Board of Directors: Who's Who at Dance Ontario
The AGM of the Corporation was held on Friday Nov 23, 2012
The Annual Report with financial statements in downloadable form is available below.
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Dance Ontario Board members are active across their sector.
is fluently bilingual and has been involved in theatre and dance across North America and Europe as a teacher, performer and writer since 1975. He has taught and performed across North America and Europe and was a founding member of EDAM, Vancouver's innovative dance and music collective. Currently, he teaches in the Theatre Department at the University of Ottawa, trains dancers and actors in improvisation for performance in Ottawa and Athens, Greece and teaches public classes in Improvisation at Ottawa's Dance Network. Peter also works extensively in the schools, teaching dance and movement. He has served on the board of the Council for the Arts in Ottawa, and was a member of the Arts Advisory Committee to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.
holds a B.F.A. degree from York University with special honours in dance. Following graduation she continued her dance training at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre as well as exploring other modern and jazz styles in Toronto and New York City. She has served in administrative capacities for the Danny Grossman Dance Company, the Young Audience Division for R.H. Entertainments, Dance Umbrella of Ontario, Theatre Direct and CADA-ON, as well as Interim Grants Officer for the Toronto Arts Council. She received a Harold Award in 2000, worked with Moving Pictures Festival, and currently works with the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Co. and Arabesque.
has been involved in the dance and arts community in Canada and the U.S. as teacher, choreographer, performer (in theatre, film and TV), producer (musical theatre and dance) and administrator for over 30 years. Starting as dancer/soloist with the Scarborough Ballet Company in her teens she has since then performed widely and initiated many successful arts initiatives including Studio 71, ( rural dance and theatre school), establishment of Theatre Orangeville, Valleyview and Wildrose Farm (organic) Artist Retreats, 'Children's Art Gallery' for the Headwaters Art Tour, 'Artist's in Schools Dance' programme for Dufferin Arts Council, numerous children's arts focused summer camps. She has choreographed for musical theatre, festivals and special events in Canada and the U.S. She holds a BFA in Dance (therapy) and M.A.'s in Psych./Ed and one focused on Creativity and Wellness. Catherine has a wealth of experience both in the non-profit and corporate sector being an innovator and invaluable resource in new initiatives for healthy organizations and communities. Currently she is the director of the highly successful Wild Rose Farm Artist Retreat, which has been hosting artists from Canada and around the globe for over 5 years. It's unique mandate to support self- directed creativity for individuals and groups with a commitment to environmental stewardship. Catherine works as a psychotherapist in private practice with offices both in Toronto and Orangeville.
has been teaching Dance at L. B. Pearson School for the Arts, London, Ontario for the past 20 years. She is a graduate of York University's Dance Program (1979). Before moving to London, Debra taught ballet and Creative Dance at the Thornhill School of Ballet for four years. She has been writing Dance curriculum for the Thames Valley District School Board for 15 years and regularly presents workshops for teachers on how to teach Dance in the school setting. Outside of her role as Dance Educator, Debra is the Producer and Artistic Director of the show "Art Harvest". "Art Harvest" is an annual showcase of Dance Education programs in Southwestern Ontario, produced every fall in London as a benefit for the Jason Edmonds Emerging Artist Fund. As a member of the National Dance Educator's Organization Debra travels throughout the United States and Canada participating in conferences, workshops and Master Classes to continuously acquire new skills and to remain current in the field of Dance. In November of 2005 she won an Award of Excellence from the Jewish Community Centers Association of North America for the innovative and creative programming of the presentation Resilience in the Face of Trouble and Despair. Debra is a co-founder of The London Alliance of Dance Educators, an organization whose mission is to bring together studio dancers and school dance program dancers for Master Classes and performances. She is co-owner of Action Pak, a Resource for Dance Educators.
