Youth and Schools

Photo Yasu Okada

Photo by Yasu Okada

Youth Engagement Program 2016-2017

Free workshops for new immigrant and refugee youth aged 14-24: fall 2016

This is a great opportunity for youth to work with a team of professional artists from diverse backgrounds. There will 10 sessions based on dance, movement exploration, creative writing, theatre techniques and games, new media/video and music. The workshops are designed for youth who would not normally have access to Canadian arts and cultural opportunities, and will provide a nurturing and supportive entry way into using the performing arts as a means of self expression and developing new life skills and knowledge in their new Canadian homeland.

Participants will learn about their new Canadian homeland through dance, spoken word, music and video arts; meet new people; make new friends; learn something new; and have fun! 

Youth will have the opportunity to attend performances, free of charge, at Scotiabank Dance Centre and to participate in field trips within the Lower Mainland to learn about their new home. No experience required.

Our goal is to help youth to feel a part of the community and at ease in their new environment, to develop a sense of belonging, to develop an understanding of Canadian culture, to build community, and to have a safer space to explore their personal experiences using art as a tool of expression and healing integration.  


Registration is now closed.

For further information, contact Hilary Maxwell at 604.606.6416 members[at]thedancecentre[dot]ca.

About the Facilitators

Amal Rana is a writer, performance poet and arts educator. Her writing has been featured in numerous anthologies and literary journals and on online platforms such as The Feminist Wire and Love Inshallah. She has training in popular theatre, performance poetry, creative writing, and theatre of the oppressed. Her artistic practice often includes collaborations across disciplines, fusing spoken word, poetry and theatre with other art forms. Her work explores themes of migration, diaspora and belonging and the ways in which these experiences are rooted in the body, the land and ancestral memory. Her identity as a first-generation, mixed-race Pakistani immigrant born in the Middle East informs her work. Amal is a community educator with experience developing and facilitating participant-centred, interactive workshops for unions, youth groups, organizations working with newcomers, disabled and low income communities and others. In recent years, she has worked in particular to support youth facing multiple barriers. This has included immigrant and refugee youth, First Nations youth and youth from the LGBT community.

Alvin Erasga Tolentino’s work has spanned close to three decades interpreting, creating and contributing contemporary dance. He founded Co.ERASGA in 2000 and since then has created numerous full-length memorable works which reflect identity, gender, inter-culturalism and cross-cultural collaboration. He has toured to countries including France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Japan, Singapore, Philippines, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Thailand and Uruguay. In 2010 he received the Vancouver’s Mayor Arts Award for his contribution to the performing arts in Dance. Alvin continues to expand his cultural work globally, utilizing dance as a source of empowering and generating creativity in the life of people; reflective, connected and politically engaged.

Guest Artists

Molly Billows is swift waters, secrets, and salal berries. Northern Coast Salish from the Homalco Nation, she was adopted-out and grew up in and around Victoria. She has been living as a visitor in Vancouver, on the territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations since 2011. She is a queer, mixed, urban, Indigenous feminist, a spoken word poet, and a youth worker. Sometimes she writes for survival, sometimes to remember, sometimes to (re)imagine and (re)build. Most of all, she hopes to weave together stories in ways that lift up her communities, and contribute to collective healing, rage, resurgence and love.

Sammy Chien (Chimerik) is a Taipei-born, Vancouver-based interdisciplinary media artist. He studied film at Simon Fraser University and developed an expertise in electroacoustic music and digital technology in performance environment. After learning real-time performance softwares from Troika Ranch (NYC/Berlin) he continues his deep interest in interdisciplinary collaborations and forges connections between image, sound, and movement. He has collaborated in numerous multi-disciplinary projects ranging from film, theatre, dance, audiovisual performance to interactive installations which have exhibited across Canada, Western Europe, and Asia. He has also been involved in projects that focus on the integration between art, science and technology as well as engaging with various community groups such as social activists, low-income residents, cultural, gender and ethnic minorities and youth. Sammy is the Co-Founder/Artistic Director of Chimerik collective, which is a vision, philosophy and imaginative environment that values creative technology and new media practices as important vehicles capable of bridging various art forms to construct new kinds of artistic engagement and language that are transnational, transcultural, and prompt social change. 

  Telus Vancouver Community Board

This program is presented in partnership with the Anvil Centre and the City of New Westminster.


School Groups and Discover Dance!

Our Discover Dance! noon hour series offers a great opportunity to learn about BC’s artistic and cultural heritage. The series showcases dance styles ranging from ballet to Bollywood, providing a fun, educational experience for students of all ages. In addition to performing, the artists talk about their work and answer audience questions, and there is sometimes an opportunity for the audience to participate as well.

Tickets for student groups of eight or more are $12 including all taxes and charges, with one teacher/chaperone comp per 20 students. We can also arrange for a short tour of Scotiabank Dance Centre, Canada’s flagship dance facility, if desired.

To book, please email marketing[at]thedancecentre[dot]ca.


Workshops for Schools (Grades 8-12)

Workshops for high school students can be organized with a Discover Dance! programmed artist in conjunction with a performance, or separately. Artists can travel to the school, or alternatively we can host a limited number of workshops at Scotiabank Dance Centre. Fees depend on the artist and running time of the workshop.

Participating Discover Dance! artists in 2016-2017:

Shiamak Vancouver
Kasandra Flamenco
Grupo America
the response.

Workshops are also available with some of our current artists-in-residence:

Lesley Telford (contemporary)
V’ni Dansi (traditional and contemporary Métis)
Wen Wei Dance (contemporary)

If a school is interested in a genre that isn’t featured in this list, our membership comprises a wide range of dance artists and we can facilitate a workshop that meets specific needs.

To book, email marketing[at]thedancecentre[dot]ca.