Amy O’Neal is a dancer, choreographer, and dance educator. The first decade of her career, she made experimental contemporary dance work inspired by hip hop culture. The second decade has been a shift to creating experimental hip hop and street dance performance work inspired by contemporary dance. Her passion and research meet at the intersection of the hip hop and contemporary dance communities she participates in where she explores the complex difference, nuances, and layers of hybridized movement vocabularies. A sought after artist for nearly two decades, she teaches and performs nationally and internationally and choreographs for live performance, dance films, music videos, and virtual reality. Her last evening-length work, Opposing Forces, explored fears of feminine qualities in our culture through the hyper masculine form of Breaking with five Seattle based BBoys and toured 2014-2017.
Amy is on faculty at the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance where she teaches hip hop techniques and lectures on black vernacular dance. Amy is a Creative Capital, National Performance Network, National Dance Project, Mid Atlantic Arts, Foundation for Contemporary Art grantee, and a Herb Alpert Award nominee. From 2000-2010, she was the co-director of locust (a music/dance/video performance brainchild) with musician/composer, Zeke Keeble. Since 2001, Amy has worked both on stage and screen with musician/comedian, Reggie Watts, band leader for “Late Late Show with James Corden”. She co-choreographed a virtual reality music video experience for Wajatta (Reggie Watts and John Tejada) called Runnin, which premiered at New Frontier at Sundance Film Festival and won Best Interactive at SXSW in 2019. After 20 years of working as a dance artist in Seattle, Amy relocated to Los Angeles in Fall of 2016. Amy is the creator of The Rhythm Assembly, a weekly rhythm focused freestyle techniques class synergizing both hip hop and contemporary practices at Ryan Heffington’s studio, The Sweat Spot. She feels the most at peace when she can embody her full experience as a human and is passionate about creating space for others to do the same.