ENGAGING SENIORS THROUGH DANCE
Julia Aplin has been studying and practicing movement for over 40 years. She danced full time for 15 seasons with Dancemakers, under the Artistic Direction of Serge Bennathan performing around the world. She is an award-winning choreographer and has created dances for theatres, rivers, boxing rings, wading pools, cyberspace and neuroscience labs. She has taught movement through University courses, professional academies, private studios and public schools. She works with a wide range of people from elite performers to beginners, using The Principles of the Mitzvah Technique, Classical Pilates, other techniques from her wide range of movement experience. She continues to explore movement through her artistic collaborations and her teaching and healing work. In 2011, Julia founded her own private practice, Upward Spiral, to gather and share her teachings. www.upwardspiral.me
Carol Anderson has enjoyed a diverse career as a dancer, choreographer, director, teacher and writer. She started her performing career with Canadian pioneer Judy Jarvis’ first company. A founding member of Dancemakers in 1974, she danced, choreographed for, and was active in the direction of the Toronto company until 1989. Mining her parallel interests in dancing and writing, Anderson is the author of a growing body of writing on Canadian dance and other cultural matters. An Associate Professor of Dance at York University until July 2016, she taught both studio and studies courses. A lifelong investigator/educator of forms and styles of movement, Anderson is also a devotee of writing as a mode of exploring personal creativity and expression.
Charmaine Headley is Co-Founding Artistic Director of COBA- Collective of Black Artists- a choreographer, performer and dance educator. Charmaine is a champion of Africanist dance. A graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, she holds an honours diploma in Gerontology/Activation Coordination and has created a movement-based senior’s program for her Masters’ thesis at York University. 2020 has brought varying experiences and, more so than ever, a need to create, for some, unimagined ways of being in new and virtual spaces. Headley was thrilled to choreograph for NAMT’s Broadway on Demand’ virtual presentation of Obeah Opera during the pandemic and to be part of The Collective Body Project and MOonhORsE Dance Theatre’s productions last year. Drawing on the healing aspects of the Arts, she continues to teach and engage, through programs created for the community, for students and seniors with the intention of healing our minds, bodies and souls, one step at a time.
Michelle Silagy maintains a close relationship as a contemporary dance artist between her arts practice and her teaching practice of 31 years. Her choreography has been presented in Amsterdam, The Arctic Circle, New York, throughout Ontario, and Toronto. Silagy is a Master DanceAbility Teacher (Training: Vienna, Mexico City, Uruguay). Silagy's extensive work with youth informs her collaboration within diverse communities. As Young Dancers’ Program Director at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre [STDT], Silagy designs inclusive classes and authors youth based Pedagogy for STDT professional training artists. She has shared dance, with school-based teachers and artists throughout Ontario and Canada and in London, England (Royal Conservatory of Music). Silagy originated WE Dance, adult inclusion classes, with STDT and Canada’s National Ballet School. Silagy and Lynda Hill created Dora Nominated Flying Hearts, a relaxed performance touring in Ontario, Manitoba (2019). She is an Inclusion Facilitator (Virtual/Live) for Jumblies Theatre and for Andrea Nann’s Dreamwalker Dance Company since 2019.
Claudia Moore, performer, Artistic Director of MOonhORsE Dance Theatre (MDT) and Older & Reckless has been a force on the Canadian dance scene since the late 70’s. She performed for two seasons with the National Ballet of Canada, before moving into contemporary dance as a featured performer with the Toronto Dance Theatre and the Desrosiers Dance Theatre. Moore founded MOonhORsE Dance Theatre in 1996 as a home for her dance projects. Through MDT, she continues to perform commissioned works, create community projects and teach movement to seniors. In 2000, Moore established Older & Reckless (O&R)- MDT's internationally acclaimed series for senior dance artists- to connect seasoned dance artists with the public in workshops, community projects and live performances. O&R is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary. Claudia has received the Jacqueline Lemieux award for excellence in dance and was a finalist for the 2017 Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts.
Sara Porter is an innovative contemporary creator and performer. Her feminist and queer-rooted pieces integrate dance with real life situations, humour, poetry, clown, costume and video. Her signature work – Sara does a Solo – about returning to dancing after raising kids – has toured Canada and US since 2016. Her current solo - Getting to know your fruit – investigates her queerness, and the nature of identity and memoir. Sara’s dance writing can be found in books, magazines, and online. She is biographer of Peter Boneham, published in 2010. She has devised and taught courses in dance and cultural theory for universities in Canada and Scotland. She was featured on CBC’s award-winning dance documentary series The Move. More info www.saraporter.ca
Natasha Powell is a Toronto-based dancer, choreographer, producer, and founding artistic director of Holla Jazz. Her vast training has lead to a number of appearances in film, television and on numerous stages across North America. As co-artistic director of Catalyst Dance Company alongside Janet L. Castillo, she co-created a body of eclectic works for clients The Toronto Fringe, Free the Children, Artbound, and the Canadian Special Events Gala. Natasha is the co-producer / choreographer for the dance-theater production Gimme One Riddim. Grant awards supported her New York residency research period to study the roots of jazz dance, lindy hop and their connection to the popular street dances as we know them today. This residency was the birth of a new creative chapter for Natasha leading to the creation of Holla Jazz - an arena where all jazz dances, hip hop, and house intersect to reinvigorate the idea of freedom and unity of the dance styles that bring meaning and hope to our communities.