2022 S P A C E Alliance Studio Residency

Another round of our S P A C E Alliance Studio Residency program is here! Edition 4 of this residency program offers the same rad opportunities for collaboration in the San Diego arts community. This program promotes the cooperation of local spaces and movement-artists, building artistic community, artist development, and provides a platform to share new work. In alignment with DISCO RIOT’s overall mission, we foster interdisciplinary movement-based art with themes of social change and storytelling.

DISCO RIOT’s community partners Art Produce, Balletcenter Studios, and Malashock Dance, will provide 40 hours of rehearsal space over a 10-week period to the selected resident artists from August 15 – October 23, 2022. In the spirit of community, collaboration and exchange, the residency program also includes master classes taught by the resident artists for their home studio communities, showings of each artist’s work-in-progress, and culminates in a final presentation of artists’ work at their S P A C E Showcase.

S P A C E Showcase Ed. 4

October 28 & 29 @ 7pm

City Heights Performance Annex

Meet the Artists


Rachel Catalano



Rachel Catalano (she/her/hers) is a dancer & choreographer based in San Diego, California. She began her formal training in the Midwestern US with over a decade of classical ballet instruction before transitioning into her current passion for contemporary movement with an emphasis on somatic healing. She has worked closely with many renowned dancers, choreographers, and contemporary companies all over the world, including a year in Paris, France at Studio Harmonic’s contemporary school, where her choreography was featured. She started Fresh Congress Contemporary Dance in San Diego in 2021, where her first two shows have been highly praised and warmly received by the community. In addition to her work as Fresh Congress’ Artistic director, she has been commissioned to choreograph for Malashock Dance, and is excited to take part in DISCO RIOT’s S P A C E Residency in autumn 2022. The core of her teaching ethos is that art is the vehicle to the most profound impact you can have on someone’s life: to make them feel understood.

in residence at Balletcenter Studios

About the Space

Balletcenter Studios specializes in ballet classes for children and adults of all ages and abilities. Our Mission Hills Ballet Studio has been a presence in the San Diego community for over 25 years. This year, we are thrilled to announce the opening of a new, larger studio in the heart of Mission Hills.


I am interested in taking this time to research and unpack religious influence and how it affects almost every aspect of life for one raised in a church or other traditional religious environment. I’m interested in exploring my frustrations with the toxic ideas or concepts that I was taught were “good” through the lens of religion. I have both experienced firsthand, and seen in the lives of people I care about how oppressive this kind of structure can be. I grew up in a “non-denominational christian” environment, so my perspective is specific to glaring issues like purity culture, homophobia, transphobia, and many of the other toxic things we often see christian churches doing or saying in the news. As I reflect on these religious concepts as an adult, I see this rhetoric driven by fear of anything that they can’t control, which is exemplified by the pro-life movement. I am also particularly interested in exploring the subliminal messaging around “saving your soul” by “earning” your salvation and your place in heaven by “works,” or being a so-called “soldier for Christ.” Inevitably, this perspective of oneself leads to internal collapse, because nothing is never enough. In contrast, we are often told that there is, in fact, nothing we can do to earn the love of God. I plan to explore this and other contradictions within the religious subculture.
I’m not interested in overt or broad bashing of religion. What does interest me is the idea that religious influence can often take us further from ourselves instead of closer to any higher power.
In the choreography of this concept, I would like to play with images and movement that are immediately associated with and tied to that space: hands in the air worshiping, over enthusiastic smiling, handing out flyers, kneeling, preaching, and more… and how when we really start to ask questions and research around these topics, these familiar and even previously safe movements and faces become limiting and oppressive.


Zack King

Zack King-headshot twists


Zack King is a dancer, actor, and video artist. He strives to cultivate empathy and curiosity by making work that is personal and socially relevant. He hopes this will inspire people to learn more about themselves. Zack has been a part of dance films, commercials, web shows, live performances, and narrative films.

in residence at Art Produce

About the Space

Art Produce is now a non-profit community cultural center that connects artists, cultural organizations, schools, urban farmers and businesses.  We are a laboratory in developing community and creative social space.  We support cultural production, mentor community engagement by artists, and provide affordable cultural activities in a community setting.  Our mission is to build community and foster civic engagement through arts, education and public culture.


