Wassa Dance 

SUNDAY 12:15 – 1:45pm with live music! (every 3rd Sunday of the month)

Suited to mixed levels, this class deepens movement skills, combining body-mind awareness with some of the best music the world has to offer.

Wassa dance is a lively, accessible mix of traditional and contemporary poly-rhythmic styles, developed by Lara’s unique understanding of afro-fusion sounds. Basic steps and choreography are blended with the roots of traditional movement. The simplicity of the format invites each dancer to cultivate their own joyful, personal experience inside roots oriented group movement.

“If you can imagine an ethnomusicologist combined with a finger-on-the-pulse choreographer who believes that in everyone exists the joy of dancing, then you can imagine Wassa Dance. Mali meets Paris meets Rio meets the streets of Philadelphia in a one-hour class. While you’re seduced by her widely tossed musical 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 in the music that 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

Learn more about wassa dance »


Lara McIntosh

wassa instructor

Lara McIntosh has danced all her life. She explores rhythm, spirit, craft, and community to unlock the movement potential in each person. An active member of Seattle dance, public art and drum communities for many years, her use of afro-infused dance styles are greatly inspired by travels to Brazil and Mali, West Africa. "Wassa" is the Bambara name Lara received during one of her visits to Mali. It means "one who acts for joy and fulfillment." Her curiosity about movement and cultures, combined with a deep love for music, are lifelong muses.