Jade Jager Clark
is the Owner and Artistic Director of Jade's Hip Hop Academy (JHHA). The only all Hip Hop and street dance studio in Toronto, the GTA and one of the few of its kind in Canada. Established in Brampton in 2006 the school's impressive reputation build from outstanding competition results and numerous electrifying performances in the Brampton community and around the province attracts students from as far as Guelph, Barrie, Oakville, Orangeville, Caledon, Milton, Malton, Toronto, Vaughan, Mississauga, Ajax, Hamilton, Woodbridge, Scarborough, Pickering and Georgetown, to train in JHHA's highly acclaimed programs. Jade has successfully managed to raise the profile of authentic hip hop dance and created a successful Performance Company and student teacher program that continues to build, develop and drive the next generation of creative thinkers, performers and workers. Jade is the secretary on the executive board of Directors on Dance Ontario and Chair of the Dance Ontario Youth Board. She is also the founder of Street Dance Canada Inc, organizer of the Canadian Street Dance Championships bringing Canadian street dancers to compete at the World street Dance Championships in England. Jade has received numerous recognitions for her innovative programs and business model, entrepreneurship and accomplishments including the 2010 Zonta Young Women's Achievement, 2011 BBPA Harry Jerome Award Young Entrepreneur Award, a nominee for the 2011 Premier's Awards, 2012 Brampton Outstanding Business Achievement Award and was named 2012 Brampton Arts Person of the Year.
a Licentiate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (Cecchetti Faculty Branch) began his dance training in Edmonton at the age of nineteen with Earla Grey at the Edmonton School of Ballet. Two years later he attended Jacobs Pillow on full scholarship where he studied with Ted Shawn, Myra Kinch, Isa Partch, Matteo, Carola Goya, Alfredo Corvino, and Margaret Craske. Following the advice of Margaret Craske, the next year and a half was spent in New York City where he attended the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School studying with Ballet Mistress Margaret Craske, Anthony Tudor and Alfredo Corvino. While residing in New York he also studied Modern Dance at the 92nd Street 'Y' with Betty Jones and Jose Limon, and performing with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Returning to Canada to obtain his certification, continuing his training with Betty Oliphant and later the National Ballet School, Jacque began his teaching career in Toronto, September of 1958 founder of the Leaside School of Dance, and in October of 1958 for the YM&YWHA. In 1974 after building the YM & YWHA Community School of Dance from a small class of eight students, to one of the finest and largest in Canada, he was appointed director of the new Koffler Centre School of Dance in 1974, a position he held until 2002. Jacque has served as President of the Canadian Dance Teachers Association (Ontario Branch), Chairman of Dance Ontario, founding advisor to the Ontario Arts Council, board member of the Original North York Arts Council and the Mayor's advisory committee on Arts Policy. In 1968 He initiated a children's summer arts programs for the City of Burlington, founded the Childrens Theatre School of Ballet in Burlington, the Koffler Centre School of Dance in North York, the Etobicoke School of Dance to financially assist, and in co-operation with the Danny Grossman Dance Co. Jacque's most recent accomplishment is the establishment of 'the Dance Place' a registered co-operative not for profit school of dance providing education and opportunity for new an developing talent to experience the beauty and joy of the art of dance, in a friendly and caring enviroment to grow and challenge their potential with the guidance of an outstanding faculty.
James Kendal began his formal dance training at the age of 13 with the Edmonton School of Ballet. He furthered his training with the Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada's National Ballet School and the School of Alberta Ballet over the next ten years. For the last six years James has continued to dance, teach and travel as an independent artist in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Poland, Cuba and the United Kingdom. Having a background of classical training in music, and knowledge of graphic design, construction and stagecraft has also allowed James to further work on the production and stage management side of the dance performance world over the past year.
is a Mohawk artist from Six Nations. She is the Founder of both, The Centre for Aboriginal Media and the internationally acclaimed imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival. She has spent most of the last decade working in the arts in the not-for-profit sector as the previous Executive Director at the Association for Native Development in the Performing and Visual Arts and in the governmental sector as an arts officer at the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. She currently serves on the Cultural Human Resources Council, Dance Ontario, Kakawekwewin (Aboriginal advisory committee to the Canada Council for the Arts), Aboriginal Education Council at OCAD and the National Aboriginal Network for Arts Administration and has served on a variety of volunteer boards and arts service organizations, including Toronto Arts Council, Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Cultural Careers Council of Ontario and YYZ.
