Spiral & Root: Earthdance Professional CI Training

Welcome to Spiral & Root: Earthdance’s Professional Contact Improvisation Training. For those who are longing for a deep and durational dive into CI research, pedagogy, and professional training, you’re invited to gather with us for three weeks from January 6th through 26th, 2025. 

With nine teachers from Europe, North & South America, and the Middle East representing some of the highest quality of CI instruction available, this one-of-a kind professional training promises to deliver a container for the continuation of targeted and passionate CI research. 


Sarah Young Image Credit: Ludger Storcks

Who is this for?

Spiral & Root is a place of meeting and dialogue between elders and newer generations of dancers, facilitating the continued development and evolution of CI. In addition to developing and refining the necessary technical skills for practicing and facilitating CI, this training will likewise focus on career development and for those who wish to further their professional tools, networks, and offerings. This intensive is especially valuable for those who wish to further integrate CI training and research into their careers and practices of community building. Further, there will also be opportunities for dialogue and inquiry around the original values and intentions of CI.

The Venue

As the oldest intentional community founded on Contact Improv, it’s only natural that Earthdance has long been host to some of the most comprehensive and rigorous trainings for teachers and dedicated practitioners of CI. Since its founding in 1986, Earthdance has been committed to a spirit of improvisation and heart-centered community through CI-informed movement practices and research. As CI and notions of community have evolved and developed further, Earthdance has likewise adapted and integrated the changes that have cohered, playing host to countless jams and trainings that further progress the dance form.


A brief overview of the program (in progress, will likely change):

Week 1: Jan 6th – Jan 12th

  • Mornings 6th – 10th: Mirva Makinen / CI Technique & Pedagogy
  • Afternoons 6th -10th: Lani Nahele / BMC
  • Full day Saturday 11th: Pilar Echavarria/ Earth & Dance
  • Scheduled for the 7th: Underscore talk Meta Bobbe & Sarah Young /
  • Evening 9th: Underscore practice Meta Bobbe & Sarah Young /
  • Evening Jams & Talks and one open Jam for Community
  • Sunday 12th: free day – nothing scheduled

Week 2: Jan 13th – Jan 19th

  • Mornings 13th – 14th : Meta Bobbe & Sarah Young / Underscore
  • Afternoons 13th – 14th: Itay Yatuv / CI Technique & Pedagogy
  • Full day 15th: Itay Yatuv / CI Technique & Pedagogy
  • Full day 16th: Meta Bobbe & Sarah Young / Underscore
  • Morning 17th: Itay Yatuv / CI Technique & Pedagogy
  • Afternoon 17th: Meta Bobbe & Sarah Young / Underscore
  • Full day Saturday 18th: Pilar Echavarria/ Earth & Dance
  • Evening Jams & Talks and one open Jam for Community
  • Sunday 19th: Community Jam in Northampton hosted by Patrick Crowley & Sarah Young

Week 3: Jan 20th – Jan 26th

  • Mornings 20th – 24th: Ray Chung & Chris Aiken / CI Technique & Pedagogy
  • Afternoons 20th – 24th: Keith Hennessy / CI politics & healing
  • Full day Saturday 25th: Pilar Echavarria/ Earth & Dance 
  • Saturday 25th: Last evening party (& Performance)
  • Evening Jams & Talks and one open Jam for Community, Thursday optional Underscore.
  • Sunday 26th: Goodbye!

Diversity, resources, and access

Questions of diversity, access, and how to best spread out limited resources are already alive and well amongst us. We hope to strike a healthy balance between acknowledging that this training is happening in the U.S. and will be coloured by U.S. politics and frameworks. However as this is an international training with students and teachers from around the world, we also don’t want to reproduce U.S. cultural hegemony by centering U.S. political themes, strategies, and framings. We wish to create space for the diversity of cultures, languages, and positionalities which will be present throughout the three weeks. Students, teachers, and organizers will have various levels of proficiency with English, and we aim to take into consideration that everyone won’t have the same fluency, and therefore find various ways to communicate and negotiate beyond language and comprehension barriers. As part of our desire to address the need for a variety of diversities, we will be opening up applications for 3 half-scholarships to assist in making the training more financially accessible.

