East Side Dance Festival 2021 – It’s a little bit different this year! Click on the link below to see what we got up to this past weekend.

Each and every donation counts. Help East Side Dance Festival in their quest to continue providing excellent and affordable dance education and performance opportunities to the students in our Calgary Dance community. Thank you for your continued support of our students and their journey through the art of dance. Follow the link below to donate.
Thank you to our incredible ESDF 2021 workshops and special guest speakers!

Sho-Tyme

From Queens, NYC, Sho-Tyme has brought himself from street way of living to stepping on countless stages, videos, tours with many of the top Artist in the industry including Aaliyah, Jay Z, Mary J Blige, P Diddy, Shakira, Busta Ryhmes, JLo , Sean Desmond, Mya, TLC, Christina Milian , Kelly Rowland, Katy Perry, Gnarles Barkley to name a few.

Sho-Tyme is also the genius behind the Choreography for Gwen Stefani and her Harajuku Girls.  Sho-Tyme’s passion is to continue teaching an educating around the world to the now and new generation of dancers, that dance is from the heart and should be first done with love and passion not for an industry goal. he has partnered with Tara Wilson in the Gateway Project, committing himself to training a new cohort of passionate artists to become professional dancers.

Dr. Towani Duchscher

Towani is a teacher, dancer, and researcher. Towani has a PhD in Education from the University of Calgary where she works as a Postdoctoral Scholar and teaches as an instructor for the faculty of Education. Towani has danced for over 30 years and has trained as a dancer at the University of Calgary, and as a teacher at the Creative Dance Center in Seattle WA. Towani has taught dance for 25 years and previously taught high school Dance for the Calgary Board of Education. Through her dance residency company, Toe-On-Knee Dance and Development, Towani teaches the core curriculum through movement.  Funk is her favorite style for both its powerful movement, music, and history.

Michèle Moss

Michèle Moss (BEd/MA)(she/her) is a dancer, choreographer, academic researcher and community educator. She considers herself a citizen of the world; born in the UK of Jamaican and British parents, raised in Montréal, resident of Calgary since 1978 and frequent flyer in search of the best vantage point from which to consider dance and dancing. Michèle began as a tap-dancing tot in the UK and then had the good fortune to study at NCC in Montreal (Negro Community Centre) when she arrived in Canada. She went on to participate in further studio training, nightclub practices and urban dance forms of many kinds including: disco, house, salsa as well as earning two degrees that allowed her to move into the academe following a performing career with DJD. She attributes much of her education in jazz to Vicki Willis and Hannah Stilwell and is so grateful for the many opportunities to learn and work hard alongside those women. During the many years of building the company and many years since as sometime collaborator she continues to try to wrap-up the topic of jazz music and dance in a neat package, it can’t be done! And that is great because she continues to marvel at the topic and enjoys revealing it layer by layer. 

She is currently serving as an associate professor and chair of the Dance Division in the School of Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Calgary, with arts-based pedagogy, global dance, social justice and jazz dance practices as her focus.  She began her roots of jazz research in 1986 on the African continent and has since returned many times to conduct ethnographic research in the field. The Caribbean, NYC and environs are great sources of African Diaspora aesthetics research. She continues her own studies and practice at summer institutes workshops or self-guided research into pedagogy, choreography and practice-based subject matter. Michèle has served on numerous boards, peer adjudication, presented at conferences, written book chapters, articles and has undertaken teaching assignments abroad and continues to serve as mentor to some. She has been the recipient of many grants, local and national choreographic commissions and international teaching opportunities. Ethnographic research occasions/field-studies, serve as beautiful ways to compare, contrast, grow and recognize the many aspects of beauty, the landscape and the people, in Calgary/ Moh’kinsstis and the traditional Treaty 7 territory in southern Alberta. Happy to continue to serve here in this place alongside many incredible people dedicated to art and art-making.

Jackie Soppit

Great Grand Daughter of Cree Chief Big Bear, owner of Wandering Spirit Ltd, a company based out of Calgary AB since 1999 providing cultural awareness programming to thousands of youth and families.

Tara Wilson

Tara is the owner and creative director of Pulse Studios in Calgary, and the founder and creative director of The Gateway Project, a non-profit organization providing FREE dance classes to elementary students and world-class training for young dance professionals passionate about Hip Hop. Tara was one of the first dancers in Calgary to explore the culture of Hip Hop and continues to deliver authentic lessons on a multitude of Hip Hop dance styles.

Raymond Jordan Johnson-Brown

Raymond (he/him) is a queer, ethnic anomaly originally from Mohkinstsis (Calgary). Raymond’s dance journey began as a form of therapy while he was in the foster care system and this journey continued into a professional dance career working in television/film on Turtle Island (Canada). Raymond knew that he never wanted to be “just a dancer” and set to make a career in social work a reality working in group homes as a frontline youth worker.

Currently, Raymond lives on Traditional Coast Salish Lands (Vancouver) with his dog Binah. Raymond is regularly working in tv/film and working as a Youth Engagement Coordinator at Foundry BC, while completing his Bachelors in Indigenous Social Work at Laurentian University. 

Lauren Ritchie – Mental Performance and Mindset Educator, MEd, BA, ESFCC

As a human, you can train three things: your mind, your body, and your craft. Lauren Ritchie has been studying, researching, and educating dancers and teachers on the physical, emotional and mental intricacies of dance. Recognizing the lack of mental skills training in dance, Lauren has created programs and exercises dedicated to educating and empowering both dancers’ and educators’ mental health and mindset to optimize physical and artistic training. From her MEd in Coaching Studies to a BA in Professional Communications, to multiple Yoga certifications and an accredited Art & Science of Coaching Certification, Lauren has a unique blend of education and resources that offer a holistic training approach for dancers. An established educator, facilitator and speaker, Lauren has delivered workshops to prestigious schools and programs like Harbour Dance Centre, the Alberta Ballet School, the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, Capilano University and The Bridge Program with The Protege Movement. She is the co-founder of the Dance Teacher reTREAT, the creator of Mental Skills Training Teacher Training program and has been a keynote speaker for the Women In Sport Speaker Series, Dance Studio Owners Association, House of Jazz (London), and the Dance Teacher Expo.

Lauren has firsthand knowledge of the attributes required to achieve and sustain peak performance. She was a highly competitive and decorated dancer having classically trained in ballet, jazz, tap and lyrical. After completing her A.R.A.D, Lauren knew she “wanted to dance” but had little guidance and awareness of the true process of transitioning into a professional dance career. This is why Lauren has created and hosts The Dance Podcast; an invaluable resource dedicated to inspire and educate dancers, teachers, and parents through candid conversations with industry professionals.  Lauren’s engaging and encouraging teaching style has inspired dance teachers and students across the country to be their best – mind, body, and craft.

Dr.Lisa  Daroux-Cole

Dr. Lisa Daroux-Cole comes with over 25 years of being actively involved in exercise instruction (teaching and training), recreation management, University lecturing, and research in the field of Kinesiology.

She completed her PhD in Health Science at Kingston  University (England) in 2015, her Masters at UofC in 2005, and BSc (UofC) in 1999 in Cancer research, and is currently teaching undergraduate Kinesiology and Sports Psychology at the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University. . Lisa  is passionate about helping others enhance personal wellness, handle stress, and deal with adversity.