- Associate Member, Canadian Dancesport Federation (2017-present)
- Member, Dance Manitoba Inc. (2019-present)
- Director, Board of the North American Same-Sex Partner Dance Association (2017-2022)
- CBC Manitoba Future 40 Finalist 2020
- Awarded the University of Manitoba’s Bison Recreation Award of Recognition 2011 for success in the ballroom dance classes
I started ballroom dancing in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2002. The goal of learning at the time was to surprise my friends and family at a New Years Eve party. In 2003 I moved to Victoria, British Columbia and joined the UVic Ballroom Dance Club where I was introduced to Argentine Tango and salsa. I was also a member of the Victoria Ballroom Dance Society where I met all right people to start a life in competitive ballroom and latin dancing. My partner, Joanna, and I competed within the BC area at the amateur level in both the latin (primary coach: Oksana Latynina) and standard (primary coach: Alexandr Cherdantsev) dances. We did well in all of our competitions (placing within top three) but I sustained an injury during a competition which ended our partnership in 2006.
In 2007, I paired up with Wanda Kivitt (an extraodinary dance teacher in Victoria) to do showcases, help students in her classes and with their CDTA medal examinations, and compete in pro-am competitions. The highlight of the partnership was competing in Embassy ball, a well-attended pro-am competition in Irvine, California. We were training under the artistic eye of Dale Neale. Unfortunately, the partnership ended in 2008 when I moved to Winnipeg.
Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to have taken lessons or workshops with amazing and inspirational teachers.
What am I doing now? I completed the Canadian Dancesport Federation second level examinations on August 2017 under Jane Edgett’s professional training. I have been using my skills to benefit society when possible. I’ve partnered with local celebrities for Winnipeg’s “Dancing with Celebrities 2009” and “Dancing with Celebrities 2012”, which are major fundraising events for the SMD Foundation. I am currently serving on the board of directors for the North American Same Sex Partner Dance Association where I hope to advocate for more exposure and interest in same sex dancing (social and competitive). In 2018 I started competing again – in same-sex competitions as well as reverse role competitions.
Why Do I Teach Dance?
There are a number of dance teachers in Winnipeg, so why am I also a dance teacher? I have a wonderful job as a chemistry educator and I really would like to contribute to the Winnipeg community in some way to promote an active lifestyle. What better way than to help share the love of dance? I am trying various ways to open ballroom dance to various “under-represented” groups on the Winnipeg dance floor using the network connections that I have.
When I teach dance, I try and share my passion for the art. I also try to tailor the information according to the student’s ability. In comparison to all of the local dance teachers, my career background is in post-secondary education and therefore I take my classroom teaching experience and apply it to the ballroom.