Cheryl Belkin-Epstein
Cheryl Belkin-Epstein, an original member of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, trained at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet then danced with Les Feux Follets until her retirement in 1970. A lawyer, she recently returned to dance through the study of dance history and is pursuing her graduate degree through the course work option in order to both broaden and deepen her knowledge.
Lesley Bunbury-Watson
Lesley Bunbury-Watson is a graduate from Queens University in Kingston, where she completed two degrees. Her interests lie in dance theatre, community animation, and specifically how dance can benefit Canadian youth.
Karen Cann
Karen Cann holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and a graduate degree in School Psychology. She has studied ballet, jazz, ballroom and tap dancing and has performed as an International Folk Dancer. Her research interests include dance and cognition, using folk dance to remediate learning skill deficits in children with learning disabilities, and the dancer's experience of Balkan folk dance.
Catherine Carpenko
Catherine Carpenko, dancer, choreographer, and teacher/coach, is a perpetual student of the dance. A mother of three, Vice-Chair of Dance Ontario and MA student at York University, Catherine works as a coach/consultant and offers a rural artist retreat centre north of Toronto. Inquiries welcome. She is fundamentally committed to dancing lightly on the Earth. She gardens.
Nancy Cardwell
Nancy Cardwell is a ballet dancer turned flamenco artist who performs, choreographs and teaches for the Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company. She is arts administrator for the EESDC and is currently pursuing her MA in Dance at York University focusing on culture and gender as they relate to the art of flamenco.
Susan Cash
Susan Cash is a York Department of Dance faculty member who teaches composition, repertoire, modern technique and improvisation and directs the York Dance Ensemble. An alumna of the professional program of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre as well as York, she is a Certified Movement Analyst and has taught in Canada’s first Laban certification program. Her research focuses on choreography, space and place.
Emily Cheung
Emily Cheung is an educator, performer, and choreographer who received a BFA and BEd from York University. Most recently, she put together “Spring Lantern II” to two sold out shows in Toronto debuting three new choreographies including a first Indo-Sino collaboration with Hari Krishnan. As Associate Artistic Director for The Little Pear Garden Collective, Emily hopes to promote and introduce Chinese dances in Toronto. Her current area of research includes traditional Chinese and Indian dance.
Cheryl Corbett
Cheryl Corbett comes from Thunder Bay, ON. She received her BFA with Honours from York University (Dance Department), has received her National Ballet School TTP Diploma with Distinction and holds an Associate within the Imperial Society of Dancing Cecchetti Faculty. She is currently enrolled in her first year of study in the Master’s Program in Dance.
Gary David De Matas
Gary David De Matas, the current Artistic Director of the Astor Johnson Repertory Dance Theatre of Trinidad and Tobago, has been involved in his country’s dance scene for the past twenty-five years as a performer, teacher, and choreographer. Gary has toured internationally, showcased his work locally in Trinidad and Tobago and on completion of graduate studies at York University he plans to take The Astor Johnson Repertory Dance Theatre to new levels of excellence.
Emma Doran
Emma Doran has a BA Honours in dance performance from the School of Contemporary Dancers and the University of Winnipeg. Currently, she is conducting research on Feminist Pedagogy in the classroom and how this is communicated from teacher to student.
Shannon Elliott
Shannon Elliott obtained her BS in Dance Management from Oklahoma City University and was a company member of River North Chicago Dance Company (Chicago, IL) for four years. Other performance experiences include two seasons at the Music Theatre of Wichita (Wichita, KS), two original works with nandance (collaboration with Joffrey Ballet and Hubbard Street dancers), and she served as Office Manager for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.
Patricia Fraser
Patricia Fraser (BA Honours, Dance, York University, 1975), Artistic Director of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre since 1993, is a senior dance artist, teacher, and arts advisor. Fraser began her career with the renowned contemporary company Dancemakers, has taught and performed extensively across Canada, as well as in Europe and the United States, and is a recipient of many grants and awards, including two senior arts awards from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Lauren Hanzel
Lauren Hanzel's love of dance, especially the history and evolution of ballet, has brought her from California to York's Master’s Program in Dance. She received her BA in Theatre from California State University, East Bay and has danced with the Oakland Ballet Academy and Oakland Ballet.
Charmaine Headley
Charmaine Headley, a Trini-Bajan by birth and culture, continues to discover life through dance. As co-founder of COBA, Collective of Black Artists, she shares the holistic views of dance, imparts life-skills and nurtures through her teachings, choreographies, and performances. Charmaine received an honours diploma in Gerontology, and is in her final year of Graduate studies at York University focused on developing and implementing a program for seniors in dance.
Maria Christina James
Maria Christina James is a Theatre Artist originally from Vancouver, British Columbia holding a BFA degree in Theatre from Simon Fraser University. After three years living and working in Japan, Maria Christina has come to the York Dance Department to investigate the cultural, physiological and psychological relationship between the Japanese body and the foreign body through modern Japanese Butoh dance and the martial art of Aikido.
Paromita Kar
Paromita Kar has an undergraduate degree in history and theatre from Queen’s University. She practices the Indian classical dance of Odissi as well as movement based physical theatre.
Fethi Karakecili
Fethi Karakecili completed his undergraduate degrees through the Dance and Music Conservatory at the University of Gaziantep, Turkey; his MA is from the Dance Department of the Technical University of Istanbul. His focus is on Middle Eastern and Eastern European dances; he has taught at universities in Turkey and participated in many international World Dance festivals and competitions.
