Wednesday Dance Jam
General Info Questions l Teachers/Levels Music Lineup l After Jam
 


2017 Teachers and Class Levels

Class before the Jam
6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, weekly, $10 a class

Levels:
Fundamental - Basic skills will be taught. This level is appropriate for contact dance beginners who want to learn basic skills and for seasoned contact dancers who want to hone basic skills that are building blocks for more advanced work.

All Levels - This level is appropriate for any training level.

 
RDDP's Wed Dance Jam Boundaries Guidelines

 
 
Date Pre-jam Teachers Level
Jan 4 Kathleen Rea All Levels Contact Dance
Jan 11 Kathleen Rea All Levels Contact Dance
Jan 18 Kathleen Rea All Levels Contact Dance
Jan 25 Kathleen Rea all levels Contact Dance
Feb 1 Kathleen Rea
All Levels Contact Dance
Feb 8 Kathleen Rea
All Levels Contact Dance
Feb 15 Madeleine Shen All Levels Contact Dance
Feb 22 Madeleine Shen All levels Contact Dance
Mar 1 Kathleen Rea
Contact Dance Fundamentals
Mar 8 Claire Reid All Levels Contact Dance
Mar 15 Vivek Patel All Levels Contact Dance
Mar 22 Zita Nyarady
Contact Dance Fundamentals
Mar 29 Zita Nyarady All Levels Contact Dance
Apr 5 Zita Nyarady Contact Dance Fundamentals
Apr 12 Claire Reid
All Levels Contact Dance
Apr 19 Suzanne Liska Contact Dance Fundamentals
Apr 26 Suzanne Liska All Levels Contact Dance
May 3 Suzanne Liska All Levels Contact Dance
May 10 Suzanne Liska All Levels Contact Dance
May 17 Kathleen Rea
Contact Dance Fundamentals
May 24 Daniel Bear Davis
All Levels Contact Dance
May 31 Kathleen Rea
All levels Contact Dance
Jun 7 Mike Maclean All Levels Contact Dance
Jun 14 Mike Maclean All Levels Contact Dance
Jun 21 Kathleen Rea All Levels Contact Dance
Jun 28 Tom Weksler All Levels Contact Dance
Jul 5 Kathleen Rea All levels Contact Dance
Jul 12 Vivek Patel
All Levels Contact Dance
Jul 19 Ulli Wittemannl All Levels Contact Dance
Jul 26 Vivek Patel All Levels Contact Dance
Aug 2 Kathleen Rea All Levels Contact Dance
Aug 9 Kathleen Rea All Levels Contact Dance
Aug 16 Eric Liu All Levels Contact Dance
Aug 23 Eric Liu All Levels Contact Dance
Aug 30 Eric Liu
All Levels Contact Dance
Sept 6 Kathleen Rea All Levels Contact Dance
Sept 13 Kathleen Rea Contact Dance Fundamentals
Sept 20 Kathleen Rea All Levels Contact Dance
Sept 27 Kathleen Rea All Levels Contact Dance
Oct 4 Allen Kaeja All Levels Contact Dance
Oct 11 Kathleen Rea
All Levels Contact Dance
Oct 18 Allen Kaeja All Levels Contact Dance
Oct 25 Puja Jones
Contact Dance Fundamentals
Nov 1 Puja Jones All Level Contact Class
Nov 8 Henry Wai All Levels Contact Dance
Nov 15 Henry Wai All Levels Contact Dance
Nov 22 Tanya Williams
All Levels Contact Dance
Nov 29 Tanya Williams All Levels Contact Dance
Dec 6 Kathleen Rea
Contact Dance Fundamentals
Dec 13 Kathleen Rea
All Levels Contact Dance
Dec 20 Kathleen Rea All Levels Contact Dance
Dec 27 Kathleen Rea All Levels Contact Dance

Biographies of Core Teachers

Erin Godfrey (Toronto)
Erin Godfrey has over a decade of experience teaching pilates, with full certification in both Mat and Equipment Pilates through the Physical Mind Institute.

Erin began her career studying classical ballet for ten years (National Ballet School), continuing studies in Anatomy, Kinesiology, Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics at Toronto's George Brown College. After struggling for several years with chronic back pain and poor health, Erin recovered from her injuries and regained her strength and stamina using pilates. Inspired by the benefits of pilates and movement education, she continues to develop her studies and practice working with a wide variety of clients including elite athletes, fitness enthusiasts, seniors, newcomers and those with injury or chronic pain.

