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National Dance Week




International Dance Day Youth Messages submitted to Alberta Dance Alliance

Sophie Margaret Leiteh - Grade 7 ~ "I dance for myself, I do not dance for you. I do not dance for the technique, but my body. I dance for the choreography and for the music. I do not dance for approval, recognition. I dance to instill that small feeling into onlookers that is so indescribable. When we begin to dance not for the sake of dance, but for the sake of competition, we lose the dance itself. And so take the critique and tips and listen to your teachers, and those critics that pick you apart and try to separate movement from technique. But when you dance, dance for dance. When the going is tough, and the success is little, that is when you separate artist from athlete. And when we dance for others, dance for their hearts, not their minds."

Anna Johnson - Grade 7 ~ "Dance is a universal language. Dance can communicate everything about someone. When i dance, I feel as if a weight is being lifted from my shoulders. Dance makes me feel vulnerable and strong at the same time. Dance is more than an art form, It is a life style."

CBC Arts - Happy International Dance Day!

How to Share With Just Friends

How to share with just friends.

Posted by Facebook on Friday, December 5, 2014


Canadian Choreographer’s Message, Roger Sinha – April 29, 2017

Initiated in 1982 by the International Dance Committee of the UNESCO International Theatre Institute, International Dance Day falls on April 29 of every year, commemorating the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, a distinguished choreographer that brought about significant reforms in ballet production. Since 2005, the Canadian Dance Assembly has issued a Canadian message in conjunction with the UNESCO message. This year, CDA invited Roger Sinha of Sinha Danse to share his inspirational message to all Canadians.

"Dance is what sets us apart and what brings us together. Individually, our unique voice is the authenticity that our bodies can express. Nobody in this entire world, the billions of people, walks the way you walk. Walking is just one expression of movement; there is also falling, jumping, skipping, running, shaking, turning and turning and turning until you spin. I spin my way; you spin yours. It’s who I am and it’s who you are. My individuality, the seeking of my own uniqueness, moulds the themes of my work: Indian, Armenian, Canadian, Québecois, male.  
So mould yourself; spin your own tale. Then come together. Dance is the great unifier and so we need it now, as our world seems to be embracing that which sets us apart.

The other is another and he is not my brother.

NO, I say! dance together brothers and sisters.

The more we can celebrate diversity, the more we can be accepting of others." 
~ Roger Sinha

Roger Sinha was born in England to an Armenian mother and an Indian father, and later moved at the age of eight to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. After graduating from Toronto Dance Theatre, he settled in Montreal and quickly became involved in several collaborations within the blossoming local artistic community. He danced in the renowned work, Joe, by choreographer Jean-Pierre Perreault, where he forged relationships with many dancers and choreographers including Hélène Blackburn, Sylvain Émard, Pierre Paul Savoie and Daniel Soulières. In 1991, he formed his company Sinha Danse and began developing his distinct choreographic language based on an intermingling of his Indian background and Canadian culture. His creations unite Bharata Natyam, a dance originating in Southern India, martial arts and contemporary dance. This unique fusion of influences has given birth to hybrid choreographies that are unquestionably distinctive.

In 2016, he won the Cultural Diversity Prize in Dance, given with a $ 10,000 bursary, presented by the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the Prix de la danse de Montréal. Roger Sinha's works often reflect issues of diversity, and the CAM's jury recognized his exceptional contribution to the development of the discipline, the originality of his approach, and his steadfast commitment to fellow artists and citizens.
Watch a short Retrospective from Sinha Danse - a look back at the past 25 years of contemporary dance and creation!

Retrospective from Sinha Danse on Vimeo.

International Choreographer's Message, Lemi Ponifasio – April 29, 2017 

Initiated in 1982 by the International Dance Committee of the UNESCO International Theatre Institute, International Dance Day falls on April 29 of every year, commemorating the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre, a distinguished choreographer that brought about significant reforms in ballet production. Every year, an international message authored by a well-known dance personality is circulated around the world as part of International Dance Day celebrations. Check the ITI Unesco website to view the international message.

KARAKIA (Prayer)
Touch the cosmos 
the source of our divinity 
the face of the ancestors 
so we can see our children

Woven above beside below
unite all within
our flesh and bones 
and memory

The Earth is turning
humans in mass migration
turtles gather in silent preparation
the heart is injured

Make dance
a movement of love
a movement of justice
the light of truth
~ Lemi Ponifasio

Lemi Ponifasio is a Samoan and New Zealand choreographer, dancer, stage director, designer and artist. Ponifasio was born in Lano, Samoa.

>> More information about Lemi Ponifasio

Previous Canadian Messages

Since 2005, the Canadian Dance Assembly has issued a Canadian message in conjunction with the UNESCO message.

Read the 2016 Canadian Message by Susanne Chui
Read the 2015 Canadian Message by Luca 'Lazylegz' Patuelli
Read the 2014 Canadian Message by Santee Smith
Read the 2013 Canadian Message by Vicki Adams Willis
Read the 2012 Canadian message by Yvon Soglo "Crazy Smooth"

2017 National Youth Ambassador

The Canadian Dance Assembly is proud to partner with Luca "Lazylegz" Patuelli as the National Youth Ambassador for Dance for the next two years. Patuelli will be spreading his inspiring message of “No Excuses, No Limits” to youth across the country online and in person.

Luca “Lazylegz” Patuelli has been dancing (B-boying) since he was 15-years-old. Born with Arthrogryposis, a birth defect affecting the bone structure, joint movement, and muscle growth in his legs, Luca has been using crutches from a very young age. He has developed a unique dance style incorporating his crutches and the strength in his arms, that has gotten him worldwide recognition. Continue reading about Luca HERE.

Luca is co-founder of Projet-RAD, an organization that provides people with various disabilities the opportunity to take inclusive urban dance classes in a warm and safe environment adapted to their needs. Along with co-founders Melissa Emblin and Marie-Élaine Patenaude, Luca was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by the Governor General David Johnston in December 2015.



Alberta Dance Alliance Alberta Foundation for the Arts Edmonton Arts Council City of Edmonton