a collaborative choreographic piece that filmed and shared online
STORM IS RAGING
EVERYTHING IS ALRIGHT
HAPPY BIRTHDAY THUNDER BAY
What is undercurrents?
“undercurrents" is a series of six choreographic works that when combined create one “whole” choreographic piece that will be filmed and then shared online, one dance at a time, during the Superior Theatre Festival from August 18-23, 2020 in Thunder Bay.
There are 5 dance solos, in site-specific spaces along the Waterfront, and one BIG community dance piece that will be filmed on location and in isolation.
These choreographic works will reflect the past 50 years in Thunder Bay with a focus on nostalgia, memory and community. Our hope is the work will create unity and a strong connection to our land considering that it is located on the water’s edge.
Why Dance as the artistic medium?
STF is very excited to create an event that various dance groups from the city can work together to create one final product and an opportunity for them to celebrate each other’s work.
50th Anniversary of Thunder Bay Project:
Our hope is the work will create unity and a connection to our land in Northern Ontario and our Home of Thunder Bay. The water’s edge has both been a site of Industry and pleasure and the fact that some of the locations we use are on a part of dredged land is significant - it is synonymous with how the city has been undergoing continual transformation and re-birth. The revitalization of the Thunder Bay waterfront over the past 40 years has taken areas that were originally developed for grain shipping and industry and redeveloped parts of it to attract tourism and retain residents.
STF has an opportunity to look back and look forward in this piece. We have the opportunity to delve into our past and through music and dance, reflect on and celebrate what it means to be from and live in Thunder Bay.
New Music by Local Musicians:
The music for the dance sections are commissioned by Superior Theatre Festival from various local Thunder Bay musicians: Rodney Brown, Sunday Wilde, Sam Migliazza (also known as Sam Louis), Arley Cox, Jean-Paul De Roover and Classic Roots. These local musicians have created new songs for this event and each dance organization will have its own song to choreograph to.
Who is Leading the Project?
This project is led by Donna Marie Baratta, Stephanie DePiero and Jean-Paul De Roover but each section leading up to the Spirit Garden will be choreographed by individual Dance Organizations. In this final Community Dancer section, 45 Community Dancers will be involved in the project.
JOSH ALCANTARA & JAMIE CUDICIO
Film Editors "Storm Is Raging"
Josh Alcantara and Jamie Cudicio are graduates of Sheridan's Honours Bachelor of Music Theatre Performance Program who are focused on helping other artists in the community elevate their project and performance skills. Their training was centred in creating, acting, singing, dancing, and film and they are hoping to continue to use those skills while collaborating with different productions and artists. They are here to support our community during these socially distant times and continue to make it possible for artists to create at the high level as they have done in the past.
Filmmaker (Director of Photography, Film Editor "Woodlands Groove")
Victoria Anderson-Gardner is a queer Indigenous filmmaker and activist. She comes from the Ojibway lands of Eagle Lake First Nation but is based out of Toronto, Ontario. She currently is completing her thesis at Ryerson University for her BFA in Film Production with the School of Image Arts.
The most recent projects she has worked on include: An Inconvenient Indian directed by Michelle Latimer; she co-directed “Inviolable” (segment) for In Search of a Perfect World directed by Manfred Becker and hosted by Peter Mansbridge; as well as a couple independent films she’s in the process of completing.
She wants to be able to share the stories of Indigenous people from around the world through film, whether that be through a narrative lens or a non-fiction perspective. She believes that it’s important for people’s voices and stories to be heard in order for change to occur.
DONNA MARIE BARATTA
Director, Producer, Conceiver, Choreographer
Donna Marie is a Director, Choreographer, Producer, Dramaturg, Educator and Performer. She is the founder of Superior Theatre Festival, Artistic Producer and Co-Founder of Present Danger Productions and a core artist of [elephants] collective. She is a graduate of the MFA Directing program at the University of Alberta and a passionate Arts educator. Donna Marie has taught for the last twenty years in public education with the Lakehead Public School Board and TCDSB (Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts). She is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Director’s Lab West and also an inaugural member, of and on the Steering Committee, of the Directors Lab North. Donna Marie has taught and choreographed dance for over 30 years for theatre, film, industrials, fashion shows, competitions and recitals.