Certifications include Mat & Equipment Pilates, Personal Training, Life Coaching; Health & Wellness Specialist. She has studied with master teachers Susan Greskivitch, Eileen Birk, Kathy Grant, Marie Jose-Bloom, Riki Richter and Susan Sinclair. Erin also has additional training in The Franklin Method, Feldenkrais, Anatomy Trains, Thomas Myers, Alexander Technique and Developmental Movement.



Pam Johnson (Toronto)
has been dancing, choreographing, teaching and directing in Toronto for 28 years. She has danced for many choreographers including: Paula Ravitz, Dave Wilson, Susan McKenzie, Darcey Callison, Viv Moore, Kaeja D'Dance and Kathleen Rea.  In 2009 she choreographed and produced Brother , Can you spare a dime? at Winchester Street Theatre. Her choreography has appeared in fFida, Dances for a Small Stage, Square Zero, Dance Matters series, on bicycles, trapezes and in anti-war events. She has been commissioned to create work for the MacMaster Dancers, Flightworks Dance Co., composer John Oswald, Kid in the Hall Bruce McCullough, actor/playwright Diane Flacks and performance artist Phillip Barker and taiko drummers, Raging Asian Women. She is a founding member of High Xposure: Rock Climbing Dance Theatre and dance buskers, Bo Mon 7 Pagolac.  Pam's theatre credits include: Myth Me and By a Thread (Mythproductions), Gravity Calling (Tarragon), The Stranger (Praxis Theatre). Her film credits include features Zero Patience and Million Dollar Babies and many independent films. She has toured the world as an actor/dancer with the acclaimed Canadian Opera Co. production, Bluebeard’s Castle/Erwartung directed by Robert LePage. As a director, Pam’s credits include the Canadian premier of Marx in Soho, A Tribute to Howard Zinn and music video Toronto’s Price Tag.  Pam’s dance specialty is Contact Improvisation. She is co-coordinator of the Toronto  Sunday Contact Jam, now in its 34th year. She has received grants from the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.  She is a faculty member in theatre at Humber College, George Brown College and at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre.

Puja Jones (Toronto)
Puja Jones is a Contact Improvisation dancer and teacher, Underscore facilitator, performer, Shiatsu Therapist, and photographer. As one of the coordinators and teachers for the Toronto Sunday Contact Jam, she has facilitated classes that weave the foundational skills of Shiatsu Therapy, the expanded awareness of meditation practice and the increased sensitivity from her trait as a highly sensitive person. This focus allows a deeper experience of one’s sensations and receptivity to information, through all the senses, which gives more options during an improvised dance. She enjoys performing in live community dance productions with Create Move Connect and for Contact Improvisation and Ecstatic Dance films. As a photographer she takes pictures of local dancers and has coordinated the Photography Lab at the Ontario Regional Contact Jam.



AllenAllen Kaeja
(Toronto)
Allen Kaeja is an internationally recognized and award winning choreographer and filmmaker. Invited in 1981 by the Ontario Olympic Wrestling Federation, to compete for “the team,” he chose dance as his career instead. Since 1982, he has created over a hundred dance pieces and has choreographed for twenty-six films. Allen is Co-Artistic Director of Kaeja d’Dance with his life partner Karen Kaeja. He is co-founder of the CanAsian International Dance Festival (1996-present) and fFIDA (1991-2000). His stage works have been presented in festivals around the world, including in Norway, Sweden, Israel, the UK, Portugal, India, Mexico, Venezuela, Spain, the USA, as well as at the VANOC Cultural Olympiad. Allen has also received a number of commissions from international dance companies from Sweden, UK, India, Mexico, the USA, Norway, among others. Allen’s awards include the prestigious Clifford E. Lee, K.M. Hunter, and Paul D. Fleck Choreography Awards (Canada), the Bonnie Bird Award (UK), a UNESCO citation, and the Moving Picture Award for best performance (Canada). Allen also performed as Pushkin in Moze Mossanen’s Gemini-winning dance film Nureyev.

