LDF Countdown to Summer ’21

Join us virtually from June 26-30 for FREE DANCE FUN! Groove with us as we count down the last 5 days until summer vacation with 4 cool dance things to watch this summer, 3 fun workshops for all ages and levels, 2 previews of upcoming choreography projects, and 1 dance film premiere from our friends the Young Company of NLDC. Learn more here.

LDF 2021 Summer & Fall Call to Artists

The London Dance Festival invites all dance artists to tell us what works for you this year. This form is part-application, part-survey. Do you have a dance piece to share or a workshop to offer? When and how would it work? Please tell us as much as you can, and get in touch at info@londondancefestival.ca if you have questions.

Daley Dance Co by Jason Sunio

Honestly? We don’t know exactly what the summer will bring in terms of the rules about public gatherings and performances.

. . . Should we have a virtual mini-festival in early July?
. . . Should we postpone until late summer or fall in case we can gather outdoors?
. . . Should we try to do a little of both?

Here is what we do know for sure:

  • Dance artists of all career stages and styles are welcome to apply.
  • BIPOC Artists are encouraged to apply, and to tell us how to serve you better.
  • Preference will be given to artists hailing from or currently living in London, Ontario.
  • Artists selected to present work will be awarded an honorarium.
  • Performances, workshops, and video shoots MUST maintain appropriate COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • If you are proposing a dance film, it must meet our Minimum Video Requirements
  • If you would like to present work in the early summer, your submission must be received no later than June 11, 2021, and your finished video must be submitted by June 25 (but sooner is preferred!)
  • We will be in touch with early summer applicants as soon as possible, and you’ll hear back from us by June 20 at the latest
  • Applicants for late summer/fall will be contacted in July or early August

Read More Here Questions? Email us at info@londondancefestival.ca

Apply Here: https://forms.gle/5pS5aiSQrKLiVKen6

Dance Week 2021

International Dance Week 2021: April 24-30

CLASSES & WORKSHOPS
Anyone can learn new moves in all-levels workshops in Flamenco and Philippine Folk Dance. Experienced dancers can try classes in Bellydance and Bollywood styles. All classes will be held on zoom, register here, or see website for more details.

Flamenco with Patricia Vasconcellos of Flamenco del Sur
Saturday April 24, 3:30-4:30pm
FREE on Zoom
Open to all levels register here

Have lots of fun leaning the “Por Tangos” Flamenco Rhythm in this all-levels workshop with Patricia. She’ll teach you a short choreography with clapping, Braceo (arm and wrist movements), and footwork. You’ll finish the dance with a typical Flamenco “Remate.” Please wear comfortable closed shoes (ballet shoes,
running shoes, ballroom or flamenco shoes).

Technique Sunday: Belly dance with Luna of Rising Moon
Sunday April 25, 12:15-1:30pm
$5 (or free if you fill out a survey!) on Zoom register here
For experienced dancers, details here.

Explore the ancient art of Bellydance. We will focus on fundamentals including slow figure eights, arm and hands frames and movements, different kinds of shimmies and travelling steps. We will play with combinations and form a connection with the music. Please wear comfortable workout clothes and a scarf of any kind around your hips if you have one. No shoes are required. Also keep water handy to stay hydrated especially after the shimmy practice! 

I grew up in Colombia, South America, and moved to London, Ontario in 2003 where I started taking bellydancing classes with various master instructors. Through the years, I developed a passion for this art and it is what I love to do. I enjoy performing, developing choreography, and exploring the various bellydance styles and fusions. Since 2012, I have been teaching in London. I am the founder of Rising Moon Bellydance and have performed as a soloist and with my troupe in various festivals and events in Ontario and the US.

Josette Joseph by Aezelle Carpio

Technique Tuesday: Bollywood with Josette Joseph
Tuesday April 27, 12:15-1:30pm
$5 (or free if you fill out a survey!) on Zoom register here
For experienced dancers, details here.

