VA Workshops

Sometimes our Versatile Arts instructors want to offer classes that don’t fit into our regular session format. Following are some fun workshops offered by staff members. Our current students can sign up for these classes using the “Register for Workshop” link here: If you’re a new student, contact us for more information on registering for these workshops.

Velcro: Succeeding with Mistakes

with Jenn Bruyer
Monday July 1st, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Velcro was an accidental discovery, an annoying moment in time that turned into a modern marvel.
Life is messy. So is fabric. Some of the most interesting moments are or were unplanned. Learn how you can embrace those moments and feel successful!

In this workshop you can expect to learn a defined set of skills to adapt to nearly any situation, various strategies for exits and recoveries, and the confidence to embrace mistakes with your own style. We will examine drills, examples that I really appreciate and even have guided exploration time.

Prerequisites: Vertical level 2B and up.
Cost: $50




Past workshops we have offered include the following.


Intro to Functional Range Conditioning

with Lauren Kehl
Monday July 2nd, 6:00 – 8:00 PM

Functional Range Conditioning is a very effective method for increasing range of motion, creating active flexibility, and strengthening end range control. In this workshop, we’ll explore some of the fundamental concepts of the system, learn exercises, and discuss how to implement it in your training program. This work is appropriate for all levels and abilities as it is highly modifiable. If you’re interested in strong, healthy, and stable joints, this is the workshop for you!

Prerequisites: None! Everyone is welcome!
Cost: $20


Take a Deep Breath

with Lauren Kehl
Tuesday May 1st, 6:30 – 8:30 PM

Breathing; it’s important, right? But did you know that how you breath can effect core engagement? And thoracic mobility? And neck tension? And a whole bunch of other stuff?

In this workshop we’ll look at the anatomy of the diaphragm and how it works with your abdominals and pelvic floor, and learn some exercises to increase the awareness of your breath and your breath capacity.

Do you hold your breath when you’re working hard? Do you not even notice that you’re doing it? Does your coach always yell at you to pull your ribs in? Does it feel like you can’t breathe when you engage your core? Do you have lungs and a diaphragm? This is the workshop for you! And you’ll get a balloon!

Prerequisites: None! Everyone is welcome!
Cost: $20

Exploring Sling

with Jenn Bruyer
Monday 9/4/17 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

In this workshop we will explore how sling can be used in many different ways. We will open and close the fabric, work up high as aerial often guides us and down low to floor using the sling as a support to dance and connect with the ground. We will build a new vocabulary in a familiar environment of support and feel the freedom that only this unique apparatus can can afford us.

This workshop is intended for all levels of aerialist, who may or may not have experience on sling. Recommended 1B level or higher.

Prerequisites: VA level 1B (Beginner Sequences) or above
Cost: $50

Mechanics, mobility, and maintenance

with Lauren Kehl
Monday 12/26, Tuesday 12/27, Wednesday 12/28, and Thursday 12/29 from 7:00 – 9:00pm

The vocabulary of anatomy can be a valuable tool for any mover. Understanding the fundamentals of how your body should function will help you train efficiently and effectively, as well as help to prevent injury. And being able to begin to visually analyze movement will help you learn faster and help keep you safe in any learning environment.

This workshop is structured into four different blocks, focusing on the different the anatomy and mechanics of 3 major structures of the body and how they all work together. In each block we will learn the major anatomical features and muscle actions of the area of focus, common movement dysfunctions, and how to begin to correct them. In the final block, we will begin to explore how to apply these concepts in the air to become stronger and more connected in your aerial movement.

Monday (Block 1): Spine, pelvis, and core

Tuesday (Block 2): Shoulder girdle

Wednesday (Block 3): Hips and legs

Thursday (Block 4): Putting it in the air

Prerequisites: None!
Cost: $75 for all four

Sling for Intermediate Aerialists

with Jen Bruyer
Sunday, October 16th from 5:00 – 6:30 PM

Need something new? Students will learn a variety of skills and neutral positions to warm up in the air and then be taught specific techniques, transitions and sequences using inspiration from all other apparatus to build a unique collection of movements for the sling.

