Join us for a 4-day celebration of community, dance, love, laughter. Come see and be seen, dance and be danced, investigate, cross-pollinate! The theme this year is Communication: Showing up, Sharing Weight, Falling… in love... with Contact Improv... again and again...

Shel Wagner and Stephanie Nugent are coming to teach and jam with us!

$100-$160 graduated scale by January 15th. After January 15th add $50.

The Four Day Weekend Includes:
  • Home stays for out-of-town dancers
  • Lots of open jam time in a big beautiful 1920’s ballroom
  • Two 3+hour classes with two amazing teachers
  • Live music jams, no music jams
  • Guided group warm-ups
  • Abundant healthy organic snacks throughout the weekend
  • Catered Lunches (healthy, organic, gf) Saturday and Sunday
  • Cozy mezzanine hang-out spaces
  • One-on-one instruction (just ask)
  • Connection, collaboration, community

We’re reserving 44 spaces for Portlanders and 44 spaces for out-of-towners. We sold out completely by early January last year so reserve your spot early. If the jam fills and you’re on the waiting list before January 15th, you still get early bird prices if we find a place for you. Contacters with all levels of experience are welcome!

This event relies on volunteer efforts! Click here to see how you can help!

Photo credit: Christie Nelson
Photo credit: Christie Nelson
Photo credit: Christie Nelson

Photo credit: Andre AndreevShel Wagner Rasch has been deeply moved by Contact Improv.  It's held her fascination for 30 years as a dancer, performer, producer, and teacher; and sharing it with other people is one of her favorite things to do! She currently teaches at UCLA and in multiple festival and college settings.  She is a co-coordinator of the weekly Eastside Contact Improv Lab Jam in Pasadena, Ca and a recurring teacher at the Santa Monica Jam.  Her Contact Improv scores and choreographic works have been well received locally and internationally and she is a recipient of the Lester Horton Award for Excellence in Choreography.  Shel has a private practice as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and Alexander Technique teacher and she collaborates with her husband, animator Justin Rasch, making stop motion animated short films and raising their continual motion kids.

Photo credit: Christine MaxwellStephanie Nugent has toured internationally, performing, teaching and creating contemporary dance and improvisation since 1991. Artistic Director of Nugent Dance, her creative work is invested in intersections between CI, dance theater performance, and embodied practices designed to promote empathy and socially conscious communication. A recent transplant from Los Angeles to the mid-west, Stephanie was delighted to serve as part of the 2014 GLACIER (Great Lakes Area Contact Improvisation Enthusiasts Retreat) teaching team and has begun to cultivate presence in her new hometown of Indianapolis, through workshops and performances. She facilitates Hourglass (http://www.hourglass-music.com) events with partner composer Robin Cox, has served as guest faculty at The Ohio State University, continues to serve on faculty at Indiana University -Bloomington and Ball State University, and looks forward to teaching at the 2015 Portland Contact Jam this February.


Copyright Serge Gubelman, 2014Friday Evening Feb 13th
5:00 Arrival, registration, meeting and greeting
6:00 Opening Circle
6:30 Opening exercise led by Brandon Stewart
7:00-10:30 Open Jam with Live Music

Saturday Feb 14th
9:00 Quiet warm up with live music, snacks
10:00 Class with Shel Wagner and Stephanie Nugent
1:30 Lunch (catered)
3:00 Open Jam
6:00 Dinner Break (Studio is still open for Jamming)
7:30 Warm-up / Mixer
8:00-11:30 Open Jam with Live Music

Copyright Serge Gubelman, 2014Sunday Feb 15th
9:00 Quiet warm up with live music, snacks
10:00 Class with Stephanie Nugent and Shel Wagner
1:30 Lunch (catered)
3:00 Open Jam
6:00 Dinner Break (and Underscore class)
7:30-10:00 Underscore
Studio Open until 11:30 for Jamming

Monday Feb 16th
9:00 Quiet Jam with Live Music
12:30-2:00 Open Jam and Snacks or Lunch
2:00 Closing Circle
2:30-3:30 Group clean-up

*The schedule is subject to change

Details Copyright Serge Gubelman, 2014 How much?
Early bird… by January 15th
$100 - student or unemployed
$130 - employed and on a tight budget
$160 - professional or comfortably well off

After January 15th
$150 - student or unemployed
$180 - employed and on a tight budget
$210 - professional or comfortably well off

If the jam fills before the 15th and you’re wait listed before the 15th, you’ll get the early bird price if a spot opens up for you.

A few work study positions are available. If interested, contact Christine with the skills you have to offer:) agoatistodance@gmail.com

Cancellation Policy
Before 2/1, you get 75% back. Between 2/1 and 2/10, you get 50% back. No Refunds after February 10. Tickets are not transferable.

funny face Saturday and Sunday morning from 10-1:30 with Shel Wagner and Stephanie Nugent. The theme of the classes: CONNECTION to self/ground/other/space. One class will focus more on STABILITY (support) and the other on MOBILITY (staying with a partner). Shel and Stephanie will probably team teach both classes, with one leading one day, the other leading the next.

