Larp House Presents: Strictly Between Us


Join us on November 4th, 2023


Strictly Between Us is for roleplayers who want to move and dancers who want to tell stories. It blends the expression of partner dance with the emotional storytelling of larp. Strictly explores the dynamics of a relationship either coming together or falling apart, by playing with the physical and emotional connection between two people.

The game eases players into character with dance exercises exploring emotion through movement. Over three sets of scenes, players will work through their feelings about their dance partner, before getting to show off in the community jam where they will put their sentiments in motion for an audience.

So put on your dance shoes, learn about the blues community, listen to some incredible music, and dance your heart out!


A live action game that is also a beginner blues dance workshop.

Duration: 4 hours. 2 hours workshop and dance instruction, then 2 hours play

Players: 2 to 24 players

Written by Eli Seitz, Kristen Dabney, Julie Brown

Organized by Jon Cole

Dance Instruction by Riley Karbon

Admin support from Katherine Shane and Olivia Montoya

Special Thanks to Lindy Bowen and Collectively Blue

Two femmes dance in closed position at a dance event, surrounded by other dancers. The person leading is a AAPI femme with long dyed blonde hair in a patterned blouse. The person following is a white femme with dark bobbed hair in a patterned top and white skirt.


This larp is mostly played as a duo, though you will likely dance with other people. This key duo relationship can be any strong relationship that might attend a social dance together. It certainly need not be romantic in nature. Part of the workshop will be helping every attendee to find a partner to create a character and dance with. With that partner you will choose one of two story frameworks for the relationship you’d like to explore with your characters.

  • Getting Together is about maybe getting together, and is lighter and more joyous in tone.
  • Moving Apart is about maybe splitting apart, and is heavier with a melancholic tone.

Dance Instruction

The play of this game is done through blues dance and no prior dance experience is needed to have a great time. We are providing an hour of professional instruction for all attendees, in addition to more practice and teaching during the workshop.

We are very excited that Riley Karbon has made time in her schedule for Strictly, as she is in high demand as the head teacher at local blues dance organization Collectively Blue. Riley has years of experience as a dance instructor and is known for her accessible teaching style and prosocial philosophy of dance communities.


November 4, 2023, from 1:30–6:00 PM


Center for the Performing Arts, 3754 Pleasant Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

We will be in one of CFPA’s spacious dance studios with floor to ceiling windows and a well maintained wooden dance floor.

Metro Transit routes 6, 11, 18, 23C stop nearby. Street parking available.

A wide angle view of a wooden floored dance studio with floor to ceiling windows along one wall.


Get a ticket by filling out the Strictly Between Us registration form. Once you have a ticket you don’t need to do anything else besides show up to play!

This event has a sliding scale ticket price, from $10–$30 depending on your situation. You can pay the ticket price via paypal when you register.

We strongly prefer that people sign up in advance for this event. As such, the door price for a ticket will be $5 higher, for example $25 instead of $20.

Multiple dancing duos compete at North Star Blues, in front of an audience and judges. One partnership is centered in the frame, the two dancers make eye contact while in closed position. The leading person is Black and masc, wearing a yellow polo and black pants. The person following is a white femme in a polkadot top and red skirt.


Workshop 2hrs, Play 2hrs.

Strictly Between Us explores the evolution of a relationship over three nights of social dancing. Each night begins with a free play time, where players explore the relationship with their partner, followed by water cooler time where the group mingles across pairs, and finally a community jam session where couples can showcase their development through dancing. At the end of the third night the duo will know whether they stay together or move apart. Play concludes with a brief epilogue.

What is Blues Dance?

Blues dance always begins in close embrace, with chest to chest physical contact akin to a hug. Blues dance focuses on improvisation, connection, and musicality, with little emphasis on memorizing complex footwork. The accessibility of blues dancing invites a variety of people to dance, regardless of age, ability, or skill level. Blues dance encourages independent expression both as an individual dancer and in a partnership regardless of role. This individual expression within a partnership is part of what makes it a great fit for larp.

Blues was created by African-Americans and is rooted in their experiences in the United States. Historically and currently, that experience is influenced by oppression—first by enslavers and perpetuated through systemic racism. Blues music and dance was created and popularized by the Black community, as a way to express independence and feelings from joy to heartbreak.

