Propeller Dance is committed to helping artists working in the field of integrated dance to grow and learn so they can contribute towards more professional recognition of the practice across Canada, as well as play a key role in empowering, skills development and work placement of dance artists with disability.
Through a range of professional development activities, Propeller Dance provides opportunities for dancers with and without disability to learn from some of the best teachers in integrated contemporary dance. Our professional development opportunities include: company classes, emerging choreographers program, emerging dance teachers program, learning from guest artists.
Propeller hosts sessions of professional development Company Classes on their off season. These classes are open to any member of the dance or theatre community. Taught are a range of topics, from Wheelchair Dance to Gyrokinesis.
Emerging Choreographers Program
In 2013 Propeller Dance launched the Emerging Choreographer Program, the first of its kind in Canada, with the goal of mentoring artists with disability to develop their own artistic voices. Through this program, up to three dancers a year are given training in the art of choreography with skills training in directing, leadership, and production in order to develop their abilities as choreographers. The program culminates in a works-in-progress showing at a professional arts space, followed by an audience talk back session.
Emerging Dance Teachers Program
In 2012 we piloted a dance teacher’s training program for the company dancers in Propeller Dance. Through this program, artists with disability attend workshops on teaching Propeller Dance core curriculum, learn education tips from top dance educators, and gain practical teaching experience. Learners have gone on to become dance teachers and teaching assistants at classes and workshops in the community, and have taken on leadership roles at public engagements.
Learning from Guest Artists
By commissioning international choreographers with experience in integrated dance to choreograph and teach dance technique to the Propeller Dance Company, we are able to significantly increase the caliber and range of our work. We have worked with choreographer Tara Brandel of Croi Glan (Ireland) and commissioned a new work by choreographer Sonsherée Giles from California’s world-renowned AXIS Dance Company. We have been able to attend and participate in national and international conferences and workshops on arts and disability, and support company dancers to attend intensive training with organizations like Dancing Wheels in Cleveland, Ohio, and Alito Alessi’s DanceAbility International. Guest teaching artists to the company have included Alan Shain, Lola Ryan, Sioned Watkins, Kirsten Andersen, Elizabeth MacKinnon, Hofesh Schechter Company, Charlotte Vincent (UK), Maxine Heppner and many more. Propeller Dance also strives to engage and support the national Canadian integrated dance community.