SeattleDances is an advocacy organization dedicated to supporting Seattle-area dance performance through in-depth journalism and free resources to dance artists and audiences. We are the publication most consistently covering local dance, and have been for over a decade.
Our site acts as a centralized space for information, including city-wide dance calendar, audition notices, class listings, and historical archives. All our resources are available free of charge and ad-free to all. If able, please consider helping us continue these services through a tax-deductible donation.
We sustain a platform centered on a culture of dialogue and critical thought. We believe quality arts journalism is essential to a healthy arts ecology–previews that help artists reach audiences, interviews that amplify artist voices, and reviews that are able to contextualize works of art within the current moment, adding to scholarship around the form.
Seattle is one of the country’s major hubs of dance innovation, but dance is persistently underrepresented in major publications. We believe dance deserves to be covered with respect, by authors knowledgeable in the field. An informed press is a key element in representing Seattle dance within the broader arts scene and the world at large.
Additionally, dance writing plays a fundamental role in recording and framing this ephemeral art form for posterity. Our complete archive is available to browse free of charge, spanning 2009 to now.
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 and Anna Waller from 2011 to 2016. In July 2016, management passed to Megan Stevenson and Kaitlin McCarthy, who increased focus on local and independently-produced dance, as well as growing SeattleDances from a volunteer site to one that paid its staff and writers. From 2016 to 2020, SeattleDances presented the DanceCrush awards, an annual platform for recognizing the accomplishments of dance artists in Seattle.
During the pandemic, SeattleDances was forced to operate at a reduced capacity and subsequently refocused in 2022 to prioritize its role as a centralized information hub for the Seattle dance community. Kaitlin McCarthy is the current Editor and director of operations.
SeattleDances is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization. Donors can deduct contributions under IRC Section 170.
Board of Directors: Megan Stevenson, Sandra Kurtz, Kaitlin McCarthy
Megan (she/her) 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, served as Executive Director from 2016-2021, and now is a member of the board.
Kaitlin McCarthy (she/they) is a Seattle-based dance artist, writer, and teacher. She has choreographed and performed across the city, as well as toured nationally and internationally as a dancer with MALACARNE Dance Company under the direction of Alice Gosti. As a freelance writer she has regularly contributed to City Arts Magazine, Dance International Magazine, and SeattleDances. Kaitlin began writing for SeattleDances in 2012, and became the site’s editor in 2016. She holds a degree in dance from Mt Holyoke College and teaches at Velocity Dance Center.
Fox (he/him) is an interdisciplinary artist working at the intersection of sound, video, dance, writing and visual art. He currently fronts the QT psych band Light Aloud and performs solo under his own name. He started the interdisciplinary performance project Gender Tender in 2012. Both Light Aloud and GT center Fox’s queer and transgender POV and engage a team of artists saturated in Fox’s methods modeled on visual + performance art practices, cults, riots and QT history. Fox’s ongoing project, MELTED RIOT is the current focus of his performance making. MELTED RIOT investigates the effects peaceful and violent forms of support and sabotage have on the bodies, minds, and spirits of the transgender and queer community. MELTED RIOT is a surreal protest song, a queer meditation, a psychedelic research project, a punk prayer.
Fox’s work has been commissioned and produced by the Henry Art Gallery; On the Boards; Velocity Dance Center; Seattle International Dance Festival; Yellow Fish Epic Durational Performance Festival and was selected for the inaugural season of Seattle’s Gay City Arts. He has performed in work by Will Rawls, keyon gaskin, Morgan Thorson, Andrew Schneider, CommonForm Dance Project, Maureen Whiting Dance Co., Malic Amalya and Gabrielle Civil. He has an MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has exhibited his short films and visual art nationally. Light Aloud has played at the Seattle Art Fair, Trans Pride Seattle, Cafe Racer and the Tractor Tavern. Previous band projects are The Gender Tender Experiment and Rachaels Children. RC highlights include playing Treefort Music Festival in Boise, Freak Out Fest and Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle and The Underground Music Festival in Denver. www.foxwhitney.weebly.com
IG: @fox_whitney_ @gendertenderforever @lightaloud
Kari (she/her) is a dancer and writer who grew up in Montana. She has danced with
Wade Madson, Lucia Neare, Carla Baragan, and as a member of the Spokane Ballet
Company. She is the creator of Home Ground an exhibit experience that is a
collaboration of local artists interpreting her poetry through visual art and dance. She has also choreographed to and performed her poetry in Hugo House, Second Story Rep, in Redmond’s Downtown Park. She is a board member of Redmond Association of Spokenword (RASP) She has served as a Redmond Arts Commissioner and worked in museums. She holds undergraduate degrees in journalism and a master’s in medical anthropology. Her thesis examines how dance helps people with Parkinson’s express themselves more freely.
