You are here: Home / About... / East Coast Jams
Personal tools
Log in   

East Coast Jams

What happens at jams, when are they, how to register, things to bring, etc.

The East Coast Jam is four juicy days of Contact Improvisation among the blossoms and leaves at Claymont Court Estates, West Virginia, around one and a half hour's car ride from the center of Washington, DC, USA. The jam has been happening in the Fall and Spring since 1987, and includes between 35 and 50 jammers each time.

Welcoming all experience levels, the Jam includes facilitated warm-ups, open dancing, an evening of performance, two dance spaces, shared lodging, luscious vegetarian meals, sauna, wide vistas, lots of beautiful spaces to explore - and the people you love dancing with!

See The Basics page for logistical info like who can attend (responsible adults or children with adult supervision, and interested in CI), how to learn when the next one is, etc.

The Jam is a Collaboration Among Peers - Much Like a Dance

ECJ 2000 GroupWarmups, workshops, performances, and other structures are intiated and lead by participants - jammers. We all gather for a daily "town meeting" to discuss and schedule whatever needs discussion and scheduling, introduce new arrivals, and generally connect as a group. Retreat participation includes a one hour community work shift, doing a chore that helps the place run well. A few jammers are responsible for organizing the logistics before and during the event and facilitating the community meetings, but it is up to all the jammers to shape and make things happen

A Day at the East Coast Jam Goes Something Like This...

The main dance floor in the Octagon barn.We wake to eat lovingly prepared breakfast, stroll through the apple orchard to the huge octagonal dance barn.

After a facilitated warm-up each morning, we dance, sweat, dance, sweat, dance, sweat, sauna, then stroll back to the mansion, spread out in the sunshine (but note that it's generally during northern season change, sometimes warm and sometimes cold; sometimes all in the same day) on the wide steps or on a blanket spread on the grass eating another sumptuous meal.

After lunch we all gather on the mansion steps for "town meeting," where we collaborate about creating the jam, then we dance more, make music, nap, give and get massages, tell stories, teach a class, take a class, practice, learn, walk, play, move, sing, roll, leap, stretch, wander, cavort, breathe.

in the frayOfferings might include an UnderscoreAuthentic Movement, beginning Contact Improv classes, Action Theater, Round Robins, improv structures, group discussions, improvisation scores indoors and out... which we do till we're hungry enough for another delicious meal.

Evenings we dance more, sauna more, sing more, move more, play more, schmooze more, laugh more, talk more, play Mauii[1], walk more, sleep more, and eat peanut butter and honey on rice cakes and drink tea into the wee hours contemplating the important (or not so important) questions of our lives.

About Claymont

our residence during the jam Claymont Court, Charles Town, West Virginia, is a 150 year old estate featuring around 350 acres of woods, fields, farmland, and a colonial mansion (pictured) where the jam group resides. Near Harper's Ferry W.Va, it's about a 95 minute (65 mile) drive from Washington, DC, yet it offers an idyllic rural retreat in which to explore, dance, create and find new inspirations for movement and growth.

Claymont is available as a retreat center through the efforts of residents who are part of the evolving Claymont Society for Continuous Education. The society was founded by J.G. Bennett in the spirit of G.I. Gurdjieff's teachings, and the people are friendly, like-minded hosts for the East Coast Jam, with several members of their community participating in and become a part of our community over the years.

Address: Claymont Society Claymont Court Estate Charles Town, WV 25414 - the link is to the Claymont Mansion, where we reside during the jam, on a Google map. Use that map's directions feature for up-to-date directions.

Stuff People Bring - see the Jam Residence Essentials page

Find us on Facebook

How to Use This Site

What is all this?

See the the home page intro and the "About" section.

When is the next ECJ?

See "Upcoming Jams" in the middle of the home page or the Upcoming Jams page.

How do I register for the next jam?

Visit the Jam Registration page.

What's new?

See the "Recent News" sidebar or the full list.

How do I contact someone about the site?

Follow the contact link at the top of any page.