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.
Location & Class Fees
Halifax Dance, 1505 Barrington Street (unless otherwise noted)
Note: Anyone visiting Halifax Dance must sign the studio's COVID-19 WAIVER FORM.
- Drop in: $10
- Fall Training Membership: $40/month UNLIMITED Tues/Thurs classes
Mocean accepts cash, cheque or e-transfer for class fees. E-transfers can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Workshops | Class Info | Instructors
Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh Photography
Contemporary with Sarah Hopkin (Sept 7 + 14, Oct 5) ~ 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.
Photo by Cooked Photography
Contemporary with Lydia Zimmer (Sept 21 & 28) ~ Lydia will lead a basic improv class, but wants us to stay moving for long periods of time to get our brains and bodies linked again after being dormant for so long. This class is built on improvisational modes that focus on leading with specific body parts. The class is built for professional dance artists, but open to all movers. There will be no set phrases to learn, instead we will have tasks to remember and let evolve!
Photo by Chris Randle
Contemporary with Meredith Kalaman (Oct 12) ~ 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.
Photo by Lana Joy Gould - Eskasoni First Nation
Reconciliation Movement Workshop with Sarah Prosper (Sept 30) ~ 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.
Photo by Kevin MacCormack
Contemporary with Gillian Seaward-Boone (Sept 13, 15, 17 / Nov 2, 9, 16, 23) ~ 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.
Photo credit: Francesca Chudnoff
Contemporary with Alicia Grant (Oct 21 + 28) ~ 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.
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 Worskshop) - 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!
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.