Volume 4, Issue 2 - March 2002

Artistic Director's Message
Administrative Co-ordinator's Message
Assistant Artistic Director's Messages 
The Dance Connection
Centre for Dance Show Euphoria
McMaster Urban Dance Competition Review 
Spring/Summer Dance Classes Schedule
Participants Per Dance Style (Winter 2002)
Instructor Feedback
Schools Outreach Program
Kinesiology Dance Classes Review
Guest Teachers/Artist in Residence
Fall Auditions 2002
McMaster Dance Club Update
Hamilton Dance Company Update
Parahumans Dance Theatre
Newsletter and Photo Credits

Artistic Director's Message 

Once again we have just about survived another year of mad creativity, rehearsals, performances, administration, outreach, injuries, trips, special events, weather, e-mails and the Urban Dance Competition. This latter element was jammed into place relying on the time a few weeks before and after Christmas to marshal the forces needed to present Urban dance to an eager public on February 2nd. We did it! Over 100 competitors and 200 audience members seated in the bleachers of the main gym watched the latest dance moves from Hamilton and beyond. Ten professional judges awarded prizes and Cable 14 ran a 90-minute special. Our own Urban Dance Company presented three demonstration pieces. The goal of making McMaster a hotbed of hip hop and break culture was clearly achieved. With 140 students taking classes in these styles of dance at Mac, our future looks rosy.

We participated in the American College Dance Festival again, having first entered in 1989. Besides our Urban Company performing in an Informal concert at the University of Michigan, our modern company (McMaster Dancers) entered two works in the adjudicated concert. Jena McGill’s Rediscovery of Inertia and my own Charm So Strongly Works Them received good feedback and the dancers gave sterling performances.

I’d like to give special thanks again to my creative and admin team this year - the sad thing is that many of them will be moving on from Mac this Spring. The team: Jill Paradis - Admin Coordinator/Coordinator - Interdisciplinary Group; Regina Kamau - Admin Assistant; Bahar Khosroshahi - Admin Assistant; Tomiko Robson - Assistant Artistic Director (McMaster Dancers); Heather Finn - Performance Coach (McMaster Dancers); Michelle Odle - Assistant Artistic Director (Urban Dance Co); Jen Deadman - Performance Coach (Urban Dance Co). They have been crucial to the development of dance at Mac this year.

Thanks ‘company’,

Administrative Co-ordinator's Message 

Spring is in the air and it’s almost time to wrap up another season of dance here at the Centre. This year, we have much reason to celebrate. Not only was our Fall 2001 show Conduit a sellout, but our first annual McMaster Urban Dance Competition took place in February 2002, opening many new doors for both the Centre for Dance and Hamilton’s urban dance scene. Breaking new dance ground seems to have suddenly become our specialty!

Be sure to check out our spring dance show, entitled Euphoria, an eclectic mix of modern, urban, and creative dance styles guaranteed to satisfy any dance enthusiast’s appetite.

I am extremely happy and proud to see how companies like the McMaster Dancers and the McMaster Urban Dance Company as they progress throughout the year, forming bonds with other dancers and becoming stronger in their movements. They have much to be proud of this year with a visit to Michigan and the American College Dance Festival, along with many other note-worthy performances and collaborations.

I wish all of the dancers the very best in the future. This season has definitely been a valuable experience for me and I will cherish the many wonderful memories and new friends I have made over the course of the year. I hope that everyone had a fabulous and successful season. Remember to keep dancing right on into the next year!

Best wishes, Jill Paradis 

Assistant Artistic Director’s Messages 

McMaster Urban Dance Company
Wow! Our second season is already coming to a close and I feel as if we have just started the year. This year’s Urban Dance Company (formerly McMaster Hip Hop Co.) has taken North America by storm. Adding twelve new members this year, we have amassed the most unbelievable group of talent. Not only does their talent astound me, but also the friendships we have formed this year are forever lasting. The camaraderie and teamwork that this group has exhibited is astounding. Balancing our very late night practices, numerous events and new additions to the group has not been an easy task, but we have succeeded.