THOMAS L. COLFORD
Film Editor "Happy Birthday Thunder Bay"
Thomas was born on the island of Cape Breton in Nova Scotia where he began his artistic pursuits. At 16, his dedication to growth, and hunger to perform and create brought him to Toronto, where he began his professional career. Thomas is a versatile performer with training in film and stage acting, a plethora of dance disciplines, singing, and several musical instruments. Some acting highlights include Backstage (Family Channel, Netflix, and Disney Worldwide), Mr. D (CBC), The Strain (FX), Ghost BFF (Whohaha)!, and indie film The Toll (Dir. Michael Nader) which was scheduled to premiere at SXSW film festival 2020 before COVID-19 cancelled the event. When Thomas isn’t acting he can be found working behind the scenes as a director, writer, editor, and/or choreographer. He's had the pleasure of creating and collaborating on network television, music videos, commercials, theatre, site specific works, and web series. Some of his favourite creations include his dance theatre show show Chiaroscuro, choreographing for Mr. D (CBC), his upcoming EP Something About Expectations, and most recently the release of his comedic short film The Ultimate Showdown (co-written, co-directed, and co-parented by himself and Robert Bazzocchi) which premiered as part of the YEAA Shorts category at Reel World Film Festival. From stage to screen, performance to creation, Thomas shows no sign of slowing down. Always pursuing growth, authenticity, and fun, all while remembering his mantra; “Made With Purpose”.
Stephanie danced at various workshops, conventions, intensive programs in New York and Los Angeles and then in Toronto where she worked with the MLB’s Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club for several seasons promoting and performing during all at home games. Stephanie believes in the potential of a thriving entertainment scene in Thunder Bay. She leads the Army of Sass Thunder Bay team (part of a North American heels dance program that is currently taking the country by storm). This outlet of dance speaks to Stephanie’s passion and values, providing an outlet for women of all levels of dance to come together, gain confidence and to be a part of a community of dancers that has a goal to simply inspire others. She has choreographed many shows in Thunder Bay and musicals in local high schools through her role as director of The Dance Room in Thunder Bay. She offers private training sessions and industry coaching, off-site entertainment services, and seasonal workshop classes with dance professionals wanting to help in the development of young dancers.
JEAN-PAUL DE ROOVER
Composer, Recording Supervisor and Editor, Musical Lead
Jean-Paul De Roover’s musical upbringing was anything short of ordinary.
Inspired to play music after reading a book about a child violinist, he begged his parents to learn to play violin where he was promptly coerced into piano lessons. After two years he was given the chance to learn violin in Pakistan where he was immediately disappointed with his progress and stopped. Moving forward to his early teens, he was gifted a handmade Bolivian guitar from the local market and self-taught himself how to play his first Beatles song. A smattering of lessons with a Brazilian jazz bass player, Dutch singer-songwriter and Chilean vocal coach encouraged De Roover to continue pursuing music, but following his own inspirations. Upon returning to Canada in 2001 he explored everything from concert band to barbershop while forming his first rock and punk bands before studying theory, composition and orchestration at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, ON where he graduated in 2009.
Since then this Belgian-Canadian has toured across North America and Europe, sharing stages with artists such as the Beach Boys, Goo Goo Dolls, Said The Whale, Beardyman and more, and showcasing his work at multiple international music festivals (including Canadian Music Fest and NXNE). His music and videos have also been featured on CBC, MuchMusic, reviewed in Exclaim, Earshot! and The Georgia Straight and charted on campus radio stations nationwide.
De Roover’s early career was defined by his innovative approach to music using live looping, where he used his voice and a wide range of musical instruments to construct his songs piece by piece in front of an audience. But his constantly evolving palate has seen him exploring his earnest acoustic singer-songwriter side on “Love” (2019) as well as his passion for emotionally and aurally heavy alternative and progressive rock on “Loss” (2020), the two of which are sister albums. De Roover continues to push his own musical limits both in form and substance, daring others to try and categorize him. Because of this, De Roover’s music retains a distinct identity whether he is playing solo, with a band or even a 30-piece orchestra.
Even when he’s not on-stage he’s active in the music and arts communities. For over 8 years he created and coordinated festivals and events for the City of Thunder Bay, and is currently the Artistic Director for the Live From The Rock Folk Festival in Red Rock, ON. He is also a long-standing member of the 3-person team at TBShows that promotes and presents music in Thunder Bay. But when he’s not performing live or parenting his toddler, De Roover can be found in his studio, Blueprints, where he not only recorded his latest two albums but also works with the music, film, and television industries as a producer, composer and engineer.
Film Editor "Shiver"
K. J. Edwards is a filmmaker and producer with Moontime Productions. Kathleen was raised in Edmonton, Alberta and relocated to Toronto in 2007. Her family are wolf clan, from Kahnawá:ke and she is of Kanien’kehá:ka and settler ancestry.