Blues music has its roots in African American work songs, spirituals, and folk music from the 1860s. Blues dance started in the American South, primarily in bars, house parties, and juke joints. Over time, blues dancing spread internationally both as a music style and a dance style.

Content Notice

Relationships forming and breaking apart.

This is a highly physical game where dancing is as much a form of communication as words. Blues dance always begins in close embrace, with chest to chest physical contact that is akin to a hug. The basics of this improvisatory dance style will be taught during the workshop so no prior skill is needed to play!

Calibration and Consent Tools

This game will use Cut, Break, Tapout which will be reviewed and practiced prior to play. Following play, we will debrief our experiences and shed the roles we assumed for the game. The debrief is encouraged, but not required.

Players will need to verbally ask one another to dance. During the workshops we will teach and practice how to non-verbally ask to change the point of contact being used to maintain connection while dancing, and answer non-verbally was well. Players are always welcome to revert to verbal requests.


This game is set at a 21st Century social dance. Consider the following priorities in order as you consider your costuming:

  1. Thick socks you don’t mind getting dirty, or sturdy leather-soled shoes. This dance style needs slightly slippery feet and dancing in socks is the most accessible way to achieve this.
  2. Good hygiene can both boost your confidence and your partner’s comfort. Please avoid perfume, cologne, and other scented products since you won’t know who is sensitive to smells.
  3. Comfortable to move in for long periods of time. If you are a sweaty person, bringing an extra shirt to change into halfway is a good idea. Pick absorbent materials rather than sweat-wicking.
  4. Spiffy duds because your character wants to look their best at this social event. To be clear, we’d rather have you in your most casual sweatpants than miss you entirely!

Damon and Kelsy Stone dance together in open position in the corner of the dance floor. They are in the midst of a lean and look breathless and intense in their focus. Damon is masc and Black with a bald head and glasses, he wears a navy suit. Kelsey is a white femme with shoulder length brown hair who is visibly pregnant, and wearing a stretchy blue dress and her white dance shoes.

Other Information

COVID-19 Policy

Attendees need to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and boosted to the extent recommended by the CDC for their demographic group. Bring proof of your vaccination status for inspection during check in, which could be your card, a picture of it, or a document on your phone. Our policy means you will need to have had the 2022 bivalent booster at least two weeks before this event or we will turn you away at the door. We strongly encourage you to get the 2023 monovalent booster before you attend, but aren’t requiring it yet because of the relatively short amount of time between vaccine release and this event. Please reach out if you have any questions about our policy.

N95 respirators or better are required, and we will have a few to share. We will be playing in a large and well-ventilated room and bring our own CR box to run. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, stay home. If you are able to, take a rapid test before arrival.


This game requires dancing to music. Without making any accommodations, we would expect attendees to be able to stand for long periods, walking, vision, hearing, and athletic movement. Please reach out, as we would like to be able make accommodations for anyone who cant do all those things consistently.

Our venue is on the third floor, and is climate controlled. The building is ADA compliant. Our playspace has plenty of seating. There are two non-gendered restrooms near the playspace.

Water will be available, and we recommend bringing a water bottle for your ease of access. No food will be provided.

Social and Evening Dance Event

The evening of Strictly Between Us just so happens to be the November blues dance house party hosted by Collectively Blue. Join Riley, Jon, and your new dance chums for an evening of social blues dance, no characters needed. Lock in your learning and meet new friends. Show up at 7:30pm at the 30-minute refresher dance lesson, then enjoy music from 8:00 pm-midnight by the fabulous local blues DJs! Collectively Blue parties are $5 to attend and are BYOB. Collectively Blue events require covid vaccination, and offer N95s but do not require them.

Between the end of the game and the start of the party some folks will get food together to continue to hang out at Hola Arepa. Hanging out afterwards is totally optional, and we think it’s fun to get to know your fellow players as people, not just as their characters. Folks who didn’t attend the event are welcome to attend this part.

A full dance floor at a dance event. In the center of the frame four femmes dance solo, riffing on one another's moves.


Contact us with any questions or concerns!

Image Credits

Photos by Ben Hejkal

Two fat Black people dance in close embrace under a shady picnic pavilion at a park. The masc person leading has a mustache and glasses and is wearing a tshirt and jeans. The femme person following is smiling, wears a flowing top and leggings.

Salon du Larp House: Velveteen Hearts

A collection of assorted stuffed animals sit of a bed facing the viewer, as if waiting patiently for play to begin.

