workshops & INSTRUCTORS

For teachers of students at any level:


Contemporary Indigenous

This session will be led by Olivia Davies. Our bodies hold the potential for powerful story-telling. Movement and gesture connect our bodies to the world around us and facilitate the sharing of our experience. Contemporary Indigenous dance methodology opens new ways of experiencing the world with breath, impulse, and shape grounded in an Indigenous worldview. Movements are sequenced to strengthen the lower-body/upper-body connection and engage the imagination to encourage new awareness of weight placement and spiral action possible through the torso and spine. Combinations will encourage the mover to expand and contract through space while moving with momentum. Reflections of Indigenous cultural teachings are embedded throughout the workshop.


Davies is a Vancouver-based performer, choreographer, and community-arts facilitator of Anishinaabe, French-Canadian, and Welsh heritage. Her practice has intrinsic ties to feminist politics and social justice. Davies’ works often explore the emotional and political relationships between people and places. Her first full-length work “Crow’s Nest and Other Places She’s Gone” (2017) blends Contemporary dance, theatre, and street culture through an Indigenous lens.  Her recent choreographic explorations are driven by a desire to explore neo-traditional aspects of her Indigeneity.

Her work is currently based on the ancestral and unceded Indigenous territories of the ʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations.

After training at York University, Davies gained professional experience as a compelling improviser in Toronto’s live music and cabaret scene. She pursued commissions to choreograph for gala presentations, fashion shows, festival stages, burlesque revues, and music videos. She choreographed runway presentations for  Annie Thompson Designs and Karey Shinn Designs . Upon moving to Vancouver in 2011, Davies apprenticed with Body Narratives CollectiveRaven Spirit Dance and Starrwind Dance Projects. She is a founding member of the MataDanze Collective (2005), Circadia Indigena Aboriginal Arts Collective (2016), and Crow’s Nest Collective (2016). Davies is current artist in residence at The Dance Centre  for the 2018-2019 season. She recently curated Vancouver’s first annual CoexisDance Western Edition  with dancers and musicians from the city’s vibrant live improv community.

Davies’ choreography transmits narrative. She has collaborated with Canadian spoken word artists Julie Peters (I Want, 2018) and Melissa Frost (Gidaashi, 2019), and with award-winning author Carmen Aguirre to adapt the short story Open Fire (2015). Davies combined forces with celebrated Coast Salish storyteller Rosemary Georgeson to create Crow’s Nest and Other Places She’s Gone (2017) exploring the shifting landscapes of refuge and dispossession experienced by Indigenous women. Directions (2018) was a site-specific activation of a residential property in East Vancouver that subverted the traditional view of audience/performer and was inspired by elements of the architectural design evident and the unseen forces of the natural world.

Davies’ community-engagement practice includes facilitation of Home: Our Way dance and story weaving workshops, Seniors Dance, and collective creation labs. Davies facilitates spaces for movers to find their unique expression of personal legacy. Her work has been presented across Canada in Ontario, Quebec, and BC since 2004.

Hip Hop

This session will be led by Roberta Bierman. Roberta’s class will touch base on the history of Hip Hop Culture & Dance. We will also discuss other Street Styles and how they are often confused or misrepresented. Roberta will also lead the class through basic Hip Hop foundations, techniques and exercises. We will review some basic Hip Hop Party/Social Dances. The class will also incorporate Freestyle techniques and how to encourage students to find their own personality and confidence within dance.


Roberta Bierman is a passionate instructor, choreographer and performer based in Vancouver, Canada. Roberta is one of the most sought after choreographers and teachers in Western Canada however it doesn’t stop there! Her crews and choreography are continually recognized at competitions and festivals on an international level.

Roberta is known for teaching memorable classes filled with high energy and education that goes beyond just the ‘the steps’. She believes in educating and sharing the culture and history of Hip Hop. Roberta has had the opportunity to travel and teach throughout Canada, Seattle, Texas, Hawaii, Colorado, Cincinnati, Belgium, Amsterdam and Switzerland.

Roberta is a member and choreographer for the elite, all female dance crew, Diamonds in the Rough and Director of RUFFNECKS crew. She is also a Director and Choreographer for the reputable Canadian mega crew, TwoFourSeven.

Roberta strives to find ways to give back and create opportunities for the Street Dance Community. Roberta is the Co-Founder of Dance Studio and Canadian Production Company, A3 District as well as Co-Producer for Summer Knock-Out Street Dance Competition and Elements School Dance Competition.


