The Threshold Institute is a week-long intensive for intermediate and advanced dancers. It includes five full days of technique classes taught by local Seattle choreographers, as well as advanced master classes with visiting international choreographers.

During the week, dancers will work with choreographers and create a piece, which will be performed that weekend on the main stage at the Seattle International Dance Festival.

More information on performance date and time and tickets HERE.

Some scholarships available. For more information or a scholarship application, please contact Connie Villines at

Kirsten Cooper

Kirsten Cooper trained in Washington State then moved to Los Angeles when she was nineteen years old. She trained at Edge Performing Arts Center in Hollywood for five years. She also assisted Rhonda Miller, Jeff Amsden and Liz Imperio. While in Los Angeles she worked in film, video and stage. Kirsten danced on Costa Cruise Lines, toured with LADF, demonstrated on LADF and Jeff Amsden’s instructional videos, Sony Disc Industrial Film and numerous ABBA hair shows. Kirsten now teaches full time in the Seattle area(currently at Westlake Dance Center, Allegro Performing Arts, Pacific Northwest Ballet Summer program) as well as traveling the U.S. to do choreography and master classes. She has run a pre-professional jazz company out of Westlake Dance since 1997. Her goal with the company is to train the dancers for dance careers and instill in them that hard work is just as important as talent. They have performed at “Sign Of the Times”, “Dance This” @ The Moore Theatre and the PONCHO gala benefit. They were honored to dance in the Tanzsommer Dance Festival 2006 in Austria. Many of her students have gone on to do the one-year study program at Edge and the summer scholarship Dance With The Force as well as summer programs at Lines Ballet, Alvin Ailey and Juilliard. They have toured with Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Paul McCarthy, Backstreet Boys, Avril Lavigne ,Celine Dion World Tour and the “Glee” summer tour/show. They have done videos with Fiona Apple and Black Eyed Peas, as well as the movie “Dreamgirls”, remake of “Fame”, “No Strings Attached” and “Teen Beach Movie”. They have also appeared on “American Idol’, “Dancing With The Stars” and “America’s Got Talent” as well as in the London production of “Billy Elliot”. Kirsten students have been members of Hysterica Dance Company (LA) , Odyssey (Salt Lake City), as well as the current cast of the NYC Rockettes. Kirsten continues to share the passion of dance with all whether in the classroom or with her choreography on the stage. She feels blessed to be able to do this as her job. She is thankful for her family support, especially from her husband Nigel and daughter Tristan.

Jovon Miller

Jovon Miller is the choreographer for this year’s Threshold Institute and its Education Director, as well as a Professional Choreographer and Artist. Currently residing in Bothell, his focus is primarily on various forms of Tap, Contemporary and Jazz. Jovon received a BA in dance at Western Washington University (WWU) with a focus on modern and is the owner of Jovon Miller Productions (J.M.P). His mission is to utilize his gifts in order to create artists, give them performance opportunities and to teach life lessons through dance.

As an Instructor/Choreographer Jovon has won several awards in Regional and National competitions for his innovative choreography and technical training. His unique pairing of strong technique, performance education, and how the body moves kinesthetically, teaches dancers to understand where the movement initiates in the body through the skeletal and muscular structure. Jovon uses his music background, having performed with Gerald Turner (Digable Planets and Cherrywine), Kevin Gardner (E-40 Platinum Producer), Greg Adams (Tower of Power) and many others, to explain music theory, musicality, and rhythm. He has taught classes in Lindy for the Washington State University and Iowa State University “Swing Devils”. He frequents master classes and workshops in various Pacific Northwest dance studios and universities including his alma mater, Western Washington University. There, Miller annually teaches workshops. He also has his own show in WWU’s “Student Matinee Series” where he gives lectures and performances that children from all over the area come to watch, inspiring them in multiple ways with his engaging choreography and charismatic personality. Jovon Miller, describes his choreography as “Uniquely Artistic Storytelling”. It is as diverse as he is in all his talents. His choreography can encompass a vast range of serious topics such as Cancer and the life struggles that come with it, to the complete opposite side of the spectrum where you’re drawn into lighthearted playfulness that makes you literally laugh out loud!

