Seattle is home to a ton of awesome ways to get your dance on, whether it’s spinning ‘round to salsa or shaking it to indie pop. Today we want to tell you about one of our city’s most unique classes: Dance Church.
Dance instructor and founder Kate Wallich describes her class as a “non-exclusive approach to dancing” simply focused on getting people’s bodies moving. It’s held every Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday at Velocity Dance Center in Capitol Hill.
Kate started teaching the class at a now defunct studio in Pioneer Square in 2010. Back then, it was simply called Sunday Morning Movement Practice. Its current name was inspired by a student, she told us.
“One of my students was just like, ‘This is like church — it’s on Sunday morning, it’s at 10, and we get coffee afterward. It’s Dance Church,’” Kate said.
And the name stuck. Since then, Kate’s taken Dance Church on the road with classes in Portland and pop-ups in places like Berlin and Bulgaria.
“It’s beyond the Pacific Northwest,” she said. “With what’s going on in the world, that sense of release, that liberation of bringing people together, is really important and special.”
We caught up with Kate to talk all about her dance class and the role that moving our bodies should be playing in our lives.
What sets Dance Church apart from others around (and beyond) Seattle?
You don’t have to be a dancer to enter this dance space. You don’t have to have a certain look or body. The one thing you do need though is an open mind. If you come through those doors with a closed mind, you’re not going to get it.
We’ve all had that feeling when we go into a fitness class or a gym and there’s expectations. Like in a ballet class, the more you do it, you get better at it. You can’t really get better at Dance Church. Your stamina can go up, sure, but the goal is to feel good and be happy around other people.
What should someone expect the first time they go to Dance Church?
You’re going to sweat so much, you’re going to have a lot of fun, and you’re going to laugh a lot.
And how are we going to do that?
I wanted to create a space where I could feel liberated from technique and dance training and create a fun, positive space for people to move. When you go to a dance club and a good song comes out, there’s no structure for how to dance to that song.
The space Dance Church creates [is] supportive … it’s about liberating yourself from the grind. The class has a funny way of helping people find community. At the same time, it really allows people to exercise their agency.
Why do you think people come to Dance Church?
People have their own goals when they come to Dance Church. Some want to meet new people or because it’s their time to let go. I feel like the reason people come through the doors is that there’s space for everybody there.
Want to give it a go? The next Dance Church is happening on Saturday, 5/5. Ever been to Dance Church or another cool dance class around town? Share your experiences here.