Musical Theatre

This session will be led by Troy McLaughlin. Enjoy a musical theatre workshop that focuses on story telling and partner work!


Troy V. McLaughlin is a native of Richmond Virginia. He holds a B.F.A. in Jazz Dance from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. There he studied with Judith Jamison, members of the Martha Graham Dance Company, New York City Ballet, and Jo Jo Smith’s Dance Factory. He was also given the chance to grow as a tap dancer studying under the master hoofer and tap legend, LaVaughn Robinson. Troy co-founded Tap Team Two, danced with Manhattan Tap and had the privilege of working with the late great Harold Nicholas of The Nicholas Brothers. Other highlights of Troy’s career include performing in Disney’s The Lion King, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Starlight Express, The Radio City Rockettes Show, The Siegfried & Roy Show, as Richard Pryor’s tap dancing conscience in ‘Pryor Offenses” for Showtime, and entertaining the troops for the U.S. Dept. of Defense. He’s choreographed for musicals, industrial shows, and dance companies. As well as taught in Universities, public schools, and dance studios all over the world. Troy has recently started a Vancouver based company that brings workshops in dance to school systems and the community called Troy’s Bop Shop (

Link to Troy’s Bop Shop:


This session will be led by Troy McLaughlin. Addressing concepts as Tap is not just sounds and percussions but another way of telling a story. Learn how to get different tones (almost pitches) out of the same part of the shoe to help with your musicality and storytelling. 


See above.

For teachers of elementary students:


Movement & Poetry

Dance and Poetry Workshop: Engaging Learners through Creative Movement using Poetic Text


This session will be led by Cheryl Kay. This workshop will begin with a brief review using some of the dance concepts of SPACE (place, size, levels, pathways, direction, focus), TIME (speed, rhythm), FORCE (flow, energy, weight) and BODY (parts, balance, relationships, shapes) that will enable all workshop participants to share a common language about movement.  Most of the time will be spent exploring ways to get students actively creating movement sequences to poetry that other people have written as well as to poetry that students create themselves.  The goal of this workshop is to get students actively engaged in their learning through creative movement.  Although this session is aimed primarily at elementary teachers, middle school or secondary dance teachers may find ideas used in the session valuable for generating choreography with students using poetic text in various ways. 


Cheryl is a dance education specialist who has taught dance in various educational settings in Burnaby School District from Kindergarten to Grade 12 as well as teaching dance education methodology coursework for preservice and inservice teachers at the college and university levels locally.  One of the most rewarding parts of this work is sharing in the excitement teachers feel when they discover that they too can facilitate meaningful movement experiences for themselves and their students in their classroom life.  


For teachers of intermediate/secondary students:


Caribbean Rhythms

This session will be led by Tereza Paraschivescu. Culture. Dance. History. Spirituality. The Caribbean diaspora has been a backdrop for the darkest, as well as brightest corners of our history - pushing through the horrible and long chapter of slavery, right into corruption, discrimination and racism, the Caribbean people never lost sight of their traditions and customs; the songs and dances brought over from Africa transcended their suffering, making them strong, resilient and united. This workshop will explore 4 of the many dance styles that have historically marked the emancipation of the Caribbean people, with a focus on Soca and Calypso in Trinidad & Tobago, as well as Reggae and Dancehall in Jamaica. It is important to note that, as a guest to these cultures, my aim is to give credit where credit is due and to demystify the fine line between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. 


Born in Bucharest, and raised in Freising, Germany, then in Montreal, QC, Tereza has now made Vancouver her official home. Dancing since the age of 5, she used her cultural exposure to diversify her dance background.

Starting off in Hip-Hop and Jazz in the heart of Montreal, Tereza was later introduced to the Latin and Caribbean flavours, which remain her all-time favourites. Over the last 15 years, she has taught for various companies such as Little Aces, Du Haut Productions, Danse 1...2...3..., Access Ballroom Studio and Les productions Mélanie Martin (now Quividanse).

Upon her arrival in Vancouver, she has danced professionally for Gustavo Ferman as a member of the Corazon Dancers, worked with Louis Van Amstel of Dancing with the Stars on the release of his LaBlast promo video, taught Hip-Hop for UBC Rec and Zumba® for Steve Nash Fitness World & Sports Clubs and Latin Fitness Ztudio, as well as performed at numerous dance and cultural festivals including Carnaval del Sol, the Seattle Salsa Congress, the Victoria Kizomba Festival, African Descent Festival and Caribbean Days Festival.

