Winter 2019 Schedule & Descriptions

Mark your calendar…  

Winter-Spring-Summer 2019


Improvising Dance, Music & Community

4th or 5th Saturday of the Month

Jan 26, Feb 23, Mar 30, April 27, May 25,
Jun 22 (Solstice!) & July 27

The purpose of POLLINATE is to create a space in KW where lovers of dance & music improvisation can come together in collaboration.

Each event will host veteran musical improvisors to support the space with inspiration for movement, expression, surprise and delight. This could include both acoustic & electronic sound.
Nibbles & refreshments will be available to energize our bodies.

POLLINATE is open to all who enjoy moving in a focused creative space in collaboration with other dancers and with improvised sound. This includes solo, duo, group dancing, conscious witnessing & stillness. (see Core Principles below)

This coming POLLINATE, we have the sweet opportunity to move to the soundscapes of the incredible acoustic trio Joel Brubacher, Ron Schweitzer, & Todd Scheidel on accordion, cello, guitar, banjo, percussion, and handmade instruments, joined by the textured grooves of DJ Jessoh.

WHEN: Fourth Saturday of the Month
Jan 26, Feb 23, March 23, April 27, May 25, Jun 29, Jul 27

WHERE: Church of the Good Shepherd, 114 Queen St N, Kitchener – Purple door

Arc of the evening:

7:10 Doors open
7:30 Brief Opening Circle
7:40 Guided Movement Warm-up to Live Soundscape
& Acoustic Music Improvisation
9:00 DJ Jessoh
10:20 Closing Circle

$15 Struggling, unemployed, single parent
$20 Got some income flow & just getting by
$25 Got a little extra you can spare to support the artists & others who can’t afford to come at the average price.

*We ask you to consider paying what makes deep sense for both yourself and for what you want to grow in your community.

CORE PRINCIPLES that support the goal of collaboration & improvisation in this space:

1) Learning. I see myself & everyone as learning.
2) Nurture Self-Trust. My experience & needs matter. I will nurture my capacity to listen to them. (Same goes for everyone.)
3) Curiosity. When faced with the choice between curiosity & judgment or defensiveness, I choose curiosity.
4) Response-Ability. We are all interconnected and affect what happens.
5) Creative Tension. I can embrace both what is happening AND my vision of what I want (& don’t want) as a creative tension.
6) Practice & Play. These are core to how we learn.

We love feedback and because this is the first POLLINATE, we are especially interested in your experience and feedback. Please let us know!


Every Tuesday Night
Drop-in Contact Improv Class & Jam
7:30-9:30 PM
@ Church of the Good Shepherd,
114 Queen St N, Downtown Kitchener (near Centre in the Square)
$15 suggested (Pay-What-Makes-Deep-Sense)

First Tuesday of the Month:
Fundamentals Class & Jam
This class is specifically designed for people who are new to contact improvisation and those who would like to refresh a grounding of their dance with the fundamentals of the form.  If you are feeling uncertain or nervous about trying out contact improvisation, this class is recommended.

Last Tuesday of the Month:
Intermediate Class & Jam
This class is specifically designed for people who have a grasp of the fundamentals of the form.

All Other Tuesdays:
All Levels Classes & Jams
Everyone is welcome to these classes, regardless of level of experience.  When new people attend, we improvise in supporting their integration into these classes.  This might happen through one-on-one support or adaptation of exercises.

Classes are facilitated by Tanya Williams, Tim Spronk,
James Jesso, Monica Chamberland, Reba Campbell, Zach Summerhayes
& Guest Teachers
To find out more about the focus of upcoming classes & who is facilitating, visit KW Contact Jam on Facebook for regular updates.


Iphone Nov 22 2015 305

What is Contact Improvisation?

Contact improvisation is a whole-body practice in the art of collaboration. It involves following what makes sense for you while exploring gravity, momentum, & whatever is happening in the moment, including the physical & energetic contact with your dance partners. At times playful, at times meditative, dancers may share a shifting centre of gravity that can take them into a dynamic dance of lifts and rolls, or into a subtle movement conversation.

Contact Improvisation Classes & Jams

In these classes & jams, generally, we will:

* Release tension
* Awaken our senses, notice the shifting focus of our attention
* Practice “enlightened selfishness”: grow our capacity to care for ourselves while being in the dance with others
* Tune into what makes deep sense for us moment to moment.
* Embrace our response-ability
* Practice finding ways to communicate what we need & want in the dance, verbally & non-verbally, including saying yes & no
* Practice listening and embracing when our partner expresses a boundary
* Nurture an environment of curiosity in oneself, that expands creative possibilities beyond judgment
* Transform how we see relationship: from transaction to co-creation
* Increase our awareness of our centre of gravity
* Practice caring for ourselves by going to the floor safely and with ease
* Learn to use the natural forces of gravity and momentum to create effortlessness and flow in the dance
* Learn to use the physics of the moment to create safe and easeful ways to share weight
* Offer practical tools for great dances
* Increase our capacity for play and connection
* Create suppleness and strength in the body
* Have fun!

Bring your water bottle and beginner’s mind. Wear comfortable clothing with layers you can shed as you warm up, and your bare feet. Yoga, sweatpants, or dance clothes with no buckles or zippers work well. Some people like to wear kneepads for extra comfort.

