Hello! I’m Susie Kellerman, Director of Slam Dancing Barcelona. I am originally from Detroit, Michigan and lived in New York City for 5 years before moving to Barcelona in 2005.
I’ll tell you more about myself and my dance story, but first I want you to know why I chose the name Slam Dancing and what it means to me.
Slam Dancing’s name derives from underground music concerts of the ’90s and refers to the moment when the audience starts an improvised dance, colliding with each other.
I attended a lot of these rock concerts in Detroit, experiencing firsthand Slam Dancing.
I remember that the atmosphere was charged with emotion. Everyone seemed to be internalizing the impact of the vibrations and the music. Provoked by the sounds, some began an improvised dance. They would flail about and “ride the crowd.” The others in the crowd acknowledged the dancers and encouraged them on. The energy would keep building and the dancing made us feel like we were living life to the fullest within a unique moment in time and space that was only understood by those present.
I think Slam Dancing was a symbol of our generation’s search to find meaning and completeness in our lives. There are many little nuances from my slam dancing days at rock concerts that I value and in turn try to promote through my work at the schools.
The heart, the core, the essence of Slam Dancing is the same in our dance school as it is in rock concerts. We strive to make your slam dancing experience liberating, authentic and vibrant.
We are a space where you can disconnect from routine thoughts, connect with your body, express yourself, socialize and create meaningful movement.
Slam Dancing Barcelona is a community that dances for fun, for health, for vocation and to find that greater meaning so that we can live our best life.
I’ll tell you the same thing now that I was saying to myself in the music halls of Detroit,
Move your Body, Feel Your Soul. DANCE!
I am Susie Kellerman originally from Detroit, Michigan. My parents say I was born a mover. I started walking at 7 months and could never sit still! My favorite game was choreographing dances at home, listening to the cassette tapes and putting on my cousins’ used dance costumes. I danced for everyone who came to our house.
My formal Dance training began in Jazz Dance at age 8, and by 11 years old I was a member of the competition group and was taking 5 Dance classes per week, including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Hip-hop. At the age of 12 I was invited to be an assistant teacher and at 16 I was teaching classes and choreographing for competitions.
During my teens, I was hired as a dancer for fashion shows, benefit concerts and anniversary parties. I traveled for national competitions and spent a long time in New York and Los Angeles, training at their best dance schools.
I went on to double major at the University of Michigan, earning a BA in Dance Arts and a BA in General Studies (social sciences). I thought about getting a master’s degree in Dance Therapy, but instead took a dream job at Broadway Dance Center and moved to New York City.
I paved my own path in New York, teaching Dance classes at Broadway Dance Center and choreographing for their advanced company AIM while also directing the Jazz and Tap program at Allegra Dance Academy in Greenwich CT. I also taught in other schools and had the honor of being hired as a lead teacher for national and international Dance conventions and workshops. I danced and choreographed for Off-Broadway productions, nightclub benefit shows, halftime entertainment for sports teams, short film projects, as well as having my work featured in Dance Spirit magazine and the BDC teacher showcase.
New York City is the best place to live and breathe dance, but a desire to explore other cities and cultures grew within me. I started with a trip to Spain and fell in love with Barcelona. I decided to move there.
My professional move from NYC to Barcelona was harder than I imagined. I didn’t find a job in dance for over a year and couldn’t even afford to take classes. Living disconnected from dance motivated me to start creating my own path. I created an artistic project, which transformed into a show with 35 participants, This is Jazz. As I started this project, many schools called and wanted to hire me for the next season.
Since then, I have not stopped working in the field of dance in Barcelona.