The Centre for Dance’s first Urban Dance Competition was a huge success. The work of our company was showcased to the community and will hopefully attract people to show more interest in our work. Not only were the performances by this group excellent, but one of our members was even scouted by a talent agent!

Many hours of training also went into our trip to the American College Dance Festival in Michigan this past month. I was very proud of all the hard work the company put in and the rave reviews we received by the audience and adjudicators. For people who are not dance majors in university and who practice 9 hours a week, we sure were a group to contend with.

I just cannot say enough positive things about this company. Gladly, the only negative thing I have to say is that the year is coming to a close and that I am going to really miss everyone over the summer months. Until next year…

Michelle Odle

McMaster Dancers
Since January the McMaster Dancers have been very busy. On top of their academic schedules, the dancers have participated in many workshops and classes. The company has also been preparing two new pieces that were presented at the American College Dance Festival (ACDF) at the University of Michigan. Centre for Dance’s Artistic Director Dave Wilson’s new piece, Charm So Strongly Works Them and dancer/choreographer Jena McGill’s first major work Rediscovery Of Inertia were well received by the festival adjudicators and participants. At the festival, the company had the opportunity to take an assortment of dance classes ranging from different types of modern technique, to Traditional Chinese dance and African dance. They also viewed many shows and had the opportunity to interact with other young dancers from around the world. All in all, the festival was a good chance for the dancers to see what other university dance programs are like and to interact with other industry professionals. It was also a great opportunity for the two companies to get to know one another and dance collaborations between the modern and urban styles seem imminent!

Presently, the company is looking forward to the upcoming Centre for Dance production of Euphoria, which will exhibit both the works of the McMaster Dancers and the McMaster Urban Dance Company. Eleven new modern pieces will be presented, mostly choreographed by the dancers themselves. The ACDF submissions will also be staged again.

Tomiko Robson 

The Dance Connection

Several dancers have been involved in dance at Mac in various ways over a number of years and this section of the newsletter is dedicated to them. The degree of interconnectedness is impressive. This is what we mean when we say that there is an amazingly rich dance culture at McMaster. Please take note of the following names and biographies and we apologize if we did not include you in this list, it was added to the newsletter just before the deadline.