Upon opening the DanZa Productions studio with co-owner Jamie Hartwell, Tereza has been focusing on expanding the brand, which now includes a variety of specialty dance classes, performance teams for special events, workshops, as well as private lessons, such as personalized wedding choreography.

Tereza is also a trained vocalist, and has performed with multiple bands both in Vancouver and her hometown of Montreal. She has also appeared in a handful of musicals and independent film projects, which further helped shape her versatility as an artist.

Tereza’s passion for dance and fitness is evident in her smile and insatiable energy. Constantly striving to design classes that incorporate a balanced mix of technique and fitness, she remains accessible to experts and beginners alike.

Tereza is a Certified CANFITPRO Fitness Instructor Specialist and a licensed Zumba®, Zumba® Step and Zumba® Kids and Kids Jr. Instructor. She also trains regularly with KETCH DI VYBZ's and AfroBeat Vancouver to perfect her skills as an artist and a teacher.

Tereza is a strong advocate and promoter of the Afro-Caribbean and Latin cultures in Vancouver and is often seen at events, fundraisers and community gatherings aimed at increasing their visibility in the city.


This session will be led by Christie Lee Manning. ​"If you don't have a character behind your movement, your movement means nothing." Unofficial spoken words by the great Bob Fosse. Music comes first. Character comes second. Movement comes third. Christie enjoys challenging her dancers from the inside out, connecting organically to the music first, understanding who they are and why they're moving second, allowing the performance to be present, authentic, and relatable, no matter how athletic or subtle the movement may be. 


A Canadian born artist, Christie Lee Manning is one of London’s most powerful performers. As a storyteller and jazz artist, Christie is a rare find. Her undeniable stage presence makes her one of the most captivating people in any room.

Christie’s latest role was playing the iconic Shirley MacLaine in the premiere of ‘Welcome To The Grand’, a Jazz House Theatre production celebrating 100 years of cabaret at The Grand Clapham Theatre. Christie toured Brazil twice with Canadian company Lamondance, and is currently a member Lukas McFarlane’s contemporary company, UnTitled. In the past three years, Christie has been a principle dancer in the company’s last four major projects, ‘Got To Dance’, ‘Exposed’, ‘Exposed’ the film, and the company’s first ever UK tour, ‘The Suffocating Truth’.


Christie’s other credits include New Balance, Telus, Nickelodeon, Times Of India Awards, ‘Package Deal’ (TV), ‘Warehouse 13’ (TV), and Sky 1's 'Got To Dance' Season 5, mentored by celebrity judge Adam Garcia. 

"Christie Lee Manning emanates a power on stage like no other; subtle, charming, and wickedly sexy - you simply cannot take your eyes off her."

 Julie Tomaino (Radio City Rockettes) 



This session will be led by Christie Lee Manning. Break through the mould and share your story in this artistically satisfying class that will not only challenge your understanding of jazz, but will leave you inspired to push past your limits and own your individuality. 


Jazz Theatre Definition 

Jazz Theatre is a movement style evolved by Christie Lee Manning which uses over 100 years of the distinguished jazz art form and colours it with star power storytelling and performance ability. It pushes new boundaries of jazz by bringing forth the foundation of this historical style and showcasing it in its truest form. It's the perfect blend of acting and dancing; a pairing so captivating it defines the meaning: to entertain. 


See above.

Modern: Graham Technique

This session will be led by Desirée Dunbar. Time magazine praised Martha Graham as being the “Dancer of the Century.” You will gain a deeper understanding of the profound legacy of her work that continues to be performed by The Martha Graham Dance Company in New York and around the globe. Experience the primary movements of the technique; the contraction, high release and spiral and discover why modern dance was a radical departure from Ballet in the twentieth century.



Desirée Dunbar is an award winning dancer specializing in the Martha Graham Modern Dance technique. She has taught at Simon Fraser University, Arts Umbrella, University of Arizona, Centre National de la Danse (Paris, France) and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance (London, UK). Her company Dezza Dance is based out of Aberthau Mansion/ West Point Grey Community Centre and specializes in dance workshops and performances for older adults. She recently hosted Graham dancer Miki Orihara in a solo show at the Annex in Vancouver. Learn more @

© 2014 A Provincial Specialist Association of the BC Teachers’ Federation 

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