2018 Teachers

We were thrilled to have such wonderful Intensive Teachers and Single Class Teachers for wcciJAM 2018. These teachers were spectacular, we learned so much from them, and we are so grateful to have them a part of our wcciJAM community!
Check back early next year for the wcciJAM 2019 teacher line-up! For now, check out who just taught for us!
Ray Chung (All-levels)
Anya Cloud (Intermediate/Advanced)
Interkinected: Ronja Ver & René Alvarez (All-levels Drop-in)
Scroll down for information about Single Class Teachers!
Ray Chung (All-levels Intensive)

Intensive Description: "Riding The Curves of Spacetime: Falling and Flying"


In physics, gravity can be seen as the curvature of space around massive objects, such as the earth. We evoke the image of riding these curves as a way of moving in the field of gravity, and playing in this field as a way to develop proficiency with the skills and approaches necessary for leaving the ground, moving through the air, and landing safely, in the context of Contact Improvisation (CI). Beginning with essentials of grounding, centering, intention, and moving support, we'll move onto weight modulation, creating levity, precision in locating centers, developing the optimum tonus and alignment for sudden weight shifts, and more. The emphasis will be on creating pathways and opportunities to move out of the floor and into the air, or onto your partner, instead of lifting and carrying. Catching and jumping as a way to initiate contact, and creating continuity through supporting the movement rather than the weight of one’s partner, will be one of the practices. Playing on the edge of what is possible for each participant, we will challenge one's self to really "go for it" in aerial movement and landing/catching strategies and techniques. How do I use someone’s weight and movement in a way that creates more choices for both of us? We’ll practice integrating our centers with another’s seamlessly as well as awkwardly. Crashing and bumping safely will also be part of the vocabulary we will develop. Integration of these practices into dancing will also be included. For all levels of experienced participants.




Ray Chung is a performer, teacher, engineer, and artist who has a passion for dancing which he likes to share with other people. His main focus is improvisation and he has worked with Contact Improvisation since 1979 as part of improvisational performance practice and integrates other movement forms into his work, including martial arts, bodywork and Authentic Movement. Ray has worked with the leading proponents of Contact Improvisation including Nancy Stark Smith, Steve Paxton, Nita Little, Lisa Nelson, Peter Bingham, Chris Aiken, Andrew Harwood, and regularly collaborates with dancers, musicians, and other artists. Ray has also been certified as an instructor of shiatsu by the Shiatsu Education Center of America in 1982, and has studied with Wataru Ohashi, Ryuho Yamada, and Shizuto Masunaga.  His work has been featured at numerous national and international festivals and venues, and has performed in works directed by Anna Halprin, Judith Kajiwara, and George Coates.  Currently based in San Francisco & Sweden, Ray regularly teaches abroad.

Anya Cloud (Intermediate/Advanced)
Intensive Description: "The Volume of Time: Recuperation Inside of Exertion"
This intensive will take a research oriented, highly technical, and deeply human approach to training in Contact Improvisation. We will work with specific and complex physical/energetic skills as a way to cultivate an open system contact body. How can we access something magic through the physical platform? We will train ways to increase the options available for what we do and how we do it in any moment. This includes working with finely tuned proprioceptive skill building through different systems, setting and respecting boundaries, ways of shifting orientations/roles/perceptions, noticing and re-imagining organization and habits, and more. We will attempt to negotiate the reality of our selves in relationship – with physics, anatomy, other, community, and artistry. Within and alongside this we will take on the politics of our identities, the politics of the form, and the politics of our time. We will attempt to be demanding and unrelenting in the research and practice by staying in and present and risk-taking. Why be in this dance now? What is at stake for each of us? How can we not make assumptions within our dancing? This means radical independence and responsible citizenship. There will be physically demanding durational practices within this training. We will be ambitious, but we will not hurry. It will include solo body, duet, trio, and group practices.   This intensive is designed for people who have previous experience with CI and who are willing to be in physical intensity/endurance with the bodies that they have.
Anya Cloud is originally from rural Alaska, and is now based in San Diego, California. She dances, make dances, produces, and teaches dance in multiple contexts. Collaboration is central to all of her dance practices. Anya believes in dancing with the bodies that we have in order to cultivate radical aliveness. Her choreographic work has been produced across the US including by La MaMa (NYC), Movement Research at the Judson (NYC), REDCAT (LA), Highways Performance Space (LA), Pieter Performance Space (LA), and ArtPower! (SD). Additionally, Anya has worked with and/or performed for Sara Shelton Mann, Jane Comfort, Karen Nelson, Kirstie Simson, Leslie Seiters, Eric Geiger, Kristianne Salcines, Karen Schaffman, Nancy Stark Smith, and Ishmael Houston-Jones among others. In particular her ongoing work with Sara Shelton Mann profoundly impacts her artistry. She teaches/facilitates Contact Improvisation nationally and internationally at festivals and institutions most recently at Tanzquartier, Freiburg Contact Festival, Contact Austria, Israeli Contact Improvisation Festival, Ibiza Contact Festival, wcciJAM, Ukraine Contact Improvisation Festival, Metamorphosis Improvisation Research Festival, and Seattle Festival of Dance Improvisation. When she is in San Diego she teaches/facilitates as part of the local Contact Improvisation Community. Anya also teaches as a Lecturer in Dance Studies at CSU San Marcos, is in the Feldenkrais Method® Training program, and co-directs PADL West, a non-profit dance and performance presenting organization. Anya holds an MFA in Dance Theatre from UC San Diego.  www.anyacloud.com
Interkinected: Ronja Ver & René Alvarez (All-levels Drop-in)

