SMIRC 2023 Class Lineup
SATURDAY AUGUST 5TH
8 am - 6 pm - REGISTRATION OPEN
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Emergency Response Training
Self-Suspension For Every Body
In this class, we'll show you how to do a basic self-suspension using a straightforward join-in-front chest harness, dragonback leg/hip harness, and ankle cuff.
Prerequisites are able to tie a single column tie, some knowledge of up-lines a plus.
Discuss rope used (though 6mm seems to be the most common, 8mm or even 10mm will yield more comfort)
Discuss proper tension, rope placement Talk about loading the chest harness at the same height as the hip harness to prevent top & bottom wraps from merging.
Upline talk y-hanger for dragonback and another for chest.
To light a candle is to cast a shadow. -- Ursula K Le Guin
Get hands-on training and practice for when rope or suspension goes wrong. Learn what to do (and what not to do) when someone faints, falls, or needs to get down from a suspension quickly, and actually practice cutting (provided) rope in an emergency scenario.
Gain an understanding of what nerve damage feels like, pick up new methods to mitigate the dangers, and respond to nerve damage if it happens.
At the end of this class, you’ll have gotten many recommendations that will help you avoid an emergency situation, know common mistakes people make in rop`e emergencies, and have hands-on experience to help you keep a level head and get better outcomes.
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Must know a non-collapsible single column
Must be skilled with anchors and uplines
Must have a working understanding of suspension safe harnesses
Partials and predicaments are a fun way to enjoy rope without full suspension. While partials and predicaments are more advanced than beginner level rope, they can be implemented in many different ways. We have developed this series to explore some of those methods.
Partials vary widely. They can be as basic as only suspending a single leg or arm or as complex as a near-full suspension with just a single toe touching the ground.
Predicaments, on the other hand, involve creating situations in which the bottom is forced to choose the way they will struggle. Predicaments often require a careful balance of weight distribution, tension, and time management.
From the Japanese word for ‘pole,’ hashira involves tying to a vertical structure. Hashiras are particularly challenging due to their heavy dependence on chest rope. Your ability to breathe will suffer.
Looking for a way to restrict your bottom while avoiding the sensitive nerves in their arms? The Tengu is a great structured harness suitable for all body types and adds a unique shape to your ties in the ground and the air.
Come learn how to build your bottom into a raptor with a beginner tie and walk away with some techniques to build your own raptor shapes! Both natural fiber and synthetics are welcome in this class.
Tops should have a basic knowledge of single columns, friction/tension and a hands free harness with a solid stem (such as the Shibari Study™ Butterfly Harness).
Bottoms should have a basic understanding of body awareness and know the difference between good pain and bad pain
12:30 - 2:30 pm - LUNCH BREAK
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Chest Harness Smorgasborgh
Intro to Dynamic Suspension
Curiosity is gluttony. To see is to devour. – Victor Hugo
Over 15 chest harnesses will be available for participants to choose from, ranging from simple and decorative to advanced and suspension-worthy.
The participants will have multiple votes and the class will cover as many harnesses as we can get through in the time block. The vast majority of the available harnesses can be self-tied, but not all. These harnesses are sourced from many instructors and creators. Put all your votes toward one harness to increase its odds, or spread them out between several that pique your interest!
Participants should have foundational knowledge of knots and hitches, including half-hitch, munter, and lark’s head. Bring at least three 30’ ropes and a cutting implement; loaner rope will be available on a first come, first serve basis.
So, you’ve got your Bottom in the air, now what? If you’re looking to take your suspensions to the next level and add some transitional movement to make your Bottom fly all over your rig, this is the class for you!
The class will start by showing an example of what a dynamic rope scene may look like, we will discuss from both the Top/Bottom perspectives the who, what, where, how, and why of dynamic rope. We will also be diving into safety considerations, how to develop a flow, communication, and how to make things extra spicy with minimal effort. This will lead to a return demonstration portion of the class where participation is expected as we run through a short sequence of dynamic rope together. The instructors will have time to walk around and inspect as well as answer any questions participants may have.
Prerequisites: Tops must have experience with static suspensions, an upper body harness that can be both front and back-loaded, as well as a gunslinger-style harness or futomomo that your Bottom is comfortable being single-pointed in.
Bottoms must be experienced in suspensions, self-monitoring skills for nerve impingements, and other suspension-related safety issues.
We will not be going over how to tie harnesses, uplines, hangers, etc. Others are invited to come to learn from this class, but participation during the return demonstration portion is not advised if you do not meet the above prerequisites. This sequence will be taught on bamboo, bamboo will be provided for participant’s return demonstration. Knowledge of lock-offs on bamboo is required, the transition sequence does not translate to a ring, though if you are more comfortable tying to a ring and want to try a different sequence we are happy to assess as appropriate.
