The following interview was conducted by Serra Shelton on February 24th, 2017. Maeve Haselton, Dance Major at Cornish College of the Arts, has been involved with Velocity since 2011, taking classes, workshops, volunteering, and now interning in its supportive community.
How did you first find Velocity?
I first found Velocity as a high school freshman. I went to DANCE This camp at Centrum. Amy O’Neal was the teacher of an Improvisation class. She handed out flyers for the Young Choreographer’s Lab, which was at Velocity Dance Center. Later in the year, I walked into Velocity for the YCL program.
How are you involved with Velocity now? Classes, performances, etc?
I take classes, masterclasses, and workshops when possible. During Strictly Seattle 2015, when I participated in the Advanced track, I was immersed into the circulating Velocity community. Then, I came every weekend to take Patrick Kilbane’s class, and for almost two years Kate Wallich’s Dance Church. In 2014/15, I took a lot of classes at Velocity. There was no other place I wanted to be, and I made an effort to commute from Vashon Island at least once a week. Taking class at Velocity with intelligent, experienced teachers is a huge privilege and volunteering is an opportunity for me to see performances in Founder’s Theater. Recently, I signed a contract as Velocity’s Content Manager for STANCE: Journal of Choreographic Culture.
What has kept you coming back to Velocity (what is your favorite thing)?
My favorite thing about Velocity is the community. I love how in the classes you get to meet new people every week, and each group is open and enthusiastic about dance. This aspect of VDC is the most comforting and what makes me come back. Also, something worth mentioning is the diversity in artists that come here from around the country. I am so inspired by their approach to movement, and their language surrounding dance.
What are some words/phrases that come to mind when you think of Velocity?
Gathering. Current. Receptive. Absorbent. Uplifting.
How has Velocity affected your development as a dancer?
I’ve become more open by dancing with more mature artists. I’ve learned how to arrive in the space without adjustment and how to be present every time. Growing up I always danced in the same studio, and I became accustomed to that space. At Velocity, the studios are constantly transforming – there are new people every day. Velocity has made me a more mature and observant dancer. Learning from teachers here, I am reminded not to stay in old habits. Perhaps more than anyone else, these artists are who I look up to in the dance world, and who have influenced my approach to dance.
What are you currently working on artistically?
I’m working on knowing that I know, and being comfortable in the unknown. Where I started and where I am heading are parts of my career I am fairly confident in, but the vital in-between is what changes everything. I can’t visualize myself in the in-between. Gaining more certainty, clarity, and self-reliance in all of myself artistically, are primary goals.
Currently, I am involved in a film project called Swimming In Air While Rooted In Water, directed by Babette DeLafayette Pendleton. We just finished the filming, which took place in Oysterville, Washington and I’m planning to continue work with Babette in Fall 2017.
Where do you want to go next with your dancing?
Leaving Seattle is definitely a priority, once I’m done with school at Cornish. Next summer, I want to travel to Berlin, Germany for a few months to dance and spend time in the city. I plan on doing research on getting my visa and finding a way to live there. But before then, I am not cutting out completely the possibility of living in another U.S. city, like San Francisco or New York City.
In terms of internal goals, there is a part of me that leans toward performing for other artists, and doing project based work. But I also hold a love of creating movement. Either way, I find networking is crucial to forming the collaboration I may have, and is of utmost importance to me as well.