Kathleen is a recent graduate of Ryerson University’s Image Arts Film Production Program. Her thesis film Meet The Sky, starring Chanin Lee, Tunchai Redvers, and Cheri Maracle, is currently in post production. Kathleen recently acted as the Production Coordinator and Editor for the Saagajiwe Virtual Pow Wow and is teaching a short film screenwriting workshop at Charles Street Video.
Film Editor "undercurrents"
Kendra Epik is a Toronto based multidisciplinary artist. Currently, Kendra works independently as a dancer, film maker, photographer and musician. Her training in dance began at Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre in Toronto, Canada. Kendra continued her dance studies at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA graduating with honours in 2016. Shortly after graduating Kendra began to further develop her love for film making and photography. She is working as a freelance movement and portrait photographer in Toronto, and continuously works towards producing films though the support of local commissions as well as independently. Most recently Kendra presented her film “Sunglow Gecko” commissioned by Form Festival. Kendra is working with Human Body Expressions, under the direction of Hanna Kiel, for her new work Again premiering on film in February 2021 and live in 2022. Kendra has worked as a guest choreographer at Earl Haig Secondary school for three consecutive years and continues to further develop and explore her own choreographic works in progress. While emerging into her professional course, Kendra is looking forward to continuing on with her creative growth and aims to challenge her potential and execute her work with integrity and authenticity.
Film Editor "Everything Is Alright"
Maia Jae is a Toronto-born actress who began her career at three years old, alongside her twin sister, Keana Lyn, in the production of Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 starring Jon Voight. Maia has recently graduated from Ryerson University's Media Production program as an honors student with a specialty in Television and Video and minor in Spanish. Maia's recent acting credits include playing "Luciana Rodriquez", for CBS/Global's, Ransom, and as "Amber" on the CW's In The Dark. In 2016, Maia Jae and Keana Lyn's self-produced short film, Thumbs, was selected as a finalist for TIFF's NextWave Showcase. In the same year, the twins were the recipients of federal grants to start their own production company serving clients such as ACTRA and TCDSB. In 2017, the pair co-spearheaded the ACTRA Young Emerging Actors Assembly (YEAA) networking gala, in celebration of TIFF. As an accomplished Media school graduate, Maia has set her full attention on acting, writing, directing and producing professional content. She believes her three year old self would be proud.
JEAN-PAUL DE ROOVER
DONNA MARIE BARATTA
STEPHANIE DEPIERO, THUNDER BAY FIRST NATIONS DANCE GROUP
Director of Photography
KYLE CURRAN of INGAGED CREATIVE PRODUCTIONS INC., JOHNNY LONGFEATHER
JOSHUA "CLASSIC ROOTS" DEPERRY
Classic Roots brings the sexy heartbeat of the boreal north to life with his unique brand of Electronica and pow wow techno. The Thunder Bay native is an award winning producer and DJ who is impacting the music community with his fresh sound and meaningful collaborations with diverse artists.
Drawing inspiration from his life and culture, Classic Roots established his original sound by integrating First Nations songs with Electronica music. He navigates the unique sound of techno/house music while dancing to the beat of traditional Anishinaabe sounds, establishing a sense of cultural freedom that echoes throughout the electronic music scene. With inspirations such as Gina Turner, Daft Punk and “Justice” French Producer, Classic Roots has been able to develop his sound, which he has perfected through the use of a drum machine and the music software Reason 9.
In 2015 he was the recipient of the Best Pop CD award at the Indigenous Music Awards for Hack the Planet and his 2016 debut EP Deeply Rooted won Dada Life’s Best Track Award for his demo Coconut Kills. Dada Life received 1500 demos in less than 24 hours but Coconut Kills killed the competition. Classic Roots is determined to continue producing his own music and share it with the world. His beats tell a story that embodies the bold spirit of the North. Through the inclusion of First Nations drumming and singing in his electronic compositions, he acknowledges the continued resilience of his nation.
SAAGATAY COUNCILLOR & KINEW COUNCILLOR
Hoop Dancers - Thunder Bay First Nations Dance Group
Saagatay Councillor age 10 Kinew Councillor age 9 are a hoopdance brother and sister from Naicatchewenin FN, living in Thunder Bay. They come from a family of hoop dancers passed down to them by their Grandfather and father before them. Hoop dancing is a form of storytelling and the sharing of a view into the spiritual life of the Anishinaabe. Their performances have included the Buskers Festival 2019, Ontario Native Women’s Association Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's Conference 2019 as well as they have performed for education centres, schools, youth groups and at Powwows.
