Skip to main content
Graduate Program in Dance - MFA

Student Profiles > MFA Graduate Students in Second Year of Research

| First year MFAs | Second year MFAs |


Valerie Calam Valerie Calam    

Originally from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Valerie Calam began dancing at age 7.  She moved to Toronto at age 18 to attend the School of Toronto Dance Theatre's Professional Training Program where she was first introduced to modern dance, falling in love with the Graham Technique.   After graduation, she had the privilege of working with Dancetheatre David Earle and Danny Grossman Dance Company.  Under the Artistic Direction of Christopher House, Valerie was a member of Toronto Dance Theatre from 1999-2009 where she also worked with Peter Chin, Sasha Ivonochko, Sharon Moore, Stephanie Skura and others.  Recently, Valerie has performed with Les Production Figlio, Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, ProArteDanza and The Dietrich Group.  Valerie is the 2011 winner of the KM Hunter Award for Dance. Valerie has been presenting choreography in Toronto since 1997 and recently formed Company Vice Versa to umbrella her work in choreography, sound design and dance video.   Valerie has been nominated for four Mavor Moore Dora Awards including Outstanding New Choreography in 2007. She presented her first full-evening work “Children of the Triangle” in January 2012 through a partnership with CreatiVenture Collective.  She guest teaches and choreographs at Ryerson University as part of Ryerson Dances 2009 and 2011. 


Marie France Forcier Marie France Forcier    

Marie France Forcier is the artistic director of Forcier Stage Works. She was first introduced to dance in her native Montréal, where she gained DEC degrees in Sociology and Dance as a bursary recipient. Forcier later moved to Toronto to attend the professional training program of The School of TDT, from which she graduated in 2005. Her various contemporary choreographic works were since presented in venues and residencies across Canada as well as in the USA, France, India and China. Under Forcier Stage Works, she created and produced Nucleus (2007), Passageways to Diluted Happiness (2008) and Facts of Influence (2010), all DanceWorks CoWorks Series events. Lab Rats, the company’s 4th major production is scheduled to open in Toronto in January 2013. As a performer and rehearsal director, Forcier has worked for several companies and independent choreographers in varied disciplines including contemporary dance, film, family theatricals and aerial circus. She is a seasoned touring artist with now seven seasons of international performing under her belt. Forcier is a member of CADA, Dance Ontario and the DTRC.

Patrizia Gianforcaro Patrizia Gianforcaro

Patrizia Gianforcaro is a graduate of Ryerson's Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program under the direction of Nadia Potts. Through her dance career she has had the privilege of touring Europe, South America and the United States. Patrizia has performed the works of Mia Michaels, Travis Wall, Marie Jose Chartier, Roberto Campanella, Malgorzata Nowacka, Courtnae Bowman Newton Moreas and Debra Brown to name a few. She has worked for companies such as Cirque Du Soleil, The Chimera Project, The Dance Migration, Cadence Ballet, Manzo Entertainment,, and The Newton Moreas Dance Theatre. Her film credits include, “Take the Lead” featuring Antonio Banderas, Bravo Fact Presents: “Baba” by ELD Films and Cirque's " Delirium" show Live from the O2 in London England.  Ms. Gianforcaro has been teaching and choreographing since the age of 15. Currently, she stays involved in many dance projects in Toronto and acts as guest choreographer at many arts High Schools and private dance studio’s. She is also, a Co-Owner and Artistic Director of Lady Luck Productions, specializing in creating live performance shows for special events, dinner theatres and more. Representing the highest caliber of talents in Toronto, these Ladies make any event ideas come to life, literally!

Sharon Harvey Sharon Harvey

As a Performer, Educator and Advocate of Injury free Dance Conditioning. Sharon Harvey has been following her bliss for most of her life, while working within the Dance community. As a Workshop Facilitator for teacher, dancers and movers of all walk of life. She promotes the importance of healthy dance conditioning and Afro-Modern Dance. The Key to the vitality of what she does is her radiant energy, her passion for the work and her unique approach to the creative process.
Sharon the dancer has performed in various works and worked with talented Choreographers, that has groomed her independence, as an Artist that uncovers stories untold, strengthen the Athleticisms and Artistry of dance forms and encourage the Empowerment and Presence of the female voice. From Badu Dance Theatre ‘Marie Joseph Angelique’, Canboulay Dance Theatre ‘Beryl ‘O’Beryl’, Adventures of a Black girl in search of God (under the choreographic direction of Vivine Scarlet), Holly Small ‘Souls’, Ballet Creole ‘Contemporary Voices’ and full circle to the present with company Azaguno ‘Flight’ under the choreographic direction of Dr. Zelma Badu-Younge. Sharon looks forward to paying it forward.

