Michelle Silagy is a Toronto-based contemporary dance artist who maintains a close relationship between her arts practice and her teaching practice of 32 years. Silagy received an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Drama from San Diego State University (CA); is a School of Toronto Dance Theatre (STDT) Graduate (ON); and completed a Master of Fine Arts at the Department of Dance at York University (ON).
Her choreographic work has been presented in Amsterdam, Inuvik, New York, Winnipeg, Montreal, across Ontario, and in Toronto venues including The Gardiner Museum, where she presented ReTrace, a multi-generational, multi-ability performance event. A Master DanceAbility International© facilitator, Silagy has performed and trained with DanceAbility founder Alito Alessi at the ImPulsTanz International Dance Festival in Vienna’s Museumsquartier, the Cultural Centre, Baja California, Mexico, and at the Escuela Franklin Delano Roosevelt Latin America Disability Centre in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Silagy’s extensive work with children and youth joyfully informs her collaborations with artists of all ages through dance. As director of The Young Dancers’ Program at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre from 1990 to 2022, Silagy facilitated inclusive creative movement classes for children and youth which fostered dynamic movement invention in relationship to live music. She instigated WE Dance, inclusive dance for adults, in partnership with the STDT and Canada’s National Ballet School from 2017 to 2022. Silagy teaches extensively in Toronto and Ontario, and has designed curricula connecting movement with science and language for ages 3 to 16 for The Royal Conservatory of Music’s (RCM) Learning through the Arts Program, teaching throughout Canada and in London, England. She also originated dance models for RCM’s onsite research lab, Smart Start™, combining neuroscience with early childhood learning methods. As a pedagogue, Silagy develops multi-faceted training models while folding visual, movement, and dramatic influences into creative processes for the Artist in Community Education Masters Program at Queen’s University, and within pedagogical workshops for The School of Toronto Dance Theatre.
Silagy’s ongoing projects include Flying Hearts, a Dora-nominated Relaxed Performance made with Lynda Hill, which premiered at the International Wee Festival and toured in Ontario and Manitoba. Silagy works in partnership with Andrea Nann’s Dreamwalker Dance Company, Jumblies Theatre, and Moonhorse Dance Theatre, and is currently creating The Reverie Duets with dance artists who experience the world through widely diverse viewpoints.