Thunder Bay First Nations Dance Group Choreographer in collaboration with Classic Roots
Orville Councillor is from Naicatchewenin FN. He is a multi talented choreographer, musician, and dancer. He is a cultural instructor and educational instructor for the Early On Centre for Biigwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek First Nation. His dance choreography credits include Early On Centre Children’s Program 2020, Buskers Festival 2019, Ontario Women’s Conference and Powwow 2019, World Indigenous Education Consortium 2017, Harmony of Nations Festival 2015. He is an indigenous recording artist and songwriter with Hope Lake Singers, Cedar Creek Singers and 2 song credits with Lake Vermillion Singers He is an avid musician and songwriter and his concert performances have included Wake Giant, Drop the Mic, Buskers Festival, Harmony of Nations Festival, Fort Frances Indigenous Fashion Show and various First Nation community events, His passion for music and dance is shared with his children as a mentor to pass on the knowledge of the Hoop Dance traditions and teachings.
THUNDER BAY FIRST NATIONS DANCE GROUP
In collaboration with Classic Roots
The Thunder Bay First Nations Dance Group is dedicated to the live indigenous dance performance, film, television, performing arts and media sources to create awareness about the stories, teachings and culture of the indigenous people of Northern Ontario.
EVERYTHING IS ALRIGHT
Born on the shores of Lake Superior in Thunder Bay Ontario, Arley Cox has been inspired by this lush part of Canada her whole life. Living in Thunder Bay remains a constant reminder of her strength, determination, and ability as she takes on the Canadian Music Scene with her debut album "Parts of Me". In writing "Parts of Me", Cox set out to challenge herself creatively and push her own boundaries by honouring some of her first ever written songs with newer material. The result is a roots album that takes you on a trip with music that boasts a subdued folk vibe to heavier soul blues influences.
In recording her debut album, Arley states that she became a much better songwriter in discipline and practice. Since 2004, she has honed her skill of writing and storytelling and is now moving head first into making her music career a full time gig.
Arley studied Classical voice at Lakehead University and Graduated with her Honors Bachelor of Music in 2005 and her Education Degree form Lakehead University in 2006. Cox was versed in playing and singing in a variety of settings as she was picked up by many local Blues and Jazz bands. Although she is well versed in many styles of music Blues is her heart and soul. In 2018 she won the solo duo devision for the Thunder Bay International Blues Competition and went to perform in Memphis Tennessee the same year. Arley is currently finishing the writing of her sophomore Album that is a collection of original Blues songs. In this new album Cox covers a diverse amount of feeling and simmering musicianship as she allows herself to dive deep into the stories and feelings of all 10 original blues songs with vulnerability, grit and grace.
Dancer - Dance Dynamics Studios
My name is Chynna Erickson and I am 18 years old. I have been dancing for the past 15 years and competitively for the past 11 years. I have studied many styles of dance, including jazz, tap, ballet, acro, lyrical, musical theatre, and hip hop. While being a student at Dance Dynamics Studio, I have also been given the opportunity to teach for the past 2 years. I plan to continue to teach to share my knowledge and passion of dance to the younger students of Dance Dynamics Studio. I am a part of the graduating class of 2020 at St. Ignatius high school and plan to attend Lakehead University in the fall. I will be studying Honours Bachelor of Commerce with the major of Accounting. Throughout my high school experience, I have been given the opportunities to be ensemble in “We Will Rock You” and “Rock of Ages”, performed in the talent shows, taught dance to the students of Holy Cross and created routines for my drama class. While being a dancer, I also enjoy taking part in other extracurricular activities such as soccer, volleyball and basketball.
Dancer - Dance Dynamics Studio
My name is Mariah Meredith, I am 17 years old and I am in grade 11 at St Ignatius High School. I have been dancing at Dance Dynamics ever since I was five years old. Throughout the years I have developed a passion for dance and a love for sharing my passion of dance to others. I have been assistant teaching for several years and I began teaching this past fall. I have travelled to Las Vegas, Montreal, Calgary, etc., to participate in several dance workshops and I was even rewarded the opportunity to tour the Cirque du Soleil headquarters in Montreal. Recently, I completed the training for the Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Instructor Certification, which provided me with the knowledge to work with children who have learning challenges or disabilities. Along with dancing, I love to paint, sing, listen to music, travel, and spend time with my friends and family. I also love to volunteer within the community with non-profitable organizations like the Dew Drop Inn and Our Kids Count.
