Professional Training

class

Welcome to our ongoing weekly morning training at Halifax Dance with Mocean Dance!

Our training schedule is fluid and responsive to Mocean's creative projects, as well as community need. Our classes are open to the public and drop-ins are welcome.

Class level is INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED. Be prepared for the class flow to move quickly. Must have previous dance experience, but not limited to professional dancers only.

Location: Halifax Dance, 1505 Barrington Street (unless otherwise noted)

 

For more information on open community classes intended for beginners click here.

If you would like to share your teaching practice and lead morning training please use our expression of interest form.

 

Class Fees & Payment

Fees:

  • Drop-in: $15
  • Eight class pass: $72 (Save 40%!)

Special Workshop Rate:

  • Drop-in: $15
  • Weekly rate: $69

All prices include HST. If cost is a barrier, please contact us - Mocean Dance is happy to work with individuals on a sliding scale.

Eight class passes are valid throughout the season in which they are purchased, and expire when the season renews on July 1st.

FOR CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS CLICK HERE

Mocean also accepts cash, cheque or e-transfer for class fees. E-transfers can be sent to office@moceandance.com

Schedule

Contemporary with Sara Coffin -

Friends of Mocean - SiNS Workshop -

Friends of Mocean - SiNS Workshop -

Friends of Mocean - SiNS Workshop -

Friends of Mocean - SiNS Workshop -

Friends of Mocean - SiNS Workshop -

Contemporary with Sara Coffin -

Upcoming Workshops

Class Descriptions

A woman in a blue shirt looks upward as her hands reach skyward with a slight bend and spiral in her back.

Photo Credit: Kevin MacCormack

Contemporary with Anastasia Wiebe - Anastasia's class is a contemporary floor work based class that combines strength-building, stretch and cardio exercises that support the intense physical demands of a floor work practice. The class also incorporates improvisation techniques that focus on developing an understanding of one's own quality of movement.

Meredith Kalaman

Photo by Chris Randle

Contemporary with Meredith Kalaman  ~ The dancers will find themselves moving through a standing centre class that invites them to work with speed, direction, and precision. Using a familiarity of lines in space, and elements of extension to orient the body on various axis points. The class culminates in finding elevation and ease with working in and out of the floor from the feet while travelling through space.

A woman sits on a rocky beach with arms lifting overhead.

Photo by Melanie Orr

From Inside Out - movement workshop with Michelle Olson: This class is about coming home into your body, to listen and discover the impulses that want to be seen in the world. Through structured and open ended exercises, we will explore the developmental movement patterns and how they support our grounding, expression and our sense of well being. We will also dive into the Laban’s Efforts and discover how they resonant in our own movement practice.  This time will be for movement reflection and engaging with how moving our bodies are a part of integrating knowledge and sparking inspiration.  

TVOU

These Versions of Us (2018), Photo Credit: Jeremy Mimnagh

Contemporary with Sara Coffin - Using the Bartenieff Fundamentals as a framework, this class will start with a slow flow floor-based warm-up. We will explore bony landmark relationships throughout the body as well as yield, tensegrity, and coil and release. Class will progress into standing work that aims to prime and free the spine as the motor engine, working with sustained juicy strength. Sara’s class draws from her experience in release technique, BMC work (Body-Mind Centering), contact improvisation and working through the lens of Laban’s BESS (Body, Effort, Shape, Space).

 

Contact Improvisation (CI) - Exploring CI as a question in motion we will explore the principles and practice of contact improvisation through physical skill work, perceptual tuning, body puzzles and practice time for focused dancing. We will tune our bodies to the physical forces and with each other, finding release and new discoveries in the point of contact, falling, following, leading, changing level, and flying. Unlock your potential and adaptability within the unknown, and discover the dance that is already there.

 

Sepia photo with a women in a work suit leaning off centred with eyes closed.

Video still of Sally Morgan in Lou Sheppard’s Roomba Score (2021) and Lou
Sheppard and Will Robison’s show I want to be a seashell, I want to be a mold, I want to be a spirit at Dalhousie Art Gallery. Photo by Neil Balan

EXPLORE. EMBODY. MOVE
Somatic movement and improvisation for grounding and expansion with Sally Morgan - 
This class is for letting go, slowing down, and tuning in. It is for listening, sensing, moving, embodying our desires, and unlearning patterns that are no longer useful for us. This class is suggestive and exploratory in nature, includes improvised dance and movement, and is open to all levels/movers. Through a dynamic integration of guided somatic, mindful, body-centered practices, we will explore breath, sensation/the senses, perception, posture/structure, rest, pleasure, and freedom. We will move though individual, partner, and group exercises as well as floorwork, standing, and moving through space.

