// Master Class Series + Workshops //





Velocity’s MASTER CLASS SERIES + WORKSHOPS provide the perfect opportunity to learn from and share experiences with leading dance artists from around the globe. Master classes + workshops — ranging from technique, improvisation, creative process and somatics — take place year-round, and bring internationally renowned artists to Velocity through partnerships with UW Meany Hall, Seattle Theatre Group, On the Boards and Cornish College for the Arts.

Past Master Classes + workshops have included: Mark Haim + Jesse Zaritt, Heidi Henderson, Tere O’Connor (NYC), Kyle Abraham (NYC), Ariel Freedman + Danielle Agami (Gaga USA), Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood (Canada), the Merce Cunningham Dance Company (NYC), Kidd Pivot (Canada/Germany), Mark Morris Dance Group (NYC), Chunky Move (AUS), Miguel Gutierrez (NYC), Keith Hennessy (SF), Kathleen Hermesdorf (SF), K.J. Holmes (NYC), Liz Santoro (NYC), Joy Davis (Countertechnique), Gregory Maqoma (South Africa), and many others.






SAT AUG 26 / 10:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Velocity Founders Studio 1621 12th Ave
$20 full / $17 MVP

Velocity Dance Center is excited to present The Three Yells Workshop + Audition aimed at professional dancers. The workshop is a concise introduction to Seattle based choreographer Veronica Lee-Baik’s movement technique and her philosophy including repertoire exercises from Lee-Baik’s recent creations. Get an inside look to her creative process, explore her movements and see if there might be a shared future.

This workshop will serve as an audition to expand The Three Yells casting for the restage of her evening length work, Giselle Deconstruct. Selected dancer/s will perform with the company at Cornish Playhouse At Seattle Center, January 12&13, 2018.

Rehearsals (commencing September 7th) are Tuesdays and Thursdays (9.30-12pm). This is a performance stipend gig. The audition is also to potentially fill 1-2 spots in the company for their 2018 season. This is the only audition opportunity for The Three Yells for 2017-18.

What we’re looking for:

  • Performers with strong technique and performance skills
  • Must be able to learn choreography
  • Be willing to explore creative tasks set by Choreographer

Dancers of all ethnicity are encouraged to participate.

VERONICA LEE-BAIK’S approach to movement activates the senses to become fully alive and involved. The goal is always to nourish the dancer’s potential, helping the dancer express with more clarity and honesty. Lee-Baik’s distinctive style fuses elements from her background in ballet, modern dance and a wide range of Asian traditions. Her work has been described as “a combination of powerful athleticism and delicate gestures” and “hypnotizing and super-creepy display of a powerful feminist”. Lee-Baik is a visual artist whose medium of choice is the body. Born and raised in Singapore, she moved to the United States in 1996. Lee-Baik founded The Three Yells Performance Company in 2000 to explore and translate modern dance through collaborative performance, activism and education. Described by SeattleDances as having, “a clear eye for an unusual landscape—her stage pictures are distinctive and disturbing.” For more information about The Three Yells and Veronica Lee-Baik: www.thethreeyells.com, https://www.facebook.com/thethreeyells/


DSC_0755WORKSHOP SERIES: Contact Improv Boot Camp (8-week series)
SATS AUG 26 – OCT 14 / 2-5 PM
Velocity Kawasaki and Steward Studios 1621 12th Ave
Studio Current (OCT 7) 1100 E Pike St
REGISTER $140 full series / $20 drop-in

The purpose of this course is to become better dancers through rigorous physical training for contact improvisation.  By systematic training in classical CI skills (rolling point of contact, crescent rolls, spiral rolls, lifts mechanics, descent pathways, etc.), we will open up new dimensions in our dancing, inviting more possibilities, surprises, and fun.  In addition, we will explore promising new ideas for contact improvisation inspired by aikido and other martial arts. 

The course will be suitable for practitioners of all skill levels, although it is expected that participants will have some previous experience with contact.  Each session will consist of a two-hour class followed by a one-hour open jam (for the participants only) in which we will apply and integrate what we have learned each day.  The culmination will be an open showing at Velocity to present the results of our work.  

The instructor, JONATHAN LILLY, has been dancing contact improvisation for four years, after 20 years of training in the martial art of aikido.  His teaching style uses step-by-step exercises to make learning new physical skills safe and accessible, and enabling participants to understand body mechanics from the inside out, based on their own personal experience.  He is assisting Mark Young in leading this summer’s three-week intensive “Foundations to Contact Improvisation” at Leviathan Studio on Lasqueti Island, July 9–29.  Jonathan also performs improvisational dance as part of JKLM Studio (http://jklm.studio/).  The group’s most recent performance, “Indigo”, was shown at Velocity this June.  