Dancer - Dance Dynamics Studio
Hi my name is Jordan Samec and I’m 17 years old. I am a part of the graduating class of 2020 at St. Ignatius High School. I began dancing when I was 8, and have been a part of the Dance Dynamics family for the past 7 years. I have been a competitive dancer for 10 years. I’ve been a helper for the following 3 years. I enjoy travelling to see my family in Florida and love going on boat rides. One of my favourite summer activities is camping with my family and friends. I love the outdoors and love to stay active when I’m not dancing. I will be attending lakehead university this fall for nursing. I hope to continue dancing next year and I’m honoured to be a part of this video.
Dance Dynamics Choreographer in collaboration with Arley Cox
My name is Melissa Holmquist and I have been a teacher at Dance Dynamics Studio since it opened in 2000. I started teaching at the age of 16, I can't even put into words the growth I have experienced over the past 24 years. Over those years I have done many training and certification courses. I am an Acrobatic Arts Module 1,2,& 3 certified teacher ( the only one in Northern Ontario). I am also an Adapt Jazz and Tap certified teacher. I am also an Acrobatic Arts Examiner and Certified Competition Adjudicator. While these courses have been instrumental in helping master my skills I have also taken many courses and classes on how to work with children and understand their needs. I am certified in Rhythm Works Integrative Dance which has taught me how to work with children with learning differences and special needs. Over the years I have learned you to need to connect to each student differently, they all have their own unique needs. Creating a safe and fun leaning environment is very important to me.
Throughout my years of teaching I have been honoured to win many awards. Choreography awards, top mark awards, overall high score and many more. I am grateful for this opportunity to create a unique piece for Thunder Bay's 50th Birthday Celebrations.
DANCE DYNAMICS STUDIO
In collaboration with Arley Cox
Dance Dynamics was founded in 2000 and have been leaders in the dance industry in Thunder Bay for the past 21 years under the direction of Wendy Holmquist.
Our mission at Dance Dynamics Studio is to inspire young dancers to be the best they can be. We are devoted to providing our knowledge and passion to our students, providing them with stepping-stones for a foundation to become successful beyond their studio years.
We believe in nurturing the abilities of each individual student as they travel on their dance journey and know a teacher’s influence on a student extends far beyond what goes on in the classroom. Our teaching philosophy is centred on instilling a passion for dance, while also building self-esteem and confidence. We provide an introduction into the art of dance and exploration of body movement from the age of 2yrs to 6yrs; Recreational program from 7 to 13 for girls & boys; Boy's only classes; Strong competitive program from 6 to 19 - focusing on developing technically sound dancers well rounded in all dance genres(Top Studio in multiple competitions)
We are proudly affiliated with Rhythm Works Integrative Dance, Wingman for Dance, Acrobatic Arts, Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers (ADAPT), CLI Studios. Staff also hold valid First Aid & AED “C” & Mental Health First Aid certification. We are located at 936 Tungsten Street. For more information about Dance Dynamics check out our website at www.dancedynamicsstudio.ca and follow us on Instagram at @dancedynamicstbay
STORM IS RAGING
Sunday Wilde is from the wilds of a Northern Ontario small town, and has been found singing everywhere from small logging towns at funeral parlours, and blues joints and all the way to large festivals, and bars in bustling metropolises. She is a powerful and intense vocalist, a rare voice that speaks from the primal soul. Sunday is a songwriter who explores the subjects of grief, addiction, love and the torment of social and family dysfunction. Her lyrics and delivery make it abundantly clear that she speaks from experience and authority. Her music has spun worldwide on roots and blues stations and most notably hit #1 on Siriuxm Radio BB Kings Bluesville, #1 on the Earshot charts for campus across Canada for Roots and #1 on the Roots Music Report for Blues
Some of her noteworthy accomplishments: Winner of the Voters Choice Award for Best Blues Song of 2011 and 2014 at the Independent Music Awards; Nominee for Blues Album of the Year for the Independent Music Awards 2019; Best International Blues Release of the Year at the “Jimi Awards” on blues411 for 2011, 2013 and winner of best Roots and Blues album of the year for 2015; Nominee for the SIRIUSXM Indie Awards 2014 for Blues Act of the Year; Nominee for Album of the Year Solo Artist Music & Film in Motion Northern Ontario Awarded SIX Ontario Arts Council Grants and a Canadian Arts Council Award for her work in songwriting and recording; Hit #1 on Siriusxm Radio BB Kings Bluesville 2013; Honorable Mention International Songwriting Competition Blues 2015 and Finalist in 2016; Best Self Produced Blues Album Thunder Bay Blues Society 3x, 2019, 2018, 2016
She has 8 albums of mostly original music: Sunday wilde & the 1 Eyed Jacks - Release May 2019; Two - Sunday wilde & Reno Jack - Release October 2017; Blueberries and Grits — Release July 2016; He Digs me - Independent release February 2014; He gave me a blue nightgown Independently Released 2012; What man!? Oh That man!! - Independently Released 2011; Broken String of Pearls Independently Released 2009
Black Pearls of Wisdom (Reno jack & Sunday Wilde) Independently Released 2007
Dancer - Fay Gleeson Dance Centre
Ella Currie began dancing at the age of 2 at Fay Gleeson Dance Centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She is now 17 years old and is part of Hammarskjold High School’s graduating class of 2020. In the fall, Ella is attending Lakehead University here in Thunder Bay for the Applied Life Sciences with a Concentration in Biomedical Sciences program.
