About Meshi

I am a dance maker, a movement facilitator, and a choreographer. I am a queer artist. I develop methods to fully inhabit the body, increasing sensitivity and awareness while creating a deeper engagement with the world. My practice is one of relationality. As a community builder, I bring people together through movement to experience being embodied together. I approach training through the cultivation of attention and curiosity. I work from the premise that all aspects of existence are inextricably linked and activated by the movement of a larger universal body. Engaging with this force strengthens self-understanding and allows artistic newness and possibilities to arise.

Butoh is my dance/performance practice, both improvisation and choreography. This dance form emerged from Japan at the time of the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. In its creation, Butoh pushed against Western influence dominating the region and, with it, its dance ascetic, spreading across the globe; to this day, it still does. Instead of trying to fix dance into place, Butoh seeks to unfix it and show its wild and transformational nature. It values the development of presence, spaciousness, and stillness alongside movement. Butoh is taught worldwide yet remains a relatively niche dance expression. I am one of a handful of teachers of this work in North America. I have studied for twenty years with Denise Fujiwara and our master teacher, Natsu Nakajima. Nakajima was the first female butoh dancer and choreographer.

I am a third-generation American by blood, Mexican, and Spanish. I was adopted through ceremony into Lakota Sioux traditions in my early twenties. I have been participating in Sundance, one of the seven high ceremonies of the Lakota people, for twenty-five years. Traditionally, this is not something a Sundancer speaks about; however, as I navigate the complexities of the art world, I find myself in situations where I must divulge information that requires a certain level of opacity to maintain its integrity. My participation in ceremonial dance informs how I approach life, my understanding of movement, and my place in creation. My artistic expressions are translations of an ongoing conversation with the spirit world.

I dance to illuminate our entanglement with creation’s steady and present unfolding. I shed conventional ideas of what dance should be, shifting energy toward what it is moving toward and has yet to become. The cultivation of the moving body reveals relationships between objects, space, and time. Through the rigor of practice, patience, and kindness, trust in embodiment grows, allowing instinct, creativity, and clarity to resound. This approach to choreography is how I confront colonialism and white supremacy within the patriarchal designs inherited through Western dance methodologies and amplified through collective cultural trauma. This is how I move alongside the unknown, with adaptability to the present moment and movement infused with curiosity and palpable presence.

Meshi Chavez holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of the Arts.  Through 2021 – 2023, he was Artist In Residence at Middlebury College, where he taught full-time and created artistic works. His career has spanned two decades, allowing him to teach, present, and perform nationally and internationally. His work is predicated on the concept that creativity is our birthright. Through the discipline of training the mind, body, and spirit, we learn to claim this creative force and build from there. He has taught at Schumacher College and Middlebury College, where he choreographed Dance Company Middlebury 2019-2020. His choreography has been presented at The Joan Mitchell Foundation in New Orleans. Chavez is co-founder of Momentum Conscious Movement, where he has been creating in-person and online, ongoing adult movement education programs for more than 20 years. He works internationally with author, scholar, and theologian Matthew Fox, teaching Movement as Meditation with a recent online course through The Shift Network. His mentors include choreographers Denise Fujiwara, Natsu Nakajima,  Donna Faye Burchfield, and Thomas DeFrantz. He believes cultivating creativity, strengthening curiosity, and embracing the unknown is the secret to making an artful life.

Meshi Chavez – CV

“Meshi is an extraordinary teacher who teaches with heart, head, and body and from a deep place where Spirit moves, awakens, and heals.  Students, of course, love him!” Matthew Fox


Masked & Then We Were Three –
Masked – Choreography & Performance – Meshi Chavez.
Music –  A good day to live – Composed & Performed – Lisa DeGrace
Then We Were Three – Middlebury Student Work – Spring 2022
Choreography – Meshi Chavez & Kari Borni

Lorro: of wings and seas –
The 9th Asia pacific triennial of contemporary art, Brisbane Australia — 2019
Movement Choreography – Meshi Chavez
Spoken Word – Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner
Performed – Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner

Being Moved Performance Intensive Participants 2017 –
Choreography – Meshi Chavez
Music Composed & Performed – Lisa DeGrace
Artistic Consultant/Design – Yukiyo Kawano
Performers – Mara Steen, Teresa Vanderkin, Jen Gwirtz, Nicole Walters, and Joe Mclaughlin

Suspended Moment Performance – Hiroshima Remembrance Day 2017 Choreography & Performed – Meshi Chavez
Artistic Design & Sculptural Installation – Yukiyo Kawano
Music Composed & Performed – Lisa DeGrace
Spoken Word Creation – Alison Cobb
Video Installation – Stephen Miller

Artistic Collaboration – Meshi Chavez & Winky Wheeler
Portland Art Museum  – 2015


You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
– Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

There are several opportunities to study with Meshi Chavez. He offers weekly drop-in online classes, Audio classes, Independent Study programs, and workshops throughout the year.

Weekly classes
All classes currently are being offered through Zoom or Audio sessions.

The Practice of Practice: Summer 12-week Series 
Weekly Audio Classes June 5th – August 21st 
Per Class:  $25 – $10 Sliding scale
This Series includes an optional bi-weekly Zoom Study Group  
Mondays 6:30 – 8 pm Pacific Time
June 12 & 26, July 10 & 24, and Aug 7 & 21

Payment for The Practice of the Practice: Audio Series by Venmo or PayPal 

Email Here to request access to the Audio class series

Facilitated Zoom Classes are on break and will return in Fall 2023.

Sunday Morning Dance
Sundays, 10a- 11:15a (PST)
$25 – $10 sliding scale

Zoom – Online class
Learn More 

Inquiry- Independent Study Program
Personalized Independent Movement Program
Deepen your practice, and explore your creative desires.
Learn More 


Butoh: Body, Mind & Spirit 
Month-Long Residency Portland Oregon
30 hours of training – 10 hours per week
September 7th – 23rd
Locations – New Expressive Works & Flock
Thursdays 6:30p – 8:30 pm
Fridays 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Saturday 12:30 pm – 5:30 pm
3 weeks $650 – $499  Sliding Scale
2 Weeks $350
1 Week $199
Registration is now open.
Payment plans are available.
*If cost is preventing you from joining, email me, and we can find a way

I am excited to announce that the month-long residency registration is now open. This intensive spans three weeks with 30 hours of training. Each week will have a unique focus. The three weeks build upon each other and can be done as separate modules.

Week One Body – This week, we focus on arrival. How we show up matters. We have a wealth of knowledge embedded in how we inhabit the body’s form, which inevitably becomes movement patterning. This week, we focus on how we show up and what we arrive with.

Week Two Mind – Week Two approaches habit, choice, and possibility. The body and the mind are inextricably linked. To separate the two is nearly impossible. We can learn to be in action and simultaneously step aside, opening creative space for new possibilities. This practice takes time, care, and development.

Week Three Spirit – The mind, body, and spirit are built on interconnection. This relationality extends well beyond the body into space and time. Accessing this phenomenon requires reaching into the unseen and relinquishing what we think we know. We shed attachment to aesthetics to step towards movement potential.