// Class descriptions + Levels //
Velocity encourages dancers of all levels to reach their maximum potential. Instructors are highly experienced in their art and generous with their knowledge and encouragement in class. Instruction is geared toward motivating the individual student and encouraging personal exploration of movement. All classes at Velocity have a strong technical base but are eclectic in their style of movement expression. Drop-ins are welcome in all classes, unless otherwise noted.
WHAT’S MY LEVEL? Velocity instructors are happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have about your fit in a particular class. The level guidelines below are simply guidelines- we suggest that you try out a few classes to find one that best suits your needs.
INTRO TO DANCE / HIP HOP SERIES — Designed for the true beginner with no prior dance experience.
ALL LEVELS — Mixed level class, accessible to dancers of all levels.
BEGINNING — For students with little or no prior movement experience.
SLOW INTERMEDIATE — For students with a grasp of basic movement and alignment concepts. An intermediary step between beginning and intermediate levels.
INTERMEDIATE — For students with a strong understanding of movement and alignment principals. Students should be physically and mentally ready for the challenge of more material, a faster paced class, and elements of risk in movement.
INTERMEDIATE ADVANCED — Appropriate for both intermediate and advanced dancers.
ADVANCED — For students with a high level of proficiency and understanding of movement and alignment concepts, who are ready for a deeper development of their personal expression as dancers.
PROFESSIONAL/ADVANCED — Velocity was founded with the goal to offer daily professional level dance classes to the Seattle dance community. 16 years later we still offer daily morning class by locally + nationally recognized teachers.
**Velocity classes are open to all students 15 years of age and older.
**There is no specific dress code or foot wear; just wear comfortable clothes you can move in. Socks or bare feet are fine for most classes.
**Children are welcome to watch some classes; look for “Kid Friendly” to learn which ones!
// Class Descriptions //
INTRO TO DANCE
Intro to Dance: Are you interested in dance but not sure where to start? Have you taken a beginning ballet or modern class and wondered if there was a MORE beginning level? Are you intimidated to drop into an ongoing class? This 6-week series is for you! Learn basic dance vocabulary used in Velocity’s ongoing ballet and modern classes with other students who have no previous dance experience. You will learn basic class etiquette and dance technique while developing body awareness and comfort dancing in a group. We will also explore tactics to remember choreography by learning and building on phrases each week. Intro to dance sets you up to continue exploring contemporary dance classes, other dance forms, and to simply feel more comfortable on any dance floor.
INTRO TO DANCE SERIES
Velocity Founders Studios 1621 12th Ave
$85 for the 6-week series
INTRO TO HIP HOP SERIES with JARET HUGHES
Velocity Kawasaki Studio 1621 12th Ave
$85 for the 6-week series
INTRO TO HIP HOP SERIES with MAXIE JAMAL
Velocity Kawasaki Studio 1621 12th Ave
$85 for the 6-week series
INTRO TO WEST AFRICAN SERIES with SARAH LEE PARKER
Velocity V2 1525 11th Ave
$85 for the 6-week series
Beginning Modern with Shirley Jenkins: Students learn how to move in an anatomically correct way while encouraging their dancing spirits. Her movement is lyrical, rhythmic, romantic, sensual and musical while teaching one to have a strong center. Attention is given to pelvic stabilization and core strengthening while she guides you through a well-crafted dance technique class filled with creative imagery and inspiring music. Throughout her 36 years as a professional choreographer/performer/instructor, Shirley has developed her own artistic voice, inspired by Modern Masters and her knowledge of somatic work. Her priority is to help train dancers to understand sound technique; how to plié without hurting the knees but instead increase support to the joints, how to dance with your torso without injuring your lower back but instead strengthen the spinal and abdominal muscles, how to stretch to increase range of motion and how to understand good form as you move. You will learn how to dance fluidly with an expressive, poetic spirit. The environment is generous and welcoming for all.
