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Roots and Reverence: Honoring our CI lineage through ritual and practice

May 11 @ 10:00 am 9:30 pm

Honoring the teaching of Steve Paxton & Nancy Stark-Smith through ritual and practice

with Moti Zemelman and Taina Lyons

Founders and finders of Contact Improvisation, Steve Paxton and Nancy Stark Smith have now both passed into the ancestor realm.  In this daylong exploration, we will honor their teachings and explore the ways their movement lineages continue to live through us.   We’ll share video footage and writings of these master teachers, and explore some of their teachings such as the Small Dance, Paxton puzzles, aikido principles, Nancy’s Underscore and more… together we will also co-create an ancestor altar and a ritual to honor them.

Option to stay overnight at WildHeart before or after – come early or stay late.

Workshop Schedule

10-12:30pm Class Session 1

12:30 -2pm BYO Lunch

2-5pm Class Session 2

5-7pm  BYO Dinner (Moti & Taina will bring a big pot soup, bread, a main dish and a salad to share. Please bring anything else you’d like to eat!)

7-9:30pm Underscore Practice

Who is it for?

For mixed-level Contact Improvisation dancers


“I love Taina’s approach to Contact Improv. Her classes explore CI not only as a dance of connecting bodies, but as an inquiry into being human. Taina holds space that feels safe and open, playful and meaningful, while offering skills that build our inner and outer movement vocabulary for both the dance floor and for life.” 

RF (Rhode Island, USA)

“This Retreat was an absolute highlight in my over 30 years on again off again CI dance life. Moti is a sensei, a true master teacher, who has fed my love for CI on a very deep level and has brought out new curiosities and inner explorations into my being a CI practitioner.”

– CH, (USA/Germany)

About the Instructors

Moti Zemelman

As your co-host and teacher I bring 35 years of CI experience to share. Based in Massachusetts, I’ve taught and performed across USA, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Europe and Israel. My teachings emphasize the importance of cultivating a deep and embodied sense of presence, as well as developing a compassionate non-judgmental relationship with oneself. My workshops and classes offer a space for individuals to explore movement and embodiment in a supportive and non-competitive environment, and are open to people of all ages, backgrounds, and levels of experience. Over the last 15 years in my desire to integrate communication and intimacy skills in teaching and life I have studied Non-violent communication, Tantra, Butoh, Byron Katie’s “The Work” and Betty Martin’s “Wheel of Consent”. I have been both a teacher and a board member at Earthdance Retreat Center in Plainfield, MA where I co-directed the Touch&Play Festival for 6 years. I am a featured dancer in Sanford Lewis’ documentary film about CI “An Intimate Dance.” I also design and moderate the international Contact Improv resource website www.contactimprov.com.

Taina Lyons

I am a somatic ritualist, movement artist, and holistic counselor. I teach Contact Improvisation and hold spaces for grief, rites of passage, ancestral & nature connection, and consent. My capacity for intuitive guidance supports students’ growth and discovery through dance and reflection. I center gentle inquiries into purpose, healing, and connection and invite you to deepen in your awareness of self and other.  Along with Moti Zemelman I co-founded Consentient Beings, offering trainings in consent, movement, and relating practices for groups and organizations.  




$15 – $200 depending on attendance and sliding scale

Full Day Sliding Scale: $100-200
Workshop only: $85-185
Underscore only: $15-30

BIPOC spots- We are offering 2 free spots for BIPOC folx. Please email contact@wildheartcenter.art to get the registration code for one of these spots.

Refund policy-

  • In advance of 1 week – full refund (less processing fee)
  • Within 1 week – 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

183 East Road
Wallkill, NY 05156 United States
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