If you want to open your heart, start with your body.
The way I teach it, intimacy wouldn't be complete without movement. In order to access the wisdom of our hearts and and the power of our sexuality, we need to first get into the body. Contact Improvisation (CI) is one of the most powerful doorways I know to do that.
Contact Improvisation is a non-sexual modern dance practice in which two (or more) people share a moving point of connection, which often leads to sharing a common center of gravity, moving in and out of the ground, up and around in air, feeling limitless in space and time, with unlimited possibilities for FUN!!!
The thing with CI is, just like intimacy, you have to show up for it. In this case, "it" is the experience of leaning into your partner's body or having your partner lean into you. In CI we call this "giving weight". It's a literal expression. As we move, we literally allocate a portion of the weight of our body into the body of our dance partner(s). Like a back leaning into another back. Or a shoulder leaning into a side body. Or even a whole torso leaning over a hip. It means that we become less entirely responsible for our own weight and receive the possibility of allowing someone else's weight to become our base, temporarily.
It's an act of trust, balance and playfulness. It's also an act of surrender. Sounds a little bit like intimacy off the dance floor, right?
Giving weight is also an act of sharing. Because in turn we receive the opportunity to take some of the weight of our partner into our own movement body. We take turns in a dynamic interplay in fact, receiving and giving, giving and receiving.
One thing I have noticed is that if we can practice letting go and sharing weight on the dance floor, not knowing where it is going to go but staying with the connection with curiosity and non-attachment, then intimacy off the dance floor looks a little more hopeful.
And, it's all a practice.
In 2014 I started a weekly Contact Improvisation Class at Karmany Yoga in Dallas, TX. So that I could train a group of other bodies to practice this work with me (hint: one cannot do CI by oneself!). Though I no longer teach in Dallas, I am proud to report that the classes continue guided by a skilled facilitator and movers in DFW continue to have access to the benefits of CI.
Stay tuned for more information about my CI offerings in the Pacific Northwest.
"Before we met all I felt was anger and confusion. Like someone half deaf reaching for a sound. Every once in a while there was a flood of emotion then it would pass, and I would be dead again for a year. When I started doing contact (which I only did because you were teaching it) I started feeling with my body and expressing with my body. It allowed me to share myself in a way that I never had." - Matthew Earthspirit
Consent in Dance Workshops
In response to the need in every segment of our world to raise awareness about boundaries and how to have healthy, safe, embodied relationships on and off the dance floor, in 2017 I started teaching "Consent in Dance Workshops". These events are aimed at anyone who regularly frequents dance floors who wants to strengthen your ability to engage in non-verbal spaces with respectful consciousness about yours and others' boundaries.
During these events I guide participants through verbal exercises to give you a living taste of your own, authentic "yes" and "no" in connections to others. No previous training is necessary to attend. These events are designed to assist any group to grow together in awareness of the challenges involved in identifying boundaries as well as the necessity for care in community connections.
The next workshop will be in Seattle on Friday, January 12th from 7-9:45pm. All details HERE.
Contact me to schedule a Consent in Dance workshop in your dance community.
Dance of Intimacy
Since 2014, I have been merging Contact Improvisation and principles of intimacy in events across Texas and on the west coast. Students in my Dance of Intimacy workshops learn how to use Contact Improvisation as a mirror for their patterns in intimacy, as well as a tool for having greater satisfaction in their personal dance of connection.
I also offer private Dance of Intimacy sessions. See my Couples Intensive link for details.
Read more on my events page and be sure to sign up for my newsletter to stay current on upcoming workshops in your area!
I specialize in teaching a simple, 15 minute partnered sexuality practiced called Conscious Orgasm, or CO for short. In CO, a partner strokes the upper left hand quadrant of a woman’s clitoris, very lightly. There is no goal, except to feel the sensation in both partners’ bodies.
We all want relationships that thrive. The ones where you are equal parts friend, partner and lover, and can stay connected through the ups and down. I believe that you can have it. That we all can.
Contact Improvisation is a playful movement practice in which two or more people share a moving point of connection while moving through space. It’s a powerful pathway for getting out of your head and practicing the principles of trust and creativity through your body.
Ever wanted to feel the freedom to say just exactly what you always felt? Feel like you are always hiding behind the “polite thing” or the “safe guy or girl strategy?” Most people do. You are not alone. What if you had the tools to unlock the thoughts that live in your head and express yourself freely to others?