Prerequisites: This is stage 2B, Intermediate Development class. Students must meet the Intermediate Foundations graduation requirements on any apparatus.
Cost: $60 ($50 if you register on or before October 5th)

‘Obscureography’ for Sling

with Jen Bruyer
Sunday, October 16th from 6:30 – 8:00 PM

This workshop will take what was explored in the SFIA workshop to be combined into a piece of choreography with an emphasis on musicality and movement quality. New and unexpected variations will be introduced to tie together these pieces as well as student’s work and inspirations from other apparatus. Also taking Sling for Intermediate Aerialists is recommended, but not required.

Prerequisites: This is stage 2B, Intermediate Development class. Students must meet the Intermediate Foundations graduation requirements on any apparatus.
Cost: $60 ($50 if you register on or before October 5th)

The Key to Rope

with Alex Allan
Saturday, September 3rd from 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Students will learn how to use Hip Key to climb, roll, drop and flip in this workshop. This will broaden any participants’ vocabulary to create three-dimensional choreography on the vertical apparatus.

Prerequisites: Participants must be able to scissor into a hip key off the ground in this Intermediate/Advanced workshop.

Cost: $60 ($50 each if you sign up for two out of three rope workshops.)

Rope Fundamentals

with Alex Allan

This is a perfect class for aerial students that are new to rope. Participants will learn simple climbs, holds and drops specific to rope resulting in a basic understanding of the technique and vocabulary required to continue their own exploration.

Prerequisites: Participants must be able to confidently climb 20ft and descend on Rope or Fabric for this beginner workshop.

Cost: $60 ($50 each if you sign up for two out of three rope workshops.)

Rope Release and Dynamic Transitions

with Alex Allan

This workshops will teach students various release-catch maneuvers, open drops and creative entrances into them. Learning these specific skills removes the predictability of wrapped drops. The audience won’t know what to expect next!
Level: Intermediate/Advanced – Participants should have a foundation in dynamic technique/beats.

Prerequisites: Participants should have a foundation in dynamic technique/beats for this Intermediate/Advanced workshop.

Cost: $60 ($50 if you sign up for all three rope workshops.)

Add-On Drops for Fabric #1

with Jenn Bruyer
Friday, August 19th from 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Big drops can be scary, but sometimes they are just a sequence of simple movements all stacked together! This workshop will explore drops that fall into this category. Students will leave with a better understanding of deconstructing drops. This first workshop will focus on single-direction and stacking simple drops.


  • Ability to do multiple inversions
  • Ability to do a straight leg straddle up
  • Solid Windmill
  • Understanding of the basic wraps

Cost: $60 ($50 if you sign up for both Fabric Drops workshops.)

Add-On Drops for Fabric #2

with Jenn Bruyer
Sunday, August 21st from 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Big drops can be scary, but sometimes they are just a sequence of simple movements all stacked together! This workshop will explore drops that fall into this category. Students will leave with a better understanding of deconstructing drops. This second workshop will focus on the technique used to change direction in the air and walk out of complicated scenarios.


  • Ability to do multiple inversions
  • Ability to do a straight leg straddle up
  • Solid Windmill
  • Understanding of the basic wraps

Cost: $60 ($50 if you sign up for both Fabric Drops workshops.)

Doubles Trapeze Workshop

with Dizzy Daze
Sunday, July 10th from 3:00 – 5:30pm

This 2.5 hour workshop is an intensive that includes sections on techniques for basing and flying standard intermediate moves, exploring ways to mine for novel material through improvisation techniques, in-depth examination of new levels of intricacy in choreographic detailing and how to intensify the connection between partners for greater stage impact.

Taught by Jill Schaffner and Lara Paxton of Dizzy Daze, whose self-created duo act received glowing critical response last winter for its German Variete debut.

