Contact from the Ground Up 2023 – CI Fundamentals Series


​Contact from the Ground up is a 4 Quarter contact improvisation fundamentals series exploring concepts, principles, skills and practices integral to the practice of Contact Improvisation. Each quarter has two Saturday workshops. See the dates and workshop descriptions below.

The goal of the series is to give participants a foundation to help them to dance safely, feel more comfortable at jams and workshops, and support a rich and well-balanced practice of contact improvisation.

The workshop is excellent for new dancers, and those who wish to deepen and continue their practice of contact improvisation.

Sliding Scale Pricing – Pay up the scale to support scholarships and the teachers by selecting trimester, per-workshop or drop-in prices instead of the discounted full series price. Select your price to register for the entire series or register for only a quarter at a time or even a single workshop.

The workshops are 12-3pm and are scheduled before Saturday CI Jam so that you can join the Saturday CI Jam after a meal break to continue to explore the content.

SKU: N/A Category:


All workshops are 12-3pm on a Saturday at the Haw Creek Commons Sanctuary (directions). This gives a 1hr 15min break before the regular Saturday CI Jam, so you can eat and continue to explore the content from the workshop in the jam.

Quarter 1: Pathways from the Ground up

In the first quarter, we will be focusing on creating a strong foundation from which to explore the practice of contact improvisation (CI). We’ll develop a sense of trust in our own bodies, and understanding of its edges and potential and develop basic skills for moving with ourselves and others. This module aims to provide building blocks for movers to feel capable in their bodies and in the space, creating a strong foundation for coming into contact with other bodies. We will focus on: connection to self and somatic exploration, connecting to the floor as a primary partner, falling, movement pathways to support improvisation, elements of coming into contact, pouring weight, non-verbal communication, and entering into flight with a partner.

Quarter 2: Exploring Kinnection

In the second quarter, we will expand on the foundation we developed in the first quarter through the concepts of the Skinosophere and Kinosphere from Nancy Stark Smith’s Underscore. We’ll deepen our capacities to be with and understand our own body and movement, and telescope our awareness and movement out into exploring moving in space. We will focus on the meditation of self-connection and presence, telescoping awareness to expand and focus our attention, proprioception and other senses beyond sight, tracking bodies in space, and modulating tone, speed, and other aspects of movement among each other.

Quarter 3: Developing Our Adaptability

In the third quarter, we’ll play with the foundations we developed in the first and second quarters through the exploration of improvisational scores to challenge and develop our skills and adaptability as well as practice common contact improvisation vocabulary including more fully developing weight-sharing with rolling point of contact and lift invitations. We’ll develop an understanding of improvisational scores and hone common contact improvisation vocabularies, and then expand and break out of those boxes to keep our dance fresh and truly improvisational.

Quarter 4: Dancing Beyond Ourselves

In the fourth quarter, we’ll continue practicing the individual skills we have developed over the first three quarters, but now more explicitly in the greater context of the group, and with more fluidity within the group. We’ll explore and play with elements of improvisational forms of Viewpoints and Emergent Improvisation as well as the CI Underscore to strengthen our sense of group ensemble and improvisational awareness of the group while continuing to practice and apply our fundamental CI skills.


Additional information

Sliding Scale

Full Series at Series Price – $240, Full Series at Quarter Price – $400, Full Series at Per-Workshop Price – $480, Full Series at Per-Workshop Drop-in Price – $600