Education and Classes, GBD Alumni, News + Media

Message from GBD Associate Director: Derek Sangster

March 2, 2020

“It is both fulfilling and rewarding to witness each student approach the rigorous daily schedule with commitment and desire to learn.”

The 2019/2020 school year ushered in a wonderful group of fresh, excited and focused dance students. These aspiring artists, in all three unique GBD programs, have approached the demands and work ethic with exemplary results. It is both fulfilling and rewarding to witness each student approach the rigorous daily schedule with commitment and desire to learn.

Our Fall Term welcomed 5 returning Alumni as choreographers to create new works on our present student body. Special thank you to Jenna Bee, Hannah Drover, Jamaica Fraser, Madi Gibson and Alison Viegas. Their unique and well-crafted pieces filled the program for IN HAUS 2019, and was enjoyed by all who attended over two evenings in December.

The final weeks of Term 1 were very busy. Our Commercial Dance class displayed their vocal abilities in a Holiday Medley, alongside works performed by Canada’s Ballet Jörgen throughout GBC’s three campuses. With the amount of growth these students have displayed thus far, I can’t wait to see what the future holds. 

End of Term 1 also saw auditions for Unleashed 2020. We welcomed our distinguished guest artists — Sharon Moore and Lauren Cooke. Both dance creators maintain an extensive breadth of work and are inspiring artists within the Canadian dance community. Rounding out the programming, we will feature new works by Cynthia Macedo, Tina Fushell and yours truly. UNLEASHED 2020 is always a highlight of our school year and we hope you join us at the Betty Oliphant Theatre April 3 & 4.

Derek Sangster’s “intersection” from Unleashed ’19. Photo by SVPhotography.

In Winter Term, GBD was excited to once again be part of Dance Ontario ‘20. The opportunity to perform in this provincial dance staple is such an inspiring way to connect with the diverse members of the dance community. We attended the on the MOVE conference — hosted by DTRC and it’s hard to believe but we’ve already been auditioning prospective students for Fall 2020!

Derek with GBD dancers at Dance Ontario ’20.
Gen Z from Dance Ontario with choreography by Irma Villafuerte, Music by Ibrahim Ferrer, Slow Meadow, Lido Pimienta, Onda Tropica. Dancers: Jenna Bee, Rebecca Chan, Katie Couchie, Devon Crew, Hannah Drover, Tamera Edwards-Fraser, Jamaica Fraser, Brynn Keffen, Melisaa MacTavish, Alison Viegas. Photo by SVPhotography.

I hold a firm belief that dance is an art and a discipline that can expand a person’s horizons. The discipline that comes from the practice of dance has its own reward. The opportunity to combine the discipline and creativity of dance, and to share it with students, is a view that all GBD faculty share. I am extremely proud to be a part of this.

Yours in dance,
Derek