Christie Allen - School Outreach, CFD Teaching, Urban Dance Co
Tara Artner - McMaster Musical Theatre, Urban Dance Co, KIN 3T03-Dance Performance, KIN 4JJ3-Dance in Contemporary Society
Liz Bates - KIN 3T03-Dance Performance, Interdisciplinary Performance Group
Theresa Boyd - CFD Teaching, Urban Dance Co
Liz Byers - Mac Dance Club, KIN 4JJ3-Dance in Contemporary Society
Anne-Marie Cayer - MacDancers, Mac Dance Club, Schools Outreach
Alina Ciavarella - CFD Teaching, MacDancers, Hamilton Dance Co
Meghann Clark – Mac Dance Club, MacDancers, Schools Outreach, CFD Teaching
Kim Daitchman - Mac Dance Club, McMaster Musical Theatre, KIN 3T03-Dance Performance
Laura Davies - MacDancers, Schools Outreach
Jen Deadman - Urban Dance Co, CFD Teaching
Daniel Dutchak - CFD Teaching, KIN 3T03-Dance Performance
Heather Finn - MacDancers, CFD Teaching, Schools Outreach, KIN 3T03-Dance Performance, Hamilton Dance Co
Cheryl Glazebrook - Mac Dance Club, MacDancers, Schools Outreach
Sarah Hamilton - MacDancers, Mac Dance Club, Schools Outreach
Debbie Heard - School Outreach, MacDancers, KIN 3T03-Dance Performance
Liz Ho Sing - Mac Dance Club, School Outreach
Jen Kesseler - Mac Dance Club, Schools Outreach, KIN 4JJ3-Dance in Contemporary Society
Melanie Krochmalnek – Mac Dance Club, CFD Teaching
Laicie Laufman - MacJunior Dancers, Urban Dance Co
Abby Lichtenberger - MacDancers, Urban Dance Co
Alynn Losier - MacDancers, Mac Dance Club, KIN 3T03-Dance Performance
Jessica Lungrin - CFD Teaching, Urban Dance Co.
Kristin Mairs - Mac Dance Club, KIN 4JJ3-Dance in Contemporary Society
Michelle Odle - MacDancers, Urban Dance Co, CFD Teaching
Jennifer Paul - Mac Dance Club, McMaster Musical Theatre, CFD Teacher, KIN 4JJ3-Dance in Contemporary Society
Jill Paradis - KIN 3T03-Dance Performance, Interdisciplinary Performance Group
Tomiko Robson - Schools Outreach, CFD Teaching, MacDancers, Hamilton Dance Co
Barbi Saunders - KIN 3T03-Dance Performance, KIN 4JJ3-Dance in Contemporary Society
Alexis Schure - MacDancers, CFD Teaching, Mac Dance Club, School Outreach
Gillian Shadlyn - CFD Teaching, Urban Dance Co
Janine Slavec - School Outreach, MacDancers
Katie Smith - School Outreach, MacDancers
Marta Soltys - KIN 4JJ3-Dance in Contemporary Society, KIN 3T03-Dance Performance, Interdisciplinary Performance Group
Natalie van Dine - Mac Dance Club, Urban Dance Co, McMaster Musical Theatre
Joanne Villano - KIN 3T03-Dance Performance, KIN 4JJ3-Dance in Contemporary Society
Erin Wall – Mac Dance Club, KIN 3T03-Dance Performance, KIN 4JJ3-Dance in Contemporary Society 


Jennifer Paul
Jennifer Paul is a third year Kinesiology student at McMaster and is actively involved in the dance scene. Not only does she take classes at the Centre for Dance, but she also teaches Intermediate jazz for the Centre. Once a member of the McMaster Dance Club, Jennifer is now a very prominent member of the McMaster Musical Theatre and has choreographed two of their recent productions, including Fame (2002) and Anything Goes (2001).

Teaching dance is one of Jennifer’s passions, as evident in her loaded dance resume. In the summer months, Jen teaches ballet and jazz in her hometown of Ottawa at the Ottawa Kanata Ballet School. Jennifer came to McMaster University to study Kinesiology. “I picked McMaster because of the dance element” admits Jennifer. “I was impressed with Professor Dave Wilson and what he had to offer, as Mac has good opportunities for dancers to explore different styles”. It is obvious that Jennifer is a highly creative and talented dance enthusiast and the dance community definitely needs more people like her.

Liz Ho Sing
Third year student and McMaster Dance Club member Liz Ho Sing knows how to dance. Not only has she taught almost every dance style under the sun, but she also claimed best dancer runner-up prize at the recent McMaster Urban Dance Competition. Her group even snagged a third place win in the Hip Hop Small Group category at the same event. While studying at McMaster, Liz has also had the opportunity to teach for the Centre for Dance at local elementary schools in the Hamilton community, including Prince Phillip and Earl Kitchener. “It’s fantastic that the school curriculum is opening up to include dance,” Liz professes proudly. “Sports are not the only kind of movement available”. Liz also feels that dance is a positive form of physical exercise for young males to experiment with, as it breaks down the masculinity stereotype that prevents so many of today’s youth from trying dance. “Exploring your creative side is key”, explains Liz. “Urban dance is the perfect way to crush that barrier because it’s more mainstream and the kids see it on TV everyday”.

Liz looks optimistically towards the future of dance both at McMaster and the surrounding Hamilton community. She points out how both the Centre for Dance and the affiliated McMaster Dance Club’s members have greatly increased in the past year and that McMaster students want to dance more now than ever. Recent productions put on by both of these dance groups have proven to be successes with sell-outs at local venues, evidence of a promising dance future for these groups.