A woman in black sits on the edge of a roof reaching to the sky

Still image from footage by Marc Greene.

Contemporary with Sam Penner ~ Sam’s contemporary class moves back and forth between improvisational explorations and set exercises designed to warm up both the functional moving body, and the creative senses. Starting on the floor, we will wake up our breath and full body sensation to find our flow and coordination. Easing into our strength and dynamic capacities, we will find our feet to move through space, building up to bouncing, jumping, joyful expressions of our fullest dancing potential.

Image of a women crouched on floor sliding with long brown hair flowing to the side

Photo Credit: Marvan Kwan

Contemporary with Emma Kerson - Sensing our way through a familiar framework of contemporary floor and standing exercises, attention will be placed on softening and energizing our bodies and exploring the potential for this intersection. This class is offered as a skeleton of movement proposals (exercises) to be fleshed out with offered imagery or your own individual curiosities. We will work our way up to larger dynamic phrases travelling into and up above the floor, with space to play with and relate to one another.

Gillian S-B

Photo by Kevin MacCormack

Contemporary with Gillian Seaward-Boone ~ This contemporary/modern technique class combines a variety of styles and disciplines with the goal of using the entire body, getting your blood pumping and your muscles warmed up! The class progresses in a familiar format with plenty of space and freedom to deepen your own personal investigation throughout. We will explore both floorwork and standing work culminating in dynamic moving and jumping phrases that encourage dancers to "go big". The overall goal is to create a joyful class that celebrate the shared experience of movement.

Sarah Hopkin

Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh Photography

Contemporary with Sarah Hopkin ~ Sarah’s class is an upbeat modern dance technique class with a focus on moving big and relating to space. Her exercises emphasize traveling through space and dynamic movements. There is often a José Limón influence in her class, sometimes with a dash of Martha Graham. The goal is always to leave feeling energized and connected to the other dancers in the room.

INSTRUCTOR BIOS

Irene Martínez - Irene Martínez is a Mexican creator, performer and workshop leader. Originally from Mexico City, she has performed as a soloist and performer interpreting the repertoire of the Canadian artist Daina Ashbee in different international dance festivals in France, Belgium, Germany, Canada, Norway and U.S.A. She is a graduate of the National School of Classical and Contemporary Dance. She has shared her experiences and research through workshops and classes in Mexico City, Guadalajara, Canada and Germany. Currently, she is a beneficiary of the Support System for Cultural Creation and Projects (SACPC in spanish), Artistic Residencies 2022.

Christopher House - Born and raised in St. John’s, NL, Christopher House is a queer choreographer, performer, educator, and curator. He was resident choreographer and a leading dancer with Toronto Dance Theatre from 1979-2020, the last twenty-six years as Artistic Director. He created over sixty works for TDT, diversified the company’s repertoire, and developed innovative programs in education, audience cultivation and support for young choreographers. He has collaborated with many leading companies and artists including The National Ballet of Canada, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Ballet Gulbenkian, Cirque du Soleil, Kimsooja, Ame Henderson, Jordan Tannahill, The Hidden Cameras, and post-modern icon Deborah Hay. His works have been performed in nineteen countries and he has taught creative process workshops for many organizations, often in collaboration with Ame Henderson. As a performer, he has enjoyed a wide variety of collaborations, notably with Henderson, Tannahill, and Hay. Recent projects include staging movement for I Forgive You (Artistic Fraud of NL) at the National Arts Centre and performing his solo New Tricks (2022) in Toronto, St. John’s, Vancouver, and Victoria. He is currently collaborating with Dance Collection Danse, curating an exhibition called Stories of HIV and Canadian Dance, and is working on duets with Giovanni Impellizzieri and Pulga Muchochoma. He is a a long-time Associate Dance Artist of the NAC, and a member of the Order of Canada.

Sarah Hopkin (Contemporary) - Sarah Hopkin is a freelance dance artist from Nova Scotia. She is currently dancing for the Ottawa Dance Directive led by artistic director Yvonne Coutts, and is a CSJ Production Assistant for Mocean Dance. She has danced for TAKE UP SPACE led by Elizabeth Emond-Stevenson, and for choreographers Peggy Baker, Cathy Kyle Fenton, and Allison Burns. She has danced as a junior company member for Toronto Dance Theatre (2015-2016), an intern for Mocean Dance (2015), for Nostos Collectives (2014-2015), and in Dance Ontario's Dance Weekend (2015). She has worked as a demonstrator for Peggy Baker at Canada’s National Ballet School, and taught contemporary dance at The School of Dance in Ottawa for five years. Sarah collaborated with composer Pierre-Luc Clément through her work at The School of Dance, and received a research and creation grant from the City of Ottawa (2020) to further develop work with Clément. Sarah has choreographed and performed in the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and in Ottawa’s Dark Horse Dance Projects (2017). In 2016, Sarah was commissioned by composer Julia Mermelstein to choreograph a solo with the support of the Toronto Arts Council. Sarah has recently moved back to Halifax, and will be teaching at Halifax Dance in the fall of 2021.

