Who we are:

The dance company, founded in 1987, is co-directed by Karl Schaffer and Erik Stern, and tours internationally. Our long-time collaborators have included Gregg Lizenbery, Scott Kim, and Chris Jones, along with long-time performer Saki. Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern has received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County, and the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County.

See the October, 2012 TEDx presentation by Karl Schaffer and Erik Stern on our educational approach to combining dance and mathematics.
Here are Video excerpts of Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble works.
Our book Math Dance is available here.

Fall 2017-2018

Tues., Mar. 26, 6-8 PM, Karl gives a presentation entitled "Calculated Movements," on how mathematics and dance inspire each other. The talk will be accompanied by performance excerpts, audience interactions, and entertaining visuals, as part of Montalvo Arts Center's new lecture series. More info and tickets.

Fri., Mar. 16, 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM. The Daughters of Hypatia, celebrating women mathematicians throughout history, performs shows for students at the Montalvo Arts Center in Lost Gatos, CA. More info and tickets here!

Summer, 2017

Aug. 21-25, Erik teaches Dance + Math workshops in Grande Prairie, Canada sponsored by Thinking 101. The activities connect universal elements of movement and mathematics.

July 27-31 and Aug. 6-8, Karl gives presentations at the Bridges Math and Arts conference in Waterloo on dichromatic or 2-color symmetry in dance and at the National Museum of Mathematics MOVES conference in NYC on "Edgy Puzzles," derived from dances with PVC pipe sections manipulated to form various geometric shapes. He leads string polyhedra activities at both conferences.

Mon.-Wed., June 5-7, Erik and Rachel Bachman (Erik's Weber State University colleague from Math Education), co-teach as part of a three-day mathematics workshop for secondary math teachers. Building on both Karl's and Erik's work, the math dance portion of the Concurrent Enrollment Summer Conference, presented by WSU's Center for Science and Math Education, also draws on Erik and math colleague Julian Chan's new movement-math lessons for their WSU general education course Pattern Play, Movement & Mathematics.

Wed., Jun. 14, Karl gives a LASER talk (Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous) at UC Berkeley, 7 PM, more info, on the many ways math and dance may connect.

Wed., May 31 and Thu., Jun. 1, Karl and Erik teach professional development math/dance workshops in Phoenix for the Kennedy Center Partners in Education teams from the Paradise Valley and Scottsdale Unified School Districts.

Winter and Spring, 2017

Fri., May 26, MoveSpeakSpin dancers perform Karl's new mathematical dance show Pitter Pattern at Green Acres Elementary School in Santa Cruz.

Sun., May 7 and Sun., May 14, 5:30 PM, Karl's concert Choreocopia, a celebration of food, song, and dance, in collaboration with Zambra women's world music choral ensemble and master chef Jozseph Schultz premeires at the 418 Project in Santa Cruz, California. Tickets - because this is a custom dinner event, tickets must be purchased at least two days prior to the show. More info.

Wed., Mar. 22, 4-6 PM, Karl gives two hour teacher workshop "Dancing with Mathematics: Exploring Symmetry and Rhythm" at the Montalvo Arts Center in Los Gatos, California.

Wed,. Feb. 15, 7-9 PM, Karl gives workshop, "Polyhedra on a Shoestring" for the San Jose Math Circle at San Jose State Univ.

Wed., Jan. 4, Karl gives presentation "Dichromatic Dances" on two-colored symmetry patterns in dance at the Joint Mathematics Meetings 2017 conference in Atlanta.

Fall 2016

Dec. 12-13, Karl and Erik give two three-hour math dance workshops for teachers and accompanying demonstration classes in local schools for the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, the Paradise Valley Unified School District, and the Scottsdale Unified School District.

Sat., Dec. 3, Karl gives presentation "Rhythm and Dance Math" at the California Math Council - North conference at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, California.

Nov. 17-18, Karl gives three-hour math dance teacher workshop and demonstration classes in four elementary schools for Johnson County Community College Performing Arts Series and Shawnee Mission School District in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.