Join us on June 17, 2023!
|| Click here to register to play! ||

Updated: The title of this work-in-progress larp has changed from “Batting Hearts” to “Velveteen Hearts”

As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen.

A day spent with you is my favorite day. So today is my new favorite day.

If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.

―Winnie the Pooh


Children at preschool enter the land of make believe with their stuffed animal companions. This is a physical play experience, where players literally enact childsplay and wind through the rambling-dream logic of stories children tell. How does the child’s inner life come through make-believe play with their stuffie? When hardship comes and fears threaten to overwhelm, who supports who and how? Leave this game feeling a little more grown-up and a little more connected to childlike parts of yourself.

Written and Organized by Jon Cole
Admin Support by Olivia Montoya, Katherine Shane

This event is a playtest. Velveteen Hearts isn’t totally finished, though it will be a complete play experience. There might be some missing pieces or rough patches in play. If this game sounds interesting to you even though it is not in its final form, we will be very glad to have you join us!


Saturday June 17th, 2023, from 1 to 4pm

Continue reading “Salon du Larp House: Velveteen Hearts”

Larp House Presents: The Harvest Festival

The hands of person with pale skin wearing blue uses blue clay on a rustic wooden table to create molds for silver charms.

A rural village craftspeople prepare for the annual Harvest Festival. At the festival each craftsperson will present their proudest works to other members of the community as a symbol of gratitude, forgiveness, or apology.

During the day, you sit with an elder perfecting your craft and seeking advice from your peers about your personal life. At night, wander the cozy streets of the hamlet to visit with other villagers to put that advice into practice (for better or for worse). After the third day, we will celebrate the Harvest Festival and give away the things we created.


The Harvest Festival is a pastoral game about interpersonal conflict and support networks. Inspired by Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon, join us to live out a hygge cottagecore fantasy for one afternoon.

Written by Marshall Bradshaw
Organized by Jon Cole


Saturday January 7th, 2023, from 1 to 4pm

The fingers of a person with pale skin delicately manipulate wet clay on a pottery wheel. The hands are wet, covered with shiny clay.

Continue reading “Larp House Presents: The Harvest Festival”

Larp House Presents: Glamourous Night

People dance in a dimly lit room. Two move lean into one another, sharing weight. One person the the foreground thrusts out an outstretched hand to another person.

In the old, old, half forgotten times, magical beings spin helplessly through realms of music and magic. Tragic are they! These wizards, fae, humans, and magical animals do not see that they already possess the power to change themselves. To take control of their vulnerable situation, each group dominates the minds of the others in turn, each more wickedly than the last. Mind control scars both the leader and the follower, but each has a chance to heal. In the end, only True Love can redeem them and break their bonds. When they have the chance to escape, will they want to?


Glamourous Night is an immersive game about hurting others, and having a chance to redeem yourself for 8 to 30 players. It is an abstract, mostly non-verbal game that is played to music. Players use two movement techniques to resolve their characters’ conflicts, either mutual spell casting or mind control. Players will be on their feet and moving during most of the three hour workshop and the two hour game.

The setting is a fantastical medieval Europe where all the folk tales are true. The characters are powerful magical beings who go on an accidental journey between dimensions. They are tempted to mind control each other before escaping, scarred. Only True Love can break mind control bonds and redeem their actions. Finally, each character decides which of the three dimensions they will make their new home.

Written by Jon Cole
Organized by Steve Stolpman and Jon Cole


Saturday January 28th, 2023, from noon to 5pm

Read on for more details!
Continue reading “Larp House Presents: Glamourous Night”

Larp House Workshop: Larp Jam ONLINE

Mason jar labeled "Larp Jam"

Have you ever seen a reality TV cooking competition? Each team has to cook up a larp using a secret ingredient. Then the “dishes” are rotated between teams of chefs, who have to keeping working on a “meal” they didn’t start.

LarpJam is great for roleplayers, people interested in game design, and folks who like collaborating in small groups.

In a matter of hours people with no larp design experience can create awesome, fully-playable larps!


LarpJam, a collaborative game-design workshop where you create your own live action roleplaying games, for 6 or more participants

Designed by Jon Cole

Facilitated by Katherine Shane

This LarpJam will be run completely online! We’ll use real-time collaboration software like Google Hangouts and Google Docs. You’ll need to have an Internet-connected device that can run these applications, probably something with a keyboard so you can chat and write at the same time, and a webcam.


