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WASSA DANCE: Lara McIntosh with special guest, Marie Chong


Join us for a delicious autumn weekend of extended dance sessions and inspiration at one of the Puget Sound's most beautiful resources for movement studios, the Madrona MindBody Institute.

Inspired by the elemental roots of Africa and beyond, we'll immerse in Wassa's unique style of spirited dancing combined with seasonally rich movement meditations in each of Lara's sessions. Sunday morning we will dive into a specially crafted morning of GYROKINESIS® with Marie Chong(GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® are registered trademarks of Gyrotonic Sales Corp and are used with their permission)

This workshop is designed for people who love to move in a nourishing, structured environment with some of the best music the world has to offer.

Come as you are and let the rhythms take you deeper!


Workshop Schedule (subject to change):

• Friday: WELCOME SESSION 4:00 p.m.- 6:00 p.m. with Lara (main studio)
• Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - Noon and 3:00 p.m.- 6 p.m. with Lara (main studio)
• Sunday: 10:00 a.m.- 11:30 a.m. with GYROKINESIS
® with Marie Chong (upstairs) and 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. with Lara (main studio)

TUITION - $275 for the weekend.
Come for a class or a day!
Please contact Lara McIntosh
for information and registration.
Early registration is encouraged.

We’d love to have you join us on the dance floor!

Contact Lara McIntosh:


Wassa Dance

As we breathe, we are already dancing.
World rhythms blend seamlessly with traditional and contemporary steps in this lively afro-fusion dance form Lara McIntosh created to deepen and expand a dancer’s movement skills, body awareness and music appreciation. Based on guided movement with an organic fitness component, Wassa invites a natural way of moving that feels good and invites dancers of all levels to be expressive, strong, joyful, and grounded.
Wassa Dance is offered as ongoing classes with curated mixes and live music sessions, as well as in residencies, intensives and collaborations. In all of these, what ultimately draws people together is finding a common rhythm. Through these vibrations comes joy and the power to transform.

“Wassa Dance manages to engage all of me - my body, my brain, my heart and
my awareness like nothing else. It’s challenging, uplifting and satisfying.”
-Genevieve Barile, LMP

ABOUT LARA MCINTOSH: Movement Educator and founder of Wassa Dance  

Lara McIntosh

Lara has studied dance all her life and is an active member of
Seattle dance, music and public art communities.
Lara is the originator of Wassa Dance, which is inspired by
dances and music from the African diaspora and more. She has been teaching
independently in this afro-infused style since 1997. Travels to Brazil and Mali,
West Africa and ongoing study with locally based teachers are great influences in her work. “Wassa” is the Bambara name Lara received during her first visit to Mali. It translates as “one who acts for joy and fulfillment.”
Lara's curiosity about movement and cultures are combined with a deep love for
music and community building. She has a long history of collaboration for
performance, event production and movement education which include ten years
with THREAD DANCE, multiple collaborations with artist Cameron Anne Mason
and the Fremont Arts Council for parade and pageant presentations. During her
six years on the Board of Directors of the Seattle World Percussion Society
(SWPS), she helped oversee the production of the World Rhythm Festival at
Seattle Center, which is one of the largest free percussion festivals in the country.
Lara is an adjunct faculty member of the ARC School of Ballet. She also offers
school residencies and conducts annual intensive workshops in Washington
State and Hawaii.

More about Lara and Wassa Dance:

Marie Chong.jpg
I am in love with this annual residency at MMI and this year am especially excited to include my talented colleague Marie Chong for a very special Sunday morning session that focuses on deepening one’s awareness of a relationship to breath and expanded possibilities for well being and multi-dimensional movement.
— Lara McIntosh
"Imagine an ethnomusicologist combined with a finger-on-the-pulse choreographer, who believes that in everyone exists the joy of dancing. Mali meets Paris meets Rio and the streets of America in a one-hour class. As you’re seduced by her widely tossed net, Lara carefully makes you aware of your own body’s structure and capacity for movement. In words and actions, she teaches what is true and perhaps invisible to you as the music she weaves compels you to move. She’s a consummate teacher, decades into her musical/choreographic work and she really knows her stuff.” —Mary Ann Peters, artist