A group of people sit around in a circle on the floor in conversation with one another

Choreographers Institute

Los Angeles Choreographers Institute

The Los Angeles Choreographers Institute (LACI) is tailored for early- to mid-career choreographers (regardless of style) and creative producers seeking to cultivate sustainability and synergy in their creative careers. This new five-day, in-person leadership intensive program incorporates a holistic approach to the business of dance-making focused on logistics, communication, problem solving, capacity building, personal vision and insights, and idea generation. The unique program includes an intimate mix of lectures, discussions, and interactive workshops led by creatives with extensive stage, film, and television experience in the fields of producing, creative direction, program development, grant writing, fundraising, lighting and costume design, administration, talent acquisition and beyond.

See more details in our FAQs below.

JULY 8-12, 2024

TIME

  • Monday - Friday
  • 10:00am - 4:30pm 

LOCATION          
Stomping Ground L.A.          
5453 Alhambra Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90032

RATE

$650 - Early Bird 
$850 - Standard Rate
*Early Bird Rates end on May 31st at 5pm PST

apply now

More Info

  • Daily lectures, discussions, and interactive workshops
  • Intimate class environment
  • Led by creatives with extensive stage, film, and television experience
  • See Session Leaders below.  More Session Leaders to be announced soon.

View our FAQs

For questions not answered on the above FAQ Sheet, email Community Relations Manager Jessie Lee Thorne - [email protected].

Session Leaders

Kate Headshot

Kate Hutter Mason

Board Member

Artistic Director 2005-2015
LACDC Co-Founder 

Kate Hutter Mason is founder and owner of Stomping Ground L.A. – a community arts complex founded in 2020 on the native lands of the Kizh, Chumash, and Tongva Nations known as El Sereno/East L.A. As a foundational experience for this next step in her artistic and entrepreneurial career, Kate co-founded the L.A. Contemporary Dance Company (LACDC) in 2005, and held the Artistic Directorship from 2005 - 2015. Today, she serves as the President of the Board of Directors. Additionally, Kate works in the corporate sector applying her skills learned in non-profit arts as Director of Strategic Initiatives for the aerospace design and manufacturing company, Click Bond, that was founded by her parents and is in its 2nd generation of leadership as a family-owned and operated company. Kate is thrilled to hold many careers in balance and see how each is informed by the other including continuing to instruct dance, choreograph, and be the mother of two spirited and wonderfully free willed children, Charley and Rory, with her husband Eric.

Kate is an alumnus of the Walnut Hill School and a graduate of the University of Southern California with a BFA in Theatrical Design. Kate also holds an MFA in Dance and Choreography from Purchase College, SUNY. Kate has presented her choreography at prestigious venues throughout L.A. including the Broad Stage, Celebrate Dance at the Alex Theater, Ford Amphitheatre, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, L.A. Theatre Center, Diavolo Dance Space and Highways Performance Space. Kate was also the movement director for the band Foster The People on their 2013 Summer Tour and part of the Move campaign by indie clothing retailer Alternative Apparel. Kate has been a visiting artist at USC, UCLA, California State Long Beach, Santa Monica College, Scripps College, Chapman University, Ohio State University, Wayne State University, and Loyola Marymount University.

*Photo by Malachi Middleton

Jamila Glass | Photo by Zack Whitford

Jamila Glass

Artistic Director

  • Founding Company Member in 2005
  • Artistic Director in 2021

Filmmaker and Choreographer Jamila Glass is known for creating cinematic journeys of movement, shaping characters, and building worlds that reflect what makes us human. In addition to creating work as the Artistic Director of L.A. Contemporary Dance Company (where she joined in 2005 as a founding member), she has choreographed extensively in film and television. Her choreography work includes projects on Netflix, HBO, Hulu, BET, and PRADA and garnered mentions in NY Times, L.A. Times, Essence Magazine, Ebony Magazine, and Mashable.  She recently choreographed and co-directed two commercials for Splice, the music industry's highest quality, royalty-free sample library.

