What We Do
SeattleDances is Seattle’s link to all things dance. Through exclusive previews, engaging editorials, and timely reviews, SeattleDances tracks the pulse of the Seattle dance scene.
We strive to increase city-wide appreciation of dance and act as a resource to the dance community as a whole. The site creates an opportunity to watch, learn, question, ponder, and discuss dance and dance-related topics. SeattleDances is committed to supporting local dance companies and enlightening audiences with informative previews and detailed reviews. With a comprehensive calendar of dance events, as well as listings of auditions and workshops, SeattleDances is a centralized source for dance information. Anyone interested in dance is welcome here, from patrons to professional dancers and from dedicated students to art lovers seeking to learn more about dance.
Established in 2009 by writer Rosie Gaynor, SeattleDances initially focused on the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Later, SeattleDances expanded its coverage to include a wide range of dance performances under the management of Kristen Legg in 2010, and subsequently Mariko Nagashima from 2011 to 2016. In summer 2013, SeattleDances held its first fundraiser as a way to kick-start another expansion project that included a new logo (designed by site founder Gaynor), a new website, and a renewed commitment to diverse coverage of Seattle’s dance scene. As of July 2016, Megan Stevenson is the new Executive Director of SeattleDances, and Kaitlin McCarthy is joining the leadership team as Editorial Director.
SeattleDances is an Associated Program of Shunpike. Under this non-profit arts umbrella SeattleDances is currently accepting donations to continue developing the site. Please see here for donation information.
Who We Are
Executive Director: Megan Stevenson
Editorial Director: Kaitlin McCarthy
Editors: Charlotte Hart, Emily Horton, and Mariko Nagashima
Writers: Laura Aschoff, Karena Birk, Hailey Burt, Miranda Chantelois, Faith Coben, Will Courtney, Imana Gunawan, Michele Hann-Kang, Tess Hansen, Charlotte Hart, Kathryn Hightower, Sandra Kurtz, Carla María Negrete Martínez, Kaitlin McCarthy, Ciara McCormack, Philippa Myler, Gabrielle Kazuko Nomura, Megan Stevenson, Lynn Tofil, and Syniva Whitney
Communications Intern: Lizzy Monsoor
Interested in contributing?
SeattleDances is always looking for additional writers with different perspectives. Please send your inquiries and writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet our Staff
Megan is a Northern California-raised Seattle dance artist. She attended San Diego State University and graduated cum laude with a BFA in dance. During her time in San Diego, Megan choreographed works and made dance films, as well as performing in works by Leslie Seiters, Sara Shelton Mann, Joe Alter, and Patricia Sandback. In Seattle, she has had the opportunity to perform with Antonia Price, Anna Conner, and Corina Dalzell. In Spring 2015, Megan joined SeattleDances as Callboard and Calendar Intern, transitioned to Social Media Manager as well as a Staff Writer, and is now Executive Director.
Kaitlin likes dance. She likes to make it, see it, direct it, think about it, talk about it, and write about it. She started dancing in her hometown of Ann Arbor, MI before attending Mt Holyoke College where she graduated summa cum laude in 2009. In Seattle she has worked with a dozen local choreographers as a dancer and has created work for 12 Minutes Max, Full Tilt, and HOT MESS, which she also co-produced. Kaitlin has been writing critical reviews for SeattleDances for several years. For more information please visit kaitlinmccarthy.com.
Karena has an MFA in Dance from Ohio State University with a focus on performance, notation, history, and pedagogy. She performs with Catherine Cabeen and Company and Redd Legg Dance, teaches dance at Bainbridge Dance Center and the University of Washington Bothell, and sets historical dance works from their notation scores for groups including the University of Washington Chamber Dance Company. Her early training was at the Cornish Preparatory Program, Richmond Ballet, and the University of Washington. She has danced professionally with the Colorado Ballet, Lehua Dance Theatre, ARC Dance, and oaklanDrive Dance Company. She has been privileged to dance works of many choreographers, including Trisha Brown, Anna Sokolow, Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Fanny Elssler, Wade Madsen, Deborah Wolf, and Hannah Wiley. She has taught at Cornish, Dance Fremont, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and The Ohio State University, among others.
