// Class Descriptions + Levels //

class descriptions velocity

PHOTO JOSEPH LAMBERT

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. 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 for 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 guideline. We suggest that you try out a few classes to find one that best suits your needs.

  • Intro Series—Designed for the true beginner with no prior dance experience.
  • All Levels—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 principles. 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.
  • Advanced/Professional—Velocity was founded with the goal to offer daily professional level dance classes to the Seattle dance community. Sixteen years later, we still offer daily classes by locally and nationally recognized teachers.

Velocity classes are open to all students 16 years of age and older.

There is no specific dress code or footwear; just wear comfortable clothes you can move in. Socks or bare feet are fine for most classes.

Children are welcome to watch some classes in the corner of the studio (studio space is limited in Steward & Kawasaki); look for the KID-FRIENDLY label below associated class descriptions.

Class Index

INTRO SERIES

INTRO TO DANCE: CONTEMPORARY MODERN* with Maya Soto
INTRO TO DANCE: HIP-HOP* with Jaret Hughes
INTRO TO DANCE: HIP-HOP* with Michael O’Neal Jr.
INTRO TO DANCE: HOUSE* with Michael O’Neal Jr.

BEGINNER

BEGINNING BALLET with Kaitlin McCarthy
BEGINNING MODERN with Kaitlin McCarthy
BEGINNING MODERN with Alice Gosti
BEGINNING/INTERMEDIATE MODERN with Hope Goldman
BEGINNING CLASSICAL ODISSI DANCE with Ratna Roy

INTERMEDIATE

INTERMEDIATE MODERN with Maya Soto
INTERMEDIATE BALLET with Mark Haim
INTERMEDIATE HIP-HOP with Jaret Hughes
LOW-INTERMEDIATE BALLET with Kaitlin McCarthy
BEGINNING/INTERMEDIATE MODERN with Hope Goldman

ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL

ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL BALLET with Beth Terwilleger
ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL CONTEMPORARY with Jody Kuehner
ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL CONTEMPORARY with Undercurrent
ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL CONTEMPORARY with Wade Madsen
ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL CONTEMPORARY with Kim Holloway

ALL LEVELS

AFRO-BRAZILIAN with Elisio Pitta
DANCE CHURCH with Kate Wallich
INTEGRATED CONTEMPORARY with Neve Mazique-Bianco
HIP-HOP with Jaret Hughes
MOVEMENT JAM with rotating faculty
PUNK PRAYERS with Fox Whitney

YOGA, SOMATICS, + STRENGTHENING

DANCE SHAPE with Katie Milne
FELDENKRAIS AWARENESS THROUGH MOVEMENT with Sarah Huntting
GYROKINESIS® with Tabitha Steger
YOGA with Kathleen Hunt
MORNING YOGA with Fox Whitney

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 an even more beginning level? Are you intimidated to drop into an ongoing class? The Intro to Dance 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 modern 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: HIP-HOP with Jaret Hughes
Learn the basic fundamentals of hip hop which includes warm-up, conditioning, movements across the floor and choreography mixed with old and new skool moves.

INTRO TO DANCE: CONTEMPORARY MODERN with Maya Soto
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 8-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 modern 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: HIP-HOP with Michael O’Neal Jr.
Hip Hop Culture and Dance started in the 1970’s in the Bronx New York, both the culture and dances were created by marginalized communities, those of Black and Latinx youth. This culture was created out of resistance against what these communities were dealing with at the time and continue to deal with, including being treated poorly, violence, drugs, gangs. Hip Hop culture was made to give youth a chance to still be happy and feel community despite what they were going through. Hip-hop social dancing (party dancing) began when Hip Hop musical artists started to release songs with an accompanying dances but has a history longer than Hip Hop with dances like the “Mashed Potatoes” from James Brown and has history of social dances from from resistance like the Charleston.

This class draws movement and inspiration from Street/Club styles Majinn has trained in or been influenced by (Breaking, Popping, Locking, House, Waacking etc.) but will be primarily focused in Hip Hop Social Dances and some beginner Breaking. This class will help others learn some history of Hip Hop dance as well as gain a larger vocabulary in Hip Hop dance and have fun. Class movement is heavily influenced by the beats, tone and lyrics of the music used while still allowing for students to add their own personal individuality to the choreography. Every three weeks will combine new party moves and choreography with new music, which will vary in movement and feeling. Warm up consists of dynamic stability exercises, isolations, rocking, bouncing, freestyling, and learning to feel the music physically and hopefully emotionally. Come ready to be yourself, have of fun, and challenge yourself! This class is a safe space and is welcoming of all people

Notable Hip Hop Dancers to look up are those in Elite Force Dance Crew and Mop Tops Dance crew.