Emma Kerson (she / her) is a dance artist newly returned to Kjipuktuk (Halifax) after fourteen years of living in Tkaronto (Toronto). Emma's choreographic works have been presented by platforms across Canada and developed in residencies with adelheid, Arts Orillia, Citadel + Compagnie, Mocean Dance, MOonhORsE Dance Theatre, the National Ballet of Canada, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, and Shawbrook Residential. As an independent dancer, Emma has worked with Julia Aplin, Phin Performing Arts, Patricia Beatty, Blue Ceiling Dance, Elizabeth Chitty, Jennifer Dallas, Robert Desrosiers, Dancetheatre David Earle, Sylvain Émard, Michael Sean Marye, Jane-Alison McKinney, Sharon B. Moore, Peter Randazzo, Simon Renaud, and Tedd Robinson amongst others. Emma is a graduate of Dalhousie University, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and in 2021 she completed an M.A. at the Centre for Drama, Theatre, & Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. As a dance educator, Emma has been on faculty at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and Quinte Ballet School, and has taught in a variety of roles through Canada’s National Ballet School, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, the National Ballet of Canada, Toronto District School Board, Tarragon Theatre, DanceWorks, and recently, Halifax Dance.

Kate Holden (she/her) is an award winning dance artist, and has originated and interpreted the works of many esteemed Canadian choreographers, with performances across North America, Europe and Asia. She was a company member of Dancemakers, under the direction of Michael Trent, and of Danny Grossman Dance Company. Kate is a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and spent many years in T’karonto engaged in the dance community as an interpreter, rehearsal director, teacher, creator, and producer. Her dance practice is influenced by her work as a Craniosacral Therapist and Reflexologist, and her curiosity for finding ease and pleasure in an expansive moving body. Associate Artist with Peggy Baker Dance Projects from 2019 to 2022, Kate is deeply grateful for the experience of working and learning with Peggy Baker for more than 20 years. Kate is currently based in Mi’kma’ki/Nova Scotia where she plays, learns and works by the Pijinuiskaq (Lahave River).

Lauren Runions (Contemporary Ballet) is a dance artist, choreographer, and facilitator. They are the artistic director of place-based dance project I/O Movement. Their work investigates the role of choreography as a reciprocal spatial practice between self + other. Lauren's processes currently result in scores, improvisation, sounding, dancing, observing, walking and routine dailiness supporting an embodied awareness, and responsibility, to living with city and natural ecologies.

Meredith Kalaman (Contemporary, Ballet) - Meredith is a Contemporary Choreographer and Performer born and raised in Greater Vancouver, B.C. Meredith is known for her innovative vision and for creating thought provoking dance theatre works. She began creating solo’s on herself because she wanted to move the way her body was asking for and interested in moving. Since then she began exploring her ideas on other bodies and found that she loves both dancing in other people’s works and making her own work. For Meredith, both practices inform and grow each other. As a dancer, Meredith has worked with the Karen Jamieson Dance Company, Dancers Dancing, Judith Marcuse Projects and Movent and performed works by Noam Gagnon, John Ottmann, Kate Franklin, Farley Johansson, Michael Kong, Julie Lebel and Kirsten Wiren. She is a graduate of the Ballet BC Mentor Program. Her own choreography has toured Canada, the US and throughout China. Meredith is a recipient of the 2015 & 2017 Chrystal Dance Prize from Dance Victoria. Her first full length work, Femme Fatales premiered in May 2017 at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby, Canada and then made its European debut in Berlin at Uferstudios in August 2017. Meredith enjoys teaching, learning new things about herself and life everyday, energy, magic, seeing the world and most recently began training in Counter-technique with Charles Slender-White and Joy Davis in San Francisco at Fact/SF’s Summer Dance Lab. It has changed her life!