Risa Nagel (she/her) has been dancing since the age of 4, when a pediatrician recommended ballet as way to fix her pigeon-toed walk. She grew up dancing with Glen Dance Company in New York for 15 years. Risa uses writing as a medium to express her values and perspectives, she currently works as a grant writer for a statewide civil rights organization, whose mission is to revolutionize public education so that a child’s race does not predict their success. Her writing has been published in the Seattle Times and Huffington Post, and her activism has been featured in the New York Times. In 2017, a year after moving to Seattle, Risa joined 3rd Shift Dance Company, and continues to blend her passions for dancing and writing as a critic with SeattleDances.
Jo Berliner (they/he) is a dance artist from North Carolina and a University of Washington graduate student in Museology. They began choreographing at Mount Holyoke College, where they graduated in 2016, and received a choreographer’s Workshop Grant from Tobacco Road Dance Productions (Durham, NC) for their 2017-18 season. They have performed at Mount Holyoke, Tobacco Road, Richmond Dance Festival, and eXit SPACE. Johanna co-runs Enbodyment, an Instagram project featuring nonbinary dancers (@enbodyment_proj) with Chris Strauss, & writes about dance and museums at johannaberliner.com.
Richael Best (she/her) grew up studying ballet at San Francisco’s City Ballet School under Damara Bennett and Galina Alexandrova. She has also trained in jazz, contemporary, hip hop, swing, ballroom dance, and musical theatre. A graduate of Whitman College with a degree in English, Richael is thrilled to combine her passion for dance with her love of words while writing for Seattle Dances. When she’s not attending dance shows, Richael works for Sasquatch Books, an independent publisher in Seattle.
Lynn (she/her) 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.
West Liberty (they/them) is a multi-disciplinary artist, graduate of the Cornish College of the Arts Dance program and founder of the Body as Teacher, a movement workshop for people of varying ages and abilities who are looking to have a healing conversation with their bodies through dance.
West has also danced professionally, most recently in ‘How to Become a Partisan’ (choreographed by Alice Gosti) which premiered at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Seattle in 2015. They have also presented choreographic works for and performed in numerous shows and festivals including Velocity Dance Center’s ‘The Bridge Project’ & Next Fest NW and On the Boards’ Northwest New Works Festival.
West premiered their second short film, Milo & Onyx in June 2019 at the Northwest Film Forum. Milo & Onyx was produced as part of the Blanket Fort Films Motion Picture Program and features an all trans and gender non-conforming cast and crew.
West is deeply invested in teaching and learning with others how to source wisdom from the body as a resource in humanity’s efforts toward liberation for all beings.
Sandra Kurtz (she/her) teaches and writes about dance in Seattle and elsewhere.
Meredith Pellon (she/her) is the Artistic Director of SLOWBURN Dance Company. She is a graduate of the BFA dance program at The University of the Arts, and her work has been featured in Pennsylvania Ballet II: En Avant and Koresh Artist Showcase in Pennsylvania, as well as in Ballet Inc.’s The Series, and Jennifer Muller/The Works HATCH Presenting Series in New York City. Since relocating to Seattle, Meredith has presented work at Performance Lab at On The Boards, Converge Dance Festival, Monomyth I (produced by Tuya Vale Artist Collective), Seattle International Dance Festival, Drove VII (produced by Chlo & Co. Dance), and 12 Minutes Max. Meredith also curates and produces a site-specific performance series entitled Soft Concrete. She began writing for SeattleDances in 2018, and before that she wrote for Phindie in Philadelphia.
Miranda is a writer for SeattleDances.
Imana Gunawan (she/her), a Texas-born Indonesian, is a storyteller, multimedia journalist, dance artist and creative director. Through her journalism and art work, Imana believes in realizing a more just world for those historically pushed aside. As manager and senior analyst, most days she leads breaking news coverage of Asia-Pacific for Dataminr. Imana’s works have been published on NBC News, The Jordan Times, ColorBloc Magazine, SeattleDances, and Humanosphere. In her art, she creates scenic, surreal dance-based worlds that center the stories of marginalized peoples, their ancestry, and their futures. Her dance works have been presented by Au Collective, On The Boards, American Dance Guild, Seattle Theater Group, and more. imana.co