Linda J. Leowinata
Linda J. Leowinata is a dancer, choreographer and dance educator known for her lyrical musicality and her motto of “dancing with a heart.” Using her strong ballet foundation, Linda has choreographed several major ballets and experimental pieces in collaboration with traditional and modern musicians and dancers from China, Japan, Singapore, USA and her native Indonesia.
Laurel MacNeil
Laurel MacNeil received a BSc in Kinesiology and a BA in Spanish from the University of Saskatchewan prior to coming to York. She has spent the past 10 years studying, teaching and researching different aspects of dance. She is currently looking at the prevalence of overtraining syndrome in the dance community.
Blake Martin
Blake Martin massages, dances, sings, cooks, composes, teaches and studies. He is at York, investigating where his leg is when he is not looking.
Junia Mason
Junia Mason is an MA candidate in the Graduate Program in Dance. She is a dancer/performance artist/writer/educator, planting her creative and professional seeds in the fertile grounds of knowledge, wisdom and compassion.
Ida Meftahi
Ida Meftahi is a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher and researcher. Born in Iran, Ida started her dance training at the age of 12 and pursued advanced dance education under the supervision of Farzaneh Kaboli, renowned Iranian dancer and choreographer. After arrival to Canada in 2000, Ida resumed her artistic career by performing, choreographing, holding workshops, and training students. For her MA in dance at York University, she is conducting historical research on dance in Iran.
Samantha Mehra
Samantha Mehra holds a BFA in contemporary dance from Simon Fraser University, where she danced with the Off-Center Dance Company, performing new works by Canadian greats Paul-Andre Fortier, Jennifer Mascall, Helene Blackburn, and Emily Molnar. An avid performer, writer, musician, and choreographer, Montreal-born Samantha is interested in Canadian Dance Criticism and its potential role in audience building for Canadian contemporary dance.
Marcio Mendes
Marcio Mendes is from Brazil and has been practising capoeira for twenty years. He has been an instructor at the University of Toronto and the Y.M.C.A. for the past six years.
Viv Moore
Viv Moore has been dancing, choreographing and acting for many years, a member of Theatre Rusticle (actor) and Theatre Direct (movement). She is currently on faculty at Humber College.
Melissa Noventa
Melissa Noventa is an honours graduate from the York University Department of Dance with a minor in English Literature which focused in Post Colonial studies. Culminating her graduation last year with an independent study of Afro-Cuban dance and culture, Melissa, now, a first year student in York's MA Program, hopes to take her exploration of Afro-Cubanismo to a whole new level.
Jonathan Osborn
Jonathan Osborn is a Toronto based dancer and choreographer who has worked for artists such as Bill James and DanceTheatre David Earle. He has been the recipient of a Canada Council Professional Development award for study at the Cunningham school and a scholarship to Jacob's Pillow. Jonathan graduated from the School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s Professional Program and holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of British Columbia.
Elena Quah
Elena Quah is a dancer-choreographer specializing in traditional Chinese dance forms. Quah is presently exploring contemporary personal expression through traditional Chinese vocabulary.
Andrea Roberts
Andrea Roberts is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and her formative experience spans several movement disciplines. In recent years, she has been increasingly interested in discovering her artistic voice through rehearsal direction, improvisation and theatre training. Roberts is also a respected arts administrator. Here at York she is researching performance art and dance-theatre in English Canada in the eighties and nineties, specifically as they relate to the career of late choreographer Murray Darroch.
Robyn Ryman
Robyn Ryman trained at the Australian Ballet School and the Benesh Institute of Choreology in London, England. She has worked with companies including Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, the Bayerische Staatsoper Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada; choreographers such as David Earle and Brian Macdonald; and institutes including the Banff School of Fine Arts, the National Ballet School, and the Ontario Science Centre. Her areas of dance research interest are preservation, computerization of notation, animation, and education.
Gillian Saunders
Gillian Saunders is a graduate of the Royal Ballet School and was a member of The National Ballet of Canada. She then went on to perform in several musicals across Canada and the U.S and is currently the Head of Dance in the Music-Theatre Performance program at Sheridan College.
Sheri Talosi
Sheri Talosi has been joyfully involved in the Canadian dance world for over twenty years, sharing her passion all over Toronto and the Niagara region as both a dancer and a teacher of dance, Pilates and aerobics. In 2004, she graduated with a BFA Honours in Dance from York University and is currently in her first year of MA studies, where she plans to explore her interest in Canadian dance history.
Daniela Tata
Daniela Tata is a graduate from York University with an undergraduate degree in English and a degree from York’s Faculty of Education. She is currently teaching full time, and is interested in all aspects of Dance Education.
Troy Emery Twigg
Troy Emery Twigg is from the Kainai Tribe of the Blackfoot Confederacy in Southern Alberta, Canada. Troy graduated from the University of Lethbridge in 2003 with a BFA in Theatre and Dramatic Arts. His research investigates the metamorphosis of traditional Blackfoot songs and dances and how that transcends into contemporary visual and performing arts.
Xiao Han Yan
Xiao Han Yan graduated with a BA from China¡¦s most prestigious university for professional dancers, Beijing Dance Academy, and now is pursuing her MA at York University. She is also a dancer in the Toronto-based company Ballet Espressivo.
Sashar Zarif
Sashar Zarif, BPA and BA, is a Multi-Disciplinary Artist/Educator/Researcher who teaches World Dance at York University. Founder-Artistic Director of Dancers for Peace and SasharZarifDanceTheatre, Sashar teaches and performs worldwide and has worked with such internationally acclaimed artists as Alim Qasimov and Nanjid Baatar. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the TIDF Paula Citron Award. He has been conducting research in Central Asia and the Middle East for over a decade.