Josette has been training in Bollywood and Indian Classical styles for 19 years and has performed on tv, on stage in front of thousands, and alongside some of Bollywood’s top stars. In this class, participants will learn some Bollywood technique along with a quick routine to “Jai Ho”.

Josette has been dancing for 19 years. She began training and performing in Bollywood, which she currently teaches at PFA, then branched out to Ballet, Jazz, and Hip Hop in high school. She has competed in numerous competitions (and placed first with her team in a national competition), has performed on TV, and has been paid to perform around Ontario. She has trained with well-known, Toronto-based companies such as Badass Babes and DARK Dance.

Philippine Folk Dancing with Mari Udarbe Han
Wednesday April 28, 5:30-6:30pm
FREE on Zoom
Open to all levels register here

Mari will be teaching about cultural expression with an introductory session on “Pangalay”, a Philippine Indigenous dance originating from the Tausug people of the southern Philippine islands. This dance is characterized by hand movements that resemble the ocean waves, which is enhanced by long, metal fingernails called “Janggay.”

Mari Udarbe Han is registered physiotherapist with a decade of experience in orthopedics.  She is the owner and operator of 519physio, a treatment space housed with 519 School of Hip Hop.  Inspired by her own dance journey as part of the Kayumanggi Philippine Performing Arts of Manitoba and Synergy Dance Productions, she is passionate about artist health and wellness.  In 2020, she hosted the first ever “Artist Wellness: Virtual Summit” with many guest speakers covering topics including nutrition, hypermobility, strength, mental health, etc.  Mari believes the goal of physiotherapy in dance (and in life!) is to optimize performance, reduce injury and rehabilitate various musculoskeletal conditions through self-awareness and movement. 

Contemporary with Samantha Sendas
Friday April 30, 4-5pm
FREE on Instagram
Open to all levels register here

Sam Sendas is very excited to be joining London Dance festival yet again, this time from the comfort of her own home. Sam was the 2018 LDF Dance Mob choreographer and is still keeping busy in the London dance community in various ways (prior to the recent turn of events) She can be seen in performances with Breath in MVMT, teaching and taking classes  at O.N.E Dance Studio, Choreographing for the premiere of The Saidat Show LIVE, or just dancing around in any open space she can find. Sam is very grateful for the opportunities London Dance Festival has given her, especially now during this time of social distancing. She hopes everyone is staying safe and can’t wait for the day when we can all dance together again.

AND MORE!

Dance Community Round Table
Sunday, April 25 at 2pm.
FREE
Join us to discuss the current needs of our dance community in London. Feel free to share your ideas on how we can keep supporting local talents during these difficult times. All feedback is appreciated.

More details here.

Dancer Wellness with Mari Udarbe Han
All week on social media

Mari Udarbe Han is a registered physiotherapist with almost 10 years of experience.  She is an advocate for dance medicine and rehabilitation, and is the official wellness director of 519 School of Hip Hop. Mari has been working on initiatives to provide accessible education and to increase awareness in London’s dance community.

Dance Ontario #DanceWeekend21

The Dance Week fun will continue April 29-May 2 with Dance Ontario’s #DanceWeekend21 events. Be sure to check out all the great films, workshops, and more

International Dance Day – Virtual Family Dance Party!
April 29, 2pm FREE

Join Alan Faigal for a fun family dance party on April 29 at 2pm to kick offDance Ontario’s #DanceWeekend21 on International Dance Day, everyBODY is invited to dance along in a family friendly energizer of JOY! Register HERE.

Technique Tuesdays

Weekly Technique Class for Experienced Dancers
Tuesdays 12:15-1:30pm on Zoom

Photos clockwise: Priyanka Tope by Nachiket Deshpande, Isabella di Liello by Alvin Collantes, Sandra Wilson by Hugh Wilson, Bizz Varty by Nina Sampson

A class for experienced dancers to train with professional teachers in a variety of dance styles. Keep your body in tune and learn about dance culture and history with a weekly technique class taught by an expert in their field. You do not need to have training in the style being offered, however it will be assumed that students have advanced-level movement skills and body awareness. Join other experienced movers and learn something new! The classes will be hosted on Zoom each Tuesday from 12:15-1:30pm.

