Introducing low-cost, process-oriented, drop-in dance practice
open studio practice time designed for inspiration, perspiration and embodied empowerment


Classes are facilitated by a rotation of dedicated movement artists living and working in West Los Angeles who are deep in their research and excited to share


an hour of unguided, open practice, where participants may dive into the wisdom of their own creative practice while attuning to each other, within and without the resonances of class.

Musicians and dancers of all abilities are welcome!


Saturdays 3:30 – 6pm

3:30 – 5pm Technique Class 

5 – 6pm      Open Session  


March 17   CAROL McDOWELL with accompaniment by CRAIG SHIELDS

March 24   ALEXX SHILLING with accompaniment by CRAIG SHIELDS


April 7        ZENA BIBLER


April 28      SARAH JACOBS

May 5        JEN HONG


Electric Lodge

1416 Electric Avenue
Venice CA 90291


6 week series: $75

Drop-in class plus open studio practice: $15

Open studio practice only: $5


Week 1 | 3.17 : Juicy Systems and Structures

The brain is a muscle. I am curious about the intersections of noetic and somatic knowledge in our body mind. What internal systems and external structures cultivate and invite the presence of inner intuitive knowledge in our dancing bodies?  How can we practice mindfulness-in-action as we attend to our inner worlds and our connections with others?  How do noetic movements offer different insights into somatics, improvisation, and composition?

Beginning with a slow BMC-based warm-up focused on awakening the juicy systems of the body, we will play with mindful presence, dancing alone and together in a selection of improvisational structures from Barbara Dilley’s moving body of work: Eye Practices, Grid, and Contemplative Dance Practice.

Week 2 | 3.24 : Being is Magic

Dancing reveals the magic of being. We can meet our whole graceful, courageous, messy, formal selves through familiar and unfamiliar ways of moving. We will shift nimbly between releasing tissues, the greatest hits of modern dance exercises and guided image-based improvisational exercises culled from Skinner Releasing Technique and Open Source Forms as a way to access our creative practice more fully. We will lay on the floor, dance with abandon, let go of assumptions and tap into our own innate wisdom.

Week 3 | 3.31 : Evoking Poetic Agency

I believe poetic agency is urgent food for the soul. How do we invoke awareness with active curiosity?  What processes support the ability to observe, investigate and report our state of being? Noetic Movement nurtures the ability to evoke, construct and assemble unique, precise actions and gestures necessary for each of us today.

Beginning with a warm-up based on Masunaga’s Zen Imagery Exercises to awaken the energetic movement through the meridian lines of the body, we will elicit the focused awareness that calls poetic agency into being. We will progress into the use of a variation of Authentic Movement to create “body ballads” with the mover/hero, the watcher/protector/shadow, and recorder/archivist/bard.

Week 4 | 4.7 : Dancing with …

In this workshop, we will examine the ways we watch, recall, and respond to each other. Moving, watching, recalling, referring, synthesizing, and creating anew, we will dance alone, together, with, and for each other. More complex than simply watching; more subtle than absorbing; and more active than witnessing, we will find ways to address to what and who is happening in the space.


No class 4.14 or 4.21 due to LAYERS WORKSHOP and CONTACT IMPROV WORKSHOP


Week 5 | 4.28 : This Class is a Metaphoric Hug

This class will draw upon the somatic practice of Body-Mind Centering® to access delicious moving-from-the-inside-out.  We will begin with hands-on partner work (solo option available) to arrive in the body and sensation, explore through improvisation, apply through exercises, and integrate through further improvisation. There will be space to feed your body the movement it craves: small or big, slow or fast. Open to all experience levels/movement backgrounds.

WEEK 6 | 5.5 : Axis Syllabus with Jen Hong


Zena Bibler is a dancer, researcher, and organizer interested in exploring improvisation, perception, and ecology. She is indebted to her teachers, heroes, and partners-in-the-dance who are too numerous to mention, but are nonetheless always present in the dancing. When she is not dancing, she is thinking about dancing at UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures / Dance. For more information on performance, research, and teaching projects, please see

Sarah Jacobs is a mover, maker, educator, improviser, lover of lists, and BMC SME (Body-Mind Centering® Somatic Movement Educator). She has seventeen years experience teaching dance/movement practices, including nine years training teachers. Both her teaching and choreography embrace humor while excavating architectures of the body and environment. Sarah landed in LA via the UCLA World Arts and Cultures MFA program but hails from the Midwest, where women aren’t afraid to eat carbs, drink beer, and dig in the dirt. 

Carol McDowell, MFA/UCLA, is an interdisciplinary dance artist and educator. Born in California and raised in Hawai’i, she fell in love with modern dance while studying with Betty Jones. Since then, Carol has performed Kei Takei’s Light Parts 15-19, Jack Moore’s Four Songs, Pooh Kaye’s Active Graphics, Tim Miller’s Cost of Living, Karen Finley’s Theory of Total Blame, Barbara Dilley’s Naked Face, Cid Pearlman’s High Fall, Victoria Mark’s Medium Big Inefficient Considerably Imbalanced Dance, Maria Garcia’s Scenes of Abjection and a series of solos by Jmy Kidd, Laurel Jenkins, Alexx Shilling, Nickels Sunshine, Kevin Williamson. Her work has been presented at Highways Performance Space, Pieter, Looking Left/Santa Cruz, ArtShareLA, LAiDfest, Craftswoman House, Skirball Cultural Center, Sweeney Art Gallery, Anatomy Riot, Platinum Oasis, The Kitchen, DTW, PS 122, and abroad in Europe and Indonesia. McDowell Someday McDowell will complete her PhD. Currently she teaches at CSULB, Rio Hondo College, and West LA College and collaborates on many different projects as performer, choreographer, dramaturg, and lighting designer.

Alexx Shilling is fully committed to the infinite investigation of movement and its potential to transform and invite us toward experiencing the unknown. Her original choreography and experimental films have been presented in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, at the American Dance Festival, Jüdisches Museum München, on MTV’s 9/11 Video Postcards, among others. Shilling has created live, multi-media performance in unusual spaces both in collaboration with Ann Robideaux (ann and alexx make dances), and currently as alexx makes dances. After 12 years in New York, Alexx relocated to Los Angeles, receiving her MFA in Dance at UCLA’s Department of World Arts & Culture/Dance. She has been performing with Victoria Marks since 2010, and most recently in works by Nickels Sunshine, Richard Rivera/PHYSUAL (NY), Alison D’Amato, and Laurel Jenkins. Shilling is the Pilates Specialist at Loyola Marymount University’s Dance Department and co-curates the dance series Hi, Solo with Devika Wickremesinghe.

Follow us on Instagram @practice_makes_practice