INTRO TO DANCE: HOUSE with Michael O’Neal Jr. 
House Dance is known as a club/street style and is a social dance. House originated in the late 70’s and early 80’s from underground gay clubs in New York. The style was influenced by many types of movement, including Tap, African dance, Latin dance, and martial arts. House Dance is about freedom, improvisation, and feeling the music.  It is usually danced to House music but was born out of disco. Main elements of House dance include “Footwork”, “Jacking”, and “Lofting” House is often improvised and emphasizes fast footwork steps combined with fluid movements in the torso and can also include floorwork but can borrow from other styles as well.

In this Class we will focus on drilling foundational steps, feeling the music, freestyling and learning choreography. This class will help others learn some history of House dance as well as gain a larger vocabulary in House dance and have fun. Class movement is heavily influenced by the beats, tone and lyrics of the music used while still allowing for students to add their own personal individuality to the choreography.  Every three weeks will be a new House foundation and choreography to new music which will vary in movement and feeling. Warm up consists of dynamic stability exercises, isolations, rocking, bouncing, freestyling, and learning to feel the music physically and hopefully emotionally. Come ready to be yourself, have of fun, and challenge yourself! This class is a safe space and is welcoming of all people

Some of the dancers that helped progress House Dance to what it is today From is New York roots are Ejoe Wilson, Brian “Footwork” Green, Tony McGregor, Marjory Smarth, Caleaf “Big Leaf” Sellers, “Brooklyn” Terry Wright, Kim D. Holmes, Shannon Mabra, Tony “Sekou Heru” Williams, Shannon  “Shan S” Selby, and Voodoo Ray.

BEGINNER

BEGINNING BALLET with Kaitlin McCarthy and Amy J Lambert  (SUN 11:45AM-1:15PM / Kawasaki)
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! Kaitlin and Amy share this class, with Amy teaching the last Sunday of each month.

BEGINNING MODERN with Kaitlin McCarthy (SAT 9-10:15AM / Founders)
Work your brain, body, and artistic spirit in this enlivening start to your weekend! An organic, easy-to-follow warm-up integrating strength-building, healthy alignment, and dance concepts 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 piques their interest.

BEGINNING MODERN with Alice Gosti (TUES 6:15-7:45AM / Steward)
Beginning Modern begins with a solid warm-up of the entire body and core, progressing to balance, floor work, improvisational scores and choreography. We will focus on foundational concepts of modern dance like contractions, spirals, and elements of space, time, shape and motion, while actively developing strength, flexibility, technical proficiency, musicality and rhythm accuracy. Alice also integrates her vast experience in performance art. She invites questions and ideas around why we dance to each class. Why do we move? How do we move? What does radical joy and curiosity look like in the context of our dance and performance spaces?

BEGINNING/INTERMEDIATE MODERN with Hope Goldman (WED 8-9:30PM / Founders)
This class is perfect for those who have some movement experience and find themselves in between the existing Beginning and Intermediate levels, or those with more advanced training who want to slow down and dig in in a gentle way. Emphasis will be on developing conditioning, coordination, alignment and rhythm in a safe and inviting atmosphere. We will work alone and with partners to find more easy and personal range in our movement and cultivate a practice of mindful attention. Learning choreography at the end of the class will mobilize our bodies through space to feed an appetite for athleticism and welcome personal artistry.

BEGINNING CLASSICAL ODISSI DANCE with Ratna Roy* (SUN 3-4PM / Kawasaki)
Odissi is a classical dance style from Eastern India. Tracing its origins to second century BC, Odissi combines dance and theatre. This beginning-level class focuses on the grammar and vocabulary of the dance through yoga stretches, exercises, footwork, eye-chin-neck coordination, hand gestures (mudras), foot positions, and walks/gaits. The dance style works with the total body, including facial expressions and pranayama (yoga). *KID-FRIENDLY

“…a challenging, beautiful and fascinating way to move.”—Nicole Tsong, Seattle Times ,“Classical Indian Dance works your body and your brain”  

INTERMEDIATE

BEGINNING/INTERMEDIATE MODERN with Hope Goldman (WED 8-9:30PM / Founders)
This class is perfect for those who have some movement experience and find themselves in between the existing Beginning and Intermediate levels, or those with more advanced training who want to slow down and dig in in a gentle way. Emphasis will be on developing conditioning, coordination, alignment and rhythm in a safe and inviting atmosphere. We will work alone and with partners to find more easy and personal range in our movement and cultivate a practice of mindful attention. Learning choreography at the end of the class will mobilize our bodies through space to feed an appetite for athleticism and welcome personal artistry.