For the month of April, each class is just $5. Sign up for all 4 classes for just $20! Payments are accepted by e-transfer, please fill out this form to register https://forms.gle/1tezGWgMAkCRJCmFA. We do not want to exclude anyone, if you want to participate and this fee is beyond your means, please reach out.

Click here to see the April Schedule, Class Descriptions and Teacher Biographies.

Can’t make the scheduled time? No problem! We’ll record classes and send the link to everyone who has pre-registered.

We’re looking for more teachers! Send us a description of your work and the class you would like to teach at info@centreofmovementarts.ca 

Tell us what you think!

London Dancers, Teachers & Dance Professionals: Let your voice be heard!

What does the London dance community want and need? We have some big questions to answer to determine how we’ll move forward for the 2020/2021 season. We would like to hear how we can better serve artists, improve our allyship, and adapt to digital and distanced dance. Tell us what you think by participating in our round table meetings, completing a survey, and/or answering our call for ideas

Here are some of the questions we’re asking:

  • How can CMA & LDF better serve our dance community?
  • What do you need in order to make a better living in dance?
  • What’s missing in your dance life and our city? 
  • How can we improve our BIPOC allyship?
  • Do you feel represented in our events?
  • How would you spend our budget? 
  • What should we pay you for?
  • How can we capture the energy of live dance in a digital format?
  • What are the upsides of digital dance training and performance?

Learn more and share your feedback and ideas here. 

Let’s Connect London: We’re back for you

We’re Back London Dancers and Dance Fans! With funding from the London Arts Council, we are pleased to be getting back to work at the CMA/LDF! Before planning any performances, we are going to check in with the community and see where you’re at – what you want, need, and feel safe doing over the coming months. Stay tuned for more info on how you can participate!

2020 FESTIVAL UPDATE

Dear Dancers and Dance Fans,

Thank you for your patience while we navigate this strange new world. I’m sure you will share in our sadness, but expect you will not be surprised to hear that the 2020 London Dance Festival will not happen as planned from June 26-28.

We had hoped to announce some alternative plans for the summer, but unfortunately we must put all activities on hold at this time due to a lack of funding. Once funding is restored we intend to move forward with some great ideas that will allow us to celebrate dance within the current pandemic framework. 

If you have submitted an application for the summer festival, we will keep your submission on file and review it once we are able to start making plans again. We will be leaving all application forms open, so if you have an idea for a dance piece you are welcome to share it with us. Our social media channels will be quiet for a while, but we look forward to sharing and connecting with you again soon!

Stay safe and keep dancing,
Bizz & the LDF/CMA team

Dance Mob 2020

Join our Dance Mob!

The Dance Mob is a fun and easy dance created by local artists and performed by the community. No dance experience is required and all ages and abilities are welcome. We don’t know when we’ll be able to perform the Dance Mob together this year, but in the meantime you can learn the dance at home and enter our video challenge!

Choreographed by Kaleigh Barry Music: No Enemiesz by Kiesza

WIN with the LDF Dance Mob Video Challenge!
Share a short (5-10 second) video of you doing the Dance Mob choreography on Instagram or Facebook for a chance to win a $20 Gift Card from Dancewear Plus and four tickets to the next LDF performance. Post your photo with #LDFDanceMob and #LDFDanceWeek20 and tag your friends! Enter by May 9th. The winner will be chosen at random.


Kaleigh Barry has been dancing for 25 years and grew up training and dancing competitively in Orlando, Florida. After graduating she went on to dance professionally at The Walt Disney World Resort in multiple shows at the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom she was also featured on ABC’s Christmas Day Parade 2010 and 2011. After dancing at Disney, Kaleigh went on to dance on three ships with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, one of which she was Dance Captain, performing styles such as, jazz, hip hop, ballroom, partnering, ballet, and lyrical, and has toured over 30 countries around the world. Kaleigh has been teaching dance to students ages 3 to adult since 2010 and she specializes is pre-school dance, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, and Ballet. Her choreography has won numerous technique and choreography awards as well as high overall placements with multiple competitions in the United States and Canada. Kaleigh has recently relocated to the London area with her husband and daughter, and she is looking forward to furthering her dance career as a teacher and choreographer!

