Vertical and aerial dance harness creative lab 2022

Monday 29th August – Friday 2nd Sept

Join us for three 5-day in-person creative labs for vertical and aerial dancers who work in harness and those wishing to try it out, on the gorgeous convex walls of the Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts in Brighton.

We have Creative Labs tailored to 3 levels of experience and skill:

  • Professional
  • Intermediate
  • Explorer.

Each level will be led by Lindsey ButcherLee Clayden,  Roel Seeber and Magalie Lanriot to explore vertical and aerial dance harness vocabulary and technique, as well as guided improvisations to explore the vertical spaces, solo and group work. The Professional strand will also include mentoring from each of the tutors on a current act/idea or project.

Course Content

Warm-up: aerial yoga, dance warm up or Roels’ flowing core warm up.

Technique sessions: will look at vertical dance vocabulary with an emphasis placed on correct alignment, technique and spatial awareness, building throughout the week towards more dynamic vocabulary.

Creative sessions: will work through guided improvisations and exploring the available potential between floor, air and landscape working in solos, duets and groups.

Each level will have the opportunity to work in 3 different spaces on site.

Time Commitment

5 days: 29 August  – 2 Sept 2022

Daily schedule:

9am – Registration
9.30am – Warm ups x 3 levels
10.45 – 12.45pm – Technique sessions x 3 levels
1 – 2pm –  Lunch
2 – 4pm – Creative Labs x 3 levels
4.15 – 5.15pm – Warm down x 3 levels.


Early Bird Discount: £375 if booked on/before 1st August

Full Rate: £425

Subsidised Rate: £225. There are 2 subsidised places available for those who identify as underrepresented in the aerial sector, including but not limited to, disabled artists, artists from financially disadvantaged backgrounds, artists who experience racism, artists with care responsibilities, and artists who are LGBTQIA+.

To apply for a subsidised place, please email us with a description of yourself in relation to the criteria and a short expression of why you would like to take part in the intensive (roughly 500 characters) and which level you wish to take part in.

Refund policy
We are happy to offer a full refund** on the course fee up to 6 weeks prior to the event. If cancelling 4 weeks prior to the event we will offer a 50% refund. No refunds will be given 2 weeks prior to the course. Please consider this when purchasing your course.
**Credit card processing fees can’t be refunded.
Level Definitions & Pre-Requisites


A unique opportunity to be mentored by all 4 tutors on a proposal for a project you’d like to work on  – single point only.

You are a professional vertical dancer with significant track record in working with and/or performing vertical dance over a number of years.

You are an artist who has creative practical experience of both the movement aspects, including an understanding of and ability to regulate pendulum and the technical – rigging and safety systems – of the discipline.

You may also have had experience of teaching vertical dance.


You must have previously attended a vertical dance course or have significant single point harness experience on the wall (two years of regular practice) on the wall on different lengths of rope.

You are confident with using ascending and descending devices and knowledgeable about personal safety systems.

You should be familiar with the pre-requisite list of spatial and physical propositions;

  • Planks on different planes
  • Finding your balance point on feet or hands under the rigging point
  • Jumping away and returning to the wall with control
  • Comfortable with basic rotations and cartwheels on the wall.

None of these have to be perfect!


You have little or no previous experience of vertical dance or dancing in a harness. 

You may have started to attend vertical dance classes but are still at an early stage in your training.

Even though you may be a skilled or professional artist in dance, gymnastics or other aerial skills, it is important that you join the explorer class to gain an understanding of the fundamentals and safe use of equipment before you can move to an Intermediate level class.


Each person will be provided with and allocated their own harness and hardware to use for the 5 days.

If you have a preferred climbing harness and/or any other kit (gri gris, rigs, carabiners etc), please bring them with you.

Please wear multiple snug layers around your hips & waist for your comfort. Long sleeved shirts are also handy for some moves.

Make sure you bring plenty of sanitiser and sunblock, we’re planning on good weather!

Covid note
Whilst we recognise that testing and self-isolation is no longer mandatory in the UK, as Covid numbers are on the rise again there are steps that we can all take to keep one another safe during the festival, helping to restrict sickness rates and support those more vulnerable.
Out of respect for your fellow vertical dancers, friends and family, we ask that, where possible, you take a Covid (lateral flow) test ahead of entering the building to register. If you have any Covid-19 symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus – even if you feel well, please stay at home.
Whilst the venue is quite large and includes 1 outdoor space, we will for the most part all be sharing the same space.
There will be hand sanitiser available and it will be up to individuals to decide whether they wish to wear a mask or not during activities. Please respect these decisions and show kindness and consideration to one another, the teaching team and venue staff.

Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts (or ACCA) is set within the University of Sussex grounds, statistically the sunniest campus (allegedly), on the edge of the South Downs National Park with the bright lights of Brighton just 10 mins away.

Getting there:

By train

Trains from Brighton or Lewes take less than 10 mins to get to the station nearest ACCA – Falmer – and they run approx every 15 mins. Walk from Falmer station to ACCA is less than 5 mins, follow signs to University of Sussex.

From Brighton: exit train station, descend steps, walk through the underpass and follow the footpath until you reach a zebra crossing. You’ll be able to see ACCA set back across the lawn on your left, its the building with round red brick towers.