No previous experience necessary. All abilities welcome.


Who are we?

FRIENDS OF THE FLOOR DANCE-THEATRE is an evolving ecosystem of dancers, actors and context artists investigating and improvising: What creates the cultural conditions for co-intelligence, collaboration and flow toward creating the world we deeply want?
This happens through growing a trust in the wisdom of the individual & collective body-mind-in-process, primarily through the practice of movement, sound and contact improvisation.

TANYA WILLIAMS is a context artist with a passion for dancing with complex systems… in community, on the land, and in the body.  In her classes, she loves sharing both practical and magical pathways into the dance, and has been doing this for 20 years. She studied Alexander Technique movement education and Structural Integration bodywork for many years and enjoys developing new ways to draw on all these forms to enrich the practice of contact improvisation.  In recent years, she has explored the integration of the Pathway work of Laurel Mellin, integrating contact improvisation & authentic movement into an embodied self-facilitated practice for consciously changing neurological pathways. She has been working with the MT Space (Multi-cultural Theatre Space) for over 10 years, and currently gets totally inspired facilitating devised physical theatre with youth. She co-founded the Ontario Regional Contact Jam, Friends of the Floor Dance-Theatre and The Living Room Context 24/7 learning community exploring what it means to embody a systems understanding and an experience of flow in everyday life.
The practice of contact improvisation invites her to find delight in her learning edges and generate full-body co-intelligence with others to create the dance she wants as it emerges.

TIM SPRONK has been dancing for 25 years. He started training at the School of Alberta Ballet in Edmonton, Alberta. After completing a B.F.A. at York he joined the Newton Moraes company and had since worked for a variety of independent choreographers and companies. He was a founding member of the Chimera Project and danced with Kaeja d’Dance for eight years. Currently a member of the Arabesque dance company and orchestra, Tim has most recently appeared at the Canada Dance Festival with CORPUS. Aside from dancing, Tim works as personal trainer and is an instructor for Join the Dance Canada, a charity that brings ballroom dance to young people in the GTA.
Tim has actively practiced Contact Improvisation for 20 years, and he is eager to share his knowledge of strength training, dance partnering and internal martial arts to help fellow students expand their skills for safe, dynamic play in Contact Dance.



Our goal is to nurture and co-create a vibrant contact improvisation community as a common resource for everyone…
No one will be turned away for financial reasons, AND this common resource depends on our energy and support to continue.

If we look through a sacred economics lens, we might ask… What do I value and want to experience more of in the world? How might I be a resource to this common resource? What is the current situation for myself and the whole? When I tune into my body, what makes deep sense to me here?

Some possible ways we can bring our energies to the KW Dance Commons other than $:

-spread the word/poster/Facebook/tell your friends! Who might love this?

-get involved in nurturing the practice and the community

-support the organization, hosting of events, facilitation, teachers, musicians

-support the infrastructure of website, calendar, FB pages, etc.

-PARTICIPATE in classes, jams, demonstrations, video documentation

-come up with more ideas…

AND if $ is more abundant for you than time or other energy, then, by all means, add resilience to the dance commons that way!

Posted in Dance, events | 2 Comments

Anticipation as anti-participation & resistance disguised as hope.

My parents are away and I made the trek to hang out with my Nanna for 5 days who lives next door to them and needs someone around now.
The last time I stayed in Kingston I had my heart and mind blown open as I walked along the shores of Lake Ontario.
Again, I set out for a walk along the edge of that great body of water. I felt the tugging of hopeful anticipation that I would find myself again in a state of ecstatic bliss.
I reached the lake and it felt kind of… usual. A semi-cloudy winter day, kind of… grey. In fact, I actually felt kind of irritated by the experience of tension in my body from being around Nanna’s patterns of “helpful control” and micro-management. My stomach was upset, probably from something my Nanna had put in my food, because she wasn’t listening to me, I thought.
I didn’t want to be having these thoughts and feelings about my Nanna. I realized that I was grasping onto the hope or anticipation that Lake Ontario would transport me back to my previously enlightened experience and out of my currently encumbered experience.
It wasn’t working at all.
I decided to just be with it. The irritation, the judgmental thoughts, the upset tummy, the general sense of dissatisfaction and blah. As I let go of the need to be more or different than what I was, I felt a soft loving of my self experiencing all this. Even a loving of the discomfort. Paradoxically, I sensed how I wasn’t all that. I felt a deep sense of calm and quiet amusement, and even delight as I picked my way over the rocks.
At this point, my friend Keith joined me by phone and I told him what I have just told you. Keith shared my delight, and it reverberated in the space between us, magnifying.
I felt incredibly present. The open space that a few minutes before was just being a lake and a sky, now made me stop and look long and deep into its expansive reflective eye.
In that space, I remembered seeing myself anticipating my Nanna would say this or do that. Sometimes I was right and sometimes I was not. Either way, my body would tense up with the anticipation. It had been exhausting! Walking around with my trigger cocked and ready, no doubt she felt it. Our energy-bodies locked in battle, stress and fear.
And in that space, I noticed that I noticed, and I could choose.
I would choose love.
I breathed a smile and let that go too. I returned to the somatic logic of my body making its way along the icy shore. Lots of pauses, patience and small steps on the slippery stones.
Posted in Awareness | 6 Comments