Miranda is excited to be integrated in the Seattle community as a writer, teacher, and student. Having spent two years studying dance at the University of Oregon, she is now a BFA candidate in the Cornish College of the Arts dance program and aims to concentrate in modern performance, education, and dance critique upon graduation. Miranda teaches creative ballet, tap, and modern intermittently, but is currently focusing on her own education as it pertains to movement and written composition. An immense passion for prose, literature, and spoken word poetry has led Miranda to write and perform original works in both Eugene and Seattle, and she is thrilled to be uniting her two passions as a staff member on SeattleDances writing team.
Imana Gunawan, a Texas-born Indonesian, is a Seattle-based multimedia journalist and dance artist. She is an editor for Breaking News with NBC Universal, a podcast producer for Humanosphere, and a member of Au Collective. Since graduating cum laude with a BA in journalism and dance from the University of Washington in 2015, she has been commissioned/produced by the American Dance Guild (NYC), Velocity Dance Center’s Next Fest NW, Boost Dance Festival, and more. She reports on breaking news, the intersection between policy and culture, and the arts—issues which often seep into her dance works. imanagunawan.com
Tess Hansen, a Seattle native and University of Washington student, has danced all her life. She has studied ballet, modern, and some ballroom, jazz, and Bharatanatyam. She has performed works at the Meany Center, the Moore Theater, and the 5th Avenue Theater by several Seattle-based choreographers. While at UW, Tess found that not only does she love to dance, she loves to write about dance and is pleased to be writing about the local dance scene for Seattle Dances.
Originally from Louisiana, Charlotte earned her BFA in Ballet Performance from the University of Oklahoma. Professional credits include Louisville Ballet, Augusta Ballet, and Ballet Nouveau Colorado in classical, contemporary, and modern choreography, plus guest performances nationally. Nationwide teaching and choreographic work includes commissions for the 2011 International WaTER Conference and presentations at SWRBA and on OU stages, including directing credits, and for Oklahoma City Ballet as répétiteur. Awards and accomplishments include the Ballets Russes Archive Fellowship, the Miguel Terekhov Award for Ballet Choreography, the OU Graduate Teaching Fellowship, and Jack Anderson’s invite-only dance criticism workshop hosted by Camille Hardy. Her OU MFA work culminated in her thesis on Joanna Kneeland’s Therapeutic Barre, exploring task-specific warming up for ballet technique. Charlotte now lives and teaches in the Seattle area.
Sandra Kurtz teaches and writes about dance in Seattle and elsewhere.
Philippa is a freelance contemporary dance artist, company member of Karin Stevens Dance, and Associate Director of Ktisk Contemporary Dance. Myler has danced with Anna O’Conner, Nathan Blackwell, Xaviera Vandermay, Coleman Pester, Pat Graney, and Barbara Bourget, and Jay Hirabayashi, among others. Myler was Artist in Residence for Fiji’s VOU Dance in 2013. After graduating with a BA in dance and a BFA in English from Simon Fraser University in 2010, Myler co-founded the collective Triadic Dance Works, which performed original works in Canada, the US, and Germany. Myler teaches creative movement, contemporary modern, jazz, hip hop, and ballet to students of all ages.
Mariko tries to engage with dance in as many ways as possible. She is a writer, performer, teacher, and general enthusiast of the art form. She began writing for SeattleDances in the fall of 2010 and became the site’s Editor and Manager in 2011. Mariko received the Gary Parks Scholarship for emerging writers from the Dance Critics Association in 2012 and has attended multiple DCA conferences and writing workshops. She holds a BFA in Ballet and BS in Biology from the University of Utah, where she was also a contributing writer to the Daily Utah Chronicle. As a dancer she has performed with Coriolis Dance, Alana O Rogers Dance Company, and Lotus Body among others in and around the Seattle area.
Gabrielle is a multicultural dancer and writer. Her background in journalism includes multiple first-place Society of Professional Journalists awards in arts and feature writing. Today, these writing chops are put to use in the PR/Marketing Department at Seattle Opera. Dance-wise, she’s been awarded a SmArt Ventures Grant from The Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, presented her work at Wing Luke Museum, and danced for Bellingham Repertory Dance and The Buttcracker, among others. Gabrielle co-founded Seattle’s Relay Dance Collective in 2012, and today serves as the group’s choreography curator and producer. www.gabriellenomura.com
Lynn entered the Seattle dance community following her graduation from Wayne State University in her home state, Michigan, where she received a B.S. degree in Dance. Lynn has written creatively and academically for most of her life, and is excited to process the ever-interesting dance community Seattle has to offer through her words and reflections. Since moving to Seattle, Lynn has had the privilege of working with artists Pat Graney, Wade Madsen, Rainbow Fletcher, Nathan Blackwell, as well as many of her talented and daring peers. When not writing or dancing, Lynn teaches Pilates and experiments in dance film. Lynn is honored to contribute her voice in a city where inspiration and dialogue is abundant.