20 March 2020, from 6 pm to 9 pm, CDT Continue reading “Larp House Workshop: Larp Jam ONLINE”

Larp House at Con of the North

whiteboard scrawled with complex diagram mapping relationships between suspected agitators

Members of Larp House ran larps at Con of the North, Minnesota’s longest-running gaming convention, running 14-16 February 2020.

We also got a chance to meet other local larp designers!

Games ran:

Thanks to all the con volunteers, the friendly hotel staff, and all the rad players that showed up to play!

Salon du Larp House: Glamourous Night – second playtest!

enchanted forest

Wizards, humans, magical animals, and faeries attend a mundane community’s summer solstice festival. Magic is in the air, voices are stilled, and dreams can come true at a cost. Tonight a journey between realms will grant attendees terrifying mystical power to pursue their desires. How far will you go to get what you want? When you are all-powerful, what is actually important to you?


Glamourous Night is a larp about faerie magic and wizards’ hubris for 15 to 25 players. It is an abstract and musical experience exploring the themes of mind control and healing from trauma. This event is a playtest for a larp designed by Jon Cole.

In Glamourous Night, players use two movement techniques to perform ensorcelling magic as their characters. Characters will experience joyful exploration and tempting darkness as they share, subjugate, and are subjugated.


Saturday January 11th, 2019, from 1 to 6 pm


This is one of the final playtests of Glamourous Night, a nearly finished  larp that should deliver a fairly polished experience.  The organizer would like to gather your feedback after play for about 30 minutes.

Details on the larp

Setting and Situation

This larp is set in a medieval European world where magic and myth is reality. On the summer solstice a mundane community holds their annual celebration. This year, a mysterious covenant of wizards invited the community invited the villagers to celebrate in a mystically significant river valley. Elders say that the valley has strange auras that shift between magical and faerie. This solstice, human emotion and excitement have drawn faeries through the ancient mists, seeking playmates and playthings.

Play Style

Glamourous Night represents magical interactions with two movement techniques, so that magic in this world is a full body experience. Instead of a flick of wand and saying a Latin word, magic in this larp involves improvising body movement under specific constraints. The two techniques are simple to learn and the ‘rules’ of how to move make it easy to use and improvise spells. The workshop will be about 2 hours.

This game uses music to inspire the story and there will be a soundtrack for each scene and act of the game. Movement is the most important way to communicate in this larp. Characters can talk to one another but they cannot resolve their conflict by speech alone. Play will be about 2 hours.

You might like this larp if:

  • You want to play with temptation, power, and revenge.
  • You like having unique, unusual experiences that you can tell your friends about later.
  • You have personal interest in fairy tales, rituals, mind control, or the power of music.
  • You are interested in the games White Death, Ribbon Drive, Sarabande, My Jam, Before and After Silence.
  • You enjoy other activities that have “rules” for improvised movement such as contact improv, interplay, or blues dancing.
  • You are a fan of Ars Magica, the setting for this larp.


Gandhi Mahal restaurant

3009 27th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406

Paid street parking nearby, or free if you’re willing to walk a couple of blocks.

Metro Transit Blue Line, 7, & 21 stops nearby.


Get a ticket by filling out the Glamourous Night registration form. Unlike some of our other events, these tickets are first come first served. Once you have a ticket you don’t need to do anything else besides show up to play!

On the day of the event we request a pay-what-you-want goodwill cash donation ($5-$10 suggested) to pay for our use of the space. No one will be turned away if they do not make a donation. Continue reading “Salon du Larp House: Glamourous Night – second playtest!”

Documentation for Be-Con 2019

Woman in surgical mask and black rubber gloves sits to back of another woman with a man facing camera in background

A weekend-long larp convention in the Chicago area

Rosemont, Illinois
13-15 September 2019

Glamourous Night
Designed by Jon Cole
Organized by Jon Cole and Cat Stuntebeck
16 players

Designed by Alex Roberts
Organized by Jon Cole
11 players

Intense love letter on hotel stationery
ephemera from Will That Be All?

Will That Be All?
Designed by Graham Walmsley
Organized by Larry Lade
8 players + facilitator

All Options
Designed and organized by Jon Cole
3 players

Slayer Cake
coming tomorrow!