Nov. 12, Erik writes and delivers narration to Weber State Univ. Orchestra Tribute to Broadway and performs a short tap sequence.

Oct. 22, Erik and Rachel Bachman present “Dancing and Mathing – An Integrative Approach” at the 2016 School Science and Mathematics Association Convention in Phoenix as part of the featured Saturday Innovations Showcase.

Oct. 7, Erik and Adam Johnson present "DanceScienceFest - A Body in Motion: A workshop based on a Dance Physics Higher Ed Project" at the National Dance Education Organization 2016 National Meeting in Arlington, Virginia.

Oct. 1, Erik gives presentation on Weber State Univ. course Pattern Play: Movement and Mathematics at the Association for General and Liberal Studies in Salt Lake City.

Sep. 19, Erik and Daniel Jonas premiere "Sound Bites," a tap-trumpet duet which is also a reflection on the political sound bite in Jonas' faculty jazz concert at Weber State University Austad Auditorium.

Spring and Summer 2016

Aug. 9, Erik and Julian Chan present a 90 minute movement-based workshop “Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Movement and Mathematics in College,” on arts as a paradigm for mathematics learning at Bridges Finland 2016 conference.

Mon., June 20 to Wed., June 22, Erik, Rachel Bachman, and Saki teach three days of math and dance workshop activities to teachers at the Peace Center in Greenille, Souith Carolina.

Sat., Apr. 30, Karl Schaffer along with Maria Basile, Jane Real, Frankie Rivera, and Lila Salov perform several dances from Karl's concert Mosaic at the Friends of Sabeel conference at Peace United Church of Christ in Santa Cruz. FOSNA is a Christian ecumenical organization seeking justice and peace in the Holy Land through non-violence and education.

Winter 2016

Fri., Mar. 18, NBC Nightly News spent the day interviewing and filming Karl and Erik teaching a math dance activity to Kulani Kamahao's 5th grade class at Amesti School in Watsonville. Reporter Rehema Ellis and producer Jackeline Pou flew in from the east coast to create the story - though it has not aired.

Mon., Mar. 7, Erik teaches a math/dance workshop for teachers at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington, Vermont, 4-6 PM.

Feb. 27, Erik and Rachel Bachman present movement workshop “Math Dance: A Study of Effectiveness” at Research Council on Mathematics Learning conference in Orlando, based on interdisciplinary general education course Pattern Play: Movement and Mathematics, which satisfies both the Weber State Univ. Quantitative Literacy and Creative Arts requirements.

Fri., Feb. 26, Karl's concert The Daughters of Hypatia: Circles of Mathematical Women performs two shows at Green Acres Elementary School in Santa Cruz.

Wed., Th., Jan. 13-14, Karl teaches math dance workshops for teachers and students in Hartford for for Kennedy Center Partners in Education affiliate Hartford Performs and local S.A.N.D. school.

Sat. Jan. 9, Joint Math Meetings of the Math Assoc. Amer. and Amer. Math. Soc. in Seattle. Karl Schaffer gives a talk on his recent math/dance polyhedra-related work.

January 8, 4-6pm, Association of Science Teacher Education International Conference, Peppermill Hotel Casino, Reno, Nevada. Erik and Adam Johnston lead session, "Science and Dance - An Experiential Workshop: A Body in Motion."

Summer and Fall, 2015

Sat., Dec. 12, Karl gives presentation on math and dance at the annual California Math Council North conference at Asilomar in Pacific Grove.

November 20 & December 4, Stansbury Elementary, Salt Lake City. Erik and Adam Johnston conduct demonstration classes for 6th grade classes on physics and dance, "DanceScienceFest - A Body in Motion"

Fri., Nov. 13, Karl teaches a workshop on symmetry for prospective teachers at the Marion Cilker Conference for the Arts in Education in San Jose, CA.