Lisa Phinney Langley (Contemporary)- From Halifax/K'jipuktuk, Lisa trained at Halifax Dance and professionally at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre.  After touring with several dance companies and co-founding Mocean Dance, Lisa founded Phin Performing Arts, focussed on producing her choreographic work and contributing to the community through artistic opportunities.  Concurrent with her dance career, Lisa completed an honours BSc in Physics and Earth Systems Science and an MSc in Atmospheric Science, and has held employment as a scientist with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Gillian Seaward-Boone (Contemporary) - Originally from Nova Scotia, Gillian Seaward-Boone completed her professional dance training at l’Ecole de Danse Contemporaine de Montréal (EDCM). Upon graduating, she worked with Sinha Danse (Montreal), Pigeons International (Montreal) and Sasha Ivanochko (Toronto), before joining O Vertigo Danse (Montreal) as a full company member until the direction of Ginette Laurin. During her time with the company, she performed and taught extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. Since returning to Halifax in 2013, Gillian has worked as an independent artist, performing the works of Alexis Cormier, Lydia Zimmer, Lisa Phinney-Langley and Vanessa Goodman (Votive Dance). Gillian has danced with Mocean Dance for eight seasons, performing works by Serge Bennethan, Marie-Josee Chartier, Sara Coffin, Sharon Moore and Parts+Labour_Danse, and was Rehearsal Director for Danielle Desnoyers, Heidi Strauss, Sara Coffin and Lydia Zimmer. Gillian is currently in Phase 3 creation for Home Economics in collaboration with Alexis Cormier, Sarah Murphy and Genevieve Boulet. She is also delighted to be in creation for Everywhere the Edges, a collaboration between choreographer Rebecca Lazier and visual artist Janet Echelman, to premiere in 2022. Gillian is a senior member of the modern dance faculty of Halifax Dance's Intensive Training Program and regularly teaches technique classes to the professional community in Halifax and beyond.

Ross Burns is a professional musician, performer, capoeira player, and teacher based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Training in the Afro-Brazilian dance/martial art form capoeira since 2003 Ross has led Mestre Azeitona’s Capoeira Group Dendê - Halifax since 2007. His musical résumé ranges widely across different territories - jazz, rhythm & blues, Brazilian, Jamaican, modern art music and free improvisation - as a guitarist, singer and percussionist.

Zoe Davidson (Contemporary) is a Nova Scotia based dance artist that enjoys the collective energy dance brings. With a background in various dance styles, Zoe deepens her practice by continuously exploring new territory in her art form, and is extremely curious to find truth and deliver clear meaning through movement. In her class she offers a space where dancers can explore their physicality and move.

Anastasia Wiebe (Contemporary) - Anastasia Wiebe is a Halifax-based dance artist. She completed her post-secondary training at the Peridance Capezio Centre in New York, graduating from their Certificate Dance Program in 2015. Performance credits include Petite Danse with Maire-Josée Chartier, Striketone with Vanessa Goodman, Inhabit with Kyana Lyne, Wild Within with Sara Coffin, and Sonderlings with Lydia Zimmer. She is currently the co-artistic director and dancer with Nostos Collectives and dancer with Mocean Dance.

Sally Morgan (contemporary)  - lives in K’jipuktuk/Halifax and is a mother, improviser, interdisciplinary dance/performance artist, and a movement and environmental educator. She has been a part of the Canadian dance community for 25 years, studying nationally/internationally in contemporary and postmodern dance, improvisation/contact improvisation, and somatic practices. Her work has been presented across Canada, in Europe and the USA and she is honoured to have performed and worked with so many incredible collaborators over the years.

Sally trained at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, completed her BFA, MES, Dip. Sustainable/Environmental Education at York University and is four years into her PhD in Dance Studies. She currently works within an eco-somatic framework and on/in/with the borderlands between body and place, performance and ecology, improvisation and the everyday. Her work is rooted in place studies, relational embodied ethics, slow pedagogies, and site responsive practices. She uses the body-as-manual and questions the how and why of our everyday movements, in and with the more-than-human environment, as embodied acts of performance. 

Sally coordinated the Somatic Movement Exploration Lab in Toronto from 2013-2018 (with Meryem Alaoui/Jasad), taught as a TA at York University from 2011-2016, and was recently contract faculty at Acadia University and at Dalhousie University. She sits on the Board of Directors of Wonder’neath Arts Society, is a certified Yoga and Pilates instructor, and is currently in enrolled in the Body-Mind Centering SME Program with Esprit En Mouvement (Montreal).

Sally teaches independently through Eastward Moving Dance + Somatics and works creatively under both the umbrella of SLOW DANCE LAB and with artist collective the sense archive.

Alicia Grant (Contemporary) - Alicia Grant (she/her) is a choreographer and dancer working in various constellations with other makers in Toronto and Berlin. After earning a BFA from York University, her work in performance, video, and sound design has been presented in Canada, USA, and Europe from stages to swimming pools to abandoned factories to galleries. She is one half of WITCHTITS along with Zinzi Buchanan, and has worked alongside of Zoja Smutny, Andrea Spaziani, Ellen Furey, Anna Fitoussi, Ivan Björn Ekemark, Jacinte Armstrong, and Inky Lee, amongst others. She has shared why-am-i-alive dance practices at Studio 303 in Montreal, Love-In in Toronto, Ponderosa in Stolzenhagen and TanzFabrik in Berlin. Interested in power dynamics, transformation, and intimacy, Alicia is currently working on saxophone solos and a fantasy travel noise album.