In addition, Kaeja films have been screened all across the globe and have been nominated for the American Choreography Awards (LA) and the Banff World Television Festival Awards (Canada). They have received special ‘Jury Mentions’ from IMZ (Europe) and American Dance Festival (USA). The Kaeja films are also a part of the permanent collection at the MoMA, the Jewish Museum in New York, and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Israel. Allen is just completing another Bravo!FACT for an upcoming dance film, Oxygen, co-directed with Oscar-winning special-effects master Colin Chilvers.

Allen and Karen Kaeja teach Master classes in Kaeja Elevations and Dance Film. Allen is also currently on faculty at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre (since 1991) and at Ryerson University (since 2002). He has just published his second book, entitled Transcending Media: Adapting the Dance Production Asylum of Spoons, from Stage to Film.Allen is currently working on his third book, Kaeja Elevations, in which he has completed principle cinematography and photography.

This year alone, Allen has received a dozen national and international commissions, in the USA, Mexico, and elsewhere. His work, Jericho, for Ut I Scenekunsten, has been touring Norway for the past two years, and his recent concert with Karen Kaeja, X-ODUS and Crave, celebrating Kaeja d’Dance, was an audience and critical success. Finally, Allen worked as the International Guest Choreographer and Judge for Mexico’s Canal22 and their dance reality series Opera Prima. Allen just completed YET (2013), a trio for three powerful men, for Canada's Ballet Jorgen.

Allen and Karen were finalists in the TD Diversity Award 2013, Now Magazines “Best Local Choreographer 2011” and Canadian Dance Assembly I Love Dance National Awards for Innovation and Community 2012, of which they won the latter. They were also listed in the Globe and Mails BEST DANCE 2012 for Porch View Dances!

 


Karen Kaeja
(Toronto)
Karen Kaeja is a Dora Award nominated performer and Co-Artistic director of Kaeja d’Dance with Allen Kaeja. “The mastermind behind Porch View Dances”(PVD) Toronto Star, her awards include the CDA “I Love Dance” Community Award for PVD and the Paul D. Fleck Fellowship for Innovation. Distinguished in 3 Encyclopedia’s - The Canadian, The Canadian Who's Who and the Theatre Dance Encyclopedia in Canada, Karen was nominated for the 10th Annual American Choreography and 2006 Banff World Television Awards, NFLD’s ACE award, and with Allen, she was a finalist for TD Arts Diversity Award, the CDA “I Love Dance” Innovation Award and NOW magazine’s 2011 Best Local Choreographer and 2015 Best Dance Company runner-up. Karen co-founded aLOFT, FIP, Kd’D2, and currently is Co-Artistic director of Cloud 9 with Claudia Moore. A performer for over 100 stage-works, 20 dance films, a choreographer, educator, mentor and project instigator, the heart of her current research and critical writing concentrates on Touch, which is informed by her solo and duet practice. Karen and Allen’s lifeDUETs series has found a place in the Canadian landscape with critically acclaimed commissions by Tedd Robinson and Benjamin Kamino. Karen has been commissioned and presented by festivals, conferences, universities and performance series around the world. She initiates site-specific and audience interactive engagement performance strategies – PVD, Birds Eye view, Wedding Brigade, Flock Landing. Karen teaches improvisation and partnering at the School of the Toronto Dance Theatre, Brock University and globally. The first resident dance artist for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival in 2012, Karen was also appointed Memorial University/Dance NFLD’s first dance artist in residence in 2014. NOW Magazine has twice celebrated Karen as one of this country’s top ten dance artists and is referred to as "one of Toronto’s top Improvisers" Toronto Life. This season includes a 6 city tour to Mexico with Touch (excerpt of Crave), “one of Karen’s finest, absolutely haunting” Globe and Mail, the development of 2 new works, commissions to co-create new works in the UK, Mexico and NB with Allen through 2017, plus national touring of PVD including Canada Dance Festival and performances with Cloud 9 (creations by Lina Cruz and DA Hoskins). www.kaeja .org

Eric Liu (Toronto)
Eric is a movement artist with a range of backgrounds over the course of nearly two decades of training. He is a breakdancer with the Organic Mechanics crew and a contemporary circus artist. He has competed in various acrobatic sports including trampolining with Skyriders and cheerleading with Team Canada. With additional training in martial arts, acro yoga and contact improvisation, he brings a integrated cross-disciplinary approach to his movement practices.