Glass began her formal training as a nine-year-old scholarship student at The Discovery Dance Group in Houston, Texas. She continued dancing in her spare time as a vocal music major at the multi-Grammy award-winning High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Jamila graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Cinema-Television (Film & Video Production) and a Minor in Advertising.

As a performer, she has worked with Ryan Heffington, Galen Hooks, Nina McNeely, Kathryn Burns, David Dorfman, Adam Parson, and Mecca Vazie Andrews.  Other credits include Netflix Original film Mascots from Christopher Guest, American Horror Story, Paul McCartney, Colbie Caillat, Foster the People tour, Mastercard, American Apparel, Samsung, & the NY Times Best Selling photography book Dancers Among Us.

Beyond the stage, Jamila, a director/screenwriter, has produced films through her production company The Cutting Room where she has directed 20 critically-acclaimed short dance films, a television pilot, and 2 music videos that have garnered international praise, including film screenings in London, Paris and Lebanon. Her previous work as a freelance editor includes documentary shorts, national radio commercials, and an award-winning independent television network. Her directorial work for LACDC includes and then life was beautiful, INSECTOS: arte y vida (commissioned by the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Spain), and SUMMON (featuring the music by Emmy and Oscar award-winning and Grammy-nominated Kris Bowers).  She previously served LACDC's Media Director and Summer/Winter Intensive Director, elevating the company's visibility across continents.

She has taught at Schools: Pace University, UCLA, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton, Texas Christian University, Hussian College Los Angeles and has created work for LACDC, Texas Christian University, Cal State Fullerton, University of Illinois Edwardsville, and Co/Motion Creation Intensive (Boston).  

Recent News: Texas Christian University’s (TCU) dance students had such a wonderful experience with Jamila Glass during her Spring 2023 residency that their School of Classical & Contemporary Dance invited her to return in the Fall of 2023 to do another teaching & choreographic residency. She was honored to share the bill for their 2023 Fall Concert with world-renowned choreographer Sidra Bell.

Jamila is represented by Movement Talent Agency and is a member of the Television Academy, the Choreographers Guild and SAG-AFTRA.

Watch her teaching reel and check out her class schedule.

*Headshot by Zack Whitford

Napoleon Gladney | Executive Director

Napoleon Gladney

Executive Director

NAPOLEON W GLADNEY has a diverse performance and arts management background which spans seasons and international tours with dance companies including Odyssey Dance Theatre, The Dance Cartel and Backhausdance. National Broadway Tour credits include Wicked The Musical, as Dance Captain/Swing/Chistery Understudy.

In addition he has been involved in the creation of new musicals/shows Me and Caesar Lee (Choreographer - NYMTF Nominee), Dear Evan Hansen (Choreography Lab), and Better for Night (Featured Artist). His work with production companies, hip hop dance teams, and commercial projects span both coasts. Napoleon has worked with artists Agnes Carlson, Meaghan Smith, and Shinedown. Other projects include promos for the FIFA World Cup, music videos for Funny or Die, and commercials for Budweiser and iBillionaire.

As a choreographer and teacher, Napoleon has had the opportunity to travel to teach classes and set choreography on dance companies, teams, university programs and studios around the United States. And was the Program Coordinator and a Full-Time Faculty member for Hussian College LA’s Commercial Dance Program.

As an arts administrator Napoleon has stage managed the mobile opera Hopscotch by Los Angeles’ The Industry and created or held positions for non-profits the Theater at the 14th Street Y and LABA: A Laboratory for Jewish Culture in New York City; MUSE/IQUE, Grand Performances, and Greenway Court Theater in Los Angeles. He has been the Audience Development Manager and Cultural Equity Producing and Programming Manager for Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University and is currently Executive Director of LA Contemporary Dance Company and Director, Theatrical Programming & Presentations for the Kimmel Cultural Campus.