Sarah Prosper (Reconciliation Movement Workshop) - Sarah Prosper is a proud Mi’kmaq Women from Eskasoni First Nation, Nova Scotia. Currently she is taking a Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation at Dalhousie University. Sarah has a great connection to her family and her Mi’kmaq culture. Growing up in one of the largest First Nation communities in the province, she has always been guided by her elders who have taught her to always be proud of who she is; a Mi’kmaq ~Mekite’t ta’n teli l’nuit and of where she has come from and will go. She began dancing at age 2 and soon after her mother began a boys and girls dance program in Eskasoni; The Native Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselling Association (NADACA) Dance Program us where hundreds of community members have come to learn and celebrate dance. Sarah became a fixture in the group where she began teaching dance at age 14. Sarah has continued dancing at Dalhousie University and as well as volunteering at special needs facilities and health centers during her school year. Back in her community, she continues providing opportunities for children and adults to build connections within themselves through dance. She is always involved with the community in one way or another and tries her best to bring recognition to her Mi’kmaq culture whenever the opportunity arises. ‘Giving back to your community’ has taught Sarah that through acts of kindness and humility in everything you do, there are rewards that help you flourish in your life as you stay connected and grow. Sarah has hopes and dreams but most of all she hopes to incorporate indigenous creativeness in the dance world and throughout communities; this way reconciliation continues.

Lydia Zimmer (Contemporary, Ballet) - Lydia Zimmer is a graduate of Walnut Hill School for the Arts (’07) and The Boston Conservatory (B.F.A. ‘11). Since returning to her home city of Halifax, Lydia has created several works supported by Canada Council for the Arts and Arts NS. These include Bonne Nuit (2016), presented through Live Art Dance; Embankment, commissioned (2017) and remounted (2021) by Votive Dance; Sonderlings (2018), commissioned by Nostos Dance Collectives, and Sondering (2019), a solo presented by FODAR. Lydia completed a dance residency at Nes Artist Residency in Skagastrond, Iceland, and a choreographic residency in Sofia, Bulgaria at the Derida Dance Centre. Lydia has been commissioned by Mocean Dance to create a new work that will premiere in the Spring of 2021 … she is grateful to be able to rehearse with Votive and Mocean during this pandemic! She currently works for Mocean Dance, Votive Dance, and Kinetic Studio. 

Diana Rutherford (Ballet) - Based in K’jipuktuk/Halifax, Diana Rutherford is a teacher, choreographer, and continuing dance education advocate. Diana is a graduate of the Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School and York University (Honours BFA in Dance). She holds teaching qualifications at the Licentiate level with Cecchetti Canada and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. Diana also holds Advanced 2 examination certificates from Cecchetti Canada and the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD).Originally from Owen Sound, Ontario, Diana began her dancing career in both ballet and highland dance. As a highland competitor, she represented Canada across North America and Scotland and was a scholarship recipient and award winner in both highland and ballet. Diana has performed across Canada and the United States.

In her former role as Dean of Dance at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts, Diana had the opportunity to teach students across Atlantic Canada, collaborate with the Nova Scotia Youth Orchestra, and produce multiple full-length ballets. She is a certified Progressive Ballet Technique (PBT) teacher and combines concepts from Stott Pilates Mat with PBT into her classes. She is an active member of the Nova Scotia arts and culture scene and has served on the boards of Votive Dance and the Nova Scotia Talent Trust.Diana has successfully trained students for Cecchetti Canada examinations at the Advanced 2 level, in collaboration for the RAD Solo Seal and Genée International Ballet Competition, and the Youth America Grand Prix. Diana is looking forward to working in collaboration with the artist of Mocean Dance.
 

Alexis Milligan (Open Practice) is a noted artistic collaborator and has created choreography and movement for many theatre and dance companies around the world. She is the resident Movement Director at The Shaw Festival, in Niagara-on-the-Lake and has also worked at The Stratford Festival and The National Theatre of Norway, in Bergen.  Alexis’ passion project is her company, Transitus Creative, an interdisciplinary performance company specializing knowledge translation and exchange.  She has created original works in collaboration with Dalhousie University’s School of Nursing, The Association of Nova Scotia Museums, gender consultant Michelle Raine and The Hatch, through Parks Canada.  Currently Alexis is pursuing her master's in Interdisciplinary Studies at The University of New Brunswick, combining the performing arts, communication, education and neuroscience.

