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Masters of Improvisational Movement Say It's Better Than Sex

 - Jan 31, 2009
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Movers, dancers and those seeking physical contact without sexual ties are forming contact dance improvisation communities around the globe. Contact improvisation is categorized as social dance, as anyone can participate. Many choreographers and teachers also integrate the technique into their work.

In 1972, Steve Paxton and Oberlin College dance students debuted what is known as the first contact dance performance. He further developed contact dance technique by establishing that two bodies come together to create a point of contact, give weight to each other equally and then create a movement conversation that can last for an undetermined span of time.

From an outsider’s viewpoint, contact dance looks weird, awkward and inhuman. As we are a society that values personal space, the idea of rubbing bodies with strangers sounds absurd. Other than sex and shopping, contact dance provides a safe place to explore one's kinisphere.

By observing the distance between people in the street, elevator and subway, it is safe to suggest that Americans are not finished exploring each other. It is not a coincidence that in dense metropolitan areas such as New York, San Francisco and Chicago, contact dance communities are thriving. A common reaction from newbies is that it is better than sex and fully human.