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Contact Improvisation


The Art and Technique of Contact Improvisation


~with Shannon Sahaja


Contact Improvisation is a martial art, an awareness training, and an improvisational movement form that guides its participants to gain somatic intelligence and deep listening skills while having a shit ton of FUN!


In its most basic form, CI is a partner dance form based on the physical principles of touch, momentum, shared weight, and following a shared point of contact to investigate and develop a truthful relationship with being present and attuned.


In this weekly class and jam you will learn fundamental skills for navigating this potent art sport  from someone who has studied extensively with the original pioneers of CI.


*Floor work—Knowing how to create safety and strength in the body through spirals and rolls.


*Understanding the architecture of the body and how to safely hold and support weight.


*Working with the natural laws of physics to safely support the momentum, and risk taking in

you're dancing.


*Learning to modulate your body’s tone, density, texture, levity, extension, and flavor to enhance the dynamic range in your duets.


*Exploring being off balance, off the vertical axis, and off your rocker!  Lol!


*Getting clear on how to initiate movement from your eyes, top of head, tail, finger tips, and toes.


*Allowing your core and periphery to become friends and work together to develop greater listening skills.


This class will leave you feeling massaged, met, touched, curious, contemplative, and energized.  


Friday's 4-6pm  at . Sundari Farm & Gardens in the Rainbow room

12-1092 Kaimu-Makena Homestead Road, Pahoa





Bio: Shannon Sahaja is an embodied alchemist with 2 decades of teaching and performing in the improvisational arts. Graduating Magna Cum Laude from one of the top dance conservatories in the country, Shannon went on the develop a level of mastery as a movement arts teacher that will knock your socks off. (literally)  She has a unique ability to create safety for her students while spicing things up with humor and spontaneity.

As the Creative Director of Ecstatic Dance Oakland since 2015, Shannon witnessed how Ecstatic Dance brought Contact Improvisation to a massive amount of dancers new to the art form.  Yet she felt frustrated that the true technique and practice of CI became watered down, and misinterpreted.

Shannon is committed to building a firm foundation for those wanting and willing to learn this martial art, dance, sport as a way of life.

Shannon studied extensively with many of the most influential practitioners of CI:  Chris Aiken, Andrew Harwood, Karen Nelson, Ray Chung, Kristie Simpson, Scott Wells, and Kathleen Hermesdorf.

Her primary CI mentor since 1994 was Nancy Stark Smith (the matriarch of CI), who she spent a total of 3 months in deep study, training and performing with.   NSS passed away recently and Shannon is dedicating this class and community building to Nancy.

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