Sabrina Castillo (Feldenkrais) is artistic director, founder, and choreographer of Momentum, a professional contemporary dance company in Guatemala City. She has choreographed more than 60 works that have been funded by national and international organizations and performed in Guatemala and abroad. In 2009, she was granted the National Dance Award by the President of Guatemala and under a Fulbright scholarship pursued post-doctorate studies on the Phenomenology of imagination with philosopher Edward Casey. She is a Certified Movement Analyst, Feldenkrais Authorized Trainee Awareness through movement teacher, ISMETA somatic educator and qi gong teacher.

Syreeta Hector (Contemporary) - As a highly accomplished performer, Syreeta has worked for internationally recognized companies like Adelheid Dance Projects, Danny Grossman Dance Company, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, and Toronto Dance Theatre. She is a proud graduate of The National Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and has achieved her Master of Arts in Dance Studies from York University. Her work called “Black Ballerina” focuses on the dualities within ones identity, along with Syreeta’s blackness and indigeneity in relationship to classical ballet. Syreeta is currently one of the Luminato Artists in Residence and part of the Creative Incubator at the Citadel+ Compagnie. Website: syreetahector.com

Syreeta Hector began her teaching career with Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre during her time at The National Ballet School's Teacher Training Program in 2004. She graduated from the teaching program in 2006 and continued to teach dance while furthering her dance education with The School of Toronto Dance Theatre's Professional Training Program. As she began her professional career, she maintained her relationship with CCDT. For over a decade she taught ballet, modern and creative dance at Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre.

While tackling her Master’s paper titled: “The Negotiations of Dance Practice Within The Indigenous and African American Peoples: Examining The Hybridity of Culture Through The Lens of Social Event and Movement)," Syreeta began teaching on a pre-professional level at the Randolph College for the Performing Arts in 2015. At this time she had the pleasure of teaching ballet to emerging musical theatre artists.

She continues to teach emerging professional dancers and educators in the dance program at York University. Within the dance program, she has taught dance for non- majors and currently teaches modern technique to the undergraduates within this fine arts program.

 

Past Class Offerings

Darryl Tracy

Photo Credit: David Hawe

Special Workshop Rate: $15/class (Includes HST) or $69 for 5 classes (includes HST)

Contemporary with Darryl Tracy  (Feb 13-17) - Darryl's Center Class is a physical and sensorial adventure taking the participants from a more internal landscape and then delving into building physical task-based relationships with gravity, with space, with music and musicality and challenge habits and tendencies. Darryl facilitates the class to give participants the permission to explore within one's comfort level. Participants will have set exercises and also facilitated improvisational scores. The class progresses from floor work to robust travelling phrases exploring agility, coordination, articulation, expressivity and sensory awareness through classical modern to more contemporary aesthetics. Discovery and fun at the heart of the class.

Black and white image of Lauren in a bright dance studio. They have long hair and are dressed in stripes. They are peeling themselves up from the ground which you also see in the mirror behind them.

Photo Credit Chelsea Hirons

Contemporary Ballet with Lauren Runions ~ This class focuses on alignment, ballet fundamentals, core strength, and expression set to non-classical music. With ballet as a foundation, we look at what it means to hold that technique and introduce new planes to the body—going off axis, direction changes, folding. Each class begins with a tune-up and proceeds to barre practices. Lessons close with a centre adage or exercises moving across the floor. Comfortable clothing and socks/slippers are encouraged.

Two people dance in a studio, one jumping high, the other just landing.

Voice and Body Language - Workshop with Irene Martínez ~ This workshop seeks to open expressive channels of voice and movement through dance practice. Together we will find ways to connect with our creative, expressive and reflective potential. Through improvisation, floor work and basic movement actions we will explore different physical states of the body, seeking to expand our possibilities and the quality of our interpretation.

A man in a white shirt raises an arm to lean against a wall

Noticing the Unicorn - Workshop with Christopher House ~ Open to those with a physical and/or artistic practice that foregrounds the human body. Christopher will lead a playful workshop in curiosity-based dancing. We will work from where we are each day, keeping a light touch as we tune to the senses and open ourselves to noticing and embracing the creative potential of the unexpected: Following our interest. Diving into paradox. Freeing ourselves from hesitation. Dancing as one and as everyone. Practising the deep ethics of optimism. Trusting the body as teacher. Bathing in the pleasures of rigour.

a woman in a red dres standing on a chair arms outstretched

Photo Credit Scott Munn - 'Woman Standing on a Chair in a Red Dress' by Lisa Phinney Langley

Contemporary Barre Class with Lisa Phinney - A contemporary barre class to lead us into the day’s work. Focussing on mobility, strength, ease, and flow, the progressive barre exercises lead to a centre practice to integrate our bodies and situate ourselves in space. Referencing a traditional barre class, and incorporating positions and movements our bodies also need for contemporary work: contraction, rotation, curve, weight, and release.

