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7 Options on and off the dance floor

Recently I received a note from a previous WOW of Contact participant and want to share it with you here. It is exciting to hear how the experience in the dance can apply to other scenarios and she locates what we’re doing in the larger arena of psychology. Thank you, Robin!


Hello Dear Carolyn,
I just wanted to take a moment to express gratitude for your ability to use words with contact improv. I continue to come back to your words about CI as incredibly helpful metaphors and reminders for how to move in my life. When I consider “the 7 options” I feel more spacious and less reactive to things that otherwise would feel distressing. I hope that makes sense.

Much love, Robin


>>in another email after asking for more detail she went on to say-


The specific back story for this reflection is that I received a subpoena for my work to testify in a child welfare hearing. Most people would find that stressful. I find it extra stressful because my only other experience in court is testifying as the victim of a crime. So you can imagine it might be easy for me to flip out about this.

And I keep trying to come back to the metaphors of contact improv…

Contact is… this subpoena is. It is something that is happening and I have options in how I move with it. It actually brought me back to the Sunday jam in Seattle and I found myself playing out the themes of resisting versus resting and waiting for the right moment to move. Not surprisingly, noticing fear before it becomes overwhelming panic works incredibly well both in the dance of contact improv and the dance I am doing in the process of getting ready to go to court.

I am just in love with how contact improv feeds me knowledge through my body that I can grok with my mind, but find hard to enact when it only comes from my mind. This is, incidentally, the same reason I really like kinesthetic learning opportunities like climbing walls and ropes courses.

In the world of clinical social work, (and psychology, and neuropsychology) this is called “bottom up” processing… where sense data becomes integrated into thought and understanding. It’s opposite is “top down” processing… where thinking and awareness get translated into “doing things differently” or behavioral changes.

Anyway… I think a LOT about how the practice of contact improv brings me into a greater awareness of the choices I have outside of the jam and particularly in stressful circumstances.


>>Please feel free to share your thoughts by clicking  on ‘leave a comment’ in the upper right hand corner of this box!


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