Contact improvisation is a dance technique in which points of physical contact provide the starting point for exploration through movement improvisation. Contact Improvisation is a form of dance improvisation and is one of the best-known and most characteristic forms of postmodern dance.Wikipedia Contact Improv
Contact Improv might be exactly what Wikipedia says it is. In fact, sure. I suppose that’s exactly right. But I don’t care. At least not right in this moment. What matters to me is that Contact Improv saved my Soul.
Do you think I’m being dramatic?
Ok. Fine. Think what you want. You are entitled. But hear me out — if you want to.
When my Mom died in 2013, I officially became an orphan. My Dad had already been gone for 9 years. I’m an only child with tenuous family connections. It was ok though. At first. I took my Mom’s death as a rite of passage, and for the first 6 months or so, I did pretty well. Things started to go downhill in October or so, but I was still holding it together…mostly. Then my best friend shot herself on a road somewhere in North Carolina. And my Soul fled my body. Not for the first time, but that’s another story. Things were just settling down again 6 months later. I was doing lots of breathwork, practicing meditation, and doing everything I could do to reenter my Body. Then another foundation person died suddenly, and my Breathwork teacher and spiritual mentor died of a heart attack.
I was a mess. On top of the losses, my history of eating disorders and body image crap crawled out of the basement and started biting me in the face. And suddenly, from some deep crevice in the open water of my psyche I also became very nervous about being touched. By anybody. So… orphan, body hater, touch anxious and touch deprived…that was me. I was also falling into depression and anxiety and was trying to learn to dance at the same time, which was bringing up all kinds of old shit from the golden oldies of my memory box.
And my dance teacher told me that I had to lay over the top of his back.
Are you kidding me?
No. He wasn’t.
And so I did.
And I did it again.
And I let somebody roll over the top of me.
And I started to trust a very limited number of people to do Contact with me.
And I started being touched, safely.
And I started sharing my weight (which I learned was soooooo much more than physical).
And somehow…as a result of this thing that I found terrifying, my Soul found her way back into my body. She found her way through play. She found her way through the connection between my back and my partner’s. She found her way back flying around in the sky on someone’s shoulder. She found her way back through the power of human, physical connection.
Contact Improv saved my Soul. Wikipedia can say whatever they want to about it. And again, I suppose the definition is true. I mean, it IS a beautiful art form Watch it HERE. But to me…it’s more than that. It is a heart opening, body healing, SOUL nourishing rescue remedy.
My body is glitchy. I’m currently working with a back that does not want to stay stable, I have to be careful and honest (with myself and with my partners) when I’m doing Contact, because there are just things that aren’t working right now. But I won’t give it up. I will keep contacting as long as I can move, and I think I might be on a mission to help the masses find Contact.
Tara Moorman is a freelance writer and Licensed Professional Counselor with 19 years of experience in the fields of mental health and personal growth and development. She specializes in writing blog posts and articles related to mental health, addictions recovery, and personal growth and change. You can see more of her work at https://taramoorman.contently.com/
**This post was originally published by the Tara Moorman at https://dancingmyselfawake.blogspot.com/2016/12/contact-improv-saved-my-soul.html