Introducing the DanceON Series.

2021 is not a regular year for any of us. The pandemic has completely reshaped the landscape of dance in Ontario. As such, we’ve had to completely redefine the way we support the dance community. The DanceON Series is our way of doing just that.

Dance stops for nothing, because it can adapt to anything. While dance can no longer bring people together in person, we can still come together virtually to support dance.

The series will consist of monthly workshops, show and share sessions, and expert Q&A’s. Featuring voices from across the dance community, these events will be a place for our members to learn, connect, and most importantly: dance.

We know that we can’t bring back the dance world of the past until it’s safe to do so, but we hope the DanceON Series will bring back the physical, mental, and emotional benefits that come with being a part of the dance community.

So dance on, Ontario. We’re right here with you.

Coming Up

Shimmy, Shake and Shudder?: A Presentation and Discussion about Sexualization and Hypersexualization in Competitive Dance with Dr. Lisa Sandlos

Date: June 29th, 2021

Time: 2:00- 3:00 pm

Place: ZOOM

Cost: FREE to all Dance Ontario members with promo code


What is the relationship between sexualization and competition in dance studios? How do instructors, parents, and young dancers negotiate, conform to, and resist sexualization and hypersexualization? These are some of questions that are particularly relevant to dance educators today, that will be discussed in our upcoming workshop hosted by Dr. Lisa Sandlos “Shimmy, Shake and Shudder?: Sexualization and Hypersexualization in Competitive Dance.” Join us on June 29th at 2pm for an exploration of the underlying social conditions that contribute to this issue that is prevalent in many youth dance competitions. Dr. Sandlos will present the findings of her research completed for her PhD in April 2020, which examines factors that contribute to the performance of sexualized dancing such as privatization, competition, normalization, cultural appropriation, mass media, and social media. She will then then open the floor to a conversation rooted in these critical topics. Register to attend here.

About the Facilitator

Dr. Lisa Sandlos teaches in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies and the School of Kinesiology at York University in Toronto, Canada. She holds a PhD in Gender, Feminist and Women's Studies, an MA in Dance and is a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) through the Laban Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS). As mentioned, Sandlos' doctoral research focused on sexualization in competitive dance and its effects on young dancers and public perceptions of dance. 

A keen interdisciplinary collaborator, Sandlos has worked on dozens of community projects with actors, musicians, puppeteers, and visual artists. She is co-founder with landscape architect Rennie Tang of a research/teaching group called Soma-City. Working through organizations such as the Ontario Arts Council’s Artists in Education program, the National Ballet of Canada’s Creating Dances program, and the Toronto District School Board’s Drama/Dance Project, she has taught contemporary dance, somatics, and improvisation to all ages and levels for over three decades. 

Event Background

Since the 1990s, privately-operated dance studios in Canada and the United States have become increasingly invested in preparing students to perform in regional, provincial/state, and national competitions. Over the same period, emphasis on sexualized vocabularies of dance has increased and can be seen in many dance routines at competitions and in choreography posted on social media. "The connection between competition and the rise of a sexualized aesthetic in dance for children and adolescents," Dr. Sandlos remarks, "became clear to me through observations I have made in my long-time and ongoing roles as dance educator, dancer, feminist scholar, and parent of two young dancers."  These observations led her to conduct dozens of focus groups and interviews with dance studio owners/instructors, parents of dancers, former competitive dancers, and competition adjudicators. In addition, Dr. Sandlos facilitated a performance project involving fifteen 12 and 13-year-old dancers called "ReGirling the Girl." She used the data from these community-based research approaches to analyze meanings that dancers, instructors, and parents assign to sexualized movements and to investigate the implications for girl dancers and public perceptions of dance.

Dr. Sandlos calls on dance educators to consider how they might challenge and disrupt patterns of sexualization and hypersexualization in dance for young girls and boys. Seeking strategies for supporting and empowering dance educators, young girls and boys who dance, and their parents, Dr. Sandlos is dedicated to expanding conversations on the topic of sexualization and to encouraging new ways of using the medium of dance itself to empower and amplify the voices of young dancers.