Coloring Outside the Lines: Creativity and Embracing Chaos
4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Developing a Transition Sequence
If you feel locked into patterns and sequences and are looking to expand your rope horizons and take a walk on the wild side, this class is for you.
We'll talk about what you have to let go of to find joy and beauty in chaos rope, and then go through a series of exercises and demos to help you explore possibilities. In the latter part of the class, we'll explore chaotic suspensions.
Prerequisites: This class is intended for intermediate and advanced students; only students who are experienced with suspension will be able to participate in the latter part of class.
Tops should ideally be familiar with a variety of chest harnesses and hip harnesses. Bottoms need to be familiar with basic body awareness and anatomy safety.
This class will be half discussion and half active tying.
In the first half of the class we will as a group pick various poses we want in our sequence, discuss the pros and cons of each tie and what they need, then figure out how best to link the various poses and discuss strategies for these transitions, including pros and cons and alternatives as well as possible pitfalls.
Once we have all agreed on the sequence and looked at how we will accomplish this everyone will then try the sequence. Once everyone has tried the sequence then we will go over what worked and where there were complications and discuss possible remedies
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm - DINNER BREAK
8:00 pm - 8:30 pm - ROPE PERFORMANCE
8:30 pm - 1:00 am - PLAY PARTY
SUNDAY AUGUST 6TH
8 am - noon - REGISTRATION OPEN
9:00 am - 10:30 am
The folded leg tie, or futomomo, is a classic and fun tie. With countless variations this tie can be both beautiful and functional, it can help teach tension and about how to use a bodies natural features to help keep rope in place. This class will cover several different types and use several types of knots and frictions while discussing the key elements to a stable tie. Will will also cover variations for body size, type, a bottoms abilities and key safety details.
Prerequisites - single column
Looking for ways to work on your rope flow?
Having issues with keeping your synthetics in line, in place, and locked off? Come learn some drills and tips that may help clean up your techniques and strengthen your skill set.
Students should be able to do a single column and both natural and Synthetic ropes are welcome in this class.
11:00 am - 12:30 pm
Adding Decorative Knotwork
to Your Rope
Partials and Full Suspensions for (Queerer) Sex
Ever found yourself thinking, "I got into rope because I thought it was so hot, but like, why don't I ever have sex when I do it?"
If so, this class is for you! In this discussion and gleeful "bad ideas" class, we'll talk broadly about how to create partials and suspensions for sex (broadly defined), without just assuming that you've got a cis man top and a cis woman bottom (although that works too).
We'll talk about how to build ties based on your own tastes, bodies, and desires, then we'll build a tie together for a demonstration. Tiealongs are not expected.
Pre-requisites: this class assumes a working knowledge of partial and full suspension, as well as safety and negotiation for both bondage and sex.
This class will cover some favorite ways to use the double coin knot and other decorative knots, starting with a rope dress that is also straightforward to self-tie.
12:30 - 2:30 pm - LUNCH BREAK
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Tying with Chronic Pain
Balance and Imbalance in Suspension
Approximately 1 out of 5 adults are living with chronic pain. The odds of sharing rope space with one of these individuals are high. This class takes a refreshing look at both the Bottom and Top side of tying with chronic pain.
How can we tie with chronic pain? As Tops? As Bottoms? In an effort to make rope more accessible to every BODY, please come out as we cover a range of topics such as: The physical and psychological impacts of chronic pain, how to add care for chronic pain into your negotiations, building a chronic pain toolkit, self-monitoring & body awareness skills, and extending your self-care. Whether you have experience that you would like to contribute, questions you hope to find answers to, or are simply curious to learn how to make your rope practice more inclusive, join in this collaborative hybrid class where we demonstrate ways those with chronic pain can still enjoy rope together.
Tiealongs are not expected but participation is highly encouraged.
Prerequisites: We invite people of all rope levels and experiences; Whether you’re new to tying, live the chronic pain experience, or want to learn how to better tie with or support someone who does, please come out as we learn ways to make rope more accessible to all bodies.
Learning how to tie a well balanced suspension in the Kazami style and then adding imbalance to make it more challenging.
In this class we will use the postman suspension which many find unsustainable. We will look at elements in this suspension that make it more sustainable for the bottom while complimenting the form. We will go through each element of the postman and discuss why it works and how it contributes to the tie.
Once that's done we will look at ways to make it more challenging while keeping an eye on aesthetics.
4:15 pm - OBLIGE (2nd floor) - CLOSING REMARKS
4:00 - 6:00 pm - OPEN ROPE