Youth dance conference brings Ontario dancers together

By Jaimée Horn
  • Mariano Abarca / Photo: Lauren Van Gijn & Bobbie Dhindsa

With the goal of educating students and teachers alike about the value, scope and diversity of dance in Ontario, the Pulse Ontario Youth Dance Conference provides equal opportunities for all levels of dance students to benefit from the experiential learning and discovery that dance can provide in non-competitive environments. This year’s conference, held at York University from May 10th through 13th, had close to 200 participants who were enthusiastic to take in the workshops, evening performances and social events. Keynote speaker Mariano Abarca, recognized internationally as having put Canada on the map for hip hop dance, received a warm and enthusiastic welcome from the dancers in the auditorium on Friday evening. His meaningful message directed to the youth and educators was to stay curious and creative. “Experience everything. Learn as much as you can and then build on that foundation. Be original. Ask questions. You are the scientists of this art form.” The conference, whose vision is to bring together dance students, teachers and dance professionals from across Ontario, manifested for the first time in May 2006. The conference is dedicated to providing students affordable opportunities to experience the art form, and develop their literacy and understanding of dance.

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