Tara Artner
Tara is in her final year of study here at McMaster and she has been involved in a lot of dance related activities both on and off campus. She has been a member of the McMaster Musical Theatre for 4 years and has been the President of this performance group for the past two. She has performed in four shows over her career as a member, including Cabaret, Chorus Line, Anything Goes and Fame. Tara’s talent has landed her leading roles in most of these fabulous productions.

Tara participates in a number of dance classes offered by the Centre for Dance including swing, ballet, tap, ballroom and jazz. She not only takes dance classes, but she also teaches at the Centre as well, leading one of the many beginner hip hop classes that are offered. She is also a member of the McMaster Urban Dance Company and thoroughly enjoys performing with them. The company’s work will be showcased in the upcoming production Euphoria.

Academically, Tara has taken two dance-related courses, including Kinesiology 3T03 and 4JJ3, lead by the Centre for Dance Artistic Director Dave Wilson.

Troy Feldman
Troy Feldman is considered a veteran when it comes to break dance. He has been dancing for over 8 years in various styles, with a strong focus on his two favourites, hip hop and break. One of Troy’s main dance passions involves teaching break to both elementary and high school students. He not only teaches regularly at the Centre for Dance, but also teaches as part of the Centre’s School’s Outreach Program, promoting dance in the community and the classroom. He has recently taught at local schools such as St. Mary’s Catholic Secondary and Ancaster Secondary. He also traveled to London, Ontario to teach his beloved break to students at South Secondary School. Troy also teaches at various local studios, including Steps in Hamilton and Studio Dance in Burlington.

You can almost always find Troy break dancing somewhere in Hamilton on any given night. He and his resident break crew The Stylordz compete in frequent battles in and around the Hamilton area as well as Toronto, London and Kitchener. March 23 they venture to Rochester, NY to battle some of the best breakers in the US. According to Feldman, although the urban dance scene has experienced a recent boom in popularity, break dance is still fairly ‘weak’ in Hamilton and there are few, if any, break-worthy battles. “It’s getting stronger,” he admits, “but it’s very slow”. With people like Troy Feldman on the dance scene, we can hope to put Hamilton on the urban dance map in the near future.

Katie Smith
Third year Kinesiology student Katie Smith is well connected in dance. She is currently enjoying her second season with the McMaster Dancers and is even co-choreographing a piece in the Centre for Dance’s upcoming production Euphoria, entitled Total Recall. She participates in several dance classes at the Centre, including belly dance, break dance and pilates, evidence of her diverse dance background. Katie recently had the opportunity to teach at Prince Phillip Elementary School. A veteran from last year, Katie taught modern dance to a group of grade one’s. “It was a true learning experience that gave me more insight into dealing with kids and helped me step outside my comfort level in terms of being the leader, the instructor, rather than the student,” said Katie. The opportunity to teach at local schools is invaluable according to Katie, and although she does not aspire to be a dance teacher, she says she would definitely want to continue teaching while she is here at McMaster. “I’m glad I got the chance to get into dance at Mac” states the confident 21 year old. “And I am so excited to be a part of the McMaster Dancers.”

Jordan Setacci
Jordan Setacci has got to be the 6th missing member of N*Sync. He’s got the look, he’s got the style and he’s definitely got the right moves. This 16 year-old wonder boy from Thorold is burning up the Hamilton Dance scene with his flamboyant hip hop style and fluid-like flexibility. At the recent McMaster Urban Dance Competition, Jordan took home 3 prizes, including 1st place Hip Hop Small Group, best Solo Dancer, and 2nd place in Hip Hop Solo Freestyle. Jordan was recently recruited by the McMaster Urban Dance Company, where he will be featured in several pieces (one of which he even choreographed himself) at the spring Centre for Dance show Euphoria.