November 3 & 10, Stansbury Elementary, Salt Lake City. Erik and Adam Johnston conduct teacher workshops on physics and dance, "DanceScienceFest - A Body in Motion"

Sun., Nov. 1, Celebration of Mind at Stanford University. Karl and Scott Kim, with assistance of Laurel Shastri, give a presentation on "Clapping Games" for this annual event celebrating the work and colleagues of Martin Gardner.

Oct. 22-24, Karl's concert The Daughters of Hypatia performs at the Alys Stephens Center for the Performing Arts in Birminghhma, Alabama, as part of their ArtPlay program. Saki, Lila Salhov, Jane Real, and Laurel Shastri give five performances of this concert celebrating women mathematicians throughout history, and Karl teaches workshops for teachers, Univ. of Ala. students, and a local school. A Celebration of Mind event with mathematical puzzles and games will be held in the theatre lobby prior to the Saturday 2 PM performance. Video highlights of Hypatia.

Oct. 15-16, Erik teaches math dance workshops for teachers and students in Santa Clarita, CA for for Kennedy Center Partners in Education affiliates Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center and several local school districts.

Sep. 9-11, Karl and Erik teach math dance workshops for teachers and students in Peoria, Arizona for Kennedy Center Partners in Education affiliates Arizona State Univ. Gammage, Mesa Public Schools, and Peoria Unified School District.

Sep. 2-4, Karl Schaffer teaches math dance workshops for teachers and students in Tyler, Texas for for Kennedy Center Partners in Education affiliates Young Audiences of Northeast Texas and the Tyler Independent School District.

July 29 - Aug. 8, Karl Schaffer, Saki, and Laurel Shastri perform "A Pythagorean Trio" at three festive math conferences on the East Coast:
Bridges Math and Arts conference, Baltimore, July 29-Aug. 1.
Museum of Math MOVES conference, NYC, Aug. 2-4.
Math Assoc. America MATHFEST, Washington DC, Aug. 5-8.
(Here are videos showing the string figures we also demonstrate as part of the NYC and DC conferences.)

June 30 - July 29, Karl spends a month at the Djerassi Resident Arts Program in Woodside, CA, as one of 12 artist/scientists selected from 240 applicants for the "Scientific Delirium Madness" project bringing the arts and sciences together. Laurel Shastri is also resident as dancer working with Karl. Karl, Saki, and Laurel perform at the annual Djerassi open house on Sunday, July 19. Erik and Karl did a month-long Djerassi residency in 1999.

Winter/Spring 2015

Thursday, April 30, 1:30 PM, Karl's concert The Daughters of Hypatia performs at the De Anza College Visual and Performing Arts Center, free admission. More info and background. Sponsored by De Anza College Women's History Events and DASB, Developmental and Readiness Education, Institute of Community and Civic Engagement, and Math Dept.

Fall 2014-Spring 2015, Erik Stern collaborates with Weber State University science education faculty Adam Johnston on Stern's year-long Moving Company outreach project "Dance Science Fest - A Body in Motion." Working with 13 students, Dance Science Fest rehearses all year to create a show which performs March 30, 31 and April 1 for thousands of Northern Utah 4-12 students in WSU's Browning Center.

Friday/Saturday, March 20-21, Karl and Erik teach workshops and give a keynote presentation for the joint North Dakota Council of Teachers of Mathematics and North Dakota Science Teachers Association conference "Steam Ahead" in Bismarck.

Friday, March 13, De Anza College, Karl teaches a workshop on math and dance at the annual De Anza College Partners in Learning Conference.

Monday, Mar. 2, in Lancaster, California, Karl gives a workshop on math and dance for the Lancaster Performing Arts Center.

Saturday, Feb. 7 at 8 PM and Sunday, Feb. 8, at 3 PM, in Marina, CA, Lila Salhov and Laurel Shastri perform "A Circle Has No Sides," from Karl Schaffer's concert The Daughters of Hypatia in the Spector Dance Choreographer's Showcase. See flyer.

