Contact Improvisation Fundamentals Intensive

Join us for a Contact Improv Fundamentals Intensive at Dreaming Stone Arts and Ecology Center in the mountains of NC! This retreat provides an immersive dive into the fundamental skills, concepts, and techniques of Contact Improvisation practice, providing a solid foundation for a lifetime of play. It is a great opportunity to get your CI practice started for the first time or to deepen your engagement with the form.

Event Activities

The event is structured around the five 2.5hr intensive classes led by CJ O’Reilly of CI Groundswell and Toni Craige of the Living Arts Collective. Additional learning opportunities include watching videos of important practitioners, guided discussions, and jamming allow you to “take in” the form and understand your relationship to it in a variety of ways. There will be plenty of space for rest,reflection, informal connection, and time with (and in!) the river (very nice at this time of year)

About Dreaming Stone

Dreaming Stone Arts and Ecology Center is a new home for Contact Improvisation, located in the mountains of North Carolina founded by long-time CI dancer, performance artist, and activist, Tevyn East. Joining institutions like Earthdance in Western Massachusetts and The Field Center in Vermont as a home for residential CI and related events, Dreaming Stone also embodies a strong commitment to restorative justice and permaculture programming, year-round programming for the local community, and interfacing with issues unique to the Southern United States and Appalachia. Dreaming Stone features a large round studio with windows on all sides, beautiful common areas for cooking, eating, and connecting, and is the steward of 50+ acres of land, including a swimmable river with rocks for lounging~ very inviting during this late-summer time of the year!


All meals and snacks are provided and we can accommodate your dietary preferences.  Abundant, locally sourced, and delicious! 


Camping is included in the event registration costs. There are guest bedrooms in the main house and an additional residential dwelling on the land that carry an additiona cost. A list of available beds on site, as well as other local options, are available at this link.

After registering, you will be immediately invited to reserve accommodations on site.

Work-trade and Accessibility

We are offering a sliding scale pricing system to facilitate accessibility.  Please pay the highest amount you can afford.  

There is work-trade available for extra kitchen support and facilities clean up at $15/hour.  Other options on a case-by-case basis for things like photography and video documentation, childcare, etc. 



  • 3-6pm Arrival
  • Opportunity for a tour of the land
  • 6 – Dinner
  • 7:30-9pm – Intro session


  • 8 Breakfast
  • 9:30am-12 Morning Session
  • 12-3pm Lunch/Break – optional activities
  • 3-5:30pm Afternoon Session
  • 6 Dinner
  • 7:30-9:30pm Structured Jam 


  • 8 Breakfast
  • 9:30am-12pm Morning Session
  • 12-3pm Lunch/Break – optional activities
  • 3-5:30pm Afternoon Session
  • 6 Dinner
  • 8-10pm Open Jam with Guided Warm up


  • 8:30 Breakfast
  • 10am-1pm Morning Session and closing circle
  • 1-2pm Lunch
  • 1:30-4pm – Goodbyes and Departure

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The Instructors

Toni Craige

Toni started practicing Contact Improvisation in 2006 and has been teaching regularly in the Triangle-area of North Carolina since 2012. She is dedicated to her work co-directing Living Art’s Collective’s Contact Improvisation and Somatics Program in Durham, NC, which serves over 80 students/week, generating opportunities for deep collaborative practice and personal and community evolution. As a contact dancer and teacher, she is most influenced by Nancy Stark Smith, Alicia Grayson, the Axis Syllabus, and her cherished dance partners in Durham, NC! She completed her MFA in Choreography and Performance at Smith College in 2020, her Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at NCSU in 2016, and her BA in Dance at Wesleyan University in 2009. Toni works with clients 1:1 as a BODYWORK + MOVEMENT THERAPIST and SOMATIC COACH, specializing in individuals who struggle with physical pain, feel that it may be connected to current or past stressful experiences, and are looking for a holistic path towards pain relief and emotional healing. As a DANCE TEACHER she builds individual and community resilience through group movement classes. Her background as a DANCE ARTIST infuses all of her work with an appreciation for beauty, imagination, deep feeling, and creativity.

CJ O’Reilly

CJ has been dancing Contact Improvisation since discovering through an improvisational dance class as a dance major at CU Boulder in 2006. CJ supported the birth of the Contact Improvisation community in Beijing, China in 2012 and 2013, and has been facilitating and teaching CI in Asheville since 2014. CJ’s CI practice is influenced significantly by the practice of Nancy Start Smith’s Underscore, and working with Irene Spisonette, Alicia Grayson, Brad Stoller, and dancers in the Asheville Community, as well as CJ’s years of martial arts practice including Tai Ji, Capoeira conditioning, and Brazilian Jiu Jit-su.

As a lifelong teacher, CJ loves the exploration of pedagogy and guiding others to proficiency and teaches a wide range of forms from martial arts, swimming and dance to language. CJ is committed to the WNC region and excited to continue supporting a robust community in this broader area.

Registration Costs

Suggested $550.00

Choose this option if you are financially stable (for instance, you have savings and budget for extracurricular activities or travel). This option covers event expenses and labor.

Sustaining $850.00

Choose this option if you are financially well-off (for instance, if you have received inheritance, you own your home and have savings). This option supports lower registration fees for those who need it and makes the event possible. 

Supported $350.00

Choose this option if you wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend (for instance, if you live paycheck to paycheck despite working full time). This amount does not fully cover the expense of the event. 

***If you’d like to come but cannot afford the lowest price tier, please reach out for a further discount or check out the work-trade options.


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