31st Annual California Contact Improv Jam


Registration for 2016 jam is closed.

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Not Just a Jam – It is a Tradition

With 30+ years of history, this Jam has become an iconic event for Contact Improvisation in California. People come from all over the state and beyond, some are seasoned CI teachers and dancers, some are new to the form. But they all share the same passion for the form, for human connection, for the healing power of a simple touch. And we gather together in a dedicated place, free of distractions, to focus just on that – our own selves, our relationship to our own bodies, and the pure joy of playing with one another. Something we’ve all done when we were kids, and something we might not be doing enough as adults.

susan-+eddieMost years, the Jam was held at the conference center at Harbin Hot Springs on Memorial Day weekend (end of May). Informally, it has become known as “the Harbin Jam”. Unfortunately, due to the tragic Valley Fire in fall 2015, the conference center and most other structures at the Harbin Hot Springs burned down. We were all very shaken by this tragedy, and we are hopeful that the resort will soon get rebuilt, and the Jam can return back to its original home.

In the meantime, the Jam had to find a new place. This year, we are happy to be hosted by the cozy Salamander Camp in the Santa Cruz Mountains which held many small contact improv gatherings in the past.

Because of the more intimate venue and a smaller possible total number of participants, this year CCI jam will have a special focus on investigation of fundamental skills in contact improvisation. We are planning to have not only several classes but also a lunch time group discussion on the contact culture and specifics of this movement form as well as a screening of historic video footage with Q&A time. All of this will serve us to make our time together memorable.

Contact Improv Experience

A dancer warming upDancers of all levels attend the jam. Basic contact improv skills and familiarity with jam etiquette are a plus, but not required. Beginners to the form are welcome for the way they can be teachers for more seasoned dancers. Your intention to practice contact improv together as a group is what makes for a great jam.

If you love to dance, have an open mind, and enjoy having fun – it is all you need to attend the jam, no hard skills required. At the same time, those with lots of skills will not be bored!

If you have questions about your skill level, or are unsure about whether the jam is right for you, write us an email at info@ccijam.org, or give one of the organizers a call. We love to help you get an idea of what to expect and encourage you to come out and play.

Schedule (preliminary)

The event begins at 5pm on Friday, May 13 with a welcome circle and orientation. Please arrive on time. The camp is open as early as 2pm for you to unload, settle down, and set up your tent if you have one.

The event ends around 4pm on Sunday, May 15, and we need to pack up and leave the camp by 5pm.

Meal times: Friday and Saturday dinner at 6:30pm. Saturday and Sunday – breakfast at 8am, lunch at 12:30pm. There is no dinner on Sunday.

What to bring

  • ray-AnnieYour playful, creative self!
  • Personal bedding, e.g., a tent, a sleeping bag and a pad and/or sheets (the mattresses are supplied by the camp if you sleep in a yurt)
  • Days can be warm, and evenings might be cold, so bring layers
  • Towels for bathing and tubing
  • Toiletries (no perfume please – many people are sensitive to scents)
  • Flashlight
  • Knee pads. No fancy clothes required as we will be moving on the floor and off the floor a lot. Wear comfortable, static-free clothes.
  • Slip on shoes/flip flops, hiking shoes
  • Earplugs for indoor sleeping
  • Personal items, journal, color pencils (if you wish)
  • Sun hat, sunscreen, non-toxic bug repellent
  • Water bottle
  • Musical instruments and/or recorded music to share

Venue Information

  • Poor or no cell phone service. There is a landline phone in the kitchen (also rings manager’s desk): 408-354-2963
  • Parking: unload by the yurts, then park in the parking lot below.
  • Lodging: camp in your own tent, or sleep in the yurt. Bring your own sheets and a pillow.
  • Carry a flashlight at night. It gets really dark.
  • Candles: only in glass containers or on large fireproof plates.
  • Campfires are only allowed in the two firepits beside the hot tub and the picnic ground.
  • Pets: sorry, but absolutely no pets are allowed in the camp.
  • Children: the camp is not designed or arranged to be safe for small children. Please do not bring children to camp unless previously agreed and signed a waiver.
  • Poison Oak: There is poison oak growing in the forest. It’s best to stay on the paths. If you suspect exposure, wash with cool water and detergent.


Camp’s address: 19315 Bear Creek Rd., Los Gatos, CA 95033

  • Turn off 17 on Bear Creek Rd. right after overpass. Turn left, go 1 mile.
  • Just after a sharp uphill right turn, make an even sharper turn onto a side road with a house number sign post – 19315 on the bottom.
  • Go up canyon 1 mile to the end. Ignore turnoffs to homes downhill on right.
  • Go through the gate marked by red Salamander and 19315.
  • Continue uphill – camp parking straight ahead to the right.