INTERMEDIATE MODERN TECHNIQUE with Maya Soto* (MON 6:15-7:45PM / Founders)
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

INTERMEDIATE HIP-HOP with Jaret Hughes
This class takes all the elements from the all-levels hip-hop class and turns 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.

LOW-INTERMEDIATE BALLET with Kaitlin McCarthy (MON 6:15-7:45 / Kawasaki)
A weekly ballet practice focused on building strength, centering, and intermediate skills in an upbeat, come-as-you-are, non-competitive environment. Perfect for contemporary dancers, older dancers, graduating beginners, and folks looking for an additional day at the barre to work on their own goals. This class is appropriate for students with a solid grasp of foundational ballet steps who wish to increase speed, endurance, and variation. Class will be paced to keep dancers moving, with a mix of classical and contemporary ballet exercises.

INTERMEDIATE BALLET with Mark Haim (WED 6:15-7:45PM / Kawasaki)
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, and 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! 

ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL

ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL BALLET with Beth Terwilleger (TUES 10-11:30AM / Founders)
This ballet class is for professional dancers comfortable in intermediate/advanced level ballet classes looking for a great warm-up to kick off their day. It is an opportunity to get your brain in your body by working on technical skills and developing individual artistry out of structured, familiar ballet movement. With the emphasis being placed on musicality, movement, and artistic nuance, this classically structured ballet class will give opportunity to hone your professional practices while energizing your body for the start of your day.

ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL CONTEMPORARY* with Wade Madsen (TUES 6:15-7:45PM / Founders)
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

ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL CONTEMPORARY with Jody Kuehner (WED 9:30-11:15AM / Founders)
This technique class will begin with a warm-up that builds heat in the body through continuous flow. We will strengthen the stabilizing muscles of the pelvis, work through concepts of widening and narrowing, use elements of Ashtanga yoga to stretch as well as prepare for inversions. The class will be a container for the advanced body to explore these concepts and train through a physical practice. We will get on our hands and work various inversions across the floor. Movement material at the end of class will focus on spinal articulation, complicated sequencing, low and wide weight shifting, and floor work, all set to pop music for fun!

ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL CONTEMPORARY with Undercurrent (THURS 9:30-11:15AM / Founders)
Undercurrent is a Seattle-based movement project lead by Hilary Grumman, Liv Fauver, and Ashley Jade Pietro. Undercurrent technique classes emphasize community building and peer learning to unpack contemporary floorwork. We study the most efficient ways to move in and out of the floor and how we can use our bones and muscles to make challenging movement as easeful, effective, and strengthening as possible. We believe in the longevity of dance and our class aims to support our dancers in balancing and conditioning their bodies while adding versatility to their dancing toolsets. The first half of class offers a constant flow of movement to warm the body, juice the joints, learn new pathways, and cultivate both a personal and community practice. We then move through more complex sequences, culminating in a phrase that incorporates the themes of each class. We highly recommend bringing socks, pants, and a shirt that covers your front, back, and shoulders.

ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL CONTEMPORARY* with Kim Holloway (FRI 9:30-11:15AM / Founders) 
Kim’s Advanced Modern class cultivates an inclusive environment while simultaneously seeking excellence and the furthering of our physical, dancing, and artistic selves. We seek freedom of movement within technique, and use its clarity and structure to stretch past our usual limits. We begin on the floor slowly, awakening sensation and awareness, taking the time to map our body and its needs. As we build heat, we move to standing and find articulation of the spine and limbs through conventional exercises. Class culminates with a fun, dance-it-out phrase focusing on momentum, extremes of dynamic, expression, and articulation throughout the whole, connected body. *KID-FRIENDLY

 

ALL-LEVELS

DANCE CHURCH with Kate Wallich (TUES 8-9:30PM + SAT 10:30AM-NOON / Founders)
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.

“Real church has nothing on Velocity’s Dance Church”­—Katie Herzog, The Stranger, “I went to Dance Church and danced in the dark at Velocity”

HIP-HOP with Jaret Hughes (MON 8-9:30PM + SAT 12:15-1:45PM / Kawasaki)
Learn to move and groove with just the basics. Learn today’s hottest hip-hop moves with an occasional 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.

INTEGRATED CONTEMPORARY with Neve Mazique-Bianco (MON 8-9:30PM / Steward)
Integrated Contemporary is the term used by disabled dance professionals and educators to describe dance which utilizes both physically disabled and traditionally able bodied dancers in a cohesive and fluent manner. Sometimes physically integrated is also used, though integrated is more inclusive.