And the crazy thing is, Jordan only started dancing seriously in the past year! This grade 10 high school student started dance training at an early age, but was deterred by the strong emphasis on technique rather than creativity. Wanting to be more like Michael Jackson than Fred Astaire, Jordan cultured his own individual dance style, with a focus on urban and popular dance. He is currently studying jazz along with some other technical dance classes, in the hopes of perfecting his already funky and fresh moves. Jordan takes a particular interest in competing and hopes to one day pursue a professional career in dance. He emphasizes his true love for dance when he says point blank “I like dancing and I really enjoy competing”. Look out dance world – here comes Jordan Setacci!

Janine Slavec
Janine started dancing with the Ballet School of Woodbridge at the age of six and has no intentions of leaving it behind anytime soon. At the age of 19 Janine boasts a diverse dance repertoire, including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Pointe, Musical Theatre, Hip Hop and Modern. Although dance is only a recreational activity for her, Janine says it has become such a valuable part of her life that she simply cannot go without it. “I spent last summer teaching dance at the ‘Dance to the Beat” summer camp in Vaughan, but I missed dancing and performing so much that I just had to start again with it when I came to Mac.” Currently Janine is busy getting through her first year in Science and dancing with the McMaster Dancers. Recently, Janine also participated in the School Outreach Program, teaching creative movement to a grade one class at Prince Phillip Elementary School. “It was lots of fun and both the boys and girls were very enthusiastic. I loved teaching the children but I’m not going for a teaching career.” In fact, Janine is hoping to one day be a pediatrician. We wish you good luck in your future endeavors Janine.

Clare Hopkins
Fourteen-year-old high school student Clare Hopkins has been dancing since the age of six. She has experience in many dance styles, including ballet, Celtic, national dance and modern with ballet being her main focus. She has performed in a variety of dance shows including the Hamilton Conservatory of the Arts where she danced in Vitek Wincza’s production of the Nutcracker in 2001 and 1998, as well as the Canadian Ballet of Canada’s Nutcracker in 1994. In the past four years, Clare has participated in the Quinte Ballet Summer Camp and was also in the 1998 made-for-TV movie entitled Different cast as a ballet student.

Clare is currently attending Westdale Secondary School where she studies several different subjects with her grade nine classmates. She is presently a member of the Centre for Dance’s Junior Dance Company and will perform in a piece in the upcoming dance show Euphoria, choreographed by Heather Finn. 

Centre for Dance Show Euphoria 

Euphoria will be the biggest ever Centre for Dance production at McMaster in terms of number of dances presented, dancers and styles of dance. There will be 22 dance pieces of modern and hip hop with 40 dancers, represented by McMaster Dancers, McMaster Urban Dance Company, McMaster Junior Dancers, and South Secondary School (London, Ontario). Shows run March 22 - 24 (Fri-Sun), 8pm in Robinson Memorial Theatre, Chester New Hall. Contact (905) 525-9140 x23878 or dance@mcmaster.ca for info/reservations. 

McMaster Urban Dance Competition Review 

On Saturday, February 2, 2002, the Centre for Dance made dance history right here on campus. The first annual McMaster Dance Competition was a daylong event that featured over 100 competitors from all over Southern Ontario and included several workshops and demonstrations by some of the hottest urban dance talent around. In the break dance department, the all female crew Shebang! made a special appearance and also conducted a break workshop. Male break counterparts the Stylordz also put on a workshop and demonstration with live entertainment provided by Sony recording artist Kaz. The Centre for Dance’s own talent was also exhibited with the McMaster Urban Dance Company showcasing some of their work and members Jessica Lungrin and Michelle Odle leading hip hop workshops.

