Where I'm From
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada (suburb of Toronto)… Canada’s 6th largest city!
My Dance Training
I consider the beginning of my dance training to be the beginning of my physical training, which would have been when I started artistic gymnastics as a toddler. My ambition and competitive spirit quickly fast-tracked me to the “high-performance” stream at a club called “Gymnastics Mississauga” and at the age of 10, I competed at the Canadian National Gymnastics Championships. The following year, (after I realized my jealously of the females in gymnastics who get to perform their floor routines to music) I made an attempt at dancing at the Canadian Dance Company in Oakville, Ontario (the city right next to Mississauga). I then competed in jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, hip hop (the whole smorgasbord) for 4 years until I felt my competitive spirit waning… I wanted to try something new so I began to take drop-in modern classes downtown Toronto. This marked the beginning of a developmentally crucial two years at the Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, when I was a part of CCDT’s professional youth modern dance company in Toronto. We trained in Limon and toured Limon-esque works across Ontario. Then, after graduating high school, I began my four-year journey at Juilliard. That was the very long-winded answer… and the training continues… Special teachers? Too many to name!
My Dance Experience
Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre (Toronto), OIP Dance, Company (Toronto), Helix Dance Project (Toronto), Camille A. Brown & Dancers (New York), Lauren Adams (New York), DanceNorth (Melbourne), Cindy Salgado (New York), ZviDance (New York)
Co-founder and co-artistic director of TOES for Dance - an initiative designed to promote contemporary dance in Toronto by facilitating fusion of contemporary dance aesthetics from across the globe.
Other Work Experience
Newspaper delivery boy (although this was largely a family effort… thanks mom!)
Wig Shop assistant
Wardrobe/costume shop assistant
Method For Treating Body Soreness
Sleep! Hydration! Many layers of clothing to keep warm.
A Cool Place I Visited While Dancing on a Tour
Magnetic Island, off the coast of Queensland, Australia (I was in Townsvile, QLD rehearsing with DanceNorth before touring to Melbourne). Imagine renting a pink mini-car and driving up spiraling pathways, through dense palm-tree forests, to a peak from which you can see turquoise waters, white sand and other tiny islands in panoramic view. Oh, and then you can enjoy lemonade in a juice box while you make friends with a koala.
My Favorite Rehearsal Snack
A smoothie (berries, kale, almond butter, almond milk, OJ and vanilla yogurt). Yum.
Music I Warm Up To
The ambient noise of the theatre or performance space, actively.
Why do you dance?
Loaded question. It’s fun (most of the time). It’s good exercise, and so I sleep better. I enjoy the feeling of wind I create when pushing my body parts through space. I started dancing… so now I keep dancing. Maybe if I started accounting or baking at a young age, I would find great joy in that too by now?! I feel like the master of my own body, when I’m dancing. I get to learn things about myself and about other people, through dancing.
What's the hardest part of being a dancer?
Being a person at the same time. I fear, sometimes, that I get too caught up in ‘dancer world’. I wonder, what else is out there?
Tell me more about TOES…
Kristen (TOES Co-Director) and I feel passionately about promoting Toronto as a vibrant dance destination. There is a huge amount of dancing talent emerging from great training programs in the city. There is also some fabulously poignant work that is being accomplished. TOES is about creating excitement and stimulating public interest for Toronto’s dance community by facilitating exchange between Toronto-based artists and artists who have different cultural influences. This mission, coupled with a massive outreach strategy (workshops and performances for young audiences) is our way of giving back to the community, with the goal of rallying a larger community of dance supporters who see the arts as an integral part of their everyday lives. Since the project’s inception in August 2012, we’ve produced a Teaser Production (Phase One) and gained the support of many who are helping us produce a Touring Production (Phase Two) this Fall 2013. Phase Three (planned for Fall 2015) is a Toronto-based dance festival. More information about TOES can be found on our website: www.toesfordance.ca! A special shout-out to Tiffany and Matt at Inception to Exhibition (www.iteny.org) for their generous support. We are very excited that ITE will be producing a showing of TOES artists in Sept 2013.