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Jams for people who know they like Contact Improv

The framing of any Contact Improv jam influences what happens at the jam.

At the DC Sunday jam we share a monthly Underscore because it can help newcomers find their way into the practice while also providing experienced jammers with opportunities for rich exploration.

I've been involved in another kind of jam, one which is specifically framed with less guidance. That self-selects for people who know they like the practice. Such a group can together arrive in situations that might not otherwise be available in a group with more tentative participants.

I don't think this second kind of jam needs to be exclusive to work well, however. Instead, I feel that by clearly articulating some elusive criteria, people deciding whether or not to participate can know what is expected and whether or not that fits for them. Here is my first draft of an attempt at such a framing. Suggestions are welcome!

Jam for people who know they like CI

This is a jam for people who can handle their own warmup and involvement in the jam without external guidance. We do have some guidelines, however, to facilitate group harmony:
  • During at least the beginning of the jam:
    • The periphery of the space is for solo moving.
    • The area towards the center of the space is for those who are available for partnering.
    • It's up to each individual how they migrate between these dispositions.
  • Being available for partnering doesn't mean you are assured to get a partner.
  • Those offering invitations to dance must accept refusal.
    • Conversely, those being offered invitations to dance must be true to themselves in accepting or refusing.
  • Respecting your own and other's choices in each moment is the key to good partnering as well as safety, and informs a good jam experience in general.


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