Suzanne Liska (Toronto)
Suzanne Liska is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher and co-founder of aLOFT, a dance performance ensemble. Suzanne collaborates with dancers in Canada, USA, Japan and Europe. She has worked with choreographers Rebecca Bryant, Susan Lee, Maxine Heppner, Pam Johnson, Karen Kaeja and Kathleen Rea. Suzanne holds Bachelor Degrees in Arts and in Education and has been a teacher for 16 years. She teaches professional dancers, actors, high school and elementary school students, and community dancers. Her main classes include Contact Improv, Conditioning, Advanced Partnering, AIM (Alexander Technique Informed Movement) with Susan Sinclair and Ensemble Improvisation. Funded by a SSHRC award while currently pursuing her MFA in Dance at York University, allowed her the opportunity to research, teach and perform in Japan and choreograph a new piece for 2017. Suzanne has been a faculty teacher at the Randolph Academy for Performing Arts College program since 2011 and currently a course director in dance at York University.

 

Mike Maclean (Toronto)

Mike is a big fan of biking downhill with the wind at his back. It is this feeling he looks for in contact dance. It can be hard to find but well worth the effort. His main movement practice is Taiost Tai Chi for 20 years, and he has been dancing with great people at Toronto Contact Jams for about 13 years. He has studied a lot of other stuff over the years (probably too much to list here!) to support his body and allow him to continue to dance. Currently, he is looking forward to his Tomato harvest.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIdfxmSOuOg




Eroca Nicols (on the road)
After earning her Honors BFA in Film/Video/Performance and Sculpture from California College of the Arts (San Francisco and Oakland, CA), Eroca Nicols artistic practice shifted to dance and movement. She studied in the professional programs at both Ballet Creole and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre before pursuing further training in release-based and improvisational dance forms. She is currently a Toronto-based dance artist and educator. Her choreographic work through her company, Lady Janitor, has appeared at: Nuit Blanche, Toronto, The Cube (Bristol, UK), Dance in My Backyard, Toronto's International Dance Day, Dance Matters Performance Series, Fresh Blood, Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, Fringe Toronto and The Young Centre for the Performing Arts. In addition to her own work, Eroca also performs in the work of others among these artists are Pam Johnson, Les Imprudanses, Kaeja d'Dance and Dreamwalker dance projects. Eroca is Co-Founder of the Toronto Dance Community Love-In, with fellow dancer Amanda Acorn. She teaches contact and contemporary dance as well as Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Eroca’s teaching and training are deeply influenced in her continued study of the Axis Syllabus.

 

Zita Nyarady
Zita Nyarady
(Toronto)
Zita Nyarady (BPhil, BA, MES, PTP, PhD in Progress) is a dance, theatre and Circus artist. Zita jams, performs using contact improvisation and teaches. Zita has taught CI in Canada (including assisting Kathleen Rea at George Brown College), USA, Jamaica and Sweden. Highlights in her artistic training include the professional training program in Physical Theatre at Dell’arte international, study with Grupo Yuyachkani (Peru), scholarship recipient for the Bates Dance Festival where she trained with Nancy Stark-Smith, Chris Aiken and Angie Houser, participation in La Alternativa New Years Intensives (San Fransisco) and being a member of the International Stilt Council at Odin Teatret (Denmark). Thanks to a Theatre Ontario grant Zita trained with the artistic directors of Pilobolus in spring/summer 2014. Zita has had the good fortune of performing in various dance/theatre/circus projects across Canada, USA, Jamaica, Sweden, Scotland and Denmark.  Zita makes performances: ones that involve giant stilt-birds building nests in cities, ones that involve the reincarnation of Amelia Earhart tangled in aerial silks, ones that involve 100+ canoes paddling in a clown production of The Odyssey and ones that have yet to be created.


