The Eastside Dance Festival has partnered with the University of Calgary and the First in Family agency to promote post secondary education for dancers in our festival’s participating schools in a project we are calling ESDF+. We aim to inform potential university students of the many resources available to them and connect them with mentors who are eager to help them feel comfortable and confident as they move into post secondary education. 

The project is conceived in three phases

  1. University of Calgary mentors visit all of our high schools to make a connection and offer office hours where they are available to answer questions about admissions and daily university life. 
  2. Two students from each participating school are elected to attend a special day of workshops where students meet representatives from the First in Family agency, whose goal is to provide resources, grants and guidance to those who are firts in their family to attend university. Students also are guided to the Kinesiology dance action lab where research techniques are demonstrated. Students attend two dance workshops with professional dance artists who are building work for the School of Creative and Performing Arts. Finally, students attend the Mainstage production in the University Theatre. 
  3. Finally, all 456 participants of the Eastside Dance Festival will have a guided tour of the University by peer mentors before they perform their showcase. 

The goal is to expose high school students interested in dance to undergraduate students in dance and kinesiology.  Inviting high school students to the University of Calgary campus will expose them to new possibilities while also supporting their development as young dancers.  It will also strengthen the work of EDSF by bringing participating schools together and providing opportunity for select students to interact with the UofC campus and students, and then share their experiences with their high school peers.