We first want to wish everyone a happy Easter weekend! We hope you are all enjoying the long weekend and are getting excited about recitals that are approaching closer and closer. We have sent out an email about summer and spring programming so make sure to check your emails if you are interested!
Today, we would like to introduce Emily, one of our new dance teachers to you all! Emily has been a great addition to our team and we are super excited to share this post.
Q. Tell us a bit about yourself! (ie. dance background, rec therapy, etc.)
A: I am very excited to be part of The Dance Ability Movement! I truly love all things dance. Growing up in Toronto, I took dance classes in hip hop and jazz and danced in various high school and university performances. I then went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from York University, where I learned all about dance, including different dance styles, like modern dance, salsa, and even folk dances from West Africa and the Philippines!
For the past 10 years, I have been dancing for companies that help put on parties and events for people. You can think of me as someone who makes sure the dance floor is filled with people and everyone is having fun!
Along with dance, I am passionate about supporting people with all abilities. After working with people with all abilities at Variety Village in Scarborough, Ontario, I decided to learn how I can further support others. I will receive a Master of Arts in Recreation and Leisure Studies at Brock University this Spring and plan to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) this Summer. I plan to continue to use dance in my work as a recreation therapist.
Q. How did you get involved with The Dance Ability Movement?
A. I became involved with The Dance Ability Movement two years ago. I was doing research for a special school project, called a thesis. My thesis was about the ways that dance can help people with all abilities. As leaders within inclusive dance, I contacted Mallory and Jade Ryan to get some information. Not only were they kind enough to help me with my thesis, but they also offered me a job to teach dance with The Dance Ability Movement!
Q. Tell us a bit about your project/research:
A.For my thesis, I wanted to learn about the experiences of dance for people with all abilities. My thesis followed the experiences of a young dancer with a disability. I asked this person, his family, and friends, questions about how he feels about dance.
Q. What did you learn from your research experience?
A. My thesis showed that dance can help people with all abilities in different ways. The biggest ways that dance can help people are with making friends, building character, and helping people feel good about themselves. Dance can also help people see the goodness in others and help people understand that we are more alike than different!
Q. Why are you passionate about dance for all abilities?
A. Dance has brought me so much joy that I want to spread the joy of dance to everyBODY. I believe that everyone can dance, and everyone should have the right to dance. Even though some dance styles have rules, in the end, dance is a way of expressing ourselves. Dance can help us tell the world how we feel and celebrate our lives; And I think everyone should be given the chance to do exactly that.
Q. What is your favourite part about teaching Dance Ability Movement classes?
A. I love every class with The Dance Ability Movement! I like being able to build relationships with the dancers and share our love of dance and music. I also especially like seeing the creative movement from the dancers during freeze dance. I look forward to sharing many more dance experiences with Dance Ability dancers.
Thank you so much Emily!