Winter Jam 2024

Winter Jam 2024
Karen Nelson & Adesola Akinleye

This jam and workshop are FULL. We are at capacity so we can't take any drop-ins, including the evening jams.

The Winter Jam in Bellingham is a Contact Improvisation weekend hosted by Carmen and Rajendra Serber, featuring a special workshop with Karen Nelson and music by Serge Gubelman, YamSweets, Shamsi Bluesky, and Ira Echo. We are lucky to have Spring Cheng and Anne Cooper as additional facilitator. Join us to practice Contact Improvisation with the inspiration of classes, scores, labs, music, contemplative dance practice*, the underscore, and of course jamming. We are invested in creating a welcoming and safe container while also inviting the experimental nature of a radical community process.

At the Peace, Education and Somatic School (previously called the Aikido Peace Education Center) in the Masonic Hall, downtown Bellingham, WA.

January 12 ~ Friday day workshop with Karen Nelson.
January 12-14 ~ Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday


We have an early bird price now, a session on Sunday afternoon, and a farewell dinner at our home, with an optional hearty gluten-free meal ($14) – freshly cooked by Hannah Stone.

You can join us for ...

  • Friday Workshop with Karen Nelson (including Friday evening) $80 to $150.
  • The Jam Weekend EARLY BIRD sliding scale of $60 to $300 until December 11th after $80 to $300.
  • Workshop and Jam Weekend EARLY BIRD $130 to $300 until December 11th after $150 to $300.
  • Evening Jams only, $20 per evening.
  • Sunday farewell dinner at Carmen and Rajendra's (optional $14 a meal).

The jam and workshop are Full. If you have joined the waitlist we will contact you if spaces open up. Send payments via Venmo to @Carmen-Serber with the note "Winter Jam in Bellingham".

Please let everybody you want to dance with know ~ share this post in email, on Facebook or wherever you are social.

🏕️ Thanks to the generosity and hospitality of the community we can probably accommodate around 10 people. If you or anyone you know in Bellingham can host a dancer, please let us know.

Karen's workshop description and the full schedule below...

Workshop With Karen Nelson

This workshop is Full. You can join the waitlist on our registration form.

The Brilliance of Not Knowing
This workshop will engage our senses and enhance our chances to “not know” when expectations of Contact Improvisation patterns kick in. Alternatively our excellent CI skills of responding reflexively when falling, giving and taking weight, and subtle touch communication will greatly support the play of “not knowing” as we also learn new patterns of information exchange.  We will use Tuning Scores, video replay, and classic CI essentials like 'small dance universe' and flying on the floor to brighten and warm-up our bodies, each other and the room.

Karen Nelson (chuki, she, we) lives on unceded Coast Salish land, Vashon Island, WA. She has been been dancing internationally in CI and Tuning Scores both teaching and performing for over 4 decades and continues growing through these forms. Somatic practices of presence and imagination, physicalized through dance improvisation are gifts we can share towards lightening up for self, other and the world. Find chuki’s website at


Friday January 12 ~ workshop with Karen Nelson 10am-5pm

10:00 Workshop
1:00 Lunch Break
2:30 Workshop

Friday January 12 ~ Jam starts

6:00 Open Space
7:00 Welcome mixer
7:30 Jam ~ music by Serge Gubelman

Saturday January 13

9:15 Open space
9:30 Underscore talk-through* with Anne Cooper
if you have never attended an Underscore you must come to the talk-through, all participants are welcome.
Underscore the Practice
1:30 Lunch
3:30 Welcome activity
4:00 Class with Carmen + Rajendra
5:30 Evening break
7:15 Open space
7:45 Jam ~ music by YamSweets and Shamsi Bluesky

Sunday January 14

10:00 Contemplative Dance Practice* with Carmen
12:00 Lab with Spring & Dælinar
1:00 Lunch
2:30 ☃️ 🏔 🐻‍❄️ Winter harvest score
4:15 Closing Round 🐪 🐡 🐙
4:30 Clean up

6:00 Farewell dinner at Carmen and Rajendra's (optional), food by Hannah ($14)

*Underscore talk-through

The ‘talk-through’ gives us the ‘what we are going to engage in’ or ‘game-plan’ for a long session of dance improvisation and Contact Improvisation. Everyone must attend or have already attended a talk-through somewhere in the world to participate in the Underscore itself. The Underscore is generally not led by verbal cues; the idea is that people "know" it, by attending a talk-through, and the facilitator participates in the score and supports our relation to time but does not guide the score.

The Underscore was developed by Nancy Stark Smith in the 90's. It is a spacious experience shared by the participants which can spark surprising kinesthetic and compositional improvisation and Contact Improvisation within this defined framework.

*Contemplative Dance Practice

Contemplative Dance Practice, developed by Barbara Dilley, is a Dancer's Mediation Hall or a Meditator's Dance Hall. It offers a place to observe and research, alone and together. This practice deepens our relationship to impulse. It invites us to listen and to court the unexpected. We may move, or be moved, into deeper streams of consciousness.