SYNIVA WHITNEY (choreographer, lead performer, collaborator) and WILL COURTNEY (lead performer, collaborator) are the duo behind Gender Tender, a performance project that centers transgender, non-binary and multiracial points of view in a process that combines dance and acting techniques, cinematic devices and visual art practices. They’ve shown work in duet and ensemble mode in Seattle at Velocity Dance Center, On the Boards, the Seattle International Dance Festival, Yellow Fish Epic Durational Performance Festival, Gay City Arts, Studio Current and more and have performed in Minneapolis produced by 20% Theatre Co. Twin Cities, 9×22 Dance Lab, and at Future Interstates curated by HIJACK. They have worked as performers and collaborators with Aniccha Arts (MPLS) and Vanessa DeWolf (SEA) and have had their short films screened nationally as a part of Malic Amalya’s project Infrared: New Visions from the Queer Underground. They also write and most recently were invited by the Walker Art Center to respond to the 2016 Out There performance art festival and are excited to be a part of Seattle Dances. Syniva holds an MFA in studio art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has exhibited their visual art nationally. Syniva has also performed with Maureen Whiting Dance Co, kt shores and Paris Hurley (all SEA) and has studied performance and dance with BeBe Miller, Kris Wheeler, Vanessa DeWolf and Stephanie Skura. Will and Syniva met at Shakespeare camp as teenagers and have been a collaborative in love and work for over a decade. More info: www.gendertenderseattle.
Kathryn Hightower has been dancing for over twenty years. She has practiced ballet, modern, tap, jazz, West African, Hawaiian Hula, salsa, butoh, and Croatian folkdance. After earning her BA in Dance from the University of Washington, she founded two communities: Steel Grace Dance, a rhythm-based performance group, and ISIS: Women Arts Festival, a grassroots collective designed to support female artists of all disciplines. Hightower’s work has been shown at many events throughout the Puget Sound. She is a member of Vela Luka Croatian Dance Ensemble and Maile’s Hula Sisters, and is a resident at Studio Current. As a versatile dancer and gifted teacher, Hightower has taught students, aged 19 months to 60 years, at IslandWood, World Rhythm Festival, Mountlake Terrace Dance Program, Momentum Music and Dance Academy, and more. Additionally, Hightower is a musician, dance writer, poet, singer, and naturopathic medicine student at Bastyr University.
Carla began her dance training in Mexico City under the Royal Academy of Dance ballet program. She continued and broadened her dance education at Cornish College of the Arts under amazing professors such as Lodi McClellan, Michele Miller, and Pat Hon. While in school, she had the privilege of performing works by choreographers Deborah Wolf, Tim Lynch, Wade Madsen, and Danny Buraczeski. Additionally, she performed works by Ohad Naharin, Robert Moses, Alex Ketley and Christian Burns while at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. In Seattle, Carla has danced with Redd Legg Dance, Ashani Dances, Maya Soto, Alicia Mullikin, and contemporary Alyza DelPan-Monley. She has been fortunate to present her own work at On the Boards and has since become interested in the collaboration between dance and other art forms. She has been writing reviews for SeattleDances for the past two years.
Originally from Burlington, VT, Ciara was raised with roots in the Northeast and Midwest. In 2011, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Stephens College with a BFA in Dance with a minor in creative writing. As a dancer, Ciara is trained in ballet and Humphrey-Weidman modern and has appeared on stages across the country. She has performed works by choreographers including Martha Graham, August Bournonville, and Seattleites Amy Johnson and Umami Performance. While living in Nebraska, she worked with Daniel Kubert and OmniArts nebraska, performing the title role in an adaptation of the Red Balloon. Ciara’s articles and poems have been published in numerous literary journals as well as in The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets and Prairie Fire regional newspaper. Currently, Ciara teaches dance and works as an administrator and instructor at Sweet Pea Cottage preschool. She began writing for SeattleDances in the fall of 2013.