Saturday, Jan. 24, Karl teaches a workshop on dance and symmetry as part of the Monterey Bay Area Math project's 2015 Winter Conference for K-12 Teachers.

Fall 2014

Fri., Nov. 21, Karl teaches a workshop for prospective teachers at the Marion Cilker Conference for the Arts in Education in San Jose.

Fri., Nov. 7, Karl's concert The Daughters of Hypatia performs at Green Acres School in Santa Cruz through the SPECTRA program, and then on Sat., Nov. 8 in Fresno at the Sonia Kovalesky Mathematics Day, a mathematics festival for female high school students interested in mathematics. More info: description of the performance, flyer (2 pages, 10 Mb), audience responses.

Thu., Nov. 13, Karl and Erik teach workshops for students and teachers in Appleton, Wisconsin, sponsored by the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center and the Appleton Area School District.
Fri., Nov. 14, Karl teaches workshops for teachers in Rockford, Illinois, sponsored by the Rockford Area Arts Council and Rockford Public School District #205.

Oct. 30 and Dec. 4, 75 high school students from Salt Lake Center for Science Education join Moving Company at WSU for a movement based physics class.

Fri., Oct. 17, Karl and dancers will do onsite performance and audience participation, as part of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History's GLOW: A Festival of Light event. Karl is one of the museum's Participatory Performing Artists in Residence (PPAIR) for 2014, and this work highlights video tessellation software by Kevin Lee. Advance tickets available here.

Fri./Sat. Oct. 3/4, Karl gives talks on mathematics and dance and workshops on string polyhedra at the first MoSAIC festival at Berkeley City College. MoSAIC, Mathematics of Science, Art, Industry, Culture, is a series of regional festivals based on the Bridges Math and the Arts conferences. Here are video directions for the string polyhedra we made in the workshops, with other short related videos.

Fall 2014, Erik Stern - along with Julian Chan and Rachel Bachmann from the Mathematics Department at Weber State University - teaches "Pattern Play: Mathematics and the Creative Arts." Combining a contemporary mathematics course with an Honors Program course, this six credit class draws on Karl and Erik's longstanding work, and also introduces new activities. Assessment of the outcomes are being done and will be submitted to publications.

Summer 2014

Fri/Sat., Sep. 5/6, 2014, Karl, Erik, and Saki do a performance and workshops at the Houston Arts Partners Conference

Aug. 14-19, 2014, Erik, Karl, and Saki perform at Bridges Seoul 2014, an international conference on math and the arts. Performances given Saturday, Aug. 16 and Sunday Aug. 17 at the Gwacheon National Science Museum in Seoul, Korea.

Monday, Aug. 4, Karl teaches a workshop on math and dance to students at SUMaC, the Stanford University Mathematics Camp.

Monday, Aug. 11, 2014, Erik and Karl teach an all day workshop on math and dance for teachers at the Eagleview Middle School in Colorado Springs.

Thursday, June 26. Karl Schaffer gives a workshop on "Dance and Geometry" for the Monterey Bay Area Math Project's Summer Institute.

Wed., June 4th: Mosaic: Dances of Peace, Justice, Culture and Conflict in the Middle East, choreographed and directed by Karl Schaffer, performs Wednesday, June 4th, 2014 at 1:30 PM at the Visual and Performing Arts Center at De Anza College, sponsored by the De Anza Institute for Community and Civic Engagement and the Office of Equity, Social Justice, and Multicultural Education.
More information, Facebook page, Flyer, Audience responses to Mosaic,
interviews about Mosaic in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, the Good Times.

Spring, 2014:

The Daughters of Hypatia, April 7-13, 2014
Choreographed and directed by Karl Schaffer, performed at West End Studio Theatre, April 7-13, with five school matinee performances and four public performances. This show celebrates great women mathematicians throughout history.
Postcard Flyer --- News release --- Tickets for public performances
Schools: Tri-fold flyer for school matinees (10 Mb) --- Cover letter for educators

Mar. 28, 2014. Erik Stern did a keynote presentation at a Weber State Univ. Arts Integration Conference, March 28 on "Creative and Critical Thinking: An Active Arts Learning Approach."

