Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question about wcciJAM, please look through the list below before emailing us – there is a good chance that you will find what you are looking for below. For additional details see our pages for Prices & Registration, Food, Housing Information, Rides, Work Exchange, Venue, and Playcare
Where is wcciJAM located?
wcciJAM 2017 is at the University of California Berkeley.
We will be using the Bancroft Studio, on the corner Bancroft and Dana, as well as the beautiful studios in the Hearst Women’s Gymnasium, just a few minutes up Bancroft.
I haven’t danced much/any Contact Improvisation before. Can I come?
Yes, certainly! There will be classes and intensives suitable for beginners, and the Fundamentals intensive is especially geared toward teaching the basics of Contact Improvisation. A festival can be a great place to begin dancing Contact: you can study with many different teachers and learn many perspectives to the form in a short time. There will there be lots of people to dance with in jams, and it is also a great opportunity to learn by watching.
Are there any discounts?
Is it possible to do work exchange?
Yes. We need a number of WEX people to help with different tasks during the festival.
We take WEX applications as soon as the registration opens, but decisions regarding WEX won’t be made until May 15th.
If you apply for WEX and are not accepted, you may still register at the festival for the lowest price that was available when we received your application.
Is the event wheelchair accessible?
All the dance spaces and outdoor eating area, as well as several of the restrooms are wheelchair accessible. While there is no special track for people with disabilities, the teachers are strongly encouraged to plan their classes so that everyone can participate. If you are unsure about a particular class, please reach out to us or check in directly with the teacher.
We are committed to making this event accessible, and will do our best to accommodate people’s requests: if you come with a personal assistant or would like to request sign language interpretation, please let us know. We may not be able to meet all requests, but the earlier we know, the more likely it is we can arrange it.
We would appreciate to hear what more we can do to make the JAM welcoming for everyone. Please contact us with your thoughts and suggestions. You can also offer a lab or a discussion during the JAM, or offer to join the organizing team to make it better for next year!
Do I need to choose which classes I take before the festival?
Choose the intensive you want to take when you register for the festival. If you don’t make a choice, and one of them fills up, you will be assigned to go to one that has space. Don’t worry, whichever one you end up in will be fabulous. Single classes are first come first served. They do fill up, so be on time!
Can I bring alcohol or recreational drugs to the festival?
No. In a Contact Improvisation JAM we dance sharing weight and often moving in complex acrobatic ways in close proximity to each other. To do this safely, we need to be acutely aware of our surroundings. We also need to be able to clearly read and respect the personal boundaries set by other dancers. Please do not show up inebriated or high.
Do I need to do everything that is on the schedule?
No. Take time to rest. If you do everything then you will most likely be exhausted by the end. We hope you leave feeling refreshed and enlivened.
What should I wear for class?
Wear comfortable clothes that you can move in. Most people dance in sweat pants and a t-shirt, with bare feet. Many choose to use wear light kneepads. Clothes that are not slippery, and don’t have zippers, sequins or other scratchy things, work best. Bring layers: in most contact classes the exercises vary between stillness and big movement, it is good to prepare for both.
What are One-on-Ones?
A One-on-One is an opportunity to connect with a teacher or a long time practitioner of Contact Improvisation and to work with a specific question you have about dancing CI, to learn or polish a technical skill, or to just get feedback through dancing together. At wcciJAM we have One-on-Ones almost every day, so if that is your favored mode of learning you have a lot of possibilities to work with different teachers.
I’m thinking of coming with my family – what do you think?
Great idea! We have a family class and JAM every morning, where grown-ups and children can dance together. In the evenings one of the JAM spaces will be designated as a Kid Friendly JAM, where you can practice Contact Improvisation with your children and other families. The Kid Friendly JAM is a space for CI, and for dancers of all ages to learn to share space and negotiate their needs for the room.
There will also be playcare. If you are interested in helping develop the family programs at wcciJAM, please be in touch, we would love to include your ideas!
I organize a festival. If I let you come to mine for free, can I come to yours for free?
No. This is a community organized festival. There around 14 people in the organizing team each year. We feel it is simpler that you pay to come to our festival and we pay to come to yours.
I need/can offer a place to stay – can you help ?
I need somewhere to stay during the festival – are there nice hotels nearby?
Can I sleep in a tent?
Please see our Housing page.
How can I offer/find a lift by car to/from the festival?
Check out the Rideshare page.
Is it easy to find parking? Do I have to pay for parking?
We recommend taking public transportation, biking, or carpooling to minimize parking troubles for everyone. See the Venue page for more info.
Can I bike to the festival?
Great idea! Many of us do. Check out this map for easy, safe transit: Map: Berkeley! Biking & Walking Map
Are there any shops nearby?
Yes. UC Berkeley is in the heart of the city.
Is the area safe?
Yes, it is generally safe to walk around by the festival venue.
What will the weather be like? What should I bring to wear?
Layers, layers, sunglasses, layers. The Bay Area weather is fickle, hot one moment, but when the breeze comes from the ocean you will find yourself shivering and reaching for your coat.
I have special dietary needs – can I get food that I can eat?
We are working with a wonderful chef, Lizze Love Rojas, to provide everyone with ample variety of yumminess. Vegans, vegetarians and omnivores are already accounted for. If you have a food allergy or other dietary restrictions, please be in touch and we will do our best to make sure you get what you need.
Please note that meat is not necessarily served at every meal.
Is there internet available? Can I check my email?
At the festival venue there are no computers available for our use. There is a wireless internet connection at a café nearby. If you know that you will need to access the internet during the day, please bring your own laptop and prepare to spend some money on a latte and a crumpet.
Do you offer pick up from the airport?
No. You can take the Bart (Bay Area Rapid Transit,) the Downtown Berkeley stop is just a few blocks from the festival venue. Or take an airport shuttle or a taxi cab.
Can you help with getting a visa to the USA to attend the festival?
Yes, we can send you an invitation. Please fill in the contact form explaining your situation, and we will get in touch with you.
My flight was delayed and I missed the last BART. How do I get to my accommodation?
Take a cab, an airport shuttle, Lyft or Uber. Call the place of your accommodation before stepping in the car, to make sure they know to expect you.
What else is going on in the Bay Area around the time of the festival?
San Francisco Pride is a huge beautiful celebration in one of the queerest cities in the world, with lots of different activities for people of all ages and orientations.