Stephan Koplowitz Residency

We are excited to announce that Body Shift will be hosting Stephan Koplowitz this September to create a site specific work for people of all abilities here in Austin at centrally located Sparky Park!  Stephan Koplowitz is an award-winning director/choreographer/media art- ist known for his work on stage, film and site. His work aims to alter people’s perspectives of place, site, and scale, all infused with a sense of the hu- man condition. He is concerned with the intersection of natural, social and cultural ecologies within urban and natural environments. Koplowitz wants to respond to our growing obsession with digital/virtual space by working directly on the divide between analog and digital domains. His creations of original works for public spaces, both urban and environmental, aim to al- low communities to discover and rediscover the knowns and unknowns of their own town square. Since 1984 he has created 88 works and has been awarded 61 commissions.  Click here for more information about Stephan and his work. 

The Sparky Park project is a creative laboratory and introduction to site specific work which will engage the community of local performers accompanied by live music. Site of a former electric substation, Sparky Park was created through the efforts and vision of neighbors. Lovely old trees and a unique art wall make this pocket park something special. We will have a public presentation of our eight day research on Saturday, September 23rd at 3pm and 5pm as well as Sunday, September 24th at 1:30pm.



On-going Classes

Elements and Choreography Lab

Come shift your perspective! In Body Shift’s on-going Elements class we offer a fun and accessible environment in which to explore dance improvisation. You can be a beginner and learn tools to create your own dance. You can be a professional dancer and be challenged to move in new and unique ways outside of your habitual patterns. We use the internationally renowned DanceAbility method of improvisation to encourage individual creative expression, increased body awareness as well as collaboration and ensemble thinking.

The Elements class takes place every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month at the Townlake YMCA in the first floor group exercise studio (1100West Cesar Chavez St).  No gym membership is required to attend. Open to adults age 16 and up; all ability and experience levels. No registration necessary and fee for class is on a sliding scale from $5-$20, cash or check accepted. See you at the Y!


Ever had an idea for a dance? Maybe you’ve wondered what it takes to make one? If you answered yes to either of these questions, Body Shift’s Choreography Lab is for you! Participants are encouraged to explore their own creative ideas in a supportive environment. You can come solely as a mover or you can come as someone with an idea or theme you want to work through. Space and time will be given for physical exploration as well as structured discussion and feedback.

Email Body Shift’s project coordinator, Olivia O’Hare if you would like to reserve time to try out some of your own ideas with the group. Basic dance improvisation/movement skills or previous participation in the Body Shift Elements class is preferred. Beginning in January 2017, Choreography Lab will take place on-going every third Wednesday of the month from 6:30pm – 8pm at the Northwest Recreation Center (2913 Northland Dr). Free of charge.


Guest Artist Intensives and Residencies

Each year, Body Shift hosts offers at least one weekend long intensive or week long residency with a guest artist from outside the Austin community.  Our hope is to expand the skill level of the long time participants to include a variety of dance improvisation techniques as well as open up the larger dance community to strategies for inclusive dance in performance.  Guest artists we have hosted in the past include, Karen Nelson, Alito Alessi, Gerda Konig, and Nina Martin.




Site Specific Performance Workshops

This bi-annual workshop is a month long process in which we will meet four to five times to create a site-specific performance. Performance experience or previous participation in the Body Shift Elements class is required. Pictures and descriptions of past workshops can be found on our Gallery page. Please contact with questions about upcoming workshops.

About Body Shift

For over 10 years, VSA Texas and Forklift Danceworks have been engaged in the world of mixed-ability improvisational dance through a collaborative project that is now known as Body Shift. Body Shift offers classes and workshops which provide a welcoming environment that empowers people of all abilities to embrace dancing in their own unique way. This in turn creates a diverse community of people who find joy in dancing together. With support for our educational program from Impact Austin and our partnership with DanceAbility International we continue to expand our reach into the central Texas community and beyond.

Learn more