Summer and Fall 2013, Winter 2014:

Feb. 7/8, 2014 Showcase performances: Maria Basile performed Karl Schaffer's "The Mourning After" from Mosaic at the sjDanceco showcase Fri/Sat Feb. 7/8. Jane Real, Saki, and Lila Salhov performed "Trio for Six," part of the upcoming Daughters of Hypatia show, at the SpectorDance showcase Sat., Feb. 8: review. "Trio for Six" was originally choreographed by Karl, Scott Kim, and Barbara Susco.

Mosaic: Dances of Peace, Justice, Culture and Conflict in the Middle East, was performed Sunday, Dec. 1 at 10:30 AM in the PEACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST (formerly the First Congregational Church in Santa Cruz).
More information, Facebook page, Flyer

Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble performed and taught on the East Coast during September and October, 2013, see links below.

Sat., Oct. 26, Karl and Erik gave a 2-part workshop at the National Dance Education Organization conference in Miami.
Tue., Oct. 22, Performance at Univ of Buffalo, 10:30 AM, Mainstage Theatre at the Center for the Arts, Schooltime Adventure Series, University of Buffalo, ticket info: The Secret Life of Squares: The Dance of Math. Note: was originally scheduled for Sep. 24, was rescheduled due to transformer failure at the theater.
Mon., Sep. 30 to Fri., Oct. 4, residency at Westfield State Univ., Massachusetts: taught two large workshops for math, dance, and education students, and one math dept. seminar; guest taught four math classes; had numerous meetings with math faculty centered on there Discovering the Art of Mathematics curriculum.
Fri. Sep. 27, Museum of Mathematics, Manhattan, 7-8:30 PM, The Secret Life of Squares: Dance Performances and Lecture/Demonstration.
Thu., Sep. 26, residency work at Tapestry School, Buffalo.
Wed., Sep. 25
, workshops and classes at Tapestry School, Buffalo.
Mon., Sep. 23, Univ. of Buffalo class
Sat., Sep. 21, Math Dance Workshop for Educators, SUNY Brockport, registration and more information here.
Fri., Sep. 20, math/dance workshops at SUNY Brockport.
Thu., Sep. 19, Buffalo State Univ. math/dance workshop, 4-7 PM, registration and info here.
Wed., Sep. 18, class and rehearsal at Buffalo State Univ.

Article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Stephen Ornes, June 25, 2013, on Karl and Erik's math and dance work.

Karl Schaffer taught six different math and dance workshops at Create 2013, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, July 10 and 11, 2013, sponsored by the Tennessee Arts Commission, a math/dance workshop at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on July 24, 2013, and gave a paper at the Bridges Math and Art Conference in Eschede, Netherlands, July 27-31, 2013.

Erik Stern taught a math and dance workshop at the First International Conference on Creative Mathematical Sciences Communication, Aug. 2-5, 2013, in Darwin, Australia. Erik taught a week of math/dance workshops for the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham, in Birmingham, Alabama, during the first week of June, 2013.


Math Dance Hands
Photo by Steve Savage

132 page book now available from our BOOK SHOP

Classroom activities for teaching
and performing arts
through whole-body movement

For grades 4-12

Latest video:

See the October, 2012 TEDx presentation by Karl Schaffer and Erik Stern on our educational approach to combining dance and mathematics.

Other Recent Links:
(1) Article on a Weber State University math dance workshop by Erik Stern, Apr. 20, 2013.
(2) Video excerpts of Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble works.
(3) Madison Science Festival, review of performance by Karl Schaffer and Erik Stern, Sep., 2012.
(4) Article on Schaffer/Stern workshop at Univ. of Wisconsin Dance Dept., Sep. 28, 2012.
(5) Article on Karl Schaffer's Tri-College Mellon Creative Residency: Math and Dance, Sep. 2012.
(6) Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics Keynote performance, Oct. 18, 2012, Columbus, Ohio.
(7) Madison Area Technical College Talk Sep. 28, 2012, by Karl Schaffer.
(8) Article by Karl Schaffer and sarah-marie belcastro on math and dance in Best Writing on Mathematics 2012.

