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sdp: getting an entire school up and dancin’

By Rosie Gaynor
Timothy Lynch getting kids up on their feet (photo courtesy of SDP)
I just got the good news that Seattle Dance Project has received a $15,000 Laird Norton Family Foundation grant. The press release (which follows verbatim below) says that this will allow SDP teaching artists to work with each of the K–6 kids in at least 10 classes. Imagine having Timothy Lynch or Julie Tobiason coming to your elementary school class. How inspiring! This will be life-changing for some children. Way to go, Seattle Dance Project! 

Here’s that press release: 
“Press Release

Laird Norton Family Foundation Gives Grant to the Seattle Dance Project to Conduct a Dance Residency at Parkwood Elementary School
Seattle Dance Project Performs Special Matinee for Students at ACT Theatre on
Friday, February 5th, 12pm

SEATTLE, WA January 6, 2010-The Laird Norton Family Foundation recently awarded
a $15,000 Grant to the Seattle Dance Project for program support to conduct a dance residency at Parkwood Elementary School in Shoreline, Washington.  The grant will enable the Seattle Dance Project to offer at least ten classes to every student from K-6. Teaching artists from the Seattle Dance Project will work closely with each teacher to formulate a year-long residency that fulfills and enhances their curriculum.

For Seattle Dance Project, the grant will enable its artists to take their first steps in outreach to the schools. Seattle Dance Project feels strongly about being teaching artists– active teachers in the community.  The company is interested in opportunities that will allow their artists to go out into the community to work with children of many socioeconomic backgrounds and special needs to give them the opportunity to learn about dance in a program that ordinarily would not be accessible.

The program for Parkwood Elementary School is open to all of the different grade levels and will culminate in a dance performance at the end of the year in which the students will help to choreograph and perform their own piece.  According to Timothy Lynch, Co-Artistic Director, Seattle Dance Project, “The reason why I want to do this residency with the Parkwood Elementary School is to launch a program that makes dance accessible to all kids, and especially to kids who normally would not have exposure to dance.”

For over seven years, Timothy Lynch has been a teaching artist with Pacific Northwest Ballet.  In his capacity as a teaching artist, he has been incorporating dance education, “Discover Dance,” in various school programs.  He has also directed a small outreach performing group called REACH, which provided teens an outlet to learn different styles of dance. The group has performed at Sonic and Storm games as well as at McCaw Hall.

Timothy Lynch and Julie Tobiason are Co-Artistic Directors of the Seattle Dance Project (SDP), which is now going into its third season and has established a reputation for working collaboratively with other arts, theater and music groups.  Lynch said, “Our Company is deeply committed to seeking opportunities that allow children to experience dance.”

The Seattle Dance Project will offer a special matinee performance that will take performance excerpts from its current season–Project Three– and intersperse it with commentary that instructs children about the behind-the-scenes nuances of choreographing and staging dance performances.  The matinee is open to all students for a 12 dollar fee to attend the show.  Friday, February 5th, 12pm* student matinee, ACT – A Contemporary Theatre []

Please Note: The Laird Norton Family Foundation funds programs that honor, support, and reflect the philanthropic values of the Laird Norton family.  The Arts in Education Fund Advisory Committee’s  vision is to transform lives and enhance learning through arts education.

About the Seattle Dance Project
Founded in 2007 by artistic directors Julie Tobiason and Timothy Lynch, the Seattle Dance Project is a new modern dance company that seeks to use the technical prowess and professional maturity of its dancers to continually push the limits of contemporary dance.  The Seattle Dance Project creates movement methodology where muscular strength and classical lines of ballet converge with the emancipating movement of modern dance. Choreographers who have worked with the company include Donald Byrd, Molissa Fenley, Pat Catterson, Olivier Wevers, Wade Madsen, Heidi Vierthaler, Kiyon Gaines, James Canfield, Eva Stone, Edwaard Liang and Betsy Cooper.  In addition to Tobiason and Lynch, the company is composed of world-class performers including Alexandra Dickson, Susan Gladstone, Oleg Gorboulev, Dana Hanson, Kory Perigo, Michele Curtis, Joseph Anderson and Betsy Cooper. Reflecting Seattle Dance Project’s commitment to high quality
performing arts, all company members are active teachers in the Seattle dance community. Seattle Dance Project is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. For more information, please see On twitter follow @seattledancepro, or contact”