The DC Sunday Contact Improv Jam
The Washington, DC Sunday jam is a gathering to practice Contact Improvisation (CI). It has been happening every Sunday since around 1982, with exceptions only when necessary (like COVID quarantine), at various locations around DC. The Status text in the next section is kept reliably current.
Everyone with a genuine interest in CI is welcome, regardless of prior experience, identity, or ability.
The DC Sunday Jam is part of the Dance Place adult class schedule. We either include a contact improvisation class during the first hour or, on the first Sunday of each month the whole session is devoted to an Underscore – a sort of class / jam combination. Please be on time when attending the class or the Underscore! (Check the status section for any exceptions to this arrangement.)
We continue to require that participants wear masks to enable vulnerable people in our community to attend.
Our studio insurance requires that all participants sign a liability waiver on days when Dance Place is closed.
To make it easy for everyone to have whatever time they need to return to partnering, we maintain this structure – an improvisation-organizing "score". Please be familiar with it, so we can support each other's choices, and see Respecting Boundaries for general boundaries guidance.
Read about What Happens at a Jam and Our Monthly Underscore for a glimpse of what we do, and Contact Improvisation for a bit about the practice.
The Sunday Jam and class continues into 2023 at Dance Place from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. We maintain current status on various pages here and a log of our status notes. Follow the Sunday jam mailing list and/or Facebook group for active updates.
COVID-19: We will be following Dance Place COVID-19 policies, including requiring vaccination proof and mask wearing while Dance Place requires them.
We post about extraordinary changes for situations like venue outages or COVID surges here and on the DC-CI mailing list and in the DC Contact Improv Facebook group.
(From Sunday, August 7, 2022 through September 25, 2022 the Jam was held in the social hall of Saint Monica and Saint James Episcopal Church, from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm.)
See Sunday Jam Past for a little more background.
See The Sunday Jam status log for the status history.
Sunday Jam Class
Starting in October, 2022 the DC Sunday jam is being included in the Dance Place adult class schedule. As part of this arrangement our regular sessions will include a contact improvisation class during the first hour, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. Led by experienced CI teachers from our group, the classes are intended to help newcomers and experienced dancers alike develop and deepen their skills and understanding of Contact Improvisation. The classes lead into a jam – a free-form gathering to explore contact improv – that continues from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. There often is a closing circle during the last half hour.
We will continue to dedicate the entire session on the first Sunday of each month for sharing an Underscore, a sort of combined class/jam.
Our Dance Place sessions will generally be held in the main Dance Place theater. On weekends when Dance Place is hosting Sunday performances we will typically relocate to another studio directly across the yard from the main building.
Pay for class/jam attendance through Dance Place (in advance or at the door or by phone):
Artists, students, and seniors: $14
All others: $17
10-class pass = $150
5-class pass = $80
We organize the jam space to support each person getting to choose how and when they share their personal space.
Respecting Boundaries describes principles we abide by so that everyone can maintain their own choices about how they participate in general.
See What Happens at Our Jam for some perspective on our jams.
From October, 2022 onwards the Sunday Jam+Class is held at Dance Place
Location details from their website, including transit and parking info.
It’s five minutes from the Brookland-CUA Metro station by Catholic University
There's a bike rack by the Dance Place quad/yard
There are various Capital Bikeshare docks within a few or three blocks
Car parking can be found in the residential neighborhoods around the studio.
During August and September 2022 we will meet Sundays between 2:30 and 5:30 pm. See the Jam Status page for current status.
On the first Sunday of each month we share an Underscore at the regular time. If you're new to the Underscore, please be there at 2:30 pm to attend the talk-through. If you're familiar with the talk-through, please be there by 2:50 pm for the opening circle. See Our Monthly Underscore. Being on-time helps the session work well.
On non-Underscore Sundays being there at the start helps the jam work well, but it's up to you.
See the Dance Place visit-us Accessibility topic. All are welcome at our sessions, regardless of prior experience, identity, or inherent ability. We ask that you bring interest in contact improvisation and responsible and considerate behavior.
Checking the Current Jam Status: the Status Note
We keep the Status Note on the home page and on this page up-to-date with the status of the upcoming jam. We post time or venue exceptions there, as soon as we know about them.
Keeping Tuned In: the DC-CI Mailing List
We use the dc-ci mailing list to share notifications about contact improv in the DC metropolitan area. Subscribe to receive emails about venue changes and special events. All members can post, but conversation is held to jam and local CI-related dance topics. See that page for details and posting guidelines, as well as self-service subscription instructions. Membership is by moderator approval, but nobody is turned away if they're actually interested in contact improvisation and are respectful of others.
Contact Improvisation is based on mutual cooperation rather than control. Good dances as well as general jam wellness and safety depend on respecting each other's boundaries - please read.
To make it easy for everyone to have whatever time they need to return to partnering, we maintain this structure – an improvisation-organizing "score". Please be familiar with it, so we can all support each other's choices.
The regular Sunday jam is open to all. Beginning in October, 2022 we have a CI class during the first hour. See above for more info about the class.
The first Sunday of each month is special - another good opportunity to get acquainted with the jam. We conduct a more organized session, called the Underscore. For the Underscore sessions it's important that people previously unfamiliar with it attend an orientation talk, just after 2:00. In general, the score depends on everyone arriving and ready by 2:20 for the opening circle. For more details, see Our Monthly Underscore.
While the first Sunday Underscore is a good opportunity to get acquainted with the jam, anyone interested in practicing CI, or just seeking a glimpse of it in practice, is welcome to all sessions. You don't need previous experience to join us, just considerateness and curiosity to explore contact improvisation.