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Asheville Jam

Weekly Contact Improvisation Jam
in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains

Asheville Jam is a community-led, volunteer-run, weekly contact improvisation jam hosting live musicians, CI classes, underscores and more in Asheville, North Carolina.

We dance every Saturday from 4:15 to 6:15pm

at Haw Creek Commons

315 Old Haw Creek Rd.

Asheville, NC 28805

What is CI?

Contact Improvisation is a physical discipline,
a social dance, a practice in presence, an expressive art, a technical form, an athletic endeavor and structured play.

A more detailed definition from Contact Quarterly:

"Contact Improvisation is an evolving system of movement initiated in 1972 by American choreographer Steve Paxton. The improvised dance form is based on the communication between two moving bodies that are in physical contact and their combined relationship to the physical laws that govern their motion—gravity, momentum, inertia. The body, in order to open to these sensations, learns to release excess muscular tension and abandon a certain quality of willfulness to experience the natural flow of movement. Practice includes rolling, falling, being upside down, following a physical point of contact, supporting and giving weight to a partner.

Contact improvisations are spontaneous physical dialogues that range from stillness to highly energetic exchanges. Alertness is developed in order to work in an energetic state of physical disorientation, trusting in one's basic survival instincts. It is a free play with balance, self-correcting the wrong moves and reinforcing the right ones, bringing forth a physical/emotional truth about a shared moment of movement that leaves the participants informed, centered, and enlivened."

—early definition by Steve Paxton and others, 1970s,
from CQ Vol. 5:1, Fall 1979

About CI

Community Guidelines

Thank you for taking a moment to read through these guidelines. We crafted this document out of our desire to build a dance community based in mutual respect, care, and consent. Your feedback matters and is welcome!

Why Community Guidelines?

Coming to a CI jam for the first time can be liberating. You have permission to play, dance, explore, touch, and be touched. This can be a big shift from how we are expected to move and interact in our daily lives and can sometimes feel overwhelming - just as we long to feel freedom and connection with others, we also need healthy boundaries to feel safe. The following guidelines help create a container for the expectations we have of each other at our jams. If these guidelines are not honored Asheville Jam organizers may ask an individual to leave or not attend future events.

Why we’re here

Contact Improvisation is a dance form. It is a rich and diverse practice of improvisation, exploration and movement that can be an avenue to many things ranging from performance to personal growth.


The CI space is not:

  • A space for dating or meeting new romantic or sexual partners (though this may happen outside the jam container)

  • A space for general socializing and conversation (though this may happen before or after or outside of the jam)

  • A place where the goal is meeting our needs for physical intimacy (touch, cuddling, etc)

  • A place to seek and pursue sexual connection - this type of behavior contributes to an unsafe jam culture and is not acceptable

Other Guidelines

  • Come to the jam clean and wearing appropriate clothing - natural fiber clothing that covers your legs and shoulders is recommended for contact improvisation.

  • Refrain from sexual touch - be conscious of sensitive areas both in your own body and your partner's

  • Be a responsible dancer: don’t grab, confine, or restrict another dancers’ movements. Go to class to learn techniques for dancing safely, especially when weight sharing.

  • Dancers may start and end dances at any time for a wide variety of reasons. Don’t take it personally (unless you get direct feedback about the dance indicating you should.)

  • The jam is a screen-free space. Please silence your phones and take calls, texts, etc outside.

  • Avoid wearing strong or chemical scents to keep the space inclusive for those with chemical sensitivities.

  • Take conversations (that aren’t in-the-moment and about-the-dancing) outside.

  • Well-tended youngsters who can safely and respectfully engage in the space – including the opening and closing circles – are welcome.

  • We love our furry friends, but no pets allowed at the jam.


The Rules... in a nutshell

  1. Respect others

  2. Take care of yourself

Community Guidelines

Jam Schedule & Special Events

Saturday Jam

The main event... join us every Saturday from 4:15-6:15pm at Haw Creek Commons in Asheville. This is an open jam unless otherwise noted on the calendar. Warm-ups are sometimes offered - if you are new and want a warm-up let us know at opening circle! This is usually a silent jam. Payment is donation-based: $5-15, cash preferred, Venmo/PayPal ok, NOTAFLOF.

Pre-Jam Class

We offer a pre-jam class on the second Saturday of the month. This class is designed to support folks who are new to the form and to develop skills for more seasoned improvisers. Rotating teachers (see calendar for details). $10-20 class-only or stay for the jam for free!

Live Music

On the third Saturday of the month we host a live improvisational musician at the jam. Live music is dreamy in a jam environment where the musician and dancers are responsive to each other. See calendar for details - we sometimes take a break from live music during the slower summer months. Consider upping your donation at the door to support our musician.

The Underscore

First Saturdays we host an Underscore. If you don't know about the Underscore you can learn more here. If you've never done an Underscore (or if you would like the review) come at 3:45 for the talk-through in the library (required for first timers). Drop-in to this essential element of the CI tradition. Payment is donation-based: $5-15, cash preferred, Venmo/PayPal ok, NOTAFLOF.



Here you will find information about other community Contact Improvisation related events not hosted by the Asheville Jam

Monday Jam

Stephen's Lee Community Center

30 George Washington Carver Ave

Asheville, NC 28801

Mondays 6-8pm.


Learn more at the Asheville Contact Improv Facebook page.

Community Event


Drop us a line with your contact information in order to be added to our mailing list. We look forward to dancing with you!

Dance forever!

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