Beginning Modern with Kaitlin McCarthy: Work your brain, body, and artistic spirit! An organic, easy-to-follow warm up integrates strength-building, healthy alignment, and dance concepts that will help students move with freedom both on the dance floor and in everyday life. This class focuses on applying concepts of weight, energy, rhythm, and momentum to choreographic phrases. A new combination is taught each week and students are given tools for learning phrase-work and inviting artistic expression. Through use of images and sequence, YOU can learn fun and dynamic choreography, even as a beginner! This class fuses a broad and eclectic mix of techniques that will prepare students to springboard into any dance form that peaks their interest. An enlivening start to your weekend! Kid friendly
Intermediate Modern Technique with Maya Soto: Class starts on the floor with breath; connecting to the core and building strength. Drawing heavily on flow and momentum, dancers are challenged to shift weight quickly, isolate body parts and move bigger, stronger and faster. Focus is placed on understanding and maintaining healthy alignment while moving. This class flows through traditionally structured exercises and guided improvisations inspired by release and countertechnique principles. Solid technical practice is paired with individual exploration. The dialogue between work and play is important. Increased spinal mobility, range of motion, articulation and specificity are the goals. Class culminates with fun challenging phrases that emphasize rhythmic dynamics and artistic expression. This class is geared toward dancers with a solid movement background. Kid friendly
Investigative Contemporary Technique (Intermediate) with Ashleigh Miller: This weekly class combines contemporary dance technique, somatic practices, visualization, improvisation, and yoga to allow dancers of all experience levels to advance their potential for movement and creative expression while exploring how dance can be a gateway to meditation. By combining anatomical information with iconography and imagery students will be lead through a series of focused exercises to strengthen the mind/body connection, increase range of motion, build strength and stamina, and discover new creative ideas. Each week a new theme will be presented and developed throughout class to create an experience which unlocks new movement patterns by appealing to the brain’s ability to understand and implement imagery. Open to dancers in all stages of training and based on the principal that dance is meant for all bodies, ages, and ability levels. Supported by the live music of Travis Corwin.
Intermediate Contemporary Technique with Amy O’Neal: A thorough and focused class for the curious tapping into the body’s innate stability and movement patterns. A simple and effective warm-up to build connection, strength, and awareness is followed by improvisation work with imagery and technical play. Phrase work focuses on musicality, attention to detail, and challenging ideas of aesthetics. The container if Contemporary dance is broad and constantly evolving. Deepen your ability to commit to the ever changing moment. For over a decade, Amy O has been known for mixing and sampling in her dance vocabulary to create a unique and true language of her physical experience. She is inspired by Hip Hop, classicism, club dance forms, Japanese traditional forms, African traditional forms, codified Modern forms, and the teaching methods of Emio Greco, David Zambrano, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Crystal Pite, Ohad Naharin, Wade Madsen, Rennie Harris, Douglas Ridings, and Eric Pranzarone.
Advanced Contemporary Technique with Stephanie Liapis: Stephanie’s class is based in release technique and highly influenced by her work with Doug Varone & Dancers. Class begins with a guided improvisation investigating ideas of weight, effort level and sensation. The aim is to help students increase awareness of both intrinsic motivations as well as the body’s relationship to space. These concepts are further explored and developed through more traditionally structured exercises. Students are asked to move boldly and physically, finding ease in the joints and committing to the movement task at hand. Class culminates with a vigorous, high-energy movement phrase.
Advanced Modern with Wade Madsen: In Wade’s Advanced Modern class students learn to develop keener awareness of their bodies, beginning on the floor with subtle movements of the pelvis and moving into core strength and full body connections. When the class moves to standing, it follows a vigorous and recurring movement structure for spinal mobility and strength. Ongoing standing exercises set the class in motion. Wade’s class addresses strength, stamina, and flexibility and finds its roots in momentum and multiple articulations. The final combinations, challenge the mind and the body, and develop students’ endurance. Advanced dancers have been training in Wade’s class for more than a decade and a half, keeping the level high and providing opportunities for peers to push one another in a supportive environment. Kid friendly
Professional/Advanced Contemporary with Coleman Pester: In class we will research the use of momentum, weight, and successive articulation of our bodies into and out of the floor. Anouk van Dijk’s Countertechnique and Bill Forsythe’s improvisational technologies inspire the lens and approach to these elements. We will give value to our differences as catalyst for clarity and deeper understanding of the movement, both physically and theoretically. With a strong emphasis on initiation and release we will work together, through practice and discussion, to build a communal understanding of how the movement is applicable to every body. In the final portion of class we will exercise our responsibility to be perceptive decision makers. We will use our understanding of the movement accumulated throughout class as a vehicle to put into practice our awareness and ability to respond to what is happening around us.
Professional/Advanced Contemporary with Jody Kuehner: For the highly trained dancer who already has a strong technique base. The flow-based class will keep you moving throughout promising ample time for big movement and artistic exploration. The class will be a container for the advanced body to explore concepts and train through a physical practice. This includes continuous flow, heat, complicated pathways, sequencing, moving from your spine, the separation of trunk and legs, inversions, stretch, strength and long intensive phrase work to end each class.