Sling, Swing, and Trap

Taught by Tamara in the Cathedral.
Monday, May 30th from 3:30 – 5:30

Join Tamara for some eye opening, awe inspiring exploration of the crossovers and idiosyncrasies of these three apparatuses that can be so similar, yet so unique unto themselves.

Wacky Apparatus Workshop

Taught by Tamara in the Cathedral.
Thursdays from 7:40 – 9:10 PM, Oct 8th – 29th.

Hang a Sling from a Lyra? How would that work? Double Two Point Sling? Let’s try that! Horizontal Lyra with a Cloud Swing below? Why not? Create new and diabolical things to hang from with care and thoughtfulness? Um, YES!

This class will focus on cultivating the “out of the box” part of your brain and body, while keeping your creative explorations safe and sane.

Prerequisite: Solid level 2 skills on Lyra, Rope, Tissu, or Trapeze or all of the above.

Intro to Aerial Burlesque

Taught by Tamara in the Ballroom.
Thursdays in July from 6:00 – 7:30 PM.

Learn and explore the art of owning your sexy, sensual self Aerial style. Burlesque can be anything these days and you don’t need to spend a lot of money to be convincing. You DO need to hone the art of engaging your audience in the sexy and sometimes equally comedic sides of yourself that exist in all of us. Come play in a safe fun environment and surprise yourself with lovely new ways to dazzle your audience.

Prerequisite: At least 1 session of Aerial 1/2.

Dynamic Choreography and Movement

Taught by Alex Allan in the Cathedral
Friday, July 31st 7:30 – 9:00 PM.
Friday, August 7th 7:30 – 9:00 PM.
Friday, August 14th 7:30 – 9:00 PM.

Cost: $50/student/class. Students must register for each class.

In this class, students will learn a piece of choreography using the beats, transitions and skills of dynamic rope technique. The skills included in the choreography will not be difficult so this is a great opportunity for students newer to dynamic technique to start realizing its potential for creating fluid, seamless choreography.

Prerequisites: Students must be working at level 2, having begun working with beats and dynamic transitions. Students cannot attend a class if they haven’t attended the previous class(es) in the series as we’ll be building on choreography. You can, however, register for the first, or first two classes.

Stage Make-Up

Taught by Tamara in the Ballroom.
Thursdays in August from 6:00 – 7:30 PM.

Cost: $100
Prerequisites: none!
If you have any questions about this class, email Tamara.

This is a progressive class that covers the basics of makeup for professional stage lighting. These techniques are highly effective in many types of theater environments and stages that are both close to, and far away from your audience. Each week we will build on what we learned in the previous class so it will be optimal to attend all four classes. It is not required to have all of the products that are used in these classes, but I guarantee that you will find all of them useful if you intend to perform on a regular basis even if only at the fabulous Versatile Arts events and shows.

Week One

Foundation and contouring for face and decolletage
You will learn to apply creme foundation and setting powder. Then, using contouring and highlighting, you will learn how to enhance some of your features and downplay others or even change your look entirely. If there is time at the end of this class you will learn to create the illusion of larger breasts.

Week Two

Eye shadows, mascara, liner and blush
This week you will learn to create a unique character or feeling using color and highlights. You will also learn reliable techniques for applying liquid eyeliner.

Week Three

False lashes, gems and glitter
This week you will learn to adhere things to your face (and other body parts), including which fixatives to use for what purposes.

Week Four

Wigs, hats, birds and other things we put on our heads
This week you will learn various ways to keep things on your head while performing aerial feats. There are many concepts that work for different situations and not for others. We will also touch on wig styling and redesigning and ways to repurpose hair pieces and wigs to make something new and unique for your act and character. If there is time at the end of this final class we will talk about some costuming tricks and elements that are useful to aerial specific performance.

Costuming for Aerialists

with Tamara in the ballroom.

Cost: $100
Pre-requisites: A desire to hand sew, craft and create unique treasures

Week 1- Stitch and stretch
How to hand sew and embellish stretch fabrics with non stretch ornamentation and retain the stretch of the original fabric.

Week 2- Glue for the confused
Using the right glue for different materials and adhering those babies so they’ll STAY.

