Contact Improvisation & Dance Improvisation Courses for Fall 2018 (Gen Ed or Free Electives)

Contact and Improv flyer fall 2018

Contact Improvisation
DANC 14400    CRN  16261       T/Th 1:30-2:45pm

Dance Improvisation
DANC 14000    CRN  13511       T/Th  10:30-11:45 am

Taught by Holly Jaycox, MFA,
Pao Hall 1171Students learn simple movement activities that help them become more comfortable in their own bodies. They do creative problem solving and develop connections with the people around them. These transferable skills help them in their careers and in their life. (see quotes from students below)

No pre-requisites!    No dance experience required!    Everyone is welcome!

 * 1 credit –little work outside class
* Open to all, including first-year students
* Open to people with all types of movement experience (e.g. sports, social dance, martial arts, etc.)
* Accessible to all genders and body types
* Learn fun ways to build trust in yourself and others
* Learn more about how the human body moves (great for those in medical fields)
* Learn new ways to be creative and spontaneous

Here are some things past students have said about the courses:

“I never previously thought that a dance class could impact me outside of the classroom. Sure, ballet might have one walking about the campus with improved posture, but I did not think that a dance class, a primarily physical experience, could have transformative neurological effects that alter one’s perspective on life and future interactions with acquaintances and strangers alike. This is what Contact Improvisation has done to me. … First, my confidence during verbal interactions with my peers has improved. This is due to my confidence and trust in physical interactions being built-up from all the exercises we have done in class. …I tend to overthink, a lot, and leave situations that make me feel uncomfortable. This class has taught me that it is okay that a situation feels uncomfortable, or that I do not know what will happen next. Having the trust and grit to see the situation through can lead to some wonderfully unexpected results.”  (female, engineering student)


“As an individual, contact has helped me to realize the value in being attentive to my own needs—both emotional and physical—in my day, and how this awareness allows me to be more productive and have new experiences.”  (female, freshman, Explorers)


“[Improvisation] has changed the way I approach problems that occur when I least expect them. …Through working together with people who are unpredictable and have their own intentions, working with them has allowed me to exercise my mind to be more flexible and limber in spontaneous situations.” (female, HHS major)


“…some of the biggest takeaways from this class for me are curiosity and creativity…we learn while we are in motion. We learn how to let go and let one movement takes our body in to another one but we learn to be curious and see where this curiosity will lead us. It is curiosity that motivates the movement and it is this curiosity that then makes creative movements, and I have definitely felt this in my life. As an electrical engineering student, I always have to work on projects and try to be innovative. After taking this class, and when I was working on my final projects, I was asking myself different questions; I tried to question everything and tell myself what if I investigate this or what if I just leave my curiosity lead me to the next step and I felt that this really helps any creative process.” (female, engineering major)


“Throughout my experience with taking classes at Purdue over the past two years, I have had a accurate intuition for classes that were going to go well, and classes that I would ultimately not learn much more than I would need to in order to pass a test. I must admit, contact improvisation was one of the classes in which my intuition was wrong. What I learned here went completely beyond the basic exercises. I can say with complete honesty that I will most certainly use the skills and knowledge about myself and others I acquired here in my daily life, for the rest of my life. In fact, I already have.”  (female, liberal arts major)


“I was surprised to see that taking this class has actually had a significant impact on my life outside of class . What is really interesting is that I did not notice these changes as they happened nor did I know that taking improvisation will actually have a positive effect on my life outside of class, but when I looked back at my experience and tried to think about it, I realized that [class] has actually changed me a little bit…. I think this [class] made me think more about the idea that I always have a choice. Sometimes we think we are obligated to do something or that we do not have a choice but in fact we do and our choices impact everything else that happens in our lives.” (female, engineering major, international student)


“I feel much closer to not only my classmates but to everyone. I realize that the social strictures and mores we obey in daily life are largely self-imposed, and the fear of judgment many of us have is largely unfounded.” (male engineering major )


“Contact improvisation thus means to practice self-expression with accountability and responsibility. … the societal norm is to treat freedom and constraints as two contrasting entities. …I think contact improvisation gives a treasured opportunity for people to practice and really see the duality of freedom and constraint.” (male, science major) 


“In the culture that I was brought up, saying no is often associated with being impolite. In my life, I have always had trouble saying no to someone or some things. Practicing saying clear “no’s” in class taught me that it is okay to decline someone’s invitation or request. And I could still be open and curious with the choices that include saying no.” (female ,engineering major, international student)


“Listen to what is being said, not my interpretation of their intention. In order for this to happen, I have to be okay with saying my opinions and listening to my partners’ feelings. This semester, I have learned the benefits of this practice in my relationships.” (male engineering student)


“ just keeps coming back to me, the ways this class ties in to my Philosophy of Mind class. . I’m probably going to write my final paper for that class about how the “self” is not necessarily a real thing – it is at least not the only way of looking at things.”  (female, senior, liberal arts major)


“…what really amazed me is my mental change.  I am an international student and where I am studying is hundred thousand miles away from my hometown. I must be emotionless, and I must have a tough mind when I stay abroad alone.  So, in the first few classes, I was not enjoying, and I thought I do not have any change, I still in my “safe mode,” which helped me to keep away from people and be safe. But when spring break began, I had a trip with a lot of friends who are not so familiar to me. I found that I could communicate with them comfortably… I was a person lack of confidence and shy, and I always feel so scared when I have the conversation with someone who unfamiliar, I think they may mock me in their deep mind though their faces look like so nice. I doubt myself, and I doubt other’s intention…. This is an amazing experience for me.” (female, business major, international student)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.