Share Dance: In Practice

Professional Development Workshops & Conversation Series on the Creative Aspects of Teaching Dance

Photo by Carla Alcántara


New Works began the Share Dance Program in 2014, employing dance artists to offer workshops to underserved youth, children, and families across Metro Vancouver. Over the years the program has grown and expanded in response to the community and the needs of our teachers. In 2022-23, Share Dance takes the next leap to offer Share Dance / In Practice, a new professional development series for dance teachers. 

Share Dance / In Practice is a space for continued education, peer to peer exchange and knowledge sharing for dance teachers. The dance classroom can become an isolating space where teachers are often lesson planning, teaching, and problem solving with very little feedback. Envisioned as an once-per-month gathering, this 8 month series brings teachers together to question, investigate, and expand their own teaching practices through the lens of diversity, inclusion and trauma-informed learning. While each workshop, panel discussions, or community conversation may shift in format to best support the chosen topics, each will be led by a selection of experts and artists from across the dance community and beyond. 

Share Dance / In Practice 2022-23 will be led and curated by artists + teachers Carolina Bergonzoni, Marco Esccer, and Lisa Mariko Gelley. New Works is thrilled to work with Carolina, Marco, and Lisa over the coming season as this program grows and takes shape. 

Share Dance: In Practice – Fall 2022

Integrative Professional Development

The fall/winter series presents four workshops plus an online manual and weekly resources and bibliography that will extend your dance teaching horizons through the lens of mental health, art therapy, trauma-informed and diversity tools, theatre, business, neuroscience, and more! You will have the opportunity to learn practical and useful skills that you’ll be excited to implement right away in your dance spaces.

Join this professional development series to update your dance toolbox and develop new and better practices in the classroom. Sign up details to be announced soon. This series will be led by In Practice Facilitator Marco Esccer

Share Dance: In Practice – Workshop 1 | Sunday, November 6, 3:15pm – 6:15pm

Mental Health Awareness

In this workshop we will investigate questions such as: What is trauma and how might it express in the body? What does it look like to emotionally regulate, create safe spaces, and express authentically? What is Neurodiversity and how can I better support neurodivergent students in a dance classroom? Learn skills to better prepare yourself as a dance teacher to understand the role of Mental Health in the studio and to support young dancers in their body-mind wellbeing. Workshop leaders Kami Reed Schuyler & Stephanie Ng.

Share Dance: In Practice – Workshop 2 | Sunday, November 20, 3:15pm – 6:15pm

Compassion and Self Care: Creating Safe Spaces

Develop your skills to support safer spaces for every body in the dance classroom. Together, we will explore teaching with compassion, body positivity/body neutrality, and supportive and invitational language. Learn about and model self care inside and outside the classroom so dancers can thrive in creative spaces and identify and advocate for their own needs. How can we embody and share the practice of agency as teachers? Workshop leaders Isak Enquist & Damian Kai Norman.

Share Dance: In Practice – Workshop 3 | Sunday, January 8, 3:15pm – 6:15pm

Honouring Diversity in the Classroom

Build your understanding of what is diversity and how to become a more inclusive educator. This workshop will offer up practical tools to work with marginalized or at risk communities in an authentic practice. Learn skills to celebrate, make space for, and bridge experience across cultures How can we best facilitate shared experience while honouring existing diversity of experiences? Workshop leaders Kay Barnes & Starr Muranko.

Share Dance: In Practice – Workshop 4 | Sunday, January 29, 3:15pm – 6:15pm

Growing as a Guide

In this workshop two arts leaders + teachers will share their insight and experience on guiding the passions of young artists. How, as teachers and guides, can we best support reflection, personal regulation and resilience in young dancers? Gain tools to engage the ‘first time dancer’ in true creative experience and foster meaningful experiences for new dancers. This workshop will empower you with tools to keep developing your unique voice as a dance educator. Workshop leaders Ily Ponce & Marissa Wong.

Who are these workshops for?

Share Dance: In Practice is envisioned as a place where dance teachers can gather, support each other, and learn new skills and tools for building a more welcoming and accessible dance classroom. Teachers of all dance class styles, age groups, and spaces are welcome to attend, though the bulk of conversations will be centred around teaching dance to children and youth.

Note quite sure if this is the right experience for you? Reach out to Fall Series Facilitator Marco Esccer with your questions.

Is each workshop different? What will I learn?

Each workshop will be lead by different artists/professionals in their fields, who will share their experience, best practices, and insight. Workshops will compliment each other, but are completely different. We welcome you to join us for the full series of four workshops or a selection. Please find workshop descriptions below and keep an eye on this space as workshop leaders are announced.

Still have questions about the content or format of a workshop? Reach out to Fall Series Facilitator Marco Esccer to chat more.

Note select digital resources to be shared in parallel with each unique workshop.

How much does each workshop cost?

Each 3 hour workshop costs $36 to attend.

