Contact Improv + SOTAI Ancestral Body

Facilitated by: Ryuta Iwashita

June 6-9

This Contact Improvisation* retreat is infused with Ryuta’s life research, SOTAI(祖体) “Ancestral Body” where you will be guided through embodiment practices of sensing, moving and resting your body as well as journaling, drawing, and vocalization.

SOTAI is a state of being that illuminates and honors “us” instead of “me”. “Us” may represent our human ancestors in our lineages and/or non-human ancestors such as fish, bacteria or nature. It is a liminal state that welcomes magic and the unknown which can decentralize our over-scrutinizing, analytical minds and radically reorient us into an experiential state.

SOTAI values deep rest. Flavored with subtle Japanese nuances and cultural concepts, this retreat will center resting to say goodbye to the western approach of “the more, the merrier”. Ryuta grew up in Japan, surrounded by the concept of MA(間) which is “pauses or the in-between spaces” in Japanese. From pauses between conversations to spaces created for nature to exist and speak, Ryuta’s facilitation will incorporate MA to counter our productivity-driven society.

Each day, we will have “integration time” which is designed for you to integrate your learning from our collective practices with your personal practice. What is it like to bring this awareness and sensibility into walking in the forest? How do you integrate remembering your non-human ancestors with your yoga practice? Can you rest as if you were an ancient rock that has been resting for millions of years? WildHeart is located on 45-acres of land including forest, fields, and a private lake. You are welcome to enjoy this abundance of the natural environment for your integration time as well as the rest of the retreat.

This offering is not limited to movers/dancers. Anyone can benefit from ancestral deep rest, which prepares you to show up to the world with more YOYUU(余裕), a Japanese word for “ease and spaciousness of the self”.

* “Contact Improvisation is an open-ended exploration of the kinaesthetic possibilities of bodies moving through contact. Sometimes wild and athletic, sometimes quiet and meditative, it is a form open to all bodies and enquiring minds.”

– definition by Ray Chung from

Who is this Retreat for?

Those who are looking for…

Embodiment and deep rest of your ancestral body

Contact improvisation and beyond

A break from your hustling lifestyle (NATURE!)

A non-American, queer facilitation for radical concepts and inspiration

A rebirth  



9-12 Morning Session
12-2 Lunch and Rest
2-5 Afternoon Session
5-6 Integration Time*
6-8 Dinner and Rest
8-10 Evening Jam**

*Integration Time is designed for you to integrate your learning with your personal practice such as yoga, taking a walk or just resting.

**Jam is an unstructured, open space for exploring dance/contact improvisation (optional)

Arrivals & Departures
Arrivals on Day 1 between 2-4pm,
Departures on final day between 2-4pm after lunch clean

About Ryuta

Ryuta Iwashita (they/them) currently lives and improvises in Bulbancha (also colonially known as New Orleans) as a movement/performance artist and educator. Their artistic lexicons are rooted in dance improvisation, social justice, somatics, martial arts, child education, and ancestral work including 祖体 (SOTAI) of which Ryuta is its conceiver. 

Their art and teaching move and respond to mystical juxtapositions of phenomena, — the one between their Japanese heritage and their westernized life in the Deep South, between a day of organic farming and a night of MSG-heavy instant noodles, between their Egyptian lover indulge in watching reality TV shows and their Japanese grandfather’s indulge in eating raw chicken gizzards at night, and between their internal organs and their ancestors moving and pausing as stars.

They care about decentralizing dominant culture, questioning normalization of disembodiment, and practicing deep rest as an artistic form.

Their art and teaching have been accepted by Chang Theatre (Thailand), Nhà Là Retreat (Vietnam), Kirishima Open Air Museum (JAPAN), Contact Improv Dance Chengdu (CHINA), MANCC (FL), Jacob’s Pillow (MA), Tulane University (LA), University of Colorado (CO), and New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center (LA).

Their current interest is to know who I am in love with today.

Retreat Location

WildHeart is located on 46+ beautiful acres in the Hudson Valley. Retreatants will have the option to stay in a single room, double room, dorm, or camping in either our main retreat center or in private two-bedroom cabins. All options have access to shared kitchens and bathrooms. Daily events will take place in the studio, shared common spaces, and outdoors. Retreatants are welcome to enjoy the lawns, walk in the forest, and swim and boat in the lake during their stay! More info about directions and transportation options HERE.

If you have any questions, concerns about pricing, or need assistance attending, please do not hesitate to reach out personally.

A Note on Food

We are able to accommodate most diets. We serve meat and dairy daily, and always have vegan and gluten-free options available. If you send us your dietary preferences in advance, we will do our best to make sure there is good food for you at each meal! All living accommodations have access to a full kitchen (separate from the main/commercial kitchen). We will provide breakfast groceries for you to prepare and eat on your own. Lunches and dinners are communal shared meals. Drinks include: coffee and tea, dairy and non-dairy milk, lemon and lime juice for water, red and white wine.


These prices are all inclusive! You receive all retreat content and facilitation, housing, food and drinks, and access to the land, lake, and studio spaces.
$315 Dorm
$420 Double
$599 Single
$315 Camping
$195 Commuter (meals additional cost)

BIPOC tickets: We are offering four half-price BIPOC tickets. Please email to get the registration code for one of these spots.

Support Price: This price directly supports us to welcome folx who might not otherwise be able to attend, to come at a lower price. $777

Early Bird Price! Register by May 1st to get $30 off!

Refund policy
In advance of 2 weeks – full refund (less the processing fee)
Within 2 weeks – no refund

Covid policy To protect the group, please don’t come if you have any symptoms of illness or had contact in the last 3 days with anyone who has COVID
Get Updates

Find out about WildHeart happenings!

Get Updates

Find out about WildHeart happenings!