Week 3- Thrifty and thrilling
Thinking outside the sewing basket to source materials and make wondrous things on a tight budget. Reuse, recycle, repurpose. Save the environment!

Week 4- Snaps clips and fasteners
Creating layers and pieces that can be removed easily, but stay in place till you want them off.

Aerial Burlesque Basics


Mondays October 7th – 28th from 7:30-9:00. Taught by Tamara in the Ballroom.

If you have any questions about this class, email Tamara.

Being an Aerial Burlesque Artist doesn’t just mean wearing a sexy costume while doing your usual choreography. If you’re not “taking it off” and “owning your sexy”, you’re not doing Burlesque, and that’s exactly the crime I hope to keep you from committing. This workshop will explore the nuances of removing clothing in Burlesque style and character on aerial equipment. We will be spending most of the class time on troubleshooting aerial specific costume creation and reveal and of course time on the equipment exploring the execution of these arts. We will also discuss methods of “rigging” your costume to accommodate the range of motion required to perform aerial and I’ll be asking you to bring items that suffice for our purposes in this class. They do not need to be beautiful or “tricked out”. If you’re considering this type of performance, but not sure yet of the investment needed, I highly recommend a trip to Value Village or Red Light Vintage for things like garter belts, gloves, etc. Pasties can be purchased at many places online and here in Seattle. “Twirly Girl” by Miss Indigo Blue are more pricey than most, but the quality is well worth it.

Week 1

“Outer Vestments and Gloves”
“Rigging” (yes, that’s what it’s called) your costume for quick and or efficient removal. Bring a complete outfit including gloves or gauntlets and a wig, hat, or fascinator. Also bring character shoes if you have them or any pair of shoes that are not street shoes with no more than a 3 inch heel. NO SPIKE HEELS as they can poke holes in the mats.

Week 2

“Bra, Garter and Stockings”
Please bring a bra and garter belt and stockings. “Stay-ups” are ok, but you’ll still need the garter belt to keep them up till you want them off. Please also wear a pair of tights to wear under the stockings. We’ll discuss the reasons for that in class.

Week 3

“Corset or Waist Cincher or Belt”
Please bring anything you have that does NOT have a classic busk closure in the front. Hook and eye or zipper are ok. We’ll discuss how to keep those from getting caught on the equipment. A wide belt is a great option here if you don’t have or wish to purchase a corset or waist cincher.

Week 3

“Tassel Twirling”
Bring your own tasseled pasties and don’t forget the glue or tape. I will show you the method I swear by for keeping those pesky devils on when sweating and moving dynamically and discuss options for those with large breasts or unease with this part of the curriculum so don’t let that stop you from signing up.

Cost: $100
Prerequisites: Students must be female and at least 18 years of age. Students must have at least a level 2 ability on any aerial apparatus. Please contact Tamara directly if you are unsure about your eligibility.

Optimal Movement Workshops with Amy Turner Clem

“Create movement that looks good, feels good, and is kind to your body.”

We all want to move in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, feels fun and is safe to perform. Understanding your anatomy (the structure of your body) and kinesiology (how that structure moves) are vital components in achieving the movement you want. Most importantly, we want to move without getting injured or developing muscular imbalances that lead to restricted mobility and injury. When you understand which muscles are responsible for the motions you do and where they attach in your body, your movement becomes richer with increased range of motion and strength. You can also begin to self diagnose little problems as they arise and if you know proper self care techniques (like those I will teach in this workshop) you can prevent a tiny tweak from becoming a full blown injury.

In these workshops we will cover:

  • Therapeutic self care exercises for each part of the body. (Want to learn 7 exercises to help you point your feet? Find a way to get your arms overhead without splaying your ribs?)
  • Postural analysis for each student and discover what muscular imbalances are present and develop a personal “prescription” of exercises to benefit you most.
  • Anatomy of the musculoskeletal system
  • How each joint moves and which muscles cause those movements (kinesiology)

In these workshops, I will approach your athletic goals and desire to remain injury free not only as a dance/aerial instructor but as a massage therapist. If you have any questions or would like to request a specific topic be covered please email me ahead of time so I can accommodate you. These workshops are open to anyone who wants to learn more about their body and how it moves. Any kind of athlete or weekend warrior is welcome!

