Amy O’Neal is a physically multi-lingual movement artist based in Los Angeles. As a dancer, choreographer, movement director, and dance educator, she equally participates in street and club dance culture and contemporary dance and performance. She is passionate about the intersection of these forms, while honoring their their unique and complex histories. A sought after artist for eighteen years, she teaches and performs nationally and internationally, choreographing for stage, commercials, live music shows, galleries, dance films, and music videos. Her work is an amalgam of her diverse movement and life experiences presenting social commentary with dark humor and heavy beats.
Her dance films have been screened at RADAR: Exchanges in Dance Film Frequencies (Vancouver, BC), Next Moment Film Festival (Tokyo, Japan), International Screendance Festival at American Dance Festival (Durham, NC), Next Dance Cinema (Seattle, WA), and San Souci Festival (Boulder, CO).
For fifteen years, she taught contemporary dance and street dance styles at Velocity Dance Center in Seattle. She spent seven years developing and teaching for The Young Choreographer’s Lab /Seattle Youth Dance Collective and has taught dance composition and improvisation for Seattle Theater Group’s Dance This program since 2005. She continues to be a guest artist at several colleges and universities in the US. In Fall of 2015, she was full time Guest Artist in Residence at Mills College in Oakland, CA where she developed a Street and Club dance course structured to bring in local experts in different Street dance styles and facilitate conversation and knowledge about Hip Hop Culture values and practices. She brought this course to the University of Washington in winter of 2017.
She works extensively with musician/comedian Reggie Watts (since 2002) both on stage and screen. She choreographed his Comedy Central-produced “Fuck, Shit, Stack” video and toured nationally in his show “Disinformation” 2007-2009. From 2000-2010, she was co-director of locust (music/dance/video) with musician/composer, Zeke Keeble, creating six evening-length works and several shorter works and was the lead singer for their former band, Marrow. She was also in a David Bowie cover band called Heroes. She has collaborated with Savion Glover and Daniel Bernard Roumain through Seattle Theater Group and was commissioned twice by Spectrum Dance Theater/Donald Byrd and Seattle’s Degenerate Art Ensemble.
Amy has been an artist in residence at Bates Dance Festival, Headlands Center for the Arts, the US/Japan Choreographer’s Exchange, and Velocity Dance Center. She is a Creative Capital, National Performance Network, National Dance Project, Mid Atlantic Arts, Foundation for Contemporary Art, and James W. Ray Project Venture/Artist Trust Grantee. She is a two-time Artist Trust Fellow, DanceWEB Scholar, two-time Stranger Genius Awards nominee, and Herb Alpert Award nominee with a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts where she received the first Distinguished Alumni Award in 2014. Her dance writing has been published in Dance Magazine, City Arts Magazine, and ArtDish Forum.
In recent years, she was an invited dancer for Clas/Sick Hip Hop at YBCA in 2014 and an invited panelist for the dance element of the 206 Zulu Nation’s 2015 Meeting of the Minds. She was invited to battle for two years in a row at Queen of the Hill: All Ladies/All Styles Seven to Smoke annual event at Folklife Festival in Seattle. Along with friend and colleague, Dani Tirrell, Amy is the co-founder and co-producer of Seattle House Dance Project, an annual 4-day celebration of House music and dance culture with classes, parties, battles, and panel discussions.
Amy has directed movement for actors in commercials for X Box and Phillips Healthcare and several theater productions on the west coast. She has also choreographed and staged several flash mobs. She is passionate about empowering people to be in their bodies and has coached musicians, actors, business folk, doctors, lawyers, professional dancers, and everyday dancers on finding purpose and healing through movement. She is the founder of Creative Flow Energy Work where she uses her training as a Usui Reiki Master to help clients claim their birthright as a creative being.
After twenty years living and working as a dance artist in Seattle, Amy recently relocated to Los Angeles. She currently teaches a weekly all levels/all styles guided freestyle class focusing on musicality called Rhythm is a Dancer at The Sweat Spot in the Silverlake neighborhood of LA.