Rebecca Lemme

Rebecca Lemme

SI Faculty

Rebecca Lemme is a choreographer, performer, educator, and visual artist. Founded in 2014, she is also Artistic Director of the performance group Acts of Matter. Her choreographic work has been commissioned for numerous universities and professional companies, and she teaches extensively in Release, Ballet and Improvisation. Significantly informed by both Release and Laban/Bartenieff techniques, she has created a unique movement style for the stage and the classroom that encourages investigation, problem solving, and versatility. Rebecca holds a BA from Princeton University in English and Theater and an MFA from California Institute of the Arts in Choreography.

Rebecca is an Associate Professor of Dance at California State University, Long Beach. She has been a full-time faculty member at California Institute of the Arts, where she also taught during her MFA candidacy. Additionally, Lemme has been on faculty at Columbia College Chicago, Roosevelt University, Hubbard Street’s Lou Conte Dance Studio, Visceral Dance Center, and Joffrey Ballet Chicago.

Rebecca has been commissioned and presented by LA Contemporary Dance Company, Heidi Duckler Dance Theater, Santa Barbara Dance Theater, Los Angeles Theater Center, River North Dance Chicago, Thodos’ New Dances, California Institute of the Arts, Loyola Marymount University, Columbia College Chicago, Loyola University Chicago, Grand Valley State University, The Harvest Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, and was a finalist chosen to present choreography for The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2010: Chicago. Her work with Acts of Matter has been performed throughout Southern California and Chicago and toured to New Mexico in Fall 2018. Thematically and physically, Rebecca’s work is grounded in an unfettered willingness to attempt something while accepting the possibility of its failure. This physical exertion—this act of trying—is the core of humanity in her work.

Rebecca has toured nationally with contemporary repertory companies Luna Negra Dance Theater, River North Dance Chicago, Hedwig Dances, among others, working with and performing choreography by Jose Limon, Robert Battle, Daniel Ezralow, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Eduardo Vilaro, Frank Chaves, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, and Alejandro Cervera.

Jillian Meyers | Photo by Kelly Masumiya

Jillian Meyers

Collaborator

Choreographer | 2023 Creative Residency

Jillian Meyers is an Emmy nominated Los Angeles based choreographer and dancer. She works at the nexus of commercial, stage, film, and site-specific performance. From choreographing Hozier's "Work Song", to dancing on multiple tours with Janet Jackson, Jillian was also an assistant choreographer for the award-winning film, "La La Land." She most recently wrapped the second season on the NBC show, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” as an episodic co-choreographer. She wears many hats and makes many faces—and both reconciles and indulges in all of these disciplines in her collaborative ongoing genre-bending project, "The Seaweed Sisters.”

AO by keenan reed

Ayesha Orange

Collaborator

  • Rehearsal Director | 2024
  • Rehearsal Director | 2023 Creative Residency
  • Assistant Director: Insectos: arte y vida (film), Finding Meemoo (film)

Ayesha Orange is originally from San Pedro, California and has been working professionally for 27 years. She has performed in various award shows such as The Teen Choice Awards, Academy Awards, American Music Awards, iHeart radio, MTV Awards, Grammy Awards, Image Awards, and the Vibe Awards. Television shows like Welcome to Chippendale’s, Key & Peele, the OA, My Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Oprah, Dancing with the Stars, Glee, Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen, Lucifer, and Monk. She has also worked with artists including Katy Perry, Jennifer Hudson, Pink, Christine Aguilera, Bette Midler, Mariah Carey, Usher, Ne-Yo, Will-I-Am, and the legendary Earth Wind and Fire. Furthermore she has danced in movies. All three Austin Powers movies, Behind the Candelabra, Muppets, Idlewild, Batman and Robin, Miss Congeniality 2, She's All That, Spider-Man 3, and Charlie's Angels to name a few.

She recently worked as an Associate Choreographer on productions such as Billboard Awards with Kesha, as well as Travis Scott, Dawn FM on Amazon for The Weeknd, Euphoria, SNL, VMA’s, Jimmy Kimmel, the fourth season of Dear White People, and music videos for Kali Uchis, Sia, Rihanna, Fergie, KC Musgrave and so many more.

Throughout her career, Ayesha has been fortunate enough to work with world renowned choreographers, some of the most talented dancers, travel the world, and do what she loves for a living.