Sign up for two and save $10 per workshop, sign up for three and save $13 per workshop, or sign up for all four and save $16 per workshop.

Would you like to attend but find this cost prohibitive? New Works offers free attendance to up to 5 participants who self-identify as economically disadvantaged. Please reach out to Charlotte Newman to request the discount code.

Would you like to attend but need to arrange childcare to be able to do so? New Works offers a $30 discount code to parents to support childcare costs while they are participating in the workshop. We recognize this is a small gesture as $30 will likely not cover 3 hours of childcare. We hope to be able to offer more robust support to parents in future. Please reach out to Charlotte Newman to request the discount code.

Tell me about Access in the Space

All workshops will be held in-person at Q7 Studios, 77 East 7th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5T 1M4.

The workshop will be hosted in the large studio space at Q7 Studios. Entrance to the space is from street level 7th avenue, with an indoor ramp leading from the entryway down to the studio space. Q7 Studios have gender neutral washrooms with two accessible stalls. Washrooms can be quickly accessed by a few stairs from the studio space, or by traveling back up the ramp and down the hall from the studio.

ASL interpretation will be provided upon request. Please reach out Charlotte Newman no later than two weeks before the start of a workshop so we can arrange appropriate interpretation to support your attendance.

Are you interested in attending the workshop series, but feel your access needs may not be met? We’re always learning, and our goal is to make this series as accessible and welcoming to the most folks possible. Please reach out to Charlotte and we’ll work together to see how we can make a version of the workshop accessible to you.

Share Dance: In Practice – Spring 2023


The Spring series fosters broader conversations around teaching as creative practice. How does teaching inform your choreographic or creative practice and vice versa? Join evolving conversations by sharing the language, energy, and physicality of your teaching practice. This series is envisioned as a space to hold our collective questions, build a community of colleagues, and activate the conversations that will carry us forward from here.

This is an invitation to dive into big questions, and ground ourselves in our actions of teaching and sharing dance. Dates, topics, gathering format, and sign up to be announced in November 2022. 

This series will be co-led by In Practice Facilitators Lisa Mariko Gelley and Carolina Bergonzoni

Meet the Facilitators

Carolina Bergonzoni

Carolina Bergonzoni is a dance artist, scholar, and educator. Originally from Italy, she moved to Vancouver, on unceded Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil- Waututh), and xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam) territories, in 2014. Her practices span between dancing, writing, and teaching from the body. She is the Artistic Associate of All Bodies Dance Project.

She holds a BA and MA in Philosophy, an MA in Comparative Media Arts, and a Ph.D. in Education from Simon Fraser University where her research focused on inclusive dance pedagogies. In 2011, she graduated as Dance Educator and Community Engagement Facilitator and, since then, she has been working on building communities of movers and thinkers with people from 0 to 99+ years old. Her choreographic work has been presented at festivals in Canada and Europe, including Vancouver Fringe Festival, Dance in Vancouver, Dancing on The Edge, BC Buds, Vines Arts Festival, and The Dance Centre.

She is passionate about the impact of teaching from the body, and cannot wait to see more educators and movers learn about their body and from their bodies! // Photo by  Luciana Freire D’Anunciação

Marco Esccer

Marco Esccer is a Mexican queer artist, performer, creator and educator, and has a diverse background from the technical to the therapeutic aspect of dance. He received his Bachelor in Ballet by the National Ballet and Contemporary School of Mexico City (2011-2016), followed by certifications Dance Movement Therapy, Yoga, and Progessive Ballet Technique, among others. Marco’s recent work has been performed with the support of Co.Erasga, 12 Minutes Maxat The Dance Centre, and Coastal City Ballet’s Incubator and Emerge programs. He is currently working on a choreography about migration as a guest choreographer with Coastal City Ballet. He has also worked with New Works as a  Share Dance Instructors since March 2021, and is excited to deepen this relationship and support connections between New Works and the wider dance community. // Photo by David Flores Rubio

Lisa Mariko Gelley

Lisa Mariko Gelley is an artist  and mother, living and working on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She received her training in classical, contemporary, and urban dance forms in Canada and Europe. Lisa is Artistic Co-Director of Company 605, a contemporary dance company in so-called Vancouver, creating original works for stage and film  through collaborative processes with artists in dance and many other disciplines. Lisa has worked and collaborated with artists including  Justine A. Chambers, Cindy Mochizuki, Amber Funk Barton, Miwa Matreyek, Maiko Yamamoto,  Ziyian Kwan, Vanessa Goodman, Jeanette Kotowich, Onibana Taiko, Dana Gingras,  Martha Carter, Karen Jamieson, and was a member of Aeriosa (Julia Taffe) for six years, broadening her practice to include vertical contemporary dance in rock climbing systems on urban building walls and mountains.  In addition to her work as a performer/choreographer, Lisa values opportunities to connect with young dancers and emerging professionals through contemporary dance education. Lisa is the recipient of the 2015 Vancouver International Dance Festival Choreographic Award. // Photo by David Cooper