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Velocity Dance Center Names New Executive Director

Submitted by Velocity Dance Center

Velocity Dance Center, Seattle’s hub for contemporary dance, has confirmed Tonya Lockyer as the organization’s next Executive Director starting May 15, 2011. Lockyer comes to Velocity with decades of experience as an artist, educator, mentor, and advocate.  She has deep ties to the local and national dance community, as well as prior experience managing Velocity’s programs.  Lockyer was introduced as the organization’s next Executive Director Sunday night to a room full of supporters at Velocity’s Annual Bash and was met with a standing ovation.

As Executive Director, Lockyer will have artistic and operational oversight of Velocity Dance Center. This includes working with an artistic advisory board to oversee artistic programming and class offerings as well as managing staff, administration, and day-to-day running of the organization. In addition to these responsibilities, Lockyer will participate in Strictly Seattle 2011 as a choreographer.
Lockyer has danced professionally for more than twenty years, performing works by Merce Cunningham, Donald Byrd, Miguel Gutierrez, Mark Haim, and Wade Madsen among others.  Between 2005-2007, Lockyer oversaw Velocity’s artistic programs as the organization transitioned from the leadership of Velocity’s founders to the leadership of Kara O’Toole.  In this time, she created Next Dance Cinema (Velocity’s Dance Film program) and refined some of Velocity’s most important programs including SCUBA Touring Network for Dance.

Lockyer received her MFA in Dance from the University of Washington in 2010 with dual concentrations in Contemporary Art Practices and Critical Theory, during which time she established herself as a respected speaker on contemporary dance and performance. She joins Velocity from Cornish College of the Arts where she teaches in the departments of Dance and Humanities and Sciences, and was Project Director for the Merce Cunningham minEvent Project.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Tonya taking the helm at Velocity this May,” stated Josh Windsor, Velocity’s Board President. “Since our move onto 12th Avenue, Velocity has been hard at work drafting a new strategic plan and hammering out the operations of the organization. We are on the cusp of implementing exciting changes and Tonya is just the right person to be leading us through.”

Lockyer was selected through a four-month long hiring process led by the Velocity Board of Directors and involving several prominent Seattle dance artists.  She will report to the Velocity’s Board of Directors and will be supported by Velocity staff members.