A woman in a black jumpsuit laughs and dances.

Photo by Omer Yukseker

"A Few of My Favourite Things" with Susie Burpee - Artistic offerings and physical prompts to creatively energize and lean into the day! Traversing both dance and theatre, Susie Burpee is a choreographer, performer and teacher. She has worked with many Canadian contemporary companies and choreographers over the past 25 years, and has been profoundly influenced by their work. "A Few of My Favorite Things" draws upon these learnings and experiences, and is really about remembrance and gratitude through embodiment. 

For dancers and other performers (non-dancers welcome)

A woman with dark hair in a white jumpsuit leans back looking up

Photo Courtesy of Justine A. Chambers

Special Workshop with Justine Chambers:

Movement Class (10 - 11:30) Class will utilize both scored improv tasks and set movement sequences, privileging both the individual and collective movements of the room. The scores propose systems of support from inside and outside of the body, inviting the articulation of joints and flesh, and activating the mind to shift sensation and perception. Attending to how bodies are shaped through practice and culture, the class privileges how our way of thinking about our bodies creates a felt sense in the body that is malleable in thought and in practice. Set exercises then progress from floor to standing, encouraging another application of the opening propositions. With openness to the possibility of functional anatomical change, the structured material invites participants to explore precise moments when their bodies are activated into movement. Guided improv and set movement become containers for attention, strategies for remaining present, feeling the senses work in concert, and becoming attuned to the perpetual dynamic negotiations within our body.

Interactive Artist Sharing and Workshop (12 - 1:30): After class, coffee and light snacks will be provided as Justine shares insights into her process, and recent works. Expect more movement in the afternoon, bringing the conversation back into our bodies again in a shared practice.

A white women in a pale studio in a beige tank top stands on demi-pointe, knees bent with her right wrist at the forehead.

Photo Courtesy of Zoe Davidson

Contemporary with Zoe Davidson - Class begins with an energizing warmup to awaken the senses and prepare the body for its creative and physical potential. Moving into center and across the floor with core principles for the final combination. It is a space to let loose, challenge yourself, and push your physicality.

Alicia Grant

Photo credit: Francesca Chudnoff

Contemporary with Alicia Grant ~ Together, we will investigate dance and see if it can change our physiology. We will cultivate ways to dance with bodily joy and chaos. Expect some dancing to loud music, vagus nerve toning, grunting from the underworld, armpit freedom, higher self cheerleading, and waving your arms around. This class includes physical orientations to self, others, and space; a flowing transformation of movement proposals; and structured and open improvisations. I will share principles from my dance freak lineage and osteopathy through movement. Participants are encouraged to respect their own limits and interests within the proposals of the workshop. Let's find some freshness and maybe even some new neural synapses!

Accessibility note: There are proposed movements through space such as bouncing, waving the arms around, jumping, running, lunging, and rolling on the floor. Instructions are often given by the facilitator in a flowing style without stopping the current activity. Visual cues are often used to communicate how the class moves forward. The pace and intensity can be easily adapted to participants’ needs. People with reduced mobility or people that may get overstimulated with a lot of movement, loud music, and durational activities may experience challenges.

A woman in a black dress dances in the ocean waves on the beach

Contemporary/Improv with Kate Holden - A class to slow down and soften - connecting to weight and fluidity to cultivate an open and responsive body in motion. Breathing, Yawning, Folding, Connecting, Swinging, Bouncing... Using Somatic techniques and improvisational play the class will develop into a more vigorous movement exploration, bringing the participant to a place of possibility for full physical expression.

A woman lays under the strings of a harp, with drum sticks laying on top.

Where Dance and Music Meet - This workshop invites participants into Susanne Chui and her collaborators’ creative process for their current creation project of the same name. Dancers, musicians, and anyone interested in improvisation is invited to experience some of the group’s creative process practices and have a chance to play and create spontaneously together. We will explore perception work (listening, seeing, sensing), move, make sound, and work with form, space, pulse, and other building blocks of improvisation. Everyone welcome, feel free to bring an instrument!

Two people are on the floor of a stage, and a man stands behind them playing an instrument

Capoeira with Ross Burns - Capoeira is a Brazilian art form combining elements of martial arts, dance and music. In the context of colonial Brazil, enslaved Africans and their descendants developed the form to share fighting techniques disguised within dance and music. Practitioners continue the ritual of capoeira today as an expression of old traditions, as a joyful pastime, and to remember its roots in resistance against oppression and racism. Combining the skillful development of the body and immersion in the cultural and musical language of Brazil, capoeira teaches students strength, creativity and resistance all intertwined with the African Diaspora.