Professional/Advanced Contemporary with Kate Wallich: Class will be an accumulation of movement integration, sensation/awareness, and strength building. Leading in and out of various states of movement, we will focus on qualitative and dynamic research in the body. We will push toward physical exhaustion and find balance inside of technique. Based on various practices of improvisation, we will touch on basic technical forms and approach these with a heightened sense of the self. We will play with dialoguing simple movement vocabularies to push towards a communicative body. This class is highly physical and we will learn movement material.
All Levels Contemporary Flow with Matt Drews: A movement incubator, both technical and improvisational, crafted to ignite union with your highest self. A fleshy gaga inspired dance experience to enliven healing and pleasure within your body. We begin as self propelling individuals towards a communicative body with communal awareness. We will experience our body as a conduit for many textures, images, states, and rhythms. Our heightened and available bodies will generate compositional perspectives towards connection. Then excavate our boundaries between physical, emotional, cerebral, and energetic. A conscious practice to investigate the complexities of being and move towards blissful embodiment.
Timeless Modern with Shirley Jenkins: For the ‘Forever Dancing Spirit’, Shirley designed her class after/during recovery from cancer, back surgery and hip replacement. Throughout her distinguished 36+ year dance career, Shirley has developed her own artistic voice, inspired by modern dance masters and the knowledge of somatics. Her movement is lyrical, rhythmic, romantic, sensual and musical. Attention is given to pelvic stabilization and core strengthening while she guides you through a well-crafted dance experience. This class is popular with artists who danced professionally for many years, or are returning to dance after many years of hiatus. The level is Intermediate with an advanced understanding of quality and form. All are welcome.
Dance Church with Kate Wallich: Dance Church is an all abilities movement class that offers a fun, nonexclusive approach to dancing. Designed for people of all shapes, sizes, backgrounds and identities, Dance Church is a communal space for everyone who wants to move their body. No previous training is required, but open-mindedness is a prerequisite. Over the course of 90 minutes, Kate guides the class in a series of movement cues, accompanied by a curated playlist of multi-genre pop music. The group listens, explores, laughs and sweats together. From the elation of exhaustion to the stillness of a daydream, Dance Church is a physical wild ride. The mirrors are covered, the lighting is dim and the music is loud. The format is open, there is no front. This is the dance party you wish you had last night. Dance Church was created by Kate Wallich in 2010. www.katewallich.com/#/dance_church
Pleasure in Line with Patrick Kilbane: Develop the tools required of today’s versatile contemporary dancer in a supportive and challenging environment while waking up to your experience. We’ll explore form, improvisation, the inherent line and beauty of ballet, strength + stamina, choreographic material and most importantly… the pursuit of pleasure.
A contemporary approach to Graham Technique: In recent years the graham company has gone through a major revival. With a young company empowered by the foundation of Graham to taken on the repertory of some of most exciting new choreographers working today. This is welcoming class that takes a somatic approach to the original technique built on spirals, imagery and breath. With Joshua Crouch.
Fundamentals of Contact Improv with Kaitlin McCarthy: Part social dance, part physics lesson, part anarchy—come experience Contact Improvisation! This open-ended and non-hierarchical dance form is based on a few concepts that lead to endless creativity. Designed to give students the physical and social tools to enter the “jam” setting, this four week series will develop physical listening through the point of contact, introduce basic weight sharing, and build to spontaneous physical dialogue though internal sensing, observation of weight, and organic development of touch in a supportive environment. This class includes admission to Velocity’s weekly movement jam, directly following class. All bodies are welcome, anyone with specific needs please contact instructor in advance (email@example.com). Great for those totally new to the form. MORE INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION
Partnering with Erin Cardinal: Erin’s partnering technique is the result of an intense study of what lies beneath the methods and approaches to various partnering choreography. The research and development has been translated into a technique class in order to share these essential skills needed to develop an individualized understanding of partnering while maintaining safety, promoting longevity and the shared experience of how to truly partner another. Putting aesthetic and movement vocabulary aside, we will address some of the essential elements such as stability, timing and kinesthetic awareness of both dancers. Building on the elements found in contact improvisation, we will learn the basics of sharing weight: how to lift and how to be lifted. We will explore the endless balance points of their partner’s landscape, counterbalances, cantilevers and supports throughout the body. This artful scientific approach to partnering can be implemented into any genre—from ballet to tango to modern dance.MORE INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION
Movement Jam with rotating faculty: The Contact Improvisation Sunday jam is an open event, welcoming everyone. It has been happening around the world since 1985, and typically includes people across a broad range of experience. It’s not a class, but usually includes people happy to explore at whatever level, discuss questions, and if asked, provide guidance. If you’re willing to explore in order to find your way, the jam is a great opportunity to practice and enjoy contact improvisation. For more info, join the Seattle Contact Improvisation email group or Facebook Group. Cost: $5 – $8 sliding scale.