Loyalty is the second installment in the trilogy, Project: Psyche. The first installment named Fear, was my senior thesis. Fear was an exploration of the fragile nature of ego, the resilience of artists, and the simultaneous feeling of the fright and sense of home I experience on stage during performance. In this dance, I work with the concept of fear in relation to my transition from student to professional artist. This concept was elicited from Kendrick Lamar’s album, Damn. This concept is embodied in the song FEAR. This song is self reflective and generates empathy. It cultivates an atmosphere of self-loathing, ambition, forgiveness, longing, resentment, acknowledgment, distrust, negotiation and acceptance. Through this concept, I worked to understand my desires, anxieties, shortcomings, and my ability to persevere in the face of uncertainty. In Loyalty, I hope to question the promises, pacts, oaths, bargains, and negotiations I’ve made with myself as a way of coping with my unfulfilled desires as an artist and my fleeting dreams of success. I will begin the making process by revisiting the remnants of Fear. By submerging myself into the movement research of the past, I hope to find new movement qualities to express my feelings as well as new strategies for exploring and refining my ideas of success and fulfillment. One of the ways I will research this project is by collaborating with a live musician to reimagine, extract, and channel essential elements from the most recent Kendrick Lamar album, Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers. Live music played a big role in the making and performing of the first installment. The thread of live accompaniment will ground me in the substance of the first dance while guiding me towards what is next. At this time I do not have an idea of what the piece could look like. I look forward to discovering that through the process.


Micah Parra



Micah is a 23 year old movement artist, teacher and choreographer. She grew up in Washington State but has since lived in Las Vegas and now, San Diego. Drastically different cultures and terrains that have each played an important role in her growth as a being/artist and the way she relates to the creative process. Starting gymnastics at two years old, then dance shortly after, she learned that the physical body was her most valuable and natural mode of expression. The easiest path to understanding herself, alone as well as among others, and the most rewarding form of self care, which she believes ultimately is community care. She is always in pursuit of diversifying her movement vocabulary and style, which has led her to train with places like Northwest Dance Project, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, San Diego Circus Center and other individual artists. Movement is her passion and salvation and she is eager to see what these next years bring on as she enters the professional world of dance and performance arts.

in residence at Malashock Dance


The mission of Malashock Dance is to provide access to dance as an avenue for artistic expression through performance, education, and creative collaboration. Malashock Dance a leading contributor to the vibrancy of San Diego’s culture, and provides professional concert dance performances, training, and education outreach programming for thousands of individuals each year. Its incredible team of teachers, staff, and dancers have local, regional, and national impact and provide life-changing programs for individuals from all walks of life. The organization’s commitment to accessible dance activities greatly enhances the lives of diverse participants and expands how the art of dance can enhance our community.


The work I plan to explore will be primarily dance and movement based with some visual and auditory aids. There are two contrasting ideas I’d like to, with the allotted time, bring more seamlessly together. I have this vision of being able to interact with objects, people and feelings that aren’t actually there. Some of this would be done through a minimalist stage and simple objects, while others would be through stimulating, complex projections and sounds. I want to play with making “scenes.” A few integral aids (physical, visual/digital, auditory) to guide the narrative but the rest left up to interpretation. Making the implied feeling, area, or situation, evident. To me, this project highlights the similarities/differences between the internal and external experience of being human and existing with the natural world. That we ARE the natural world, and the juxtaposition of simplicity and chaos lives within us. How a profound personal moment can be so loud and encompassing, like an entire universe, while the vastness of nature, although complex and endless, can be distilled into these beautifully distinct and easily recognizable feelings. The paradox that is interacting with self and with “other.” A big task, but it’s waiting to get out!

Shout out to our S P A C E partners! Our 2022 Home Studio spaces are