Competitors entered one of four categories featuring urban dance’s two strongest styles, hip hop and break. Winners of the day were as follows:

A. Hip Hop Small Group
1st place = Jordan Setacci "Pop Life"
2nd place = Szwec School of Dance "2000 Breakdown"
3rd place = McMaster Dance Club "It Takes Two"
Best Dancer = Jordan Setacci
Best Dancer Runner-up = Elizabeth Ho Sing (McMaster Dance Club)

B. Hip Hop Large Group
1st place = Rhythm Plus Dance Co. "2 Bad"
2nd place = Hennessey "H20"
3rd place = U-neeq Dance Troup "2 Hype"
Best Dancer = Camille Spence (Hennessey)
Best Dancer Runner-up = Michelle Daniel (U-neeq Dance Troup)

C. Break Solo Freestyle
1st place = Flip Flop
2nd place = Treble
3rd place = Hops

D. Hip Hop Solo Freestyle
1st place = Mario Grisafi
2nd place = Jordan Setacci
3rd place = Michelle Daniel

Our stellar judging panel also reflected some of dance’s top talent and diversity. Much thanks goes out to those judges, sponsors and supporting individuals for their tremendous efforts in making the McMaster Urban Dance Competition a dream come true: Kaz, Troy Feldman, Heather Finn, Jenn Goodwin, Carlos Paz, Diana Uribe (Be Discovered), Shebang! (Female break crew), Michelle Odle, Taylor K (Kiss 92 FM), Robert and Beverley Tang (Dancescape Corporation), Ray Gamble, Dance & Sport Boutique and ArtsBeat

Spring/Summer Dance Classes Schedule'

The Centre for Dance will be offering both Spring and Summer classes in 2002 with Spring classes running from May to late June and summer classes running from July to late August. All classes are held in the Rose Hill Dance Studio, Ivor Wynne Centre, McMaster University.

  • Ballet – Mondays: Beginner @ 5:30pm, Intermediate @ 6:45pm (May 9 – June 27, July 4 – Aug. 22)
  • Belly (Beginner) – Thursdays at 8pm (May 9 – June 27, July 4 – Aug. 22)
  • Break (Beginner/Intermediate) – Mondays @ 8:30pm (May 6 – June 24, July 8 – August 26)
  • Hip Hop – Mondays: Beginner @ 5:30pm, Intermediate @ 6:30pm (May 6 – June 24, July 8 – Aug. 26)
  • Latin (Beginner) – Mondays @ 7:30pm (May 6 – June 24 only)
  • Modern Technique – Tuesdays: Beginner @ 6:30pm, Intermediate @ 7:30pm (May 7 – June 25, July 2 – Aug. 20)
  • Pilates – Wednesdays: Beginner @ 5:30pm, Intermediate @ 6:30pm (May 1 – June 19, July 3 – Aug. 21)
Coming soon in Fall 2002!
  • Afro Cuban (NEW)
  • Ballet
  • Ballroom
  • Belly
  • Break
  • Capoeira (NEW)
  • Dance Basics
  • Dance Workout
  • Hip Hop
  • Hip Hop Video and Freestyle (NEW)
  • Latin
  • Jazz
  • Modern
  • Pilates

Participants Per Dance Style (Winter 2002) 

Dance Style
Ballet 44 5 9
Ballroom 70 2 35
Belly 41 2 21
Break 25 3 8
Dance Basics 6 1 6
Dance Workout 5 1 5
Hip Hop 115 5 23
Latin 104 3 35
Jazz 28 3 9
Lindy Hop 14 1 14
Modern Technique 13 2 7
Pilates 85 4 21
Tap 9 2 9
Total 559 33 17

Instructor Feedback

Instructor Name & Dance Style Student Comments
Carlos and Laura Escalante,Latin You guys are awesome, don’t change a thing!
Gillian Shadlyn, Hip Hop Gillian’s always pumped for class and that made it great.
Melanie Krochmalnek, Tap Enjoyable, great enthusiasm.
Ilana Salazar, Belly Very good, productive and enjoyable class.
Danielle Dutchak, Pilates She was excellent, fun, approachable and encouraging.
Alexis Schure, Jazz Great instructor, great class. Thanks!
Sarah Wilkinson, Swing Very good class with lots of energy and enthusiasm.
Heather Finn, Modern Always a great time!