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.

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

 

For all participants wishing to attend class, it is recommended to sign-up in advance on the Mocean Training Sign-in Sheet.

Location & Class Fees

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


Fees:

  • Tuesday and Thursday Drop in: $15 (includes HST), Special Workshop Fees are listed individually. 
  • Monthly Training Membership: $60/month (includes HST) for UNLIMITED Tues/Thurs classes (Save 50%!)
  • If cost is a barrier, Mocean Dance is happy to work with individuals on a sliding scale, or a two-part payment plan for the monthly unlimited. 

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 1HR Ballet with Lauren Runions -

Where Dance and Music Meet with Susanne Chui -

Contemporary Ballet with Lauren Runions -

Moving in Mi’kma’ki with Sarah Prosper -

Improv with Lisa Phinney Langley -

Moving in Mi’kma’ki with Sarah Prosper -

Capoeria with Ross Burns -

Improv with Lisa Phinney Langley -

Capoeria with Ross Burns -

Upcoming Workshops | Class Info | Instructors

Class Descriptions

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!

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.

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

Improvisation with Lisa Phinney Langley - The first class in this series will be a guided improvisation to rekindle (or give time to dig in to) our relationship with our movement instincts and responses.  Themes of exploration include initiations, follow-through, imagery, and tracing space.  Opening our awareness to the room and each other, and the elements of space and time, I will introduce the language of the Viewpoints as we work in to a spontaneous composition.  In the second class, we will continue guided improvisations and delve deeper in to the Viewpoints.

A man stands in front of corner walls with 'West Side Story' in large text

Belgium-based dancer Clinton Stringer will lead a workshop sharing excerpts of choreography by Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker (Rosas) from the 2020 Broadway revival of West Side Story. Note: please wear running shoes for this class.

A man in black clothes steps forward with arms reaching.

Vincent Jonsson will lead a class that focuses on how to move around and through ourselves, how to travel through the space, both in the vertical and horizontal plane, how to work with jumps, runs, turns and slides. Jonsson will explore floorwork and work with principles that can be applied in relation to a partner. The class itself is energetic and deals with tools from both contemporary dancing, flying low, martial arts and other related movement practices.

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.

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.

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

Wandering/Wondering Together: practicing possibilities and moving through with Sally Morgan

These classes explore suggestive prompts for tenderness, assembly, and improvisation. We will gather, organize, sense, and move, our bodies, breath, feelings, and thoughts. We will expand our practice to include functional movement motifs/studies/scores of/for rolling, walking, and falling. You are encouraged to engage at your own pace. Material can be adapted for all levels of movers.

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.

 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 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.

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.

 

Past Class Offerings

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.

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.

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.

Lydia Zimmer

Photo by Cooked Photography

Circuit /Boot Camp with Lydia Zimmer - The class will be set up as a basic circuit/boot camp. We will be at each ‘station’ for one min with a brief rest in between, totalling 8 to 10 stations. After two rounds I will change the circuit from warm up/cardio to strength building and this will also be repeated twice. We will finish up with a deep stretch - no weights or equipment required! 

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!

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 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!

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.

INSTRUCTOR BIOS

Clinton Stringer was born and raised in South Africa.  After studying for an Arts Degree there, he moved to Belgium to attend P.A.R.T.S. where he spent two years.  In 2000, Clinton joined Rosas (Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker).  Over the course of nine years he was involved in many creations and restagings of repertoire pieces including Rain, Drumming, April Me, Raga for the Rainy Season, Mozart Concert Arias and Bitches Brew. In 2011 and 2014, he was involved in the re-staging of Rain at the Opéra de Paris. Freelance dance projects include Dancesmith (2013) with Mark Lorimer and Cynthia Loemij; Volcano (2014) and You Can’t Take it With You (2017) with Liz Kinoshita; and Gerhard Richter (2017) with Mårten Spångberg. Clinton has also taught technique and Rosas masterclasses at P.A.R.T.S., the Opera de Lyon, the Opéra de Paris, the Danish National School of Performing Arts and the University of the Arts (Philadelphia). In 2019, he became Associate Choreographer of the West Side Story revival on Broadway, assisting choreographer, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker during the audition and creation process.

 

Vincent Jonsson is a graduate from the four year Dance and Choreography program at The Danish National School Of Performing Arts. He has so far created two solo works Relatable and Creature 1. He works in the collaboration A cCompany Dancing together with Riikka Lakea and is a part of IN action, a Swedish based dance collective. He has worked as a dancer and performer for Marina Abramović, Liz Kinoshita, amongst others. At the moment he is involved in productions with the company MYKA and Danskollektivet Ronny. Vincent has been teaching and been program responsible for the dance educations at Lunnevads folkhögskola in Sweden. He has been invited as a guest teacher at the dance education at, London Contemporary Dance School, Balettakademien Stockholm and SOZO visions in motion in Germany, amongst others. He has taught company classes for CORPUS at The Royal Danish Theatre and taught professional classes in Copenhagen, Helsinki, London and Berlin.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.
 

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.

 

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.
 

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!

 

Gabrielle Greener  is a Nova Scotian dancer who trains at House of Eights Dance Studio in Halifax. Her favourite styes of dance are Heels, House, and Waacking. She is a psychology student with an interest in the use of dance to support mental health and well-being on both an individual and community level. She is passionate about increasing access to dance opportunities and arts resources for low-income people and under-served communities.

 

Carolin Mateus is a Colombian dancer, choreographer, and Street Dance teacher. Carolin graduated with a bachelor's degree in Basic Education, with emphasis on artistic education. She is also the creator of a research paper titled HIPHOP EQUALITY which serves as pedagogical support, by outlining the values that the Hip Hop culture contributes to society through the history of different styles of street dance. This pedagogical document, evidences and recognizes the value of this culture through experiences of positive transformation in the lives of dancers in their artistic and personal processes.


Leica Hardy (Ballet) - Leica is respected nationally as a master teacher and dance educator. Her enjoyment of dance and movement has been a lifetime activity with over 40 years of teaching experience. In May 2011 she was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from St. Mary’s University Halifax for her contribution to dance and the arts in the region. In 2000 she was also honoured to be included in the Encyclopedia of Canadian Dance. During her teaching career students have gone on to study at such institutions as Canada’s National Ballet School, The School of the Toronto Dance Theatre, École de danse contemporaine de Montréal (EDCMTL), the North Carolina School of the Arts, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Ballet Jörgen Canada, The Bates Dance Festival (Maine), The White Mountain Dance Festival (New York), The Peridance Professional Program (New York), The Stratford Festival, Humber College School of Creative & Performing Arts, The George Brown College School of Performing Arts and the Banff Centre. Former students have enjoyed successful careers as dancers, teachers and choreographers, and with companies such as the Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, the Toronto Dance Theatre, the National Ballet of Canada, Dancemakers (Toronto), Mocean Dance (Halifax), O Vertigo (Montréal) and Parsons Dance (New York). Leica holds her Advanced Teacher’s Certificate with the Society of Russian Ballet and has been an examiner for the Society since 1997. She trained extensively at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, the School of American Ballet, York University, The Banff Centre and with noted Canadian modern dance instructors Linda Rabin, David Earle, and Carol Anderson. She enjoyed 20 years of performing professionally and since 1982 has choreographed over 40 works. Currently she is on the Board of the Halifax chapter of the Performing Arts Lodges Canada Foundation. In December 2019 she celebrates her 29th year as the director/choreographer of The Nutcracker for Symphony Nova Scotia.