Why is this a “Professional” Training

There has been some rich discussion and questioning of the term ‘professional’ in the title of the intensive. In the end, we are deciding to keep it, and, to also make it clear that we are using the term to mean the support of participants’ professional development and resourcefulness as teachers, facilitators, and organizers, as opposed to any sort of certification process or top-down bestowing of credentials or authority.

Applying to Participate

In order to participate in the Spiral and Root Intensive, we require all participants to have a certain degree of skill and experience with Contact Improv and related modalities in order to ensure that everyone has the capacity to fully take part and reasonably integrate the material. If you are a beginner to CI, this might not be the right time to commit to such a training. If you are intermediate to advanced level, then you should be fine. In order to assess if this is the right time for you to participate, we require all participants to fill out this form before registering. After doing so, we will respond with an invitation and registration link. If we’re unsure if this is right for you, we will reach out to you and invite you to have a conversation with us so that we can better determine the way forward.


Earthdance is using a sliding-scale tiered payment system for participation in this event.

What this means:

We are opening up an initial limited 20 tickets, priced at various rates which are dependent upon your personal and financial situation. Please take a moment to reflect as you decide on where you best fit. Your level of contribution is self selected and does not need to be advocated for. However, we invite you to remember this contribution is currency and we ask that you stretch where you are able so that those who cannot stretch as far of a financial distance may also have potential access to the training. As you choose your rate please consider the following factors:

  • Your access to income and wealth, as connected to family and partnership, both currently and anticipated in the future.
  • The historical, systemic impacts of wealth accrual based on culture, race and other intersection marginalizations for you and your family.
  • The regional ease of your attendance, while some community members can drive to Earthdance, others will need to consider tuition based on their ability to travel longer distances.
  • Earthdance is a community and rental funded organization which recently, historically and uniquely through the Covid-19 pandemic, has struggled to have viable income.

Four Tiers:

  • $2,450 – 5 tickets SOLD-OUT
  • $2,650 – 5 tickets
  • $2,850 – 5 tickets
  • $3,050 – 5 tickets

Once these initial 20 tickets have been claimed, we will open up additional spots at a higher rate than these five tiers, so register and commit early  in order to secure one of the initial lower rates.


In addition, as part of our Equity & Access program, we are offering three half-scholarship tickets to those who would otherwise be completely unable to attend the training due to financial constraints. The rate for these three tickets is $1170 each. To apply for a scholarship please send an email to citraining@earthdance.net and take some time to describe your financial situation as well as your life situation. Please be sure to recount examples of your commitment to the CI dance form, to building community through dance and movement, and any other factors which would make you an ideal candidate.

Commuter Rate

For those of you who are local and might not need to enjoy all three meals a day at Earthdance, and/or don’t need to sleep over, we are offering a limited number of discounted commuter rates:

  • Breakfast 4% off
  • Lunch 4% off
  • Dinner 4% off
  • Sleeping 8% off

If you would like to take advantage of a commuter rate discount, please indicate that you will be commuting in the registration form and send an email to citraining@earthdance.net to let us know which of the four options you will be declining.

Staying at Earthdance Between the New Years Jam and Spiral & Root

Some of you may want to take advantage of attending our biggest jam of the year, our annual Winter Jam (Dec 27th, 2024 – January 1st, 2025). If so, we are offering a discounted rate of $30/night to stay with us in our dormitory between the Winter Jam and Spiral & Root. This includes access to our communal food supplies and a kitchen to cook in, but you will need to prepare your own meals. Please email citraining@earthdance.net if you would like to take advantage of this offer.

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