BaKari E. Lindsay
Born Eddison B. Lindsay on the sunny isle of Trinidad, West Indies, BaKari has been perfecting his crafts for the past 24 years. He is a dancer, choreographer, singer, musician, costume designer/ maker and researcher. Trained at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre on scholarship and with various teachers from the Caribbean and the African Continent. Bakari holds a craftsman diploma in Style and Design and Masters Degree in Dance Ethnology, from York University, Canada. He researched and developed "A-Feeree - The Physical Language," an innovative training method for dance practitioners working in an Africanist movement aesthetic.
Co-founder of COBA Collective Of Black Artists, BaKari danced for the Danny Grossman Dance Company (Canada), Jubilation Dance Co (USA), Toronto Dance Theatre (Canada), Artcho Danse Repertoire (Haiti) and several independent choreographers in Canada. He was an original cast member of Canada's Production of Disney's The Lion King.
BaKari has choreographed for Les Enfants Dance Company, Entre Duex, The National Dance Company of Trinidad and Tobago, while also creating a body of work on COBA Collective Of Black Artists. He is on the faculty of Ryerson University and has taught at York University, Humber College, Lester B. Pearson School for the Performing Arts, and several dance schools, and institutions and community groups. Bakari's artistic vision is to create a harmonious balance between artistic practice and traditional cultural values.
Kaylynne (Kate) Lowe
is a retired Halton District School Board teacher having taught Dance and Drama to intermediate students for the last fifteen years of her career. Throughout said career, Kate wrote Dance and Drama programmes and curriculum and ran workshops for her colleagues to help teach these subjects. She directed and choreographed numerous school musicals (several of which were student written) and coached school dance teams. Kate was part of the planning team which developed HDSB's "Creating A Scene" held annually at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga. She was the creator/founder of HDSB's annual dance festival "Florescence" celebrating International Dance day receiving an Award of Merit for her work.
In retirement. Kate continues to nurture her passion for dance. She is a dancer with Burlington Footnotes (a senior's performance troupe), also designing and constructing costumes. Kate volunteers in several schools helping with their Dance and Drama programmes, choreographing musicals and developing original dance and drama pieces for festivals. Recently Kate began working with autistic children in an educational setting using the new Ontario Arts curriculum.
Tina is one of Toronto's most popular dance experts with a specialty in Ballet/Jazz & Latin dance. Tina is the co-founder and Artistic Director of City Dance Corps, one of Toronto's leading dance schools going into its ninth year of business. She has been featured in numerous television shows and magazines including, Much Music, Fashion Magazine, Maclean's, National Post, CBC's "Living in Toronto", Rogers "Toronto Living", Elle Magazine, and CH TV to name a few. She has been a dance judge for international level Latin dance competitions and American reality TV shows such as Instant Beauty Pageant.
As a dance advocate, Tina produces and sponsors an annual charity showcase, "Talent Defined" which features Toronto's up and coming dance companies and choreographers. Tina also gained recognition for training lead actor Jake Simons for his role as the original "Johnny Castle" in North America's fastest selling premier stage production of Dirty Dancing. As a choreographer, her most recent accomplishments include choreographing Nelly Furtado's 'Mi Plan' concert tour for 2010/2011.
Ofilio Sinbadinho Portillo
is a choreographer, actor, dancer, designer, photographer, educator, artistic director, and most of all a constant work in progress. His curiosity brought him to learn an array of dance styles. He is responsible for bringing shine on stage to street styles such as Hip Hop and House Dancing. His drive makes him an exceptional professional artist and his realness a unique admiring person.