Ella has studied many types of dance throughout the years including tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, lyrical, contemporary, acro, hip hop, highland, modern and musical theatre. She has successfully completed tap and jazz exams with ADAPT syllabus and has also completed her intermediate level CDTA (Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association) ballet exam. Ella is currently working on the advanced CDTA ballet exam and is planning to take the Teacher’s Certification Exam as soon as possible. Throughout her many years of dancing, Ella has attended the Royal Winnipeg Ballet two-week summer intensive as well as the Quinte Ballet School’s three-week summer intensive and was invited to their full year professional program both years she attended. She was also accepted into the Alberta Ballet School’s professional program summer intensive for the summer of 2019 and 2020. Ella has also had many opportunities to travel to places such as Chicago, New York, Winnipeg, Toronto, and California for various dance competitions and conventions.
In the summer of 2019, after receiving a full scholarship from Thunderstruck Dance Competition, she attended Mather Dance Company’s Trans4m dance intensive in California, where she was able to take a variety of classes and learn from multiple world-renowned choreographers. Some of Ella’s most favourite accomplishments include; the “Destined to Succeed Award” from Dance Canada in 2020, the High Score Senior Tap Audition at Dance Canada Finals 2019, the High Score Ballet Audition at Dance Canada Finals in 2018, a Senior Ballet Tray Finalist at the Lakehead Festival in 2018, Senior Best Precision at the Lakehead Music Festival in 2019, the Fort William Rotary Club Junior Ballet Plate in 2013, as well as many judges choice awards, scholarships, and overall high scores. Her passion for dance has grown beyond just taking class, as she now has come to love teaching dance as well. She has been an assistant teacher at Fay Gleeson Dance Centre for 7 years and has been teaching her own classes, and choreographing routines for young competitive dancers for the past 2 years. Ella loves to share her passion for dance and plans to continue to mentor dancers and teach dance for years to come. In her spare time, Ella enjoys participating in her high school’s competitive cheerleading team, being involved with leadership conferences such as NWOSSSA, volunteering at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, working at Burger Barn, and spending time with friends and family. Ella is so proud to have grown up in Thunder Bay, Ontario and to be a part of the Fay Gleeson Dance Centre family; a second home.
Dancer - Fay Gleeson Dance Centre
Lainey Exell is a 15 year old student who attends St. Patrick High School. She is a Senior Dancer at Fay Gleeson Dance Centre. Lainey has been taking classes at FGDC for eight years. She demonstrates a strong passion for all dance genres, including, jazz, ballet, pointe, tap, acro, cabaret, lyrical, and contemporary. Lainey has completed jazz and tap exams with ADAPT Syllabus with much success and received Honours in her Classical Ballet Examination (Grade Five) with the Canadian Dance Teachers’ Association. Lainey’s dancing has also been highlighted on Thunder Bay Dances (@tbaydances), an instagram account which showcases community dancers, both as a solo artist and with other local talent from Thunder Bay.
Lainey has traveled to Winnipeg, Chicago, South Carolina, and New York for dance competitions and conventions. Over the years, Lainey’s dancing has been acknowledged with highest overall scores, judges choice awards, and scholarships. Some of her dance accomplishments include; Dancemakers Junior Regional Scholarship Recipient (2015), Thunder Bay Society of Ballet and Dance: All-Around Junior Dancer Award (2017), Dance Canada Junior Judges Choice Award: Destined to Succeed Award (2017), Thunderstruck Dance Competition: “Eye of the Storm”, Top Mark Shining Star (2019), and the Dance Canada Cup: Senior Group Champion Award (2020). Lainey holds a special place in her heart for her Fay Gleeson Dance family. She is happy to share her passion and knowledge for dance with younger students at FGDC as a Teacher’s Assistant. When not dancing, Lainey enjoys going to camp on Lake Superior, swimming, and hanging out with friends.