Since starting his technical training in just 2006, Jovon Miller has worked towards success. As an Artist, Jovon has performed for Sam Gilliam, Tyler Perry, members of the United States Congress, Executives/CEO’s of Disney, Coca Cola and many others. He has notable mention in the book “The Less Subdued Excitement, A Century of Jazz in Bellingham and Whatcom County, WA”. Jovon was one of the two dancers in the nation to win the 2009-2010 Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Performing Arts Scholarship/Award for his works in Tap. Jovon was the concept co-creator and Choreographer for “The Jump Session Show”, which featured Artists from across the globe and kicked off “Camp Jitterbug”, one of the biggest Lindy Hop and Jazz events in the United States. He was also a Choreographer and dancer in a “Greg’s Japanese Auto” commercial. Miller has had the privilege of performing alongside such great artists such as Chester Whitmore (Choreographer: Boys II Men, Sugar Ray, and the NAACP Image Awards). He’s also performs with Greta Matassa (7 time “Earshot” Northwest Vocalist of the year). He has been commissioned over the years to choreograph for various organizations such as “Evoke Productions” (Full Tilt) and the “Seattle International Dance Festival”. Jovon was also commissioned in 2014 to travel to Torino, Italy to co-direct and perform in a show alongside Ryan Francois (So You Think You Can Dance- UK, Idlewild and Dancing with the Stars) for the Torino Swing Festival, as well as teach master classes in Tap, Jazz and Improvisation.

Currently in addition to teaching regular classes and private lessons, he also creates choreography and artistry award winning solos, duos, trios, and group dances for competitions. Recently Jovon has created his own dance company: Jovon Miller Productions Dance Company. This company consists of a group of 20 dancers from all over Western Washington ranging in age from 8-18. Dancers rehearse weekly and perform in various shows at Western Washington University, TOUCH and Lacey Elementary to name a few. His piece “Elemental War” was a nominee/finalist in the “Spoken Word/Story Telling” category in the 2015 “Voice Arts Awards”. Jovon Miller is a talented, cutting edge and diverse Artist, Choreographer, Musician and Master Teacher.

Sergei Burlak (Russia)
Sudarshan Chakravorty (India)
Laura Karlin (Los Angeles)
Cyrus Khambatta (Seattle)

Cyrus Khambatta

Our Company

Threshold Institute Schedule

MON – June 19

9:00am-10:50am Morning Technique : Kirsten Cooper

11:00am-12:50pm International Artist : Laura Karlin / Invertigo Dance (Los Angeles)

1:00pm- 2pm Lunch

2:10pm- 6pm Rehearsal

TUE – June 20

9:00am-10:50am Morning Technique : Jovon Miller

11:00am-12:50pm International Artist ; Cosmin Monolescu / Serial Paradise (Romania)

1:00pm- 2pm Lunch

2:10pm- 6pm Rehearsal

WED – June 21

9:00am-10:50am Morning Technique : Kirsten Cooper

11:00am-12:50pm International Artist : Sergei Burlak / Modern Line Dance Theater (Russia/Seattle)

1:00pm- 2pm Lunch

2:10pm- 6pm Rehearsal

THUR – June 22

9:00am-10:50am Morning Technique : Jovon Miller

11:00am-12:50pm International Artist : Cyrus Khambatta (Seattle)

1:00pm- 2pm Lunch

2:10pm- 6pm Rehearsal

FRI – June 23

9:00am-10:50am Morning Technique : Kirsten Cooper

11:00am-12:50pm International Artist : Sudarshan Chakravorty / Sapphire Dance Creations Company (Kolkata, India)

1:00pm- 2pm Lunch

2:10pm- 6pm Rehearsal

SAT- June 24

Performance on festival main stage.



Wednesday Lunch



Thursday Lunch (or Tue/Thur)

Production Demo


All master classes and rehearsals are held in Seattle, ext location TBD


The cost for the week-long intensive is $ 350, which includes all master classes with guest choreographers and international teachers, and rehearsals for an original piece, which will be performed on the festival stage.

Drop in classes may be available for the master classes and classes with visiting international artists as space is available. Students participating in the week-long intensive will be given space priority.

Students of the Threshold Institute can also obtain a special all-festival pass for a reduced price to see as many as 12 different festival performances.

After clicking register, you will be directed to our registration page, where we will ask you to fill in a quick questionnaire so we are able to best place you for the program. Should you, at the time of purchase, not be able to provide all the information requested, you may fill in the fields with ‘will provide’ and email connie[at]seattleidf[dot]org so we may be in touch. Thank you!