Indy Dance Exchange
Presented in partnership with BW Creative and Indy Movement Arts Collective
Winter Dance Intensive + Culminating Performance
January 2nd-January 6th, 2024
Indy Dance Exchange is a confluence of global dance artists coming together in Indianapolis. Experience the intersection of exposure, cultivation and creative play at the 2024 Winter Intensive and culminating performance. Daily sessions will include contemporary dance techniques, wellness, partnering and improvisation, and more. This year's faculty features former and current company dancers of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Doug Varone and Dancers, Nederlands Dans Theater, Helanius J. Wilkins, Gibney Company, and Shen & Bones Performance Group.
Winter Dance Intensive
January 2nd-January 5th 2024
Indy Movement Arts Collective
Tuesday, January 2nd
9:30-11am: Contemporary Technique with Brandon Welch
11:15am-12:15pm: Contemporary Partnering with Katrin Roach
1-3pm: Landscapes of the Body with Lani Weissbach
3:15-4pm: Dance and Social Action with Brandon Welch
Wednesday, January 3rd
9:30am-11am: Ballet Technique with Shannon Alvis
11:15am-12:15pm: Hip Hop with Austin "Sirlimitless" Day
1-3pm: Sensation and Creation with Shannon Alvis
3:15-4pm: Recovery for Dancers with Colleen Bass
Thursday, January 4th
9:30-11am: Contemporary Technique with Brandon Welch
11:15-12:15pm: Hip Hop with Austin "Sirlimitless" Day
1-3pm: Sensitizing Form with MacKenzie Schuller
3:15-4pm: The Dancer Hat with Devin Oshiro
Friday, January 5th
9:30-11am: Ballet Technique with Shannon Alvis
11:15-12:15pm: Contemporary Partnering with Shannon Alvis
1-3pm: Discovering our Dance with Devin Oshiro
3:15-4pm: Social Hour (Light refreshments will be provided.)
Brandon's class aims to create a safe space where dancers can explore full-bodied movement and engage with principles of Contemporary Release Technique. Through expression of grounded physicality, deep breathing and releasing tension in the body, participants can experience a renewal and strengthening of the mind and body. This class will encourage participants to take risks as well as move freely and confidently through floor work, partnering and contemporary phrase work.
Contemporary with Brandon Welch
Classically structured and contemporary inspired, Shannon's ballet technique class focuses on direction of energy, opposition, rhythm, and organizational techniques.
Ballet with Shannon Alvis
Students will play with many movement-generating ideas to reimagine our habitual movement patterns. Guided improvisation games and compositional tools will be our building blocks for mini-scores. These scaffolded scores will offer the practice of individual choice-making while fostering connections through inspiration and awareness of the space and participants in the room. We will discover a unique and fleeting performance experience together as a community of movers.
This class is inspired by and derived from personal collaborations and mentors - Edisa Weeks, Doug Varone, Joanna Kotze, Annie B-Parson, and more.
Creative Play Offering:
Discovering our Dance
with Devin Oshiro
In this creative play session, MacKenzie will guide the group through a variety of exercises and games to offer many ways to orient to the body and its capacity. MacKenzie believes that improvisation and play are experienced on a foundation of curiosity and openness to the present moment, and from this there are many opportunities to be surprised by our own movement. Class will involve a long, sensitizing warm up that gets our bodies ready to respond to each moment. From there, we will explore individually and with others, and work the muscle of our focus as we dive deeply into the ways our bodies want to play.
All movement backgrounds are welcome, and please come with an open heart!
Creative Play Offering:
with MacKenzie Schuller
Landscapes of the Body is a rich, varied, and multilayered movement practice that links ancient and contemporary wisdom from East and West into a movement practice that is suitable for all levels and all people. At the heart of this practice is the intention to honor our biological need to move in organic and expressive ways, and to explore how our internal impulses can translate into authentic and vivid expression. Lani will guide participants through a variety of somatic and creative improvisational structures rich with imagery that aim to build a deeper awareness and connection to our inner and outer landscapes. Bring your beginners mind and come ready to
dive into your own somatic experience while also relating to and supporting others.
Creative Play Offering:
Landscapes of the Body
with Lani Weissbach
In this class we will consider the ways that contemplative practices can help create a bridge between our interior and exterior environments. We will explore using guided imagery and sensation- based improvisation techniques to help develop one's authentic inner voice as it translates into the creation of movement for choreography.
Creative Play Offering:
Sensation and Creation
with Shannon Alvis
In this class we will research many ideas, and play with different ways to connect with our bodies and our partners. Plan to dive into ideas like weight sharing and transferring, rolling points, grounding and floating, safety for you and others, and freedom of exploration!
with Katrin Roach
Shannon's Contemporary Partnering class will focus on awareness and listening as it pertains to sharing space with others.
with Shannon Alvis
Austin "Sirlimiltess" Day's Intermediate Hip Hop class blends smooth grooves and sharp staccato accents into a captivating choreography. Join us to enhance your mastery of hip hop's dynamic movements, including bounces, rocks, rolls, and contractions. Through a thoughtfully crafted choreographed combo, you'll gain confidence and fluency in expressing yourself through the art of hip-hop dance.
Hip Hop with Austin "Sirlimitless" Day
This session will highlight dance as a catalyst for social change and hold space for exchanging ideas. We will focus on three key components: movement as self-care; movement as connecting to others; and movement as accessible to all. Through collective breathing and listening, we will consider new possibilities and rediscover connections between life and the creative process.
Dance and Social Action
with Brandon Welch
Recovery for Dancers will focus on alignment, mobilization, and stability exercises to prevent injuries and help us feel our best.
Recovery for Dancers
with Colleen Bass
As dancers, we wear many hats to "make it" into the dance field. Though our artistry and creativity are often undervalued and underpaid, we each have unique strengths, such as resourcefulness, problem-solving, and adaptability, that can apply to our everyday lives. What we do is essential, and even if society doesn't see it, how do we make this career attainable and more sustainable? In this discussion, we will converse, question, and share ideas about how to sustainably wear this "dancer hat," especially since one size doesn't fit all.
This conversation stems from my Gibney fellowship and research in producing the Dancers' Economic Empowerment Program (2016-2020). This program offered a series of professional development courses led by artists in the dance field to address the issues dancers face. Other content and source inspirations for this discussion include Making Your Life as An Artist by Andrew Simonet, The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly the Actors' Fund), career counselor Patch Schwadron, and Dance Artists National Collective (DANC).
The Dancer Hat
with Devin Oshiro
Winter Dance Intensive Faculty
Brandon Welch is a dancer, teaching artist and creator. He holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance with a semester on exchange at the Western Australian Academy of the Performing Arts. His performance career includes being a company member of Momix Dance Illusionists, Doug Varone and Dancers, Hannah Kahn Dance Company, JK-co and Gibney Dance Company. During his time with Doug Varone, Brandon participated in Dance Motion USA’s cultural diplomacy program to South America and performed in Les Troyens at the Metropolitan Opera. Additionally, Brandon has performed works by Twyla Tharp, Zvi Gotheiner, Stephen Petronio, Hilary Easton, Reggie Wilson, Joanna Kotze and Ohad Naharin.
As an educator, Brandon has taught contemporary dance in Armenia, Argentina, Peru, Singapore, Sweden, Tanzania, Turkey and across the United States. He has facilitated movement workshops in a variety of unique education settings including New York City and Chicago public schools, Pennsylvania prisons and jails, shelters for vulnerable populations and health recovery groups. Brandon is passionately committed to utilizing movement as a catalyst for social change and served as Founding Executive Director of Awakening Movement from 2013-2020.
Lani Weissbach has had a rich and varied career as a director, teacher, choreographer and performer in the field of contemporary dance, somatics and yoga, and her ongoing investigation of the avant garde Japanese dance form butoh has deeply informed her work for over 30 years. As a devoted educator of mindfulness and movement, Lani has worked in a variety of settings and with a wide range of students, from professional dancers and actors to the elderly. As founder and artistic director of Shen & Bones Performance Group, Lani created and performed for 17 years in numerous works of “quiet introspection, raw power, evocative imagery and dark themes” (Steve Sucato, national dance writer/critic). Her work has been presented throughout the U.S., including the Cleveland Public Theatre, The Vangeline Theater in NYC, The D.C. Arts Center in Washington, D.C., the BeBe Theater in Asheville, NC and Links Hall in Chicago. Lani is the author of a chapter titled Decentering the Human through Butoh in the publication Geographies of Us: Ecosomatic Essays and Practice Pages (Routledge Press, 2024.) She currently serves as the Director of Embodied Learning for the Indianapolis Movement Arts Collective and teaches for universities, studios, and organizations in the area. Lani holds an MFA in dance from Arizona State University, is a Master Somatic Movement Educator/Therapist (MSME/T) with the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA) and is a Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT 500) with Yoga Alliance. For more information, please visit: www.laniweissbach.com.
Originally from Greenwood, Indiana, Shannon received her training at Butler University and the University of Utah. She had her professional career with both Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Nederlands Dans Theater, performing around the world for over twelve years and dancing works by many world renowned choreographers such as: Jiri Kylian, Nacho Duato, William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin, Jorma Elo, and Crystal Pite. After returning from Europe, Shannon rounded out her stage career with seven productions at the Lyric Opera Chicago including Rob Ashford's Carousel and Francesca Zambello’s West Side Story. Through this concert dance and musical theater experience, Shannon brings with her a rich breadth of knowledge that she now integrates into her teaching and her own creating. She has choreographed work for Visceral Dance Chicago, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, Ballet Des Moines, The Big Muddy Dance Company in St. Louis, the University of Iowa, and was also a recipient of the Joffrey Ballet’s Winning Work’s Choreographic Competition. She teaches and
mentors dancers throughout the Chicago area and has been on faculty at the Joffrey Academy, Interlochen School for the Arts summer faculty, and Visceral Dance Center. Most recently, Shannon completed an MFA in Dance from the University of the Arts with a continued commitment to the revealing of the power of dance as a language that transcends the tangible and to the creation of the future through art.
Colleen graduated with a degree in kinesiology as a contemporary dance major from Indiana University. Since moving to Chicago in 2010, she has performed with Zephyr Dance, Dropshift Dance, Ology Dance, Tapestry Dance Company, Project 606, and Trifecta Dance Collective. She has performed at notable venues including the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, Chicago Cultural Center, and The Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Colleen has performed and presented her choreography in Chicago, as well as in NYC with Awakening Movement Project. Colleen was a faculty member for the Dance Masters of Wisconsin workshop in 2016, instructing contemporary and jazz. In 2017, she co-produced Where Beauty Rises, a multidisciplinary performance at Links Hall with the non-profit Photoserve. All proceeds went to the clean water organization Wine to Water. The following year Colleen visited Uganda with Photoserve and Surge for Water, who is dedicated to bringing communities safe water solutions. Teaching dance lessons at some of the Ugandan schools was an incredible experience! Continuing her work with a community focus in 2018, she and co-choreographer Joanna Meccia received an Independent Artist Grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs to create Dance Across Chicago -- a series using live music, dance, and technology to bring free performances to public spaces and two Chicago public high schools. In 2020, Colleen collaborated with Dropshift Dance on a film project celebrating dance amidst the challenges of the pandemic. Colleen continues to grow her technical knowledge with Pointe workshops through The Ballet Blog and expand her coaching skills with Competition Judge Mental Wellness Awareness Training with Danscend. Some of her other interests include yoga and spending time in the great outdoors, which inspires her choreography.
Austin "Sirlimitless" Day
Austin "Sirlimitless" Day, born in Indianapolis, IN, is a seasoned dancer, choreographer, and educator with over 15 years of experience. His unique style blends modern dance attributes with street-style techniques, marked by quick and staccato movements.
Austin's dance journey began at Lawrence North High School, where he practiced with a group of dancers and choreographed pieces for school recitals. He further honed his skills at Indiana University, training with the African American Dance Company and performing with groups like Expressions and Hip Hop Connection. During this time, he shared the stage with artists like Big Boi and LMFAO.
Post-graduation, Austin immersed himself in the dance scene, auditioning for shows such as America's Best Dance Crew and engaging in street dance battles. He also became an artistic mentor for youth at the Asante Art Institute, learning the value of giving back to the community.
Austin founded ChoreoBlitz, a company aimed at challenging dancers with innovative programming and providing performance opportunities. Through ChoreoBlitz, he collaborated with dance companies, connected with youth programs, and performed on commercial stages. Additionally, he created classes and programs in Indianapolis, catering to diverse age groups and emphasizing a communal and challenging artistic experience.
With an impressive resume that includes performances with artists like B2K and Madonna (Super Bowl XLVI), Austin "Sirlimitless" Day continues to inspire and elevate the youth in Indianapolis and the Midwest dance community. His approach, rooted in "thinking globally and acting locally," has shaped dance programs in various studios, providing top-quality movement education to the greater Indianapolis area.
Devin Oshiro (she/her) is a NYC-based dance artist from the Los Angeles region. She earned a BA in Dance from California State University of Fullerton. Her artistry is expressed through dancing, performing, teaching, creating, arts administration, and advocacy. Over the past decade, she enjoyed moving with Edisa Weeks, Joanna Kotze, Mike Esperanza, Reggie Wilson, Maija Garcia, Patrick Corbin, and more. Devin is currently performing in “The March,” a program featuring works by Annie-B Parson, Tendayi Kuumba, and Donna Uchizono.
Devin danced with Gibney Dance Company and now works with Gibney Community as the Senior Community Action Artistic Manager. With a focus on utilizing the arts for social action, specifically gender-based violence, she teaches movement workshops that promote self-care and creativity with a trauma-informed lens to communities in the NYC region. Additionally, as part of the Hands are for Holding® program, Devin is a lead facilitator in conversations about healthy relationships by using choreographed dances and movement activities to engage young people in both NYC and nationally.
As a creator, Devin has choreographed works performed worldwide, such as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Singapore’s Celebrate Christmas. She has also choreographed pieces for Awakening Movement, co-created by Brandon and Hannah Welch. This faith-based dance organization has performed in events and venues such as Project Dance, the Theater at Gibney 280 in NYC, the Mark O’Donnell Theater in NYC, Links Hall in Chicago, and more.
Originally from Marion, Indiana, Katrin Roach grew up dancing at Community School of the Arts. She graduated from high school from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She continued her dance education at SUNY Purchase College in Purchase, NY, spending one semester abroad in Perth, Australia to study at Western Australia Academy of the Performing Arts. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2020 with a concentration in Choreography. While at Purchase College she performed new works by Nora Petroliunas, Doug Varone, and Annie Rigney, as well as repertoire by Trisha Brown and Ohad Naharin. Katrin has attended Bodytraffic’s company summer workshop, Transformation Danse Montréal summer program, Doug Varone and Dancers winter and summer programs, and B12 contemporary dance summer workshops in Berlin, Germany. She danced with the Relevations Dance Company in Indianapolis, Indiana from 2021 to 2022. Currently, she is teaching at Colorado Conservatory of Dance and is a freelance dancer in Denver, Colorado.
MacKenzie is a modern dancer based in Boulder, CO. Her dancing and teaching are infused with a sense of play, curiosity and wonder. MacKenzie’s embodied practice is shaped primarily by the study of release technique and contact improvisation. While her interests are constantly expanding, she is always playing with the foundational dynamics of effort and ease, finding fluidity in and out of the floor, and moving to the point of exhilaration. She is inspired to move with appreciation and the capacity to be influenced and changed, always available to the moment that creative energy is ready to take direction and form. As much as technique, MacKenzie's classes orient towards building a malleable relationship with the body, and listening for how the body wants to express and experience itself. Her life has shown her that presence with her body positions her as a conduit for deeper connections with her environment and everything that resides within it.