Workshop A: Feet through Pelvis

Workshop B: Torso, Arms, & Neck

Cost: $60 each w/pre-registration ($65 day of class)
pre-register for BOTH workshops for only $100!
*discounts for VA staff and VA rep company available. Please email me for details.

To register:
you will pay Amy directly; she can accept cash, checks or credit cards!
After registration you will receive a supply list for what to bring and wear to class.

All classes will be held in the Versatile Arts ballroom.
7601 Greenwood Ave N, Suite 103. Seattle, WA 98103

Amy Turner Clem is a licensed massage therapist, a certified Cranio-Sacral therapist, and a certified Ayurvedic practitioner who has been specializing in injury rehabilitation for over 10 years. Her anatomy studies began at the University of Illinois as part of her BFA/dance program and continued on to the cadaver labs of Bastyr University through the Brenneke School of Massage. She has been dancing her entire life and currently performs, teaches and choreographs dance and aerial art as a solo artist and in collaboration with a variety of modern dance companies and circus artists. She loves to do anything physical-surf, ski, snowboard, cycle, run, practice yoga, play music- and is thrilled to teach classes on human movement, how it works and how we can make it better.


Intermediate Technique

Tuesdays Feb 19th, & 26th 6:00 – 7:30 in the blue room. Taught by Lisa and Lauren.

In this two week workshop Lauren and Lisa will guide you through technique fundamentals on trapeze, tissue, rope and sling. Class is geared towards intermediate level students with a strong straddle climb (minimum of three in a row), a good start on a windmill and some experience with beats on trapeze. We will assess your strengths and weakness individually; identify changes to your aerial practice that will help prevent injury, strengthen core, hips, and shoulders; and improve your form and efficiency.

Instructors: Lisa Elliott and Lauren Kehl

Class is limited to 10 students.

Cost: $50.00

Prerequisites: Intermediate tissue or rope skills with strong straddle climbs, reasonably solid windmill and trapeze beats of any kind.


Rope and Harness

Taught by Tamara

This series offers a chance to play in a low, single point aerial world where there’s no need to wear out your hands and arms and it’s impossible to fall to the floor.  We will explore circular and linear movement both solo and with partners on the floor and in the air.  There are several companies that make fancy and very expensive harnesses specifically for this art, but any climbing harness can be used for this with slightly less comfortable results.  The place where the rope attaches to the harness is called a “pick” and we will use three types of picks in this workshop; front, back and one and two point side picks.  You don’t need to have super strength to enjoy this, however you will need to bring your own harness. If you do not have one, let us know and we will see if we can find you one. Please wear long pants or tights and bring something with long sleeves.  Thick gym pants are a plus as the harnesses can pinch in places you wouldn’t normally notice when using them for climbing.

Here are some examples of what Rope and Harness work looks like:
Ashly Foster & Kiran Satellite Rope & Harness
an aerial tango, excerpt of 8cho, Brenda Angiel Aerial Dance Co

These workshop are limited to six students each and will consist of the same curriculum except for the longer ropes in the Cathedral.

Cost: $85 per class

Prerequisites: Completion of the Versatile Arts intro series or equivalent. Your own harness.


Invented Apparatus Group Exploration

with Tamara

Tamara has an extra large hoop with four possible rigging points which she designed with group choreography in mind.  This 3-week workshop series will be an exploratory mission to create moves and ultimately choreography on this odd apparatus.  The four points allow for many rigging options. Vertically with two points and other apparatus hanging below. Horizontally with four points and apparatus hanging below.  Two points with swivels and you have a “tippy” hoop. The possibilities are myriad.

Cost: $75 for the three classes

Prerequisites: Solid level two aerial ability, doubles experience a plus. The desire to play and invent in an ensemble environment.