Kelsey Vidic

Kelsey Vidic

Session Leader

Kelsey Vidic (costume design)
Collaborations with LACDC: GLHF, Naneh, Tainted, Well Weathered, Terra, and The Only Constant.

Kelsey Vidic was born in Florida. Her opera-singing grandmother fueled a childhood curiosity. As her interests matured she interned with Brevard Music Center, STAGES St. Louis, Gomez-Gracia in London and the Santa Fe Opera for two seasons. After honing her costume construction skills, she desired a life of design. She received an MFA in Costume Design at the University of Texas at Austin.

Narrowing her degree expanded her path of artistry.

Working with bodies, textiles and space opened doors to work with companies such as the Intel Corporation, Opera på Skåret in Kopparberg, Sweden, American Players Theatre and with the Rude Mechanicals at the Guthrie Theater, all under varying job titles. Vidic currently works as the Costume Designer and Shop Manager for the Dance Department at California State University, Long Beach. Most recently, her MFA Thesis project, Adrift, was chosen to be displayed as a part of USITT’s Emerging Artist Exhibit in the Prague Quadrenniel, 2019.

She is open to all possibilities as a designer, working to merge her spatial design, costume design and construction, and newly found weaving practice in performative spaces. She will continue to listen with her eyes and always prefers the present moment.

This program is ideal for choreographers (regardless of style)  transitioning out of college or university programs, independent choreography professionals and creative producers creating for the stage or screen, and dance teachers or educators. Participants will leave the program with a stronger sense of purpose, a personal creative mission statement, an increased awareness of the current creative ecosystem, a network of arts professionals, access to toolkits and resources crafted for choreographers, and a clear set of project or career based goals, strategies, or pitch materials for future development.

  • Are you interested in learning more about the business side of the “business?” 
  • Are you seeking new strategies to engage with your students or community? 
  • Are you hoping to further develop your creative capacity and output? 
  • Are you looking for new or best practices while in the studio? 
  • Are you wanting to communicate with collaborators like designers, stage management, venue reps, etc. to more effectively see your vision through? 
  • Are you hoping to incubate and produce a new project or idea? 

Invest in yourself and your future and apply starting April 8th!  

The Los Angeles Choreographers Institute is a program of L.A. Contemporary Dance Company.

At L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, we’re proud to be recognized as a leader in Los Angeles for almost 20 years.  During this time, we have collaborated with, commissioned, and produced original work from over 200 performing artists and creative designers in the realm of stage, film and television.  We know from experience the power of remarkable leadership and transformative collaboration.  We also understand that navigating leadership, collaboration, and business with authenticity can be extremely challenging and much of the necessary professional acumen and strategic problem solving are not learned until a person is several years into their career, if learned at all.  We aim to fill in the educational gap for choreographers so they are armed with more tools to effectively communicate with every kind of collaborator they encounter and walk through creative spaces with more confidence and ease. 

Registration closes on June 30, 2024. (Participants should have applied and paid in full by June 30, 2024). 

apply now
 

The LACI faculty will be announced as teachers and speakers are added to the roster.  

Our program acknowledges the importance of a choreographer’s holistic needs including physical, emotional, social, and personal wellbeing. And through this lens, the daily topics are approached.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • How do I create a budget that works for me?
  • How do I communicate my vision with a lighting designer?
  • How do I find talented people to work with who support my vision and culture?
  • How do I get hired as a choreographer?
  • How do I learn to talk about myself in writing for proposals, submissions or grants?
     

  • Monday – Friday:
  • Lecture / 10:00am-12:00pm
  • Lunch  / 12:15pm-12:30pm
  • Discussion/Workshop / 1:00-4:30pm

*This is a sample schedule and subject to change.

