June 29, 2023

The school year has come to a close and as we eagerly anticipate the start of our Summer Intensive programs, we find ourselves in a time of reflection, celebration, and bidding farewell to a remarkable group of individuals who have embarked on an incredible journey of learning and growth. We are immensely proud to announce that the graduates of our Professional Training Program are now stepping into the industry of Contemporary dance, ready to make their mark on the world.

Image composite of 10 graduate portraits with the text "Class of 2023"
Ellen Moore, Amelia Brown, Ella Parsons, Abby Hanson, Kt Ayer, Isey Schaffer-Hooper, Maya Santos O’Keefe, Camryn Rieksts, Peter Bannister, Rajvi Dedhia. Photos by Aidan Tooth.

These talented individuals have demonstrated unwavering dedication, passion, and a commitment to excellence. They have not only honed their technical skills but have also cultivated a deep understanding of the art form and its power to challenge boundaries. They have become a part of a close-knit community, fostering friendships, and collaborating with their peers, faculty, and visiting artists, all of which has contributed to their personal and artistic development. Each graduate has displayed exceptional artistry, bringing their unique voices to the forefront. Warmest congratulations to the class of 2023!


It is our pleasure to announce the award recipients of the Spring Bursaries, Kathryn Ash Scholarship, Leslie Wood Leadership Award, Winchester Prize, and the Kathryn Ash Choreographic Commission.

Spring Bursaries
Recipients: Rajvi Dedhia, Abby Hanson, Maya Santos O’Keefe

The Spring Bursary was established by Dance Arts to support students in their second and third year of study who demonstrate academic excellence and financial need. This bursary also prioritizes IBPOC students and is made possible through the generosity and support of our annual fund donors. The Spring Bursary awards a total of $4,000 annually.

The Kathryn Ash Scholarship
Recipient: Micaela Janse van Rensburg

The Kathryn Ash Scholarship is a merit-based award given to a deserving student entering their final year of study. It is made possible by donations to the Kathryn Ash Scholarship Fund. The fund was established by a group of generous donors, in memory of Kathryn Ash, former chair and president of Dance Arts’ Board of Directors. The scholarship amount equals half of the upcoming year’s domestic tuition.

Leslie Wood Leadership Award
Recipient: Rajvi Dedhia

The Leslie Wood Leadership Award is presented to a third year student who has displayed leadership qualities and has made a significant contribution to the life of Dance Arts. The award is named in honour of Leslie Wood, the exceptionally devoted former chair and president of Dance Arts’ Board of Directors, and recognizes Leslie’s dedication to Dance Arts and the role model she has provided to us all. The leadership award is $1,000.

The Winchester Prize
Recipients: Kt Ayer and Ellen Moore

The Winchester Prize was established through the generosity of Lindy Green and Sam Chaiton. The Prize is presented for choreographic distinction and perceived potential for creative development. In addition to a cash prize of $500, the recipients will receive support to further develop their work with the guidance of a mentor, as well as the presentation of their work under the aegis of the SummerWorks Performance Festival, valued at up to $20,000.

The Kathryn Ash Choreographic Commission
Recipient: Tanveer Alam

The Kathryn Ash Choreographic Commission is awarded by Dance Arts Institute to a choreographer selected to create a production with the students. We are delighted to have alum Tanveer Alam working with the second year class this fall for the production of December Dances 2023.


Our scholarships and bursaries are made possible through the generosity of our donors. Make a contribution today to directly support our students. Join us in our goal is to decrease the financial burden of post-secondary education and provide better access to dance training for all.

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