Choreographer - Fay Gleeson Dance Centre
Cindy Kennedy has been sharing her love of dance with students at the Fay Gleeson Dance Centre for more than 35 years. She has been recognized with numerous Judges’ Choice Awards for Group Choreography, and won Top Senior Group Dance at DanceMakers Inc Chicago in 2019. Her students have also received accolades at competitions locally and across North America, including The Lakehead Festival of Music and the Arts, Thunderstruck, Dance Canada and DanceMakers Inc. She has also coached successful candidates through tap and jazz examinations offered by Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers (ADAPT). Cindy has also choreographed for many events outside of the studio including for Magnus Theatre, working behind the scenes on Ain’t Misbehavin’ (2014) and A Christmas Carol (2018).
FAY GLEESON DANCE CENTRE
In collaboration with Sunday Wilde
The Fay Gleeson Dance Centre has been welcoming dancers through our doors for more than 60 years. Today, we keep tradition alive, while training a new generation of young, talented students in jazz, ballet, tap, hip hop, acro, lyrical and more. Truly a family affair, we also welcome adults of all ages to our fun fitness classes - ZUMBA, pilates, tap, TRX and more. The studio was named Thunder Bay's Favourite Dance Studio in 2018 and 2019 by the Chronicle Journal Readers Choice Awards. Our founder, Fay Steadwell, was recognized by the city with a Lifetime Achievement award at the 2018 Annual Thunder Bay Arts and Heritage Awards. To learn more about the Fay Gleeson Dance Centre, visit us online at faygleesondance.com.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY THUNDER BAY
Born in Fort William, Rodney Brown played all the major Canadian festivals and toured the length of the country. He has a real sense of place in his songwriting - he lives and writes about Northwestern Ontario.
He has released 11 albums. His first Freedom In Me was released in 1977 and this last decade has seen Rodney record four outstanding CD's. His latest, Songs of Fort William with the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra  follows the success of North Land  and the highly acclaimed, Big Lonely CD . Spanning a forty year career of songwriting, performing and recording Rodney has donned many musical personas but these days he writes mostly about his home on the North Shore of Lake Superior. His songs paint evocative pictures combined with excellent musicianship and the skills of a veteran performer. Rodney has earned a dedicated and growing fan base.
Dancer/Choreographer - Art In Motion
Hailey Grant is a passionate, dedicated and technically trained dancer. With over 15 years of dance experience, Hailey has trained in ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip hop, acrobatics, pointe, contemporary, musical theatre and character. She has received training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and has also taken many opportunities to learn from leaders in the industry such as Shannon Mather, Tassandra Chavez, Tyce Diorio and various So You Think You Can Dance alumni. Over her many years of competing Hailey has earned top overall scores, various scholarships and invitations for further training. At the Lakehead Music Festival in Thunder Bay she has been awarded the Fort William Rotary Club Junior Ballet Plate, Fort William Rotary Club Senior Ballet Tray and the Thunder Bay Society of Ballet and Dance All-Round Senior Dance Bowl. Hailey performed as a dancer in the 2018 Nuit Blanche Contemporary Art Festival in Toronto with Expect Theatre in the Beats and Intentions Performance Ensemble. She has also performed with Breakaway Entertainment in Toronto. Hailey has taught dance for 5 years and in the fall of 2019 she started teaching and dancing at Art in Motion. As an experienced dancer as well as a teacher she hopes to help her students find a true passion for dance and teach them the value of hard work.
ART IN MOTION DANCE SCHOOL
In collaboration with Rodney Brown
Art in Motion is a Thunder Bay dance school owned and directed by Rachel Chernosky. At Art in Motion, we aim to share our passion and wealth of knowledge in dance from a dedicated team with dozens of years of combined experience and credentials. Our school is proud to offer a large variety of classes for ages three and up in an environment that stimulates growth and opportunities to succeed. We offer a comprehensive curriculum in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Acro as well as classes for youth such as Hip Hop Mini, Creative Movement, and Dance Basics. Visit www.artinmotiontbay.com for more information on how to register your child for classes today.
SAM MIGLIAZZA aka SAM LOUIS
This Thunder Bay born, Toronto-based singer/songwriter released the infectiously hypnotic single This Love, signalling to music lovers that there is a bold new music maker on the scene – someone who is able to sing/craft clever melodies and rhythms, but with a timeless air that crosses both genre and generations. He is a Humber graduate of the Contemporary Music Degree program and has studied with various musicians such as Greg Wells (Adele) Rik Emmett (Triumph) Ian Terry (Celine Dion) and Denzel Sinclaire (Diana Krall) learning the ways of songwriting, performance production, music marketing and music business. Sam has also had the opportunity to work and write with London based producer/songwriter/programmer James Sanger (Madonna U2 Phil Collins) and has rehearsed and worked with Toronto based Musician/ Producer/Songwriter Alan Shiner (Pizza Pizza Coca Cola Mariah Carey and Drake). In 2017 Sam was recognized by the Toronto Independent Music Awards being nominated in the BEST POP ARTIST category.