Beginning Ballet with Ellie Sandstrom: This class is for those that are new to Ballet, those who have distanced themselves from the technique and those that come to class weekly! This class always has a great, multi-dimensional vibe about it, created by the people who attend — join us for a fantastic work out! Ellie stays true to the regime of the “learned discipline” of a Ballet class, whether it’s at the barre, in the center or moving across the floor. As a teacher, she enjoys finding the balance of the strict, ‘set’ exercises found in Ballet technique and the emotional realities of the ever-changing, adult day. By blending the physical body with the mind, the heart and the soul, it is possible to create an emotional, strong, energized and well-balanced dancer. Everyone is welcome in this safe environment of physical challenge. The amazing Jim Kent joins the class live on the piano each week. Kid friendly
Beginning Ballet with Kaitlin McCarthy: Come learn the fun and rewarding practice of ballet. Traditional and not-so-traditional ballet exercises combine for a thoughtful, anatomically-aware workout while increasing grace, coordination, posture, and strength. Working through imagery and sensation, the class will build a solid foundation in basic ballet steps as well as working with musicality and developing skills for learning choreography. The fun, supportive environment is perfect for the beginning dancer looking to tackle new steps, or the experienced looking to hone their technique. This class celebrates ballet’s rich theatrical history with choreography that encourages a broad range of dramatic expression and unbridled, joyous dancing! Kid friendly
Intermediate Ballet for Contemporary Dancers with Mark Haim: Ground your modern and release with fluency in classical technique. This class works for advanced dancers as well as dancers with a good working knowledge of ballet. Here, we dance first, perfect ourselves second. Or maybe even third. We dance to a variety of music-—classical, contemporary, solo instrumental, orchestral—and have a great time working on flexibility, strength, musicality, fluidity, phrasing, and, of course,the joy of moving! Kid friendly
Ballet for Contemporary Dancers with Lucie Baker: This class uses the structure of Ballet to explore balance, coordination, strength and flexibility. Dancers will practice expressive and anatomically friendly movement by tapping into the inherent musicality, form and drama of Ballet. Inspired by the work of Janet Panetta, Andra Corvino and Zvi Gotheiner, this class is appropriate for contemporary dancers who are looking to redefine their relationship to Ballet and have a lot of fun doing it.
YOGA + SOMATICS
Yoga with Kathleen Hunt: Yoga Flow builds strength, stamina and flexibility. We will combine Vinyasa (flowing movement sequences) with slow, sustained stretches, refinement of alignment in held poses, as well as breath awareness and mental focus. In short it is a practice of moving meditation, which brings more clarity and peace. Yoga has been defined as ‘Awareness in Action’. We are reminded to listen to our bodies and enjoy the evolution of becoming fully present in the here and now. Kid friendly
Feldenkrais® Awareness Through Movement® with Mary Margaret Moore: In this Feldenkrais Method® group class, students engage their own somatic process of learning, by reconnecting to their natural abilities to move, think, and feel. Led by verbal instruction through a series of gentle movement sequences, students become aware of their neuromuscular habits and rigidities and learn to move in new ways. Learning to move with less effort makes daily life easier, and is an important key to overcoming limitations brought on by stress, misuse, injury, or illness. It is a practice that cultivates mental awareness and creativity. Musicians, actors, dancers and artists of all kinds can extend their abilities and enhance their creativity. Seniors enjoy using it to retain or regain their ability to move without strain or discomfort. Everyone from athletes to artists, attorneys to administrators can benefit from the Feldenkrais Method.