This class begins with a lingual check in, followed by an interpretive warm-up. Class can move at the speed of the group, there is no agenda about what must be accomplished within our time. The aim of the class is to impart a sense of fluency in tempo, a comfort with movement whether solo, paired, or in a group, and a creative ability to problem solve and to respond to direct or abstract prompts. We will do a great deal of adapting and translating choreography to each participants’ unique body, increasing everyone’s ability to adapt on a dime both for themselves and others. Class will utilize a mixture of improvisational practice and set material learning. Folks interested in the class are welcome to email neve.maziquebianco@gmail.com with any questions.

AFRO-BRAZILIAN CONTEMPORARY with Elisio Pitta (SAT 12:15-1:45PM / Founders)
This course will explore Afro Brazilian Dance, the fusion and dialogue with tradition and contemporaneity, as a tool for building and understanding creative and expressive contemporary choreography. The history of dance in relation to cultural, social, and political influences in the global and western traditions. Dance in history and contextualized within multicultural perspectives. The classes utilizes various techniques such as: Horton, Capoeira, African dance and principles of conditioning (strength, flexibility, and endurance) to prevent injuries stemming from muscular imbalances, structural problems, postural deviations, improper mechanics or movements. Class begins with a flooor barre, sequential and consistent warm-up, continues with center phrases that are designed to promote competence and growth of proper technique.

MOVEMENT JAM with Rotating Faculty (SAT 2-4:30PM / Founders )
The Contact Improvisation jam on Sundays is an open event welcoming everyone. It has been happening around the world since 1985, and typically includes people with broad ranges 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.

 

YOGA, SOMATICS, + STRENGTHENING

DANCE SHAPE with Katie Milne (FRI 1:30-3PM / Founders *First Fridays of the month only!)
An hour filled with music and movement.  A high energy, music driven class that combines easy follow along dance cardio and hip -hop grooves with body weight movements for arms, abs and legs to shape your entire body. A fun class to get strength and cardio in one.  All levels welcome.

ENERGY / GYROKINESIS® with Vicki Somoya (SUN 10-11:30AM / Kawasaki )
This class is 30 mins of deep breathing, visualization and stimulation of the chakra system/energy body combined with 60 mins of the GYROKINESIS ® system of movement. GYROKINESIS increases freedom at the joints while working muscle and fascia toward a fuller movement capacity with integration of core musculature and bone support. Open a more conscious connection to your physical structure, energy body and source energy. Time for free movement is also offered to enjoy! GYROKINESIS ® used with permission GYROTONIC ® Sales Corporation. All levels welcome.

FELDENKRAIS AWARENESS THROUGH MOVEMENT with Sarah Hunting (WED 6:15-7:15PM / Steward)
Awareness Through Movement lessons are for anyone who wants to reconnect to their natural ability to move. Each class is designed to expand your sensory awareness and ability to coordinate movement. you’ll discover where you get stuck, lost or use excess effort to move. You’ll learn to refine a more efficient and elegant way of moving as you roll, reach, spiral, and find your way to standing, walking, and moving through life. Wear comfortable clothing to move in. All levels welcome.

PUNK PRAYERS with Fox Whitney (WED 8-9:30PM / Steward ) 
Queer guided meditations, yoga for all levels, dance exercises to shake off the haters, a qtpoc led event for all interested humans. PUNK PRAYERS welcomes whispers and screams, the sacred and profane, the soft hearted and the hardcore. To learn more, visit PunkPrayers on FB!

MORNING YOGA with Fox Whitney (FRI 9-10AM / Kawasaki ) 
Bring a sense of clarity and ease to your morning with this fun and challenging practice. In this Hatha and Vinyasa style yoga class, Fox will guide you through sequences intended to build strength and flexibility in the body using an alignment centered approach. Honor the body of the day while learning pranayama (breathing techniques) and asana (poses) to welcome ease into your body and mind. Traditional seated, standing and supine postures, balancing poses, gentle inversions and meditation techniques will be utilized to welcome the transformative power of the sun into your life. For the Beginning and Intermediate yogi. *Runs April 5-June 28

YOGA with Kathleen Hunt (SAT 9-10:15AM / Kawasaki)
Yoga Flow builds strength, stamina, and flexibility and combines Vinyasa (flowing movement sequences) with slow, sustained stretches, refinement of alignment in held poses, as well as breath awareness and mental focus. 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. All levels welcome.