in the Theatre
I was enrolled in dance as a 5 year old who did it all the time in the living room. I kept it up, along with piano, until I got my flute as a teenager. I quit dance for a few years to pursue the flute, but gave that up around the same time I left home. As an adult, I migrated back to dance and trained professionally with The School of Contemporary Dancers (SCD) Senior Professional Program. Throughout that program, I began teaching dance to children ages 3-17 at many different schools – Westwood Collegiate, The SCD General Program, Focus Studio Dance, and The Osborne Street Dance Club (OSDC). I taught creative dance, ballet, modern, and jazz, and had many students enter, very successfully, into the Manitoba Dance Festival, in groups as well as solos. I also had the opportunity to Co-Direct the OSDC with Treasure Waddell for two years. As such, I created and distributed advertising material and quarterly newsletters, conducted registration for over one hundred students, and organized as well as choreographed for the year end recitals. I helped create yearly schedules with several workshops throughout the year, and organized up to three fundraising ventures per year.
The SCD-SPP taught me discipline and the beauty of art. I also learned so much about the body and movement, and took a Human Anatomy and Physiology course at the University of Winnipeg (U of W) as one of my electives to compliment my dancing. After my first year, I suffered an injury to my sacro-iliac joint and took two years off training to recover, during which time I was still able to teach and attend University – attempting to make Math my minor, possibly working towards an Education degree. When I returned to my training, I had a renewed sense of commitment to performance. In my final year I took a “Lighting Design for Dance” course with Hugh Conacher which changed my outlook on the dance world entirely – you don’t have to be a dancer to be “in dance”. I began to explore the production world, and after my first shift at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival I was a changed person.
I began taking every backstage call I could find, and learned how to operate a lighting console. I took the Intro to Production course at the U of W and found there was a desire for dance-trained technicians to operate the dance shows. As things progressed, I honed my eye for theatrical lighting, as I continued to get calls in both theatre and dance production. I had the opportunity to design for independent shows, and eventually for companies such as Theatre Flamenco and NAfro Dance Productions. I worked as Production/Stage Manager for Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, NAfro, TRIP Dance, Ruth Cansfield Dance, Young Lungs, and Stephanie Ballard, among many other independent Winnipeg-based companies.
I have had the opportunity to travel to work as lighting designer at the NAC Studio in Ottawa, stage manager in Toronto, production/stage manage in Montreal, venue technician for the Edmonton Fringe, and lighting director in Saskatoon. I also had the chance to be Head Electrician at Prairie Theatre Exchange on their first show of the season this year. All the work has been very hands on, and has given me acute knowledge of how to multi task under pressure. I have dealt with all kinds of people, and I have learned time management within rigid deadlines. I have a solid background in management, budgeting, staffing, and communication with varied groups of unconventional people under heavy amounts of stress.
I love the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, I’m coming up to my 5th year with the festival and guaranteed, and it’s always the most exciting time of year!