From Lewes: cross the footbridge over the track to the main exit, follow directions as above.

By bus

The number 25 and 25X bus bring you from central Brighton all the way to the University campus. Alight at the ACCA and Sports Centre stop and you will see the ACCA building – with round red brick towers – through a stretch of tall trees on the lawn.

Click here for _VADH timetable PDF
Course Tutors

Roel Seeber is an Oakland based dancer and artist. For the past thirteen year he has dedicated himself to Vertical Dance or rope and harness-based dancing primarily with Bay Area vertical dance pioneer BANDALOOP . With BANDALOOP he has toured and performed in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa in the role of dancer, soloist, staging director, and master teacher. Memorable performances include the opening of the Africa’s cup in Gabon, the 2016 American Music Awards with P!NK, and for the opening of The Edge in his home town of New York City right before the world shut down due to Covid 19.

Before BANDALOOP, Roel danced with Limon dance company for seven years under the direction of Carla Maxwell, performing master works by José Límon including the Moor’s Pavane as well as works by choreographers including  Doris Humphrey  Lar Lubovitch, Jiří KyliánDonald McKayle, Neta Pulvermacher and others.

Roel graduated cum laude with a BFA from Purchase College, State University of New York. He first fell in love with dancing through contact improvisation, he studied from amazing teachers including  Julie KaneK.J HolmesMartin Keogh  and others.

Lindsey Butcher, Artistic Director of Gravity & Levity

Since graduating from London School of Contemporary Dance, Lindsey has worked with numerous dance, opera, physical and street theatre companies both in the UK and internationally as dancer, aerialist, teacher, choreographer and advisor. These include; Extemporary Dance TheatreRandom Dance CompanyWalker Dance/Park MusicDarshan Singh BhullerCharlie Morrissey and Small Wonder, Vincent Dance TheatreSiobhan Davies Dance CompanyRoyal Danish BalletEnglish National BalletGlyndebourne Opera, and Slovenian National Opera.

In 1989, Lindsey joined Ra – Ra Zoo Circus Theatre. Her circus credits to date in various roles as peformer, advisor & choreographer include: No Ordinary Angels, Green Candle, Amici Dance Theatre CoGandini Juggling ProjectThe Dream EngineDesperate MenCaravan StageScarabeusMomentary Fusion, Tango and Crash, Same Sky, ‘True’ with Fierce, ‘Wallpaper’ with Bedlam and Physical Recall, Fidget Feet Aerial DanceDrapes AeriensStumble CircusYes/No’s ‘Lost and Found Orchestra’Graeae’s ‘Prometheus Awakes’Metta TheatreUpswing, and RoguePlay Theatre.

Lee Clayden

Lee started dancing at the age of 21 and graduated from London School of Contemporary Dance with a 1st degree. He has guessed with English National OperaThe Charnock CompanyCompanhia Portuguesa de Bailado ContempreanoRandom Dance CompanyKerry NichollsVincent Dance TheatreAletta CollinsMad Dogs Dance Theatre, and Company Chameleon and performed as a dancer and aerialist in the West End show Lord of the Rings.

Lee is often seen dancing on the side of buildings performing vertical dance with Gravity and Levity and also running the set of Walk the Plank’s S.W.A.L.K as the messenger, amongst live pyrotechnics.

His film and TV credits include the ‘The Wizard of Earthsea’. ‘Finding Neverland’, ‘Frankenstein’ directed by Michael Howells and Mark Baldwin, ‘Jaguar Cars’,’ The Rite of Spring’, ‘MTV’ and ’Top of the Pops’.

He danced with Walker Dance/Park Music 2000-2007. Performing ‘the 3 of us’, ‘The Self’,’ Silence of the Soul’, ‘Essence’ and ‘5-2-10’. Lee has been nominated twice for Outstanding Male by the Critics Choice Circle 2005 and 2007 and for the Time Out Live Awards 2008.

Lee’s first encounter with Fidget Feet Aerial Dance was on the production RAW, in 2008. He is now an associated artist with Fidget Feet and one of the company’s main performers, teachers and riggers. He has worked on The Snow Queen, Catch me, Hang on, Firebirds, A Fairies’ Tail, The Elves and the Shoemaker and The Second Coming.

Lee teaches, choreographs and devises on the floor and in the air regularly for various companies and dance establishments across the United Kingdom and Internationally.

He is also a certified GYROTONIC® and Vayu Aerial Yoga instructor.

Magalie Lanriot

Magalie is a dancer, performer, teacher and choreographer of Contemporary and Vertical Dance. Based in Lisbon, she works in association with the University of Lisbon and the National Park of Mafra, providing international formation and research for vertical and contemporary dance in Portugal and in Europe.

She is a teacher at the Olga Roriz dance company and works as a project assistant for the F.O.R. Dance Theater. She has also taught at international festivals, schools and projects.

She performed with “Gravity & Levity” in “Rites of War”- UK Tour 2014, created by Lindsey Butcher and Darshan Singh Bhuller and the last few years with Olga Roriz in the movie ‘Body Building’ of Henrique Pina, Kate Lawrence and Il Posto with  Wanda Moretti.
Over the past few years, she developed choreographed techniques and movements that aim to merge vertical dance with contemporary dance.


Vertical And Aerial Dance Harness Creative Labs