Lydia Zimmer

Photo by Cooked Photography

Contemporary with Lydia Zimmer  ~ Lydia will lead an open improv class that will ask participants to stay attentive and moving for long periods of time in order to get the brains and bodies linked again after being dormant for so long. The class is built for professional dance artists, but open to all movers. There will be no set phrases to learn, instead the class will be built on improvisational modes that will focus on leading with specific body parts or specific tasks to remember and let evolve!

A women in a red dress spins with outward momentum falling forward.

Photo Credit: Kevin MacCormack

Yoga with Julie Robert - Ease into the new year and treat your body to a relaxing one-hour yoga class focused on mobility & joint health. Rooted in functional movement patterns, this class will include poses aimed at releasing tension in the shoulders and hips, as well as restorative postures to support your nervous system. Mat, blocks, blankets, and pillows/bolsters are recommended, but not necessary—Looking forward to practicing with you!

Embodied Imagination with Alexis Milligan - Alexis' approach to movement comes from the imagination through intention and story, with the knowledge that not all intentions are literal and not all stories are linear.  This class will be an intensive work out for the body and will explore theories of embodied cognition, narrative, and The Beholder's Share.

Image of woman in black track pants, sneakers, and body suit, leaned over in power lunge postion

Photo Credit: Cillian O'Neill

Contemporary Hybrid with Syreeta Hector (March 2022, TBA) - This movement class will use the terminology of classical ballet and modern techniques to act as a conduit to empower physicality and artistic individual practice. Conditioning practices inspired by Irene Dowd Body Work may also be utilized during this class time and street style dance forms may be explored. Improvisation tasks will be investigated and large locomotor movement to increase the heart rate will be practiced. All bodies and dance forms are welcomed.

 A light skinned woman sits on a bench in a room with light walls and hardwood floors.

Photo: Rogelio Clará

September 29, Feldenkrais with Sabrina Castillo - In this workshop, we will start with a Feldenkrais lesson where attention will be directed mainly towards the feet. Through small, gentle and easy movements we will explore the relationships between the toes, the ankles, the soles of the feet and the knees. We will then transition into the Tai Chi Chuan practice of Pushing hands. This technique, based in the notion of silk weaving, is an experience of yielding/pushing and centering while moving with another person. It facilitates a soft meditative movement experience. All are welcome!

 

September 8, Feldenkrais and Bartenieff with Sabrina CastilloIn this workshop, we will start with a Feldenkrais lesson where attention will be directed towards small, gentle and easy movements. During this practice, we will warm up the body/mind to transition afterwards into a practice of the Bartenieff Fundamentals. We will explore the Basic Six by approaching them through concepts or lenses that will guide their practice: initiation and sequencing, connectivity, breath support, weight sensing. This workshop is meant to give you feedback that can be useful into your dance practice and/or your particular physical needs. Everyone is welcome!

Sarah prosper

Photo by Lana Joy Gould - Eskasoni First Nation

Reconciliation Movement Workshop with Sarah Prosper  ~ As part of moving into the future as dancers and as people, Sarah Prosper of Mi'kmaki has created a class in which you may discover your inner reconciliation through dance and movement. This workshop will offer you an opportunity to find a deeper meaning in reconciliation and what that means in relation to Mi'kmaq culture, Mi'kmaq ways of knowing, and our connection to the land. You will need paper (journal) and pen, and a blanket or scarf.

A woman in a black bra, pants and heels, with a green cropped sweater lunges low to the ground.

Photo: Danielle Morissey Photography

Emerging Artist In Residence Workshops - Carolin Mateus and Gabrielle Greener's shared summer residency project focuses on providing specialized training for dancers, emphasizing self-love, equality, personal development, liberation, respect, culture, diversity, solidarity, and exploration of new dance styles.

Waacking Heels - In this workshop we will explore the expressive freedom and musicality of waacking in combination with the powerful sensuality of heels dance. The workshop will begin with an in-depth focus on the fundamental technique of each style and finish with a choreography that incorporates these elements. Heels are optional but encouraged!

A woman with light skin and long dark hair smiles at the camera, with one hand overhead.

Emerging Artist In Residence Workshops - Carolin Mateus and Gabrielle Greener's shared summer residency project focuses on providing specialized training for dancers, emphasizing self-love, equality, personal development, liberation, respect, culture, diversity, solidarity, and exploration of new dance styles.

House Dance - This workshop will focus on the exploration of movement for artistic and personal development, as well as the history of House, fundamental steps and variations, feeling and musicality, finishing with a choreographic combination.

Hip Hop - The workshop will cover fundamental techniques, and some of the most popular movements of Hip Hop dance. Carolin will also share an introduction to the history and culture of Hip Hop, from its deep roots beginning in the Bronx in New York towards the end of the 1970s among young Black and Latin Americans.

Freestyle - More info to come.