SUN 1:30-2:50PM
Velocity Kawasaki Studio 1621 12th Ave
$15 Drop-in / $12 MVP
Buy a full class series for just $60 for 6 weeks ($10/class)

Come dance Contact Improvisation! Whether brand new and curious about the form, or an old hand looking to deepen or broaden your practice, this series is for you! Take multiple sessions to get a diverse and complimentary set of perspectives. Or, come to the one that works with your schedule: each session can stand on its own. You’ll leave with material to explore in the movement jam that follows and richer sense of the principles and possibilities in Contact Improvisation.

Series I (SEP 10 – OCT 15): Aaron Swartzman
Series II (OCT 29 – DEC 3): Katherine Cook
Series III (JAN 7 – FEB 11): Kaitlin McCarthy
Series IV (FEB 25 – APR 1): Tamin Totzke
Series V (APR 15 – MAY 20): Mike Hodapp


SUN SEP 10 – OCT 15 / 

Contact Improvisation is what you make it. Make it magical! Come participate in physical and awareness practices to grow your toolkit. Together we will work to gain the foundational skills necessary to safely take risks and grow as CI dancers (and possibly as humans). Giving and receiving weight, falling and rising, and surrendering and instigating are some of the polarities we will work with, as well as the fierce sense of curiosity and play that make CI such a rich art form.

Fascinated by the body in motion (and at rest), AARON SWARTZMAN has been teaching and performing dance for over 15 years, including long stints with LINGO dancetheater, Legendre Performance, and UMAMI Performance, which he co-founded with Aiko Kinoshita. He has performed nationally and internationally, is a treinel in Capoeira Angola, a father of two, and a lover of CI.



N.S.Smith.PhotoTimSummers049.jpgSERIES II: KATHERINE COOK
SUN OCT 29 – DEC 3 / 

In this class we’ll build the perceptive and physical capacities that make possible the spontaneous acrobatics characteristic of CI. Working with weight, momentum, gravity, tone, and the raw honesty of the kinetic body, we’ll see Contact Improvisation become clearer, crisper, and more illuminated. Though this class will build on Session One, the material stands on its own and new participants are welcome.

KATHERINE COOK is a dancer, teacher, and mathematician based in Seattle WA. Her teaching incorporates a love of improvisation with awareness and somatic practices, along with a pinch of mathematical thinking and a bit of of the natural world. She focuses her work at the intersection of the body, the mind, and the environment, and prefers questions to statements, curiosity to answers. Her teaching and performance are rooted in a deep and sustained relationship with the rigor, complexity, and creativity of improvisation. Her dancing celebrates the physical body, spontaneity, and generosity in the present. She has developed material with and/or performed with Nancy Stark Smith, Karen Nelson, Nita Little, Cyrus Khambatta, Brad Stoller, and Kris Wheeler, among others.


SUN JAN 7 – FEB 11 / 1:30-2:50PM

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 guided practice is great for those new to the form, those who like a structured pathway into touch, or for any kind of dancer looking to expand their practice. The class seeks to provide starting points for personal investigation and expression. Beginning with solo work, the class builds to spontaneous physical dialogue though internal sensing, observation of weight, and organic development of touch in a supportive environment.

KAITLIN MCCARTHY is a dance artist, writer, and teacher living in Seattle since 2010. She has performed with over a dozen local artists, including regularly with Alice Gosti, and has presented her own work at venues across the city including Velocity, On the Boards, SOIL Gallery, BOOST Dance Festival, and many others. She began practicing Contact Improvisation at Mt Holyoke College where she obtained her dance degree, and has spent the last decade in continual investigation of the form. Kaitlin also teaches Beginning Modern and Beginning Ballet at Velocity Dance Center.


SUN FEB 25 – APR 1 / 1:30-2:50PM

Refreshing the Basics. In this contact series we will build foundational CI skills, such as rolling point of contact, giving and receiving weight, off-center dancing, and the joy of disorientation. Skeletal alignment and efficiency will be emphasized to find strength through structure instead of force. Playing between image-based and athletic sensibilities, we train our attention to stay curiously responsive. We will tune to the forces of gravity and momentum- releasing tension in our minds and bodies to find ease and vitality. Come find readiness, pliability, humor, connection and flight.

TAMIN TOTZKE is a Seattle-based choreographer, dance educator and movement improviser. She has toured nationally and internationally, with notable projects including: teaching and performing with Cloud Gate Dance Theater, Taipei Dance Forum, Cambodia’s Epic Arts, BodyCartography, Kirstie Simson and Jennifer Monson. Recently she premiered a site-specific dance work in Seattle’s historic Georgetown Steam Plant with her collaborator Tia Kramer through their project, study of time and motion, studytimeandmotion.com. Tamin holds an MFA in dance from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and is now pursing a Master’s degree in somatic psychology.


