contact dance: better than sex?

Contact Dance on the Train Tracks

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.

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I love this idea – do you know of any of these classes in the LA area?

Google doesn’t help me much…

Comment by Jon L — April 27, 2009 @ 10:07 pm

Jon L: here ya go

Comment by Amanda — April 28, 2009 @ 2:27 pm

So glad that you blogged about it! I’m a Key Leader from Calgary’s Chinook lululemon and a dancer as well. I encourage everyone and anyone to explore the world of contact improvisation through dance. Connections come naturally and it is a great form of exploring your body as well as someone elses through contact movement. It feels so great to know that you can share your weight, your breath, and hey, even your sweat with someone in a completely non-judgmental and fun way!

Comment by Natalie Westerbeek — May 6, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

Coming to Burning Man? Come join us for classes at our camp. We also have room for campers to camp with us who are into contact and related forms!

Comment by Darrell Duane — July 22, 2011 @ 3:15 pm

sometimes I say the same in Italy, better then sex!!
especially when you find a good connection with the partner, man or women.
If you pass from italy:

Comment by Davide — March 23, 2012 @ 7:17 am

Contact improvisation is a wonderful way to have fun!

I am part of SKÄLVA – we invite people to explore spaces through movement improvisation.

If you ever come to Sockholm join our events. Check our blog: if you want to see other ways to use contact improvisation.

Comment by Ulrika — March 29, 2012 @ 2:40 pm

Try the Touch and Play movement from Barcelona, google it. They are specialized in the development of touch, sensuality and sexuality of Contact Improvisation. All in a safe atmosphere.

My strongest sensual connections were not in bed with sex, they were rolling on the floor with a complete stranger that you connect with an amazing empathy!

Comment by Smile — June 12, 2013 @ 5:12 pm

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