Dance Week 2020

Call for Virtual Dance Submissions
We’re looking forward to celebrating International Dance Week
April 17-26, and we want to see YOU on our virtual stage! We’d like to share our digital platforms to help you promote what you do while celebrating what our dance community has to offer. 

Submit your ideas for virtual dance presentations and activities – we’re open to just about anything, but here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Social media takeovers
  • Dance videos and films
  • Classes & workshops
  • Demonstrations & tutorials
  • Quizzes
  • Interviews
  • Playlists
  • Stories
  • Photo contests

Send us an email at info@londondancefestival.com and tell us what you have in mind! We’ll accept submissions until Tuesday April 20. 

Dance Week Virtual Stage Schedule below

  • Saturday April 18 – 3 p.m. on Instagram live Improv Jam with Abbey Richens
  • Sunday April 19 – “Rockstar” video choreography, performed by Shachi Biswas
  • Monday April 20 – Flamenco Dance with Patricia Vasconcellos for Beginners and Intermediates part 1
  • Tuesday April 21 – 2 p.m. on Facebook live London Arts Live-Online Class with Bizz Varty
  • Tuesday April 21 – Flamenco Dance with Patricia Vasconcellos for Beginners and Intermediates part 2
  • Wednesday April 22 – Flamenco Dance with Patricia Vasconcellos for Beginners and Intermediates part 3
  • Friday April 24 – Live Flamenco Dance and Castanets Workshop with Patricia Vasconcellos on Instagram
  • Saturday April 25 – Instagram live performance by Samantha Sendas
  • Sunday April 26 – 2020 LDF Dance Mob tutorial launch!

Open Letter to the Dance Community

Dear dancers and dance lovers,

I hope you are well in these strange times! 

First, let me say that I have been thoroughly amazed by all the dance classes and activities that have appeared online lately. This has proven to the world two things that I have always known to be true: One, that dancers are resilient and will find a way to keep moving 💃 no matter what life throws at them. Two, that our community has so much heart ❤️. My own heart has overflowed seeing the generosity of dancers – and other artists – who are sharing their talents and passion with not only their students, but the entire world. (Seriously, I am getting teary just writing about it! 😭) LDF has been sharing as many of these initiatives as we can on our Facebook page, please feel free to post your offerings on any of our social media channels.

I want to assure you that the CMA and LDF will continue to present dance performances and workshops for London to enjoy, one way or another. I am hopeful that the summer festival will happen June 26-28 as planned, but in all honesty we don’t know how this situation will unfold. We may need to adapt but we promise the show will go on, perhaps with different dates, sizes and shapes of events this year.

This is a stressful time for everyone, and I encourage you to reach out for help when you need it. The CBC has compiled a great list of resources for artists including financial assistance, advocacy, and mental health services that are available for those in need. 

This is normally a time of celebration in the dance community, with recitals, competitions, exams and performances, but so many of these events have had to be cancelled or postponed. I know how hard this is, and I applaud you all for doing your part to stay home and keep our country’s most vulnerable populations safe. And to our essential workers who are braving the outside world: thank you for all you do! 👏 

While I know you will keep working your bodies, I encourage you to also take time to care for your mental health. It is absolutely reasonable to be grieving the loss of all the normal dance things – and regular life things – that you are missing right now. Stay connected to your dance family through technology, and also take some time to just breathe and process how you are feeling. We will get through this, and on the other side we will have some incredible new stories to tell through dance.

How can we help? I would love to know how our organization can support London’s dance community over the coming weeks and months. I will be scheduling an online meeting in April to chat with stakeholders and find out what you need, so please email to let us know if you would like to join in. 

Wishing you good health and sending all my love ♥️ 

Sincerely,

Elizabeth “Bizz” Varty
Director
Centre of Movement Arts & London Dance Festival