SUN APR 15 – MAY 20 / 1:30-2:50PM

Embracing Your CI Fears. In this session, we’ll explore some of the parts of contact improvisation that dancers can find scary. How can we be comfortable upside down or moving backwards? How do we sense the things that we can’t see? How can we enter or leave dances without it feeling awkward? What’s the deal with trios? Throughout this series, we’ll spend time warming up into deep and connected dancing and then search for what feels a little edgy. What are the aspects of our dancing that we’d like to change, but we’re not sure how?

MIKE HODAPP has been dancing and teaching contact improvisation for 20 years, since discovering it as a teenager at Oberlin College. He co-founded the Seattle Contact Improv Lab, now in its 10th year. His interest in CI is less about performance, and more about the work of CI as a physical discipline, mindfulness practice, emergent culture, and tool for questioning gender and power. Also, it brings him joy and connection and makes him happier and more whole.



CREATIVE / PROCESS classes and workshops
are taught by leading movement practitioners and reflect current developments in the field of contemporary dance. Each series takes a multi-faceted investigative approach that may include research in somatics, performance, performance-making, writing for dance, design for performance, voice and movement, improvisation, movement generation and theory. Each class is unique based on the research of each artist, see lab descriptions.

WEDS 6-7:45PM
Velocity Founders Studio
 1621 12th Ave
$15 Drop-in / $12 MVP
Buy a full class series for just $60 for 6 weeks or $40 for 4 weeks ($10/class)
Series I (Sept 6 – Oct 11 – 4-week series): ilvs strauss
Series II (Oct 18 – Nov 15 – 6-week series)
: Table Flip
Series III (
Nov 29 – Dec 20 – 6-week series): Erica Badgeley

images-1SERIES I: LIGHTS! SOUND! VIDEO! Plugging into the multidiscipline with ILVS STRAUSS
WEDS SEPT 6 – OCT 11 / 6-7:45PM 

In this workshop series, we’ll cover the basics of lighting and sound design, programming in QLAB, the difference between a XLR, RCA, VGA and DMX cable, how to talk basic tech to a tech person, how to write a tech rider, navigating site specific and other non-conventional venues, and other related topics. We will also explore the creative process and how it is influenced by the addition of tech (lights/sound/video). Participants will be able to experiment and field test with different lighting fixtures (incandescents, LED’s, practicals, etc.), video projectors, and sound systems to see how they shape, mold and develop preexisting or improvised work.

The first half of each workshop will cover a specific topic, with room to explore or review other topics. The second half will involve exercises that combine practical tech knowledge with artistic ideas in a concrete yet playful way. Come, step into the light. Bring all your questions, ideas, inspirations. Open to performers and artists of all kinds, tech people of all backgrounds. 

ILVS STRAUSS is an analytical chemist turned multi-disciplinary performance artist living and loving in Seattle. Her art cuts a wide swath across disciplines, ranging from Dance Narrative performance to anamorphic outdoor sculptures, illustrated storytelling (aka Slide Shows) to haiku poetry. She also leads workshops on writing, movement, performance and the ever amusing combination of all three. Her solo piece, Manifesto was listed in Dance Magazine’s BEST of 2014 list (exclamation point). She’s presently writing a queer sci fi play to be premiered in April. More information, pertinent and otherwise, can be found at ilvsstrauss.com.

Table Flip Creative ProcessSERIES II: Explorative World-Building with TABLE FLIP
WEDS OCT 18 – NOV 15 / 6-7:45PM


Join Table Flip, as we take you through a series of generative techniques. You will learn how to take the tiniest seed of an idea and how to nurture it into a full-scale show. You will learn how to discover and explore what is at the heart of an idea. While we may incorporate some text and vocal soundscape, this is a class about physicalizing story and how movement can best serve the stories we tell. All levels of movers, performers, and humans welcomed! Each week, we will enter into a unique world, collaborate on building the physical reality inside of the world, and discover what compelling story abounds within!

TABLE FLIP (Alyza DelPan-Monley, Eddie DeHais, and Ryan Higgins) is here to turn movement creation on its head! We are physical theater artists, fighters, dancers, and clowns. We believe in personal and artistic growth through cultivating a relationship with all forms of movement. We believe that storytelling lives in the body, and we seek to enrich others’ ability to discover and articulate by creating applicable tools and methods to physicalize those stories.


WEDS NOV 29 – DEC 20 / 6-7:45PM

More info coming soon!



More info coming soon!


To see all Velocity CREATIVE / PROCESS Series (formerly called Investigative Movement Practices (IMP)) since 2013, CLICK HERE.


master classes + workshops archive

To see all Velocity Master Classes + Workshops since 2013, CLICK HERE.


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