The Urban Dance Walk: TRACES

This is our third year holding an Urban Dance Walk as part of Vermont Dance Alliance's annual outdoor dance festival: TRACES.
Our friend Abbi Jaffe coined this term to describe a group of dancers practicing Contact Improvisation with each other, the natural environment, the buildings and sidewalks, and with the community as a whole. Part activism, part play, part performance. Anyone who wants to join, meet us by the "heart" sculpture at the base of Main Street in front of the main entrance to Union Station (the building with the flying monkeys on it) at 12:15. (performance at 12:30)

Posted by

I've been dancing since I was wee! Mostly modern, some improv, some choreography.. I studied Ballet, Modern and Jazz technique as a young teen at the Brooklyn College Preparatory Center for the Arts in NYC, Noyes Rhythm in Connecticut since a small child, and performed with Lida Winfield in multiple performances including dancing for Bess O'Brien's documentary All of Me, Heather Bryce and Joy Madden here in Vermont. In Vermont I was a founding organizer of the Burlington International Contact Jam (reboot) and a main organizer for the last 8 years, and also a founding organizer of Traces! with Hannah Satterlee last year -- second annual occurring here in a few weeks. Dance, nature, music are all essential for my life and I've made my days reflect that. I am venturing recently into Burlesque and the crossover into body acceptance and loving it.

Participating artists

Emily Arwen Mott is a musician, dancer, and massage therapist. She has taught the Noyes Rhythm movement system to adults for 15 years and is now a program director for the Noyes School of Rhythm in Portland, CT. Emily is fascinated with the deep creativity and healing that comes from awakening the body’s intelligence. She expresses her love for the world through teaching, touch and composition. Emily runs a private music instruction studio, music and movement classes for children, and is certified as a therapeutic horseback riding instructor. CURRENT CLASS SERIES: Noyes Rhythm all-levels: Sundays at 2pm starting June 14th -August 2 (virtual) "Forest Breathing" Meeting ID: 868 5499 4472

Jessie Owens is the founder of Ergo Movement, a collaborative performance project based in Burlington, Vermont. She holds a BA in Dance from Smith College, where she attended as an Ada Comstock, or non-traditional scholar. She is the current Vice President of the Vermont Dance Alliance, where she is working to support dance in all of its forms.

Jonathan Lilly trained for more than twenty years in the martial art of aikido, before transitioning to contact improvisation and improvisational dance as his primary movement practices in 2013. In addition to thousands of hours of experience teaching aikido, he has taught movement fundamentals and/or contact improvisation at a half-dozen locations in the US, Canada, and Europe. His movement and teaching styles are deeply informed by a period of in-depth study of the Feldenkrais method of somatic education in the mid-1990’s, as well as by a daily meditation practice in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. In his day job, he is a scientist studying ocean physics.

Liesje grew up in Vermont, studying dance by age 4. She received a BA in Dance at Naropa University and went on to study at Moving On Center in California and New Dance Development in the Netherlands. As a Rolfer, Liesje teaches functional movement to her clients, and teaching embodiment and dynamic movement at retreat centers and senior centers. She loves to make dance pieces.

A Contact Improvisational Dancer for eighteen years, Michelle’s held the space for the weekly contact Jam for over ten years. She’s studied with many teachers including intensive training with Nancy Stark Smith. She’s a practitioner of Aikido (2nd Dan), a certified Yoga Teacher with over forty years of practice, she has a BA in Theatre and produced two one woman shows. Michelle’s business is called “Playing on Purpose” where she encourages hula hooping, juggling and fooling around. Contact Jam: When: Mondays: 7:30-9:30pm Where: Aikido of Champlain Valley - 257 Pine Street, Burlington For more Information go to:

Bringing Dance to Life! VDA proudly serves its members, cheering on their art and creating opportunities to feature their forms. Vda sends a free weekly e-newsletter to announce events throughout the state of Vermont, as events are always open to the public. Sign up at the bottom of this page to be included, and look for our emails! Dance Alliance members are featured here on our website, with tabs to view their upcoming events and drop-in friendly classes and workshops. More dance in more places, more of the time! We hope you will join us!