mind Centering have resulted in her traveling the globe to learn from masters in these fields such as Nita Little, Ray Chung, Frey Faust, and many more. Currently Hana teaches and studies contact improvisation and axis syllabus while still practicing acrobatics, yoga, and martial arts as personal passions.