If you would like to be notified about new shows, please email us at karl_schaffer@yahoo.com, or join our Facebook group "Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble," and we will put you on a notification list. Thank you for your support!

Donations always appreciated! Please send donations using our PayPal button or by sending a check/money order to MoveSpeakSpin, PO Box 8055, Santa Cruz, CA 95061, earmarked for summer 2014; donations are tax deductible.

Recent News:

Photo of Maria Basile from concert Mosaic Concert: Mosaic, Friday and Saturday, June 21 and 22, 2013, at 8 PM, at Motion Pacific in Santa Cruz, Karl Schaffer's dance concert on peace, justice, conflict, and culture, in Palestine, Israel, and the Middle East, including musical perfrmances by Zambra and Fattah Abbou.
Detailed information on the show here....
Articles on the concert in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and Good Times.



The Daughters of Hypatia: Circles of Mathematical Women, Karl Schaffer's show about the lives, struggle, and work of important woment mathematicians, was performed in February, 2012 in Santa Cruz.
Article in the Santa Cruz Good Times on Daughters of Hypatia show.

Karl/Erik froggie poseRecently published article: Karl and Erik's pioneering and ongoing math dance work is featured in an article in Dance Teacher Magazine in the March, 2010 issue.

Events. Karl and Erik performed and presented at two European interdisciplinary conferences in summer 2010:
July 24-28, Bridges 2010, in Pecs, Hungary. We will give a public performance in the National Theatre of Pécs.
Aug. 16-20, Constructionism 2010, in Paris, France.

Video excerpts of Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern Dance Ensemble works are now on Youtube.

Remembering Ronn

Photos of Ronn Reinberg, long-time tech director, advisor, and friend to Dr. Schaffer and Mr. Stern.

Kennedy Center Partners in Education program. Karl and Erik continue as Teaching Artists presenting math dance workshops for educators and students through this national arts integration program.

Puerto Rico. Both Erik and Karl taught many workshops for teachers, students and artists in Puerto Rico in April and August, 2009, as part of a National Endowment for the Arts grant. They found the children, teachers, and artists they worked with extremely excited by the math dance work in this follow-up trip to their 2005 residency. The residency was sponsored by the Instituto de Cultura Puertoriquenna.

Erik's dance

Choreography for Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. Erik choreographed a new work that premiered in RW's September 2009 concert "Equilibrium." "Unlikely Ritual" is a short fractured look at the strange self-designations men and women are asked to give themselves when filling out dating and compatibility forms.


Recent Bay Area work. Deanna Ross and Karl Schaffer performed the duet "The Atom Bomb Game," at Counterpulse in San Francisco on Sunday, Dec. 13, in Monterey Peninsula College's Fall Concert, Dec. 4th and 5th, 2009, and at SJDancCo's ChoreoProject Awards, Feb. 19 and 20, 2010.

Karl is featured in "Cool Careers in Math," a new booklet designed to interest teenagers in mathematics, just published by Sally Ride Science. He and Saki, Fabricio Olsson, and Deanna Ross performed for the San Jose Children's Discovery Museum's Legacy for Children Award 2010, honoring Physicist/Astronaut Sally Ride on Friday, May 14, 2010.

Trio DancingKarl Schaffer produced a concert of mathematically playful new dance works, “Imaginary Numbers,” at the 418 Project in Santa Cruz, May 2009. The concert featured “Harmonious Equations,” a new work directed and narrated by National Public Radio’s “Math Guy” Keith Devlin, and based on music composed and performed by Santa Cruz choral group Zambra. Read More...