Dancing Through Challenging Times - Health and Safety Guidance and Resources

Date: July 7th

Time: 2:00- 4:00 pm

Place: ZOOM

Cost: FREE to all Dance Ontario members with promo code


Wondering what the future of dance will look like in our province, as Ontario plans to re-open this summer? Join us at 2-4pm on June 16th for the Community Workshop, “Dancing Through Challenging Times” with Janet Sellery, as part of the #DanceOnSeries. Whether you’re a dancer, choreographer, teacher, company, or anyone who supports the Ontario dance community—you won’t want to miss this session with one of Canada’s leading experts in health and safety within the arts. Janet will discuss lessons learned throughout the Pandemic, as well as current health and safety resources for the dance community, including class, creation, rehearsal and performance.

Learn about our Workshop Host:

Janet Sellery is the Executive Director of Event Safety Alliance Canada a board member of the Event Safety Alliance (U.S.). Janet pioneered the health and safety program at the Stratford Festival, Canada’s largest repertory theatre, and one of her favourite projects was working as the Health & Safety Manager for the Opening, Closing and Victory Ceremonies at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Janet was a Co-Founder of the Canadian Event Safety Summit (2016-2018) and is also an active volunteer with the Ontario Ministry of Labour Live Performance, Health & Safety Advisory Committee.

Her work as a Health & Safety Consultant, with Sellery Health + Safety focuses on customizing programs, training, and resources to reflect the constantly evolving and unique demands of dancers. She has been awarded the “Jack McAllister Award” (Ryerson University), the “Ron Epp Memorial Award for Professional Achievement” (Canadian Institute for Theatre Technology) and “Canada’s Safety Manager of the Year” (Canadian Occupational Safety Magazine).

During the Pandemic Janet has been working to support the arts community, as well as to figure out how to have everyone return safely to the profession we love most.  


Switching to virtual classes again? How to stay strong & pain free while training at home.

Written by, Dinah Hampson and Geneviève Renaud

Here we go again! We know dancing in the kitchen (or living room, or basement) is not quite as fabulous as being able to train in a beautiful studio. Here are a few tips and tricks to make the most of training from home while decreasing your risk of injury!




DanceON: Monthly Community Workshops

Miss being able to connect with your peers? Don’t worry. We do too.

Which is why we created a series of monthly workshops, covering topics spanning from Indigenous Education, to Dance Photography, to training sessions on converting your practice to online operation.

Being able to hear from and connect with other dancers is a vital growing and learning experience that the current landscape is depriving too many of our members of.

So if you find yourself missing all things dance: tune in. Check our social channels for the latest information about upcoming workshops and how to register. We can’t wait to see you there.

Past workshops: Indigenous Awareness 101 Education Session with Maria Montejo, Cashflow for Creatives with Jennifer Wan, Going Digital with Yasmina Ramzy

DanceON: Show and Share Sessions

Miss the shows? We’ve got you covered.

Meet the Show and Share Sessions. Our way of helping you continue to explore emerging talent, support local artists, and enjoy the thrill of dance.

Performers from across Ontario of all styles tune in to perform work in progress shows, benefitting from both the feedback of the audience, and receiving 100% of all ticket revenue.

Members will be notified of scheduled Show and Share Sessions. Information will also be posted on our social channels – so stay tuned!

DanceON: Ask an Expert

Miss the immediacy and satisfaction of being able to work through challenges and questions with the dance experts you respect? We’re on it.

Introducing the DanceON Expert Q&A’s. Our way of helping connect your dance questions with the dance experts who can answer them.

Whether you’re trying to navigate the nuances of insurance, music rights, or funding opportunities – DanceON Q&A’s are there to ensure you don’t have to confront a remedy on your own.

Follow us on our social channels to stay informed on upcoming Q&A’s and how to submit a question to our featured experts.

Expert Sessions have included Taxes during COVID with Jennifer Wan and Considerations for Training at Home with Pivot Dancer.

Sign Up Today.

The DanceON Series is available to all Dance Ontario members. To become a member today and gain access to the full offerings of the series as well as a wide-range of other benefits, visit our membership page.