May 22 2019 | Posted in Press Releases

RWB School celebrates five years of Sharing Dance

Calling all Winnipeggers; the city’s biggest all-access dance party returns to the Axworthy Health and RecPlex on May 31 for Sharing Dance Day. Sharing Dance Day, a nation-wide celebration of physical health and wellbeing, social engagement, and artistic inspiration, is free, open to the public, and attracts more than 20,000 people to events around the country. For the fifth year in a row, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) School and program founder Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) invites participants of all ages and abilities to join Sharing Dance Day, presented by Shaw Communications.

The event, which runs from 10:30AM – 12PM features performances by Rusalka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, the RWB School, Gearshifting Performance Works, B.O.S.S. Dance Team, and Folklorama performers traditional hoop dancer Shanley Spence and Viva Brasil. The 2019 Sharing Dance choreography is inspired by the theme ‘roots & identity’ and is a fusion of hip hop, contemporary, and African dance styles.

This year’s choreographers Philippe-Alexandre Jacques, RWB School Professional Division graduate, and Esie Mensah collaborated to create this year’s signature Sharing Dance choreography - a unique piece of choreography that explores how familial, cultural, and community roots influence identity.

“Considering the theme, Esie and I wanted to encourage people to delve into not only their family history, but also their community histories, to learn about their past, their present, and how it shapes them,” said Jacques. “We really enjoyed exploring this theme, especially with the very fun music of Kaytranada! Together, we created a piece that is not one, but many styles of dance. I am very much looking forward to seeing this dance come to life on Sharing Dance Day! It has always personally been a highlight of Sharing Dance to see and participate in the huge flash mob of the routine on Sharing Dance Day. Sharing in movement with another person, or with many people, is always special.”

This year, Sharing Dance was available to all Manitobans both online and through weekly free classes at the RWB from February 5 - May 28. Sharing Dance was also available in schools and community spaces through a variety of means. As just one example of this, our facilitated program sent RWB School artistic faculty to Winnipeg’s underserved neighbourhoods to deliver the program to young people in grades four to six in-person over 16 weeks from January through June, completely free of charge.

“We are fortunate to be in our third year of our partnership with the RWB’s facilitated Sharing Dance program. It has provided our students with an incredible learning opportunity to discover dance and find their voice,” said Amanda Andrade, Pinkham School art teacher. “Having a passionate and supportive instructor like Marilee from the RWB is the best part! The relationships that have been made over the years are ones our students will never forget. I am beyond grateful to have a support that guides myself and students in the process of dance. The program is much more than unpacking choreography, it’s building friendships, developing a story, and connecting all parts of learning through the Arts!”

Other Signature Official Sharing Dance Day events are also taking place in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.

Sharing Dance Day 2019 is made possible with the support of Presenting Partner Shaw Communications Inc., Sharing Dance Founding Donors Joan and Jerry Lozinski and the Government of Canada. NBS and the RWB School also gratefully acknowledges the support of Sharing Dance lead supporter the William R. and Shirley Beatty Charitable Fund, national programs supporters Scotiabank and Canadian Tire Jumpstart, and national partners Physical and Health Education Canada.

The RWB School gratefully acknowledges Winnipeg Sharing Dance Day Presenting Sponsor The Johnston Group and Community Partners Canadian Tire Jumpstart and The Axworthy Health & RecPlex Community Charter Fund.

“Our goal at Johnston Group is to help communities thrive,” says Dave Angus, President of Johnston Group Inc. “Sharing Dance Winnipeg helps young and old discover the joy of dance and all the physical and emotional benefits it brings. We are thrilled to play a part in this engaging and positive event.”

Please click here for a recent Winnipeg Sharing Dance Day video and here for a video on our Sharing Dance facilitated program. To learn more about Sharing Dance, please visit rwb.org/sharingdance or call the RWB School Office at 204.957.3467.