Q & A: Siôned Watkins – NAC Dance Education Associate and Teaching Artist

Siôned Watkins © Andrew Alexander

Q. What is dance education about?

A. It’s about inspiring and encouraging brain and body development through movement.

Q. Your workshops reached more than 1,500 students and teachers last season. What’s excited you the most?

A. Last January I organized workshops with over 450 Indigenous youth all over Ottawa as part of activities surrounding Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) performance of Going Home Star. I also got to work with 50 artists from the North at a unique summit in Iqaluit. It was a life-changing experience that made me a better teacher and artist. I can’t wait to go back!

Q. How do participants react to your workshops?

A. It’s always amazing to see the kids’ faces. The experience really boosts their confidence. That’s the power of dance!

Q. For the Indigenous workshops, you worked with the RWB’s former principal dancer Jamie Vargas. How was that?

A. I hope that some of Jamie’s magic rubbed off on me. His dance outreach is astounding. It’s inspiring to watch someone captivate hundreds of children without ever raising their voice.

Q. Before coming to the NAC you danced professionally for more than 20 years. How has that experience shaped you?

A. For 10 of those years, I danced with choreographer Danièle Desnoyers’s company, Le Carré des Lombes. It’s thrilling to teach on a stage I performed on, in a city where I trained. My professional background feeds everything I do here.

Learn more at nac-cna.ca/education

Prélude magazine – The People
Holiday issue, 2016

Join our email list for the latest updates!