Graduate of York University’s BFA dance program Sharon is coming back to pursuing her Graduate studies fall of 2012. She will be combining her two passions Dance Choreography and Costume Design.

Ruth LevinRuth Levin

Ruth Levin’s central passion is the study of the human experience.  A graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, she has had the great pleasure and challenge of exploring this passion in the dance studio. Deepening this study for the past six years with a dedicated spiritual practice, the studio and stage serve as venues for bringing this wisdom into a discipline and into the world.  Her work as a performer and movement teacher serve to merge awareness of the body and the transformative power of the imagination as tools for celebrating the human heart and affecting positive change. She has had the tremendous privilege of working with world class teachers in both fields of study, including in the field of dance, Peggy Baker, Margie Gillis, Danny Grossman, James Kudelka, as well as the principle faculty at the School of TDT. Her guides in the direct study of mind are Achariya Doug Duncan and the eclectic and enlivened people that make up the Clear Sky Sangha.



Victoria Mata Victoria Mata

Victoria Mata is a mixed bag of indigenous, african and european descendant Venezuelan-Canadian raised in the Andes of Venezuela, Northern California, Central France, New York and Toronto. A choreographer, dancer, muralist, urban planner and activist, Victoria has developed and directed over a dozen choreographies, that have been performed in New York, San Francisco, Caracas, El Salvador and Toronto.  A Toronto-Oakland-based artist, “Discendant” is a product and fabrication of her passion for creative collaborations and ancestral research through artistic mediums.  Victoria is the co-founder of MataDanZe, a Toronto-based women's dance and theater collective with a mission to “empower womyn through movement" and has had the privilege of performing with Dora Nominated and Award winning  Aluna Theather Company for the last three years.  Victoria is primarily a self-taught dancer with complementary training at the Indigenous Dance Residency program at the prestigious Banff Arts Centre in Alberta, Toronto Dance Theater's Summer Intensive and  Ballet Creole Summer Training.  As an arts facilitator, muralist and urban planner, she utilizes the arts as a vehicle to inform policy and urban planning decision makers at the city planning level through murals and Identity Exploration projects.

Michelle McClellandMichelle McClelland

Michelle McClelland has studied dance for 15+ years, primarily at the Studio of Dance & Performing Arts in Whitby.  She completed her RAD Intermediate Ballet Vocational Exam in 2006 and her ISTD Advanced 1 Modern in 2007 with Distinction.  It was at the Studio that Michelle discovered her love for teaching and choreography.  After high school, Michelle attended the Queen’s University International Study Center in England to continue her academic studies. In 2011, she achieved her BAH from Queen’s in Film & Media and English Literature with Distinction.  Michelle used her time in the Queen's film program to explore dance through the cinematic lens. For her 4th year thesis, she completed a 25-minute documentary on the dedication required to become a professional dancer. While completing her BAH, Michelle took various dance classes in both Kingston and Toronto to continue her training and to explore new choreographic techniques. Along with her studies at York, Michelle is currently training for her Associate in ISTD Modern Theatre at Traditions Academy of Dance, where she is a substitute teacher. Michelle is overjoyed to be a part of the York MFA Dance program and cannot wait to take her work to the next level! 

John OttmannJohn Ottmann

John Ottmann’s career as a dancer, choreographer, teacher, rehearsal director and artistic director has spanned 27 years. He has garnered a reputation as a highly versatile, powerful dance artist, choreographer and inspiring mentor known for pushing and crossing the boundaries of ballet and contemporary dance. As a performer Ottmann danced with several companies including  the National Ballet of Canada, Ballet BCMascall Dance, Fortier Danse Créations, Holy Body Tattoo and co-founded the collective, Quorum.  As the Artistic Director of the Quinte Ballet School of Canada he implemented his progressive approach to teaching and mentoring. Ottmann has also taught and/or rehearsal directed for organizations including:  Cirque du Soleil (“ZAIA”), Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, BJM Danse, La La La Human Steps, Coleman Lemieux Company, Compangnie Marie Chouinard, O Vertigo Danse, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Toronto Dance Theater, Ballet BC, Dutch National Ballet, Transformation Danse, Vancouver Ballet Society, Anna Wyman School of Dance Arts, Main Dance Bridging Program, Simon Fraser University, LADMMI. Ottmann has created over 20 choreographies. His work has been shown at The Canada Dance Festival, the Vancouver International Dance Festival, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Danse Cité –Traces Interprétes, The Fringe Festival Montreal, Dancing on the Edge Festival, and the National Ballet of Canada choreographic workshop. Newly transplanted to Toronto, Ottmann is a course director at York University and rehearsal director for Coleman Lemieux Company.

| First Year MFAs | Second Year MFAs |