// 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 15 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; look for the Kid-Friendly label below associated class descriptions.

Class Index

INTRO SERIES
INTRO TO DANCE SERIES
INTRO TO HIP-HOP SERIES with Jaret Hughes
INTRO TO HIP-HOP SERIES with Zsa Mae
INTRO TO WEST AFRICAN SERIES with Sarah Lee Parker

AFRICAN
WEST AFRICAN with Kokou Gbakenou and Sarah Lee

BALLET
BEGINNING BALLET with Kaitlin McCarthy
INTERMEDIATE BALLET with Kyle Johnson
INTERMEDIATE BALLET with Mark Haim
OPEN-LEVEL BALLET BARRE with Kaitlin McCarthy

HIP-HOP
HIP-HOP with Jaret Hughes
INTERMEDIATE HIP-HOP with Jaret Hughes

MODERN/CONTEMPORARY
ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL CONTEMPORARY TECHNIQUE with Stephanie Liapis
ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL MODERN with Kim Holloway
ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL MODERN with Wade Madsen
ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL CONTEMPORARY with Coleman Pester
ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL CONTEMPORARY with Jody Kuehner
ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL CONTEMPORARY with Kate Wallich
A CONTEMPORARY APPROACH TO GRAHAM TECHNIQUE with Joshua Crouch
AU COLLECTIVE CLASS with Au Collective
BEGINNING MODERN with Kaitlin McCarthy
CONTEMPORARY TECHNIQUE with Daniel Costa
DANCE CHURCH with Kate Wallich
INTERMEDIATE MODERN TECHNIQUE with Maya Soto
MOVEMENT JAM with rotating faculty
MOVEMENT SYSTEMS with Veronica Lee-Baik
PARTNERING TECHNIQUE with Leslie Krauss and Brandin Steffensen

ODISSI
BEGINNING ODISSI DANCE with Ratna Roy

VOGUE
VOGUE FEMME with Keelan Johnson

YOGA + SOMATICS
YOGA with Kathleen Hunt

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 SERIES
WED / 8PM-9:30PM
$115 (8-week series) / $85 (6-week series)

INTRO TO HIP-HOP SERIES with Jaret Hughes

TUES / 8PM-9:30PM

$85 (6-week series)

INTRO TO HIP-HOP SERIES with Zsa Mae

SAT / 10:30AM-12PM
$85 (6-week series)

INTRO TO WEST AFRICAN SERIES with Sarah Lee Parker
MON / 4:30PM-6PM

$85 (6-week series)

AFRICAN

WEST AFRICAN with Kokou Gbakenou and Sarah Lee
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. Experience the infectious enthusiasm, playfulness, and generosity of spirit found in West African dance in this class accompanied by live drumming,
Kid-Friendly (ages 8+)

BALLET

BEGINNING BALLET with Kaitlin McCarthy
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 with Kyle Johnson
This class is designed for intermediate-level dancers with a working knowledge of ballet, or for advanced dancers looking to further refine their ballet technique. We will focus on proper alignment, core strength, musicality and phrasing, and learning to work with your body without unnecessary tension and stress, in a manner that promotes longevity. This class is a safe, judgment-free forum to explore your technique in.

INTERMEDIATE BALLET 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, 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!
Kid-Friendly

OPEN-LEVEL BALLET BARRE with Kaitlin McCarthy
Commit to your ballet practice with this early-morning class built to fit into busy schedules! This class features a ballet barre taught at a low to intermediate level, with emphasis on healthy alignment and combinations that keep you moving to build warmth. The last 15 minutes of class will be dedicated to introducing an intermediate-level skill on the floor. Perfect for seasoned beginning-level students looking to advance, professionals working on their own practice, or those with a ballet background looking to connect with their bodies before their 9-to-5.

HIP-HOP

HIP-HOP with Jaret Hughes
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.
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.

MODERN/CONTEMPORARY

ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL 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/PROFESSIONAL MODERN with Kim Holloway
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

ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL 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 participants move to standing, the class 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 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.

ADVANCED/PROFESSIONAL CONTEMPORARY with Jody Kuehner
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 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.

A CONTEMPORARY APPROACH TO GRAHAM TECHNIQUE with Joshua Crouch
In recent years The Graham Company has gone through a major revival. With a young company empowered by the foundation of Graham, they’ve 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.

AU COLLECTIVE CLASS with Au Collective
– Open-level skill share
– $5–$15 sliding scale

BEGINNING MODERN with Kaitlin McCarthy
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.
Kid-Friendly

CONTEMPORARY TECHNIQUE with Daniel Costa
Floor-work will be the primary focus of this class and eventually develop into movement that operates at all levels. We will begin by slowly awakening our systems and increasing perception of all six limbs and their tactility on the floor, incorporating psychomechanical principles based on the Alexander Technique and Body Mind Centering®. The floor will be used as a device to increase our sensory awareness. We will begin to notice the different impacts of a push versus a pull and resistance versus surrender. Our approach will assist in opening our joints, help us discover advantages of momentum and build our strength and flexibility when we repeat phrasing and add on new material. We will conclude with full-bodied and vigorous movement that challenges our ability to maneuver swift changes in direction and space. Phrase work will utilize principles from class, featuring segmented and successive sequencing in and out of the floor, creating a boneless appearance and a loose-limbed, articulate style.

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.

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

MOVEMENT JAM with rotating faculty
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.

MOVEMENT SYSTEMS with Veronica Lee-Baik
Movement Systems: Take Risk & Misbehave Beautifully is a provocative approach to movement, weaving between vigorous physicality and slow hyper-controlled motion. The goal is to execute movement with intention, clarity, and honesty—activating and connecting the body and senses—to become fully involved and present.

PARTNERING TECHNIQUE with Leslie Krauss and Brandin Steffensen
Using techniques gleaned from choreography, composition, and improvisation we develop the strength and responsiveness to perform nuanced partnering work. How do we use gravity, the floor, stabilization, and lever/fulcrum systems to create and recreate surprising dynamic entanglements? We ask further, how can these efforts inform our understanding of relating to another body for the purpose of choreographic potential? Besides concentrating only on physical dancing and technique in class, we find our hearts really begins to tick when dancers integrate intention into each movement. What a movement actually is often pales in comparison to how a movement is done. We bring this concept to each class using various theatrical exercises as well.

ODISSI

BEGINNING ODISSI DANCE with Ratna Roy
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 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  

VOGUE

VOGUE FEMME with Keelan Johnson
Inspired by Vogue magazine, voguing is a type of club style characterized by model-like poses integrated with angular, linear, and rigid arm, leg, and body movements. This style was born in New York by the Black/Latino LGBT community in the late 70s/early 80s. This class is an open-level class designed to introduce students to the elements of vogue femme: cat walks, duck walks, hand performance, floor work, spins, and dips. In this class, you will learn the history of vogue, as well as fundamentals, body awareness and placement, muscle control, and performance.

YOGA + SOMATICS

YOGA with Kathleen Hunt
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.