The Global Underscore (GUS) is organized for people who are interested in the Underscore and Contact Improvisation, and who want to connect globally through dancing this practice together.

If you are new to the Underscore, please read the About page. If you have not read the GUS 2020 Vision, please read it.


Because of COVID, there will more more logistic concerns and options in how we participate this year. Please plan ahead so the logistics do not take away too much from the actual dancing.

Is your Site going to be only Zoom?
Is it going to be outdoors or indoors?
What safety protocols will be practicing?
Will you will do a Talk-Through? When?
See Register/Update a GUS Site for more…

For Site using Zoom, you will have to buy a Pro version ($14.95 USD) of Zoom for a month that allows one to do videos for more than 40 minutes.

We will have the Facilitator Packet ready soon and email it to you by Thursday, June 18.

“Catch-All” Zoom

A “Catch-All” Zoom for GUS 2020 participation is available for anyone around the world to join, if you do not have or organize a regional Zoom near you, or if you have a desire to be part of this instead of a regional Zoom. Register
Hosted by Colleen Bartley & Nancy Hughes

Options for Participation:
One can choose 3 main possible options (levels) for participation in GUS from full involvement to lesser involvement—each of these 3 options with a non-synchronous version. The first 2 options are for facilitators or a cooperative group who want to organize a group dancing together. The 3rd option, a “Satellite” is for an individual who wants lesser involvement, yet still wants to “tune” into GUS.

One specific element that makes GUS different from a regular Underscore is the Small Dance/Stand Facings. Dancers this year will do the 1st Facing (at the 50 minute mark) facing the direction of Nancy’s home in Florence, Massachusetts, USA. The 2nd Facing, during the final 5 minutes (at the 3 hour 55 minute mark), will face 180° (in the opposite direction) away from Florence, Massachusetts, USA.

Please read the descriptions below to determine which of the Options for Participation best suits your community or you. Make sure you indicate which option you are doing when you register your site.

1. Full Score Practice (FSP)

  • One or more people interested in the ideas, principles, and awarenesses of the Underscore and Contact Improvisation.
  • Participating for full 4 hours.
  • Dancing at the designated 4-hour time.
  • Everyone has had at least one 45-minute talk-through (60+ minute is preferable), and it is done before the Underscore Practice.
  • The facilitator/representative of this GUS Site creates a Zoom video conference.
  • FSP participate in the FACINGS.

1. a. Non-Synchronous Full Score Practice

  • FSP above, but not during the designated 4-hour time.
  • Non-Synchronous FSP do not participate in the FACINGS. Though partially-synchronous FSP (able to participate in one of the Small Dances during the designated times) participate in the Facings.

2. Modified Score-Jam (MSJ)

  • MSJ have more of a jam format but is influenced by the Underscore.
  • For example, MSJ does one of the two Small Dances/Stands during the designated time and might do a Final Resolution, take some time for personal reflection, and have a circle of sharing at the end.
  • MSJ can be 2–4 hours.
  • Maybe not everyone has had a talk-through.
  • A simplified talk-through might happen during Assembly.
  • MSJ participate in the FACINGS.

2. a. Non-Synchronous Modified Score-Jam

  • MSJ above, but it is not happening during either of the designated times of the Small Dances/Stands or the event is less than 2 hours.
  • Non-Synchronous MSJs do not participate in the FACINGS.

3. Satellite

  • One person who is joining the Underscore practice for a short time during the 4 designated hours.
  • You might join the Small Dances, and in some way “tune-in” to sense the dancing and give your support.
  • Satellites do not participate in the FACINGS.

3. a. Non-Synchronous Satellite

  • One person who is joining the Underscore practice for a short time, not during the 4 designated hours.
  • You might “tune-in” to the Global Underscore in some way, do a Small Dance, and give your support.
  • Non-Synchronous Satellites do not participate in the FACINGS.

NOTE: If you are participating in a non-synchronous site, make sure your practice begins within 24 hours of the beginning time of the official Global Underscore practice.


We encourage facilitators to offer a “talk-through” of the Global Underscore before a Full score Practice. The Underscore is generally not led with verbal cues. The idea is that people “know” it already and are coming together to share the practice. At the talk-through, newcomers are introduced to and experienced Underscorers are refreshed with: the 20+ phases, 12+ connections, 7+ aspects, and the glyphs of the Underscore.

For a Full Score Practice, a talk-through should be at least 45 minutes in length, 60+ minutes is preferable to allow for questions and embodied understanding—and a talk-through is done before, not during the Underscore practice.

For Modified Score Jams, you can have a shorter Talk-Through and can have it during the practice.

This year we hope you join us for a special event — the GUS 2020 In-Depth Talk-Through!

GUS In-Depth Talk-Through (via Zoom)
In preparation for GUS 2020, an in-depth talk-through will be given of the Underscore by GUS coordinators and other  experienced Underscorers from around the world. Illuminations from recent Underscore talks with Nancy and others will discussed.
Donations accepted $10–20 USD.
(London Contact Improvisation is donating the Zoom membership for this event—thank you!)


The Facings are a way to connect the dancers at one site to other sites around the world in a tangible way. The Facings are “our dates with the world” as Nancy would say!

The Facings consist of the two Small Dance/Stands: the 1st Facing (at the 50 minute mark) and the 2nd (at the 3 hour 55 minute mark) of the GUS practice. For the 00:50 Small Dance/Stand Facing we will face Nancy’s home of Florence, Massachusetts, USA. For the 03:55 Small Dance/Stand Facing, we will face 180° (in the opposite direction) from Florence Massachusetts USA.

In other years, we have faced a Site to the East on the 1st Facing and site to the West on the 2nd Facing—making a spiral that goes around the earth several times. Given Nancy’s death this year, we are facing her home as a way of honoring her. One interesting perspective is that even when Facing 180° from her home, we are still facing it, but going around the earth to do so!

If you have any questions about the Facings, please email us.