Movers, dancers and those wanting to touch each other without sexual ties are forming contact dance improvisation communities around the globe. Contact improvisation is categorized as social dance, as anyone can participate. Choreographers and teachers also use this work to create organic movement phrases. Rather than forcing a kick or turn, the outcome of weight bearing determines the natural flow of movement.
In 1972, Steve Paxton and Oberlin College dance students debuted the first contact dance performance. He further developed contact dance technique by establishing that two bodies come together to create a point of contact, give weight to each other equally and then create a movement conversation that can last as long as the movers feel.
From an outsider's viewpoint, contact dance looks weird, awkward and inhuman. As we are a society that values personal space, the idea of rubbing bodies with strangers sounds absurd. But other then sex and shopping, contact dance actually provides a safe place to explore one's kinisphere.
Our five-foot circle of space between us and people in the street, on elevators and in the subway suggest that we are not finished exploring each other. It is not a coincidence that in dense metropolitan areas such as New York, San Francisco and Chicago, contact dance communities are thriving. A common reaction from newbies is that it is better than sex and fully human.
Above: Ashley (from our Recruitment team) and Katy (from our Graphic team) dance on the train tracks.