Day 1: Mining the Mind
Identifying personal goals, navigating work environments, learning final project details

Day 2: That’s Show Business
The logistics of dance business through the lens of executive directors, artistic directors, independent choreographers, and producers

Day 3: Creation + In the Studio
Tools to survive creating while managing the emotional dynamic of the room

Day 4: Teamwork: Tech & Collaborators
Bridging the communication and knowledge gap between choreographers and designers

Day 5: Launch Pad
Pitches, Presentations, & Reflections

 

As an educator who is also a choreographer, working to meet the needs and goals of your students, while servicing your artistic vision can be challenging. This program hopes to help you gain more tools to strike the balance between creativity and logistics to better serve your students. 

We are only offering an in-person experience at this time.

Yes. We provide need-based partial scholarships.  Scholarship recipients are selected through an application process. If you are interested in being considered for a scholarship, please only fill out the scholarship application.  

Scholarship Application Deadline: May 5, 2024 
Reduced Tuition Rate: $500

apply for a scholarship

Our goal is to keep the program as intimate as possible.  The maximum number of participants is 25.

Daily schedule and further details will be sent in late-June.  Please note that the faculty roster is subject to change. Notify us immediately if your contact information changes.

The venue is Stomping Ground L.A. (SGLA), 5453 Alhambra Ave., Los Angeles, California 90032.

Parking Info: In consideration of our neighbors, please consider these parking options first:

  1. SGLA parking lot
  2. Parking on Alhambra Ave
  3. Parking on areas of side streets that are not in front of homes. Please note the street cleaning signs on Bullard Avenue on Thursdays and Fridays.  (You will get a ticket.)

*Also, if there are trash cans out on the curb, please do not move them from their spots.

All participants should be available for the full duration of the program. 
 

We respect the privacy and sanctity of studying together in a class environment. Therefore, we will not be allowing anyone to observe the workshops.

Contact Community Relations Manager Jessie Lee Thorne - [email protected]

Scholarship FAQs

We provide need-based partial scholarships for LACI.  Scholarship recipients are selected through an application process. If you are interested in being considered for a scholarship, please only fill out the scholarship application.  

Reduced Tuition Rate: $500

apply for a scholarship

 

Looking for additional funding resources? *Check out the CCI Quick Grant program.  *LACDC is not affiliated with CCI and is unable to provide additional information about their application process.  For all CCI Grant questions, please contact them directly.

Scholarship recipients are chosen via an application process. The general application requirements include submitting a Letter of Interest (including a description of your financial need), a CV/Resume & a Video Submission of choreographic work. All materials will be submitted via the online application.

Important Dates:
-Applications Open: April 8, 2024
-Application Deadline: June 15, 2024 @ 5pm PST
 

Contact Community Relations Manager Jessie Lee Thorne - [email protected]

Please note that following housing and transportation options are merely suggestions and are not affiliated with LACDC.  The housing options below provide a sampling of what the area has to offer.  All coordination and responsibility is in the hands of the participant.

Venue: Stomping Ground L.A. | 5453 Alhambra Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90032

The venue is in close proximity to these neighborhoods:   
Alhambra, Baird Park, City Terrace, Downtown LA, Echo Park, El Sereno, Happy Valley, Montecito Heights, Monterey Park, Newton Park, Sierra Vista, Silver Lake, South Pasadena, and University Hills
 

LA Metro
You can map out your trip here: http://www.metro.net/riding/

The simplest way to pay your fare is with cash every time you board a bus or train.  You can also purchase a Metro day pass with the TAP card.  For more information, go to: http://www.metro.net/riding/fares/

Rideshare
Uber.com OR Lyft.com

  • LA Live: Sports and entertainment complex that features popular dining venues, Regal Cinemas movie theatre, Lucky Strike Bowling Lanes, the interactive Grammy Museum, ESPN Zone, the Conga Room and the Nokia Theater. Located next to Crypto.com Arena
  • Crypto.com Arena: Hosts LA sports teams, as well as concerts.
  • REDCAT, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Music Center: Encompasses the Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. All present live music and theater performances, including nationally – touring theater productions and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
  • Fig at 7th: Shopping and Dining
  • Little Tokyo: Shopping and Dining
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA): Features one of the country’s most prolific permanent collections of art create after 1940, and presents ongoing exhibitions.