His talent led him into landing roles in feature films "Resident Evil: Retribution", "Turn The Beat Around" and "You Got Served 2: Beat The World" as well as working in the movie "Camp Rock 2" featuring the Jonas Brothers. He can be seen in commercials for Virgin Mobile and WarChild foundation. His hard work has brought him to cities like Berlin, Rio, Paris, Chicago, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. He has worked with artists such as: Nelly Furtado, Kreesha Turner, Feist, Jully Black, Thunderheist, Danny Fernandes and European sensation Cascada. He is the founder of the highly praised Gadfly Dance Company. His work has been presented during festivals like: Manifesto, Ted Talks Toronto, Luminato, Break Beats and Culture, Toronto Fringe, International Dance Day, and Nuit Blanche. He worked as assistant choreographer in the hit TV show "So You Think You Can Dance Canada". Ofilio has persevered to demonstrate his art on many aspects, from touring, to movies, TV shows, music videos, live stage performances, international dance battles, and theatrical productions. Born in El Salvador, raised in Montreal, trained in New York, and now living in Toronto, Ofilio "Sinbadinho" Portillo has already achieved many of his dreams. His successes and setbacks make him thankful for the experiences and people he has encountered. Therefore, he looks forward to continue to share his talent, energy and mindset to inspire others to dream, believe and achieve.
Yasmina Ramzy is a visionary and a choreographer committed to the expression of Middle Eastern dance as high art. The first half of her 30 year career was spent performing throughout the Middle East, often for royalty and heads of state. Yasmina then founded the critically acclaimed Arabesque Dance Company and Orchestra, Arabesque Academy and the International Bellydance Conference of Canada (IBCC). She received her key training in early 1980s from leading masters in Egypt and Syria including Aida Nour of the Reda Troupe and Mohammed Khalil, director of the National Folklore Troupe of Egypt. Her unique and highly creative choreographies have won numerous awards and commissioned by many dance ensembles internationally including the Bellydance Superstars. Today, she regularly performs, teaches and lectures in over 60 cities on 5 continents. Yasmina has produced 7 instructional and 9 performance DVDs as well as 8 CDs for Arabesque Orchestra. The "Ask Yasmina" column which is published in the world's largest Bellydance magazine is translated into several languages. As a mentor to many, she is well known for revealing the authentic, organic structure of Mid East dance and its relationship to Arab music. She is a member of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists and has served on the Board of Directors for Dance Ontario since 1996.
is an independent choreographer and dance educator, specializing in the integration of computer technology with contemporary dance. She has presented her choreography across Canada and was the recipient of the 2004 Paula Citron Award. Thompson began her dance career in Alberta, trained in Canada and the United States with many notable artists, and went on to graduate with her MA and Honours BFA in Dance from York University. She currently teaches at York University and is also a co-host on the Toronto radio show Evi-Dance.
is Co-Artistic Director of Ritmo Flamenco. With Ritmo Flamenco, she has had the privilege to perform in festivals in Canada, the US, Malta and Mexico - in venues such as Massey Hall, Roy Thompson Hall, the Fleck Dance Theater, among others. A recipient of the Chalmers Professional Development award, Anjelica frequently travels to Spain to study in Jerez de la Frontera & Madrid with Mercedes Ruiz, Belen Maya, Marco Flores and La Truco (among others), who are innovators of the art form. Anjelica is also enjoying a professional Bellydance career, opening for prominent Egyptian artists, Royalty, and Rush, among others.
Anjelica is a recipient of the Paula Citron "Fresh Blood" Award. Paula Citron of the Globe and Mail has stated, "She is a wild child of dance whose fusion performances radiate a passion that belies her age.
" As well as "In performance, Scannura is passionate and compelling. She rivets the eye with her consummate charisma, and as a result, seems to dance rings around her fellows.
Anjelica has taught workshops in Flamenco and Bellydance at McMaster University, York University, St. Elizabeth Highschool, Cawthra Secondary School, the Quinte Ballet School of Canada, Pittsburgh Dance Centre and CAMH, among others.
Originally from Azerbaijan, Sashar Zarif
is an acclaimed dancer, choreographer and teacher who has studied many dance forms. Artistic Director of Sashar Zarif Dance Company, he was a member of the Azerbaijan State Joshgoon Dance Ensemble, and received the title "Artist for People of Azerbaijan". A Chalmers Award recipient, he is the founder of Dancers For Peace and recipient (with Holly Small) of the Paula Citron Award for the Best New Choreography at fFIDA for his presentation of a work commissions by Dance Ontario.
Retiring Board Members
George Randolph & Dave Wilson
Board and staff extend their thanks and appreciation for the input from both these retiring members.