ISABELLA "IZZY" JEDRUCH
Dancer - Legacy Dance Company
Isabella (better known to some as “Izzy”) began dancing at the age of three at Dance Dynamics Studio, however in 2015 she became part of the Dream Dance Company family and in 2019 joined Legacy Dance Company. Ever since her first competitive acro solo at the age of five she has loved getting up on stage and performing. Izzy has taken several of the ADAPT exams in ballet, jazz and tap as well as some of the Acrobatic Arts exams. She hopes to be certified as an Acrobatic Arts teacher in the near future. Along with Ballet jazz tap and acro, Izzy competes in hip hop, contemporary, lyrical and Italian dancing.
She has competed in several regional and National competitions and has attended many conventions and workshops in Alberta, Minnesota, Toronto, New York as well as plenty of local workshops. She enjoys learning from a variety of teachers and choreographers as they all have something different to offer. She has won a number of overall titles, received numerous Judge’s Choice awards and two times has been a runner up to the Senior Bowl at the Lakehead Music Festival of the Arts. She has been recognized on stage for her passion and emotional execution and loves telling a story through the art of dance. Isabella is not only very involved in her dance career, but in school as well. Isabella always loves being involved in school and was even in her school's play last year called “Rock Of Ages”. She is currently in eleventh grade at St. Ignatius High School and is extremely excited to continue her dancing and teaching journey in the future and looking forward to sharing her love of dance with young dancers.
Choreographer - Legacy Dance Company
Victoria has been dancing since the young age of two and has not stopped since. She has always loved the stage and has studied numerous genres such as; ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, character, lyrical, hip-hop, contemporary, and musical theatre. Victoria has successfully completed her Level 6 Cecchetti ballet exam as well as her Intermediate Jazz exam with the ADAPT syllabus.
Throughout Victoria’s dance competitive career she has been awarded various honors, top scores, and scholarships at competitions and workshops. Victoria has won awards such as; Ultimate Challenge Champion, All-Around Bowl at the local Lakehead Music Festival, various first places and overall high scores for solos, duets, trios, and groups, and various judges’ choice awards for her performances. Victoria was even chosen to be Dance America’s Senior National Dance Weeks Most Promising Performer where she was featured on National Dance Weeks website.
Victoria traveled to Dance America National Finals where she was chosen to compete in the Dancer of The Year competition, won multiple National Champion titles and was chosen to perform in Disney World.Victoria has been a teacher and choreographer for over 10 years, beginning at a very young age. Teaching has become her biggest passion as she enjoys passing along her love of dance to her students. Her creativity, passion, and positivity shines through her dancers on stage. Victoria’s students have won many high scores and special awards in local, regional, and national level competitions. Her dances have been recognized on numerous occasions for her choreography, creativity, and musicality. Her choreography has won her awards such as; the Young Choreographer Award from Dance America, The Gold Cup from the Lakehead Music Festival, the “Stellar Choreography” Award from Thunderstruck Dance Competition and Judges Choice Choreographer from Dance Canada to name a few.
LEGACY DANCE COMPANY
In collaboration with Sam Louis
Legacy Dance Company is located at 263 Park Avenue, Thunder Bay Ontario. We offer quality dance lessons in a variety of disciplines. Our doors are open to everyone in the Thunder Bay community and surrounding areas offering lessons to all ages and skill levels.
Legacy offers the most comprehensive dance programs in both novice and competitive levels.
Dancers in the novice program participate in a recreational program and have the opportunity to perform and compete locally. Our more intensive training program is for those interested in being a part of the competitive stream. Our competitive stream includes in and out of town dance competitions, giving the dancers an array of adjudicators and levels of competition.
Our competitive team is very much a family, and it shows when we are on stage. Our family always does very well at competitions in solos, duets AND groups because we are all there supporting each other and growing together. We also help give our students the tools they need to pursue a career in the performing arts. Our extensive dance programs include competitive and novice classes in Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary, Song & Dance, Musical Theatre and Acro. We also offer tumble conditioning classes to help our dancers become stronger and more flexible. Legacy offers Kinder classes for that 5 &up; under who can’t wait to get into a dance studio.
UNDERCURRENTS IS SUPPORTED BY: