Velocity Dance celebrates move with Capitol Hill parade, circus party

With help from community volunteers, Velocity Dance Center is celebrating the final steps of its move from the Odd Fellows Building to its new 12th Ave home with a “victory parade” and circus-themed party this Saturday, March 27. Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn will be ringmaster of the parade, by the way. We’d also expect landlord Elizabeth Linke to be there to celebrate her work to fill the space after it became apparent that Capitol Hill Arts Center was not going to make it.

UPDATE: We’ve updated the schedule below with revised information from organizers.


With Mayor Mike McGinn in attendance, Velocity Dance Center’s upcoming move from the Odd Fellows Building to a new home at 1621 12th Avenue on Capitol Hill counts as a victory for artists, residents and civic leaders seeking to ensure the long-term vitality of arts and culture in the neighborhood.

Velocity’s move will be celebrated March 27, 2010 with a parade and ribbon cutting; a circus-themed party produced by The Adventure School follows, kicking off a full week of free events and classes in the new space (full schedule below).

Since 1996, Velocity Dance Center has been a hub for Seattle’s contemporary dance community. When the 2007 sale of the Odd Fellows Building and a subsequent 300 percent rent increase forced the organization into homelessness, the future of Velocity—and other resident arts groups—appeared bleak. But Velocity responded with a spirited quest for a new home that would serve the community for years to come. To date, the Velocity Forever Campaign has raised $420,000—more than 50 percent of its goal—and the new space is ready to be unveiled.

Schedule of events: March 27-April 4, 2010

Saturday March 27 

5:00pm Pre-parade gathering at Odd Fellows Building 

5:45pm Victory Parade up Pine Street

·       Marching band!

·       Balloons and face paint!

·       Mayor Mike McGinn!

·       Moped gang!

·       Dancers, neighbors and friends—including you!


6:30pm Ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor McGinn and others


6:45pm Welcome, featuring …

·       Improve performance by KT Niehoff

·       Words of welcome from Velocity’s Executive Director Kara O’Toole, Michael Killoren of the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, Pat Graney and Michael Seiwerath of Capitol Hill Housing


7:00pm Three Ring Circus Party, featuring …

·       Bands: Airpocalypse and Merce Cunningham Duo

·       DJs: Kristina Childs and MadRad

·       Performers: Cherdonna and Lou and Jill Marissa of the aerialist group Tick Tock Dance

    Sunday March 28–Saturday April 3, 2010
    FREE CLASSES (Classes are open to students 16 and older)
    Velocity offers its full line-up of ongoing classes free from March 28th until Saturday April 3rd. Featuring classes in modern dance, ballet, yoga, hip-hop, West African, breakdancing and more. Please continue to check our class schedule for the latest updates & learn about our class levels to find the class appropriate for you. There is no pre-registration, dress code or required footware for classes.

    Saturday April 3 and Sunday April 4
    BENEFIT MASTER CLASSES  (Master Classes are open to students 16 and older)
    All Master Classes are $20 each (cash/check only) and spaces are available on a first come, first served basis. There is no pre-registration for the Master Classes. Proceeds benefit the Velocity Forever Capital Campaign.

    Saturday April 3: Founders Studio
    2–3:30pm: Advanced Modern with Michelle Miller

    3:30–5pm: Intermediate Modern with Ellie Sandstrom

    Sunday April 4: Founders Studio
    12–1:30pm: Intermediate/Advanced Ballet with Hannah Wiley with Paul Moore

    Sunday March 28–Saturday April 3, 2010
    Velocity’s beautiful new studios are offered at no cost to artists on a first-come, first-served basis (10 hours maximum per artist). There is still some space availability. Please send us an email for free rental requests.

    Volunteers: We need lots of friends to help us transition into our new home. Click here for full details.

    Class Schedule: All classes will be held in the Odd Fellows Building until March 27. Starting March 28 all classes will be held in our new space. Classes will be FREE and open to the public from Sunday March 28th to Saturday April 3rd; no pre-registration is necessary. Please continue to check our class schedule for the latest updates & learn about our class levels to find the class appropriate for you. There is no dress code or required footware for classes.

    The building at 1621 12th Avenue has been undergoing an extensive renovation since CHAC shut down suddenly and restaurant Crave was booted out in September 2008. For any controversy surrounding CHAC and Crave’s exit, landowner Linke should get credit for keeping the 12th Ave space active in the arts scene as more and more Capitol Hill property is developed. At last year’s Capitol Hill Housing forum on 12th Ave’s land use future, Linke had this to say about her practical approach to supporting the arts in her development work: “I don’t have an answer. It’s very difficult to make ends meet when you are trying to help organizations and make a profit.” Linke also referred to the new developments in her home neighborhood of Ballard as “slums.” Gotta like the spirit. Celebrate it with some circus fun on Saturday.

    No word yet on any other tenants in the revamped building though there is a space for a new restaurant tenant to move in, we’re told.

    For more on the renovation, here are pictures of the construction taken for CHS by the staff of Seattle University’s The Spectator. CHS will be covering the parade but if you have pictures from the inside — you’ll be marching, right? — send them our way and we’d be glad to post.

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