Home stays:
If you’re traveling for the jam and would like a home stay, please plan to bring a sleeping bag and pillow (unless you make other arrangements directly with your host). Let us know how you’ll be traveling around Portland. Car, bike, foot? Also let us know the least you’re able to tolerate in terms of bedding to get a good night’s sleep. A floor with a thermarest okay? Aerobed? Couch? A Bed? The sooner you register and let us know your needs, the more likely we’ll be able to meet them. Contact Tom at zemblamatic@gmail.com.

The Site:
funny face Red Rose Ballroom has a 50' x 80' dance floor! It's been newly renovated, floor newly refinished, and it's gorgeous! It's on Alberta, a bustling street with lots of foot traffic. Cafes, restaurants, and a food co-op within a few blocks. Also within walking distance is a wellness center with community hot tubs and sauna (by reservation), and a large grocery store with lots of organics, a deli, salad bar, at reasonable prices.


annie rosen photo

After a youth of classical violin training, Annie Rosen got her musical improvisation chops the old old fashioned way...fiddling and singing her heart out in Seattle's Pike Place Market. Busking (street music) opened her eyes to the importance of playing into people, not just around them. As a trained clown and storyteller, Annie sees music as an extension of creative movement and expression in all its forms. It is all that we are and might be, if we turned our sorrows to rhythm, and our joys to siren song. She lives happily in Portland and is delighted to be one half of the contemporary Opera and Theater Company, Hungry Opera Machine, a part of the Zydeco band Bon Ton Roulet, and in collaboration with Night Flight Aerial whenever they call.

Dean Photo

Dean Boudouris: A bassist and Multi-instrumentalist, I have been backing up musicians of all sorts around portland for over 20 years. Equally as comfortable backing up a full electric band as playing solo, or doing a soft duo with a jazz singer. Improvisation and creativity are at the core of everything I do musically.


Robin Jackson has told fantastic cabaret tales with Vagabond Opera and blasted out the jams with The March Fourth marching Band and The Everyone Orchestra when not giving up the funk, teaching voice workshops, or belting out epic arrangements of rock favorites. With a degree in ethnomusicology and an unflagging musical curiosity, Jackson has lived and busked around the world. He is a master of a myriad of instruments from Saxophone to mbira and played with everyone from Gogol Bordello to Amanda Palmer to the Decembrists. An Award Winning songwriter, teacher, activist, and spirited impresario, Jackson has built on this colorful bohemian upbringing and dedicated himself to creating and supporting music around Portland where he lives on an urban farm with his cat and a circus.

George Cello

George Turner moved out to the Pacific Northwest from Texas in 2004. Since that time he has played cello, guitar, bass and keyboards for more bands than he has fingers and/or toes. He also ran Trustfall Studios and had the pleasure of recording and producing some of Portland's finest talents. His band, My Fellow Traveller, has released two albums, (Misery Becomes Wisdom and Wisdom Becomes Truth), concept albums about the stages of grief. They are currently beginning work on their third album, (Truth Becomes Misery). He currently teaches guitar and cello lessons.


Viola Rose is a vocalist and handpan player who loves creating improvisational dreamscapes. She has a CD available titled "Veils Of Twilight" and lives and performs in Portland Oregon. Viola facilitates workshop intensives on Heart based meditation called "Awakening The Illuminated heart" and brings that heart expanding quality into her musical expression.


An internationally known lead guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, Bibi McGill is also an acclaimed yoga teacher, wellness educator, and health food entrepreneur. While not touring the world, Bibi enjoys being outdoors with Nature as well as producing and creating music that crosses a broad spectrum of sacred soundscapes. Bibi and Viola Rose are a handpan duo and will ease us into Sunday Morning.


Tim Gilson has been an integral part of the music scene in the Northwest for many years, performing with such local luminaries as Tom Grant, Shelly Rudolf and Mel Brown. He regularly performs with the Oregon Symphoney and backs major acts coming through Portland including Wycliffe Gordon, Dee Daniels, Byron Stripling and many others. For a calendar of Tim's upcoming events go to www.timgilson.net

How You Can Help Share your home:
_SG15754 Can you offer housing space for delightful out-of-town dancers? How about your friends & neighbors? Let us know what you can offer and how many people you can accomodate. Contact Tom at zemblamatic@gmail.com

Help with Promo:
Invite your contact improv friends near and far. Who would you like to share this weekend with?

Ideas and inspirations?
Talk to me! Christine Maxwell

During the weekend:
Help setting up, breaking down, cleaning up after lunch and snacks, dance floor sweeps. So many opportunities to contribute over the weekend. Learn more about this when you arrive on Friday afternoon.

So excited to dance with you!