Siôned Watkins, NAC Dance Education Associate and Teaching Artist, is making dance accessible for all. A former professional dancer, she is grateful to have made the leap from performing on the NAC stage to working for the NAC to promote, celebrate, and share the gifts of movement and dance.
“I enjoy every opportunity to engage with artists, foster connections and meet new people,” she shares. “I am 100% about dance. I live it, breathe it and would eat it if I could! My path as a dancer (teacher and choreographer) has led me into the healing aspects of movement, health and wellness.”
Liz Winkelaar, a dancer with contemporary integrated dance company Propeller Dance, shares Siôned’s passion. Both Liz and Siôned are GYROKINESIS® Method instructors. In fact, Siôned, who has been teaching these inclusive movement methods for fifteen years, was Liz’s mentor. In February 2022, Liz became the first certified Gyrokinesis Method wheelchair user in Canada.
Last summer, Siôned and Liz taught Gyrokinesis classes for all abilities in the NAC’s public spaces. “Siôned has been working tirelessly to make community connections that bring a diversity of strengths to the NAC’s community programming,” Liz says. “She provides programming that brings in a whole new population to the NAC.”
This year, they are excited to introduce a new accessible dance workshop that they choreographed together. Balancing Act: A Sensory Movement Experience uses props for a fuller sensory experience and group creation for dancers of all abilities. “The NAC has given me the opportunity, through community programming, to share knowledge without traditional barriers,” Liz remarks. “Modelling inclusion by having an instructor with a disability allows people to feel encouraged and included in our offerings.”
Thank you for your generous contributions to the NAC Foundation which provide community members with enriching performing arts experiences!