Intensive Description: "Patterning De-Patterning"


In infancy we learn movement through fundamental developmental patterns, which form a base for learning more complex movements. In our dancing we also learn and develop patterns, which support us in moving together, taking weight, falling safely, and many other ways. Yet Contact Improvisation in its core is about opening and responding to unknown. As useful as they are, our well established neural pathways can also impede our dances, and hinder us from noticing what else is possible. How do we learn to un-learn; to let go of assumptions in order to see a wider spectrum of possibility in each moment? How can we invite into our dancing something that we may not yet be able to imagine?  This workshop is about opening up to possibility in improvising contact: realizing that between our known pathways there is an infinite number of directions that can keep opening like a fractal, the deeper we delve into unlearning what we think are the limits of our movement. For all levels of experienced participants.



Ronja Ver has been living, loving, exploring, teaching and performing Contact Improvisation for over 15 years. She is a dancer and dance maker, artist, activist, and teacher, a native of Finland, currently dancing and making work in the Bay Area. Her choreography has been presented by the American Dance Festival, Movement Research at the Judson Church, Danspace Project, Zodiak – Centre for New Dance (Helsinki), Aleksanterin Teatteri (Helsinki), among others. Former posts include the National Theatre of Finland, Beyond Improvisation Collective, and Riitta Vainio Dance Company. Since 2001 she has created several full evening works for both theater and found spaces.  She has performed and collaborated in works by Nancy Stark Smith and Mike Vargas, Deborah Hay, Sara Shelton Mann, Jaana Turunen, Mirja Tukiainen, Keith Hennessy, David Hurwith, Scott Wells, Jaap Klevering, and is featured dancing underwater in Steve Paxton’s DVD Material for the Spine. Ronja Ver has taught Contact Improvisation at various festivals around the world, including American Dance Festival, wcciJAM, and the Freiburgfestival in Germany, as well as in University setting, e.g. at Hollins University, Prescott College, Helsinki University of Arts and Design, and the Theatre Academy of Finland. She is a co-founder of the Finnish CI festival Skiing On Skin, and holds an MFA in Dance from Hollins University.

René Alvarez (California) Is a Contact Improvisation fanatic since 2000 and has since learned from teachers such as Nancy Stark Smith, Sara Shelton Mann, Ray Chung, Martin Keogh, Frey Faust, Nita Little, Chris Aiken, Angie Hauser, Scott Wells, Alicia Grayson, Ronja Ver, Carol Swann, Brenton Cheng, Keith Hennessy, Karen Nelson, Alito Alessi, Anna Halprin, KJ Holmes, and Terry Sendgraff . René considers themself a CI traditionalist (it’s physics!) while influenced by Axis Syllabus, Flow Arts, Parkour and Motivity Aerial Dance. René is the founder of InterKinected LLC whose mission is to investigate and promote Contact Improvisation, through organization and sponsorship of classes, jams, festivals, intensives, laboratories, films, media and showings. René teaches/curates two weekly CI classes in Berkeley.  This will be Their 20th year of participation at Burning Man, teaching/curating classes for Camp Contact. Since 2016, René has been teaching at the ODC school for contemporary dance in San Francisco.


Our Stellar Single Class Teacher Lineup for wcciJAM 2018!

Cate Caraker
Deepening Class:
"Dancing while aging: forgetting your perfect offering"

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Cookie Harrist
Fundamentals Class:
"Meditation in Contact"

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Diana Lara
Deepening Class:
"Inner/outer spirals"

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Jen Chien
Fundamentals Class:
"The Least You Can Do"

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Jo Kreiter
Fundamentals Class:
"Mechanics of Continuity"

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José Navarrete
Fundamentals Class:
"Ascending Spine, Senses of Touch, and Choices"

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Keith Hennessy
Deepening Class
"Cups and Swords"

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Kevin O'Connor
Deepening Class:
"Fascia: The Cultural-Material Entity"

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Ryuta Iwashita
Deepening Class
"Us as One Organism: Ensemble as Partner"

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Taja Will
Fundamentals Class
"Entering & Escaping"

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west coast contact improvisation JAM 2020


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photos: © Rob Kunkle | Good Lux Photography