Vivek Patel (Toronto)
Biography to be posted soon




Kathleen Rea
(Toronto)
Kathleen Rea (Axis Syllabus Teacher Candidate) danced with Canada's Ballet Jorgen, National Ballet of Canada & Tiroler Landestheater (Austria). She has Master's degree in expressive arts therapy and is a registered Psychotherapist. Kathleen teaches Contact Dance at George Brown Dance and Niagara College. She founded the Wednesday Dance jam in Toronto and is the director of the Contact Dance International Film Festival. Kathleen has choreographed over 40 dance works for her company REAson d’etre dance productions & other organizations. She was nominated for five DORA awards for her choreography of Long Live (2008) and The Velveteen Rabbit (2013). In 2010, Kathleen was winner of the K. M. Hunter Award. In 2013 her book The Healing Dance was published by Charles C. Thomas.
www.the-healing-dance.com

 

Claire Reid (Toronto)
Claire is a dancer, teacher, and movement coach whose greatest joy is sharing and exploring with her students and collaborators. She began ballet classes when she was four years old and since then has intensively studied modern, salsa, various contemporary dance techniques, as well as internal martial arts. Claire has a B.F.A. in Acting and for several years enjoyed performing in both classical and contemporary theatre while also apprenticing with David Earle, co-founder of Toronto Dance Theatre. Along with many theatre credits, Claire has worked with a variety of choreographers including Susie Burpee, Robert Kingsbury, Janet Johnson, Graham Mckelvie, Meagan O’Shea, and Alice Irene. She has been a collaborator with the companies Dancetheatre David Earle, Je Suis Julio, and Being Human Dance. Claire enjoys teaching Contemporary dance, Qigong, and Taijiquan to youth, adults, and seniors. Her current focus is an ongoing study of Taijiquan, Qigong, Baguazhang, and Kung Fu at Spiritwind Internal Arts as well as a passion for human design and movement facilitated by her engagement with the research of the Axis Syllabus International Research Community. Claire is a certified Qigong teacher as well as a Level I Radiant Lotus Women’s Qigong Teacher and continues to deepen her Qigong practice under the mentorship of Sifu Dylan Kirk and Sifu Daisy Lee. Drawing on her diverse experience in movement and performing arts, Claire continues to explore new ways of moving, being, and learning. She uses movement practices as a way to deepen awareness and connection, with a focus on honouring the integrity of the body. She is a member of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists.

 

Madeleine Shen (Toronto) 
Madeleine Shen likes to investigate and practice bio-mechanically profound movement - right now she is especially interested in fractal patterns found in the universe. She has been studying with the Axis Syllabus since 2012. She is a Co-Artistic Director of the Toronto Dance Community Love-In, and she also mentors and tutors high school students in Math, Science, French, and Critical Thinking. She studied Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, and Modern Dance at The Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and The Limón Institute, in NYC. Madeleine just began a new chapter studying at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, with a dream of one day combining her chiropractic health care practice with movement education.





Henry Wai (Toronto)
Henry Wai started dancing at the age of 44 and has been having fun exploring a world of movement possibility ever since. For Henry, dance has been a joyful, embodied pathway to presence - our ability to listen and respond to each moment, as well as for connection and realising potential. His practice of dancing Contact Improvisation has benefited most from:
- dancing with dancers of diverse experience levels in places including Seattle, Winnipeg, Ann Arbor, Kitchener, Montreal, Boston and Washington
- learning from the classes and workshops of many generous teachers
- experience facilitating Contact Improvisation classes (especially for newcomers)
- presence cultivated from the practices of Nonviolent Communication, Toaist tai chi and vipassana meditation.

 


Tanya Williams
(Guelph, Ontario)
Tanya Williams is a context artist with a passion for dancing with systems… in community, on the land, and in the body.  A graduate in Environmental Studies at UW with a focus on the arts as a vehicle for fundamental change, Tanya is drawn to the integration of creative and ecological thinking.  She has been facilitating and performing for 19 years, drawing on her experience in Forum, Playback, site-specific, environmental, and physical theatre, visual art, puppetry, movement and sound improvisation, choreography, modern dance, Aikido, Contact Improvisation, Authentic Movement, Dynamic Integration bodywork, Alexander Technique movement education, organic farming and intentional living. In recent years she has performed in the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, with The MT Space, Portal Dance Projects, Fall On Your Feet Dance Lab Collective, The Embodied Cognition Collective and Philip Beasley's architectural installation: Hylozoic Ground. She is a co-founder of the Ontario Regional Contact Jam, Friends of the Floor Dance-Theatre and The Living Room Context.  She also works in the field of Person-Centred Planning and Facilitation and resides in the living experiment: Household as Ecology in Kitchener-Waterloo.  www.tanyawilliams.ca