Versatile Styles with Michael O’Neal(subbing for Amy O’Neal’s Street Styles): Versatile styles draws movement from Michael’s Hip Hop influences (Breaking, Popping, Locking, and Party dances), as well as from other styles he has watched or trained in such as House, Commercial Hip Hop, “Youtube Hip Hop”, Ballet and Modern dance. The point in his style is to blend the different genres and show how they can be used together in his own way. Michael hopes he can help others to learn the differences of the styles and gain a larger movement vocabulary. Michael’s movement is heavily influenced by the beats, tone and lyrics of the music used while still allowing for people to add your own personal individuality to the choreography. Every three weeks will be a new set of choreography that focuses on a different song, which will vary in movement and feeling while still having a more Hip Hop influence. Warm up consists of dynamic stability exercises, isolations, rocking, bouncing, freestyling, and learning to feel the music, as well as the class my end with a freestyle/improv circle of everyone having fun and vibing with one another if they choose to do so. Come ready to be yourself, have fun, and challenge yourself! This is an open level class geared toward the majority of the participants especially those who want to try something different. Please wear clothes you feel comfortable in and shoes that you are able to feel the ground. Most likely kid friendly / contact Michael before class.
Street Styles (Formerly Bottom Heavy Funk) with Amy O’Neal: Same class, new name! Amy has been teaching this class for over a decade and it remains one of the most popular classes Velocity! Come and learn the stylistic and cultural differences between Hip Hop (which is Breaking, Popping, Locking, and Party dances), House, Vogue, Whacking, Commercial Hip Hop, Street Jazz, and Amy’s signature amalgam of all of these things. Each month we focus on a different style so you get an opportunity to learn a set piece of choreography over 4 weeks. Warm up consists of dynamic stability exercises, isolations, rocking, bouncing, freestyling, and learning to feel the music. Come ready to bring yourself, have loads of fun, and sweat….a lot! Amy is an energetic and charismatic teacher who believes creativity is a birthright. She is passionate about empowering people to be in their body and own their uniqueness. These is an open level class geared toward the majority of the participants. Please wear sneakers where you can feel your feet in the floor and comfortable clothes that make you feel good!
Hip Hop with Jaret Hughes: Learn to move and groove with just the basics. Learn today’s hottest Hip Hop moves with an occassional old skool flare including progressions across the floor. This high energy, intense class is sure to get you movin and groovin and not to mention…SWEATIN!!!! Dress comfortably in non-restrictive clothing and sneakers. Kid friendly
Intermediate Hip Hop with Jaret Hughes: Taking all the elements from the All Levels Hip Hop class and turning it up a few notches! Learn more intricate, musicality driven choreography taught at a slightly faster pace. If you’d like more of a challenge, this class is for you! Prior dance experience strongly recommended but not required.
Beginning Odissi Dance with Ratna Roy: Odissi is a classical dance style from Eastern India. Tracing its origins to 2nd century BC, Odissi combines dance and theatre. The Beginning class focuses on the grammar and vocabulary of the dance through yoga stretches, exercises, footwork, eye-chin-neck coordinations, hand gestures (mudras), foot positions, and walks/gaits. The dance style works with the total body, including facial expressions and pranayama (yoga). Kid friendly
West African with Sarah Lee and Kokou Gbakenou:West African dance explores movement and cultural traditions from Guinea. Through her extensive training and 12 trips to Guinea, Sarah Lee, offers her knowledge from some of the best West African dancers and instructors in the world, including: Youssouf Koumbassa, Moustapha Bangoura, Alseny Bangoura, and Mamadama Camara,. Accompanied by live drumming, experience the infectious enthusiasm, playfulness, and generosity of spirit found in West African dance. Kid friendly (ages 8+)
Magan African Contemporary (Modern) with Kokou Gbakenou: A technique, a concept, a philosophy, a practice and a life style. MAGAN means “I will heal myself”. It is the path to healing any discomfort, stress, weakness and qualm that one might have accumulated in the body and spirit. It is not just a workout routine and/or a relaxation technique to keep the body in shape. It is also a faith concept, hope and joy filled with positivity and respect towards all beings around us, harmony with environment and nature. MAGAN can be practiced by people of all ages without distinction of race, religious affiliation, occupation and social status. It has been said to also carry enormous therapeutic virtues and a true sense of responsibility for one’s health, focused on a meticulous work on the joints, muscles and specifically on the spine while using all the natural elements (water, fire, ground, air). aldance.weebly.com magan.blogvie.com
Fusion dance can be any type of dance form. A participant can dance a particular dance within one style, or many styles. This can be individual or in groups of two or more. As a social dance most people dance in pairs, but any grouping is allowed. Usually there is a leader (initiator) and a follow (interpreter).
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