Balancing work and art.
You’re from Nova Scotia originally, and have lived in Toronto for a while… how did you end up moving to Newfoundland?
My husband and I moved here two years ago this coming June. We moved here to take on the business of somebody who had been running a violin shop here. We took over the violin shop on King’s Road. So, I do that in my spare time. I help my husband run the business and I actually work at The College of the North Atlantic most of the time; I’m there full time in Disability Services. I work with students with physical disabilities and learning disabilities.
How did you get involved in Disability Services?
You know what? When I was a student in dance a long time ago, in Toronto, I guess I felt a little dubious about having a full time career as an artist, so I decided to enroll in a program that was offered at George Brown College, which trained people to work—the same way an interpreter works with people who are deaf—but I worked with people who were both deaf and blind. I just had to pick something else to do other than just dance. I wanted to have sort of a back-up plan, and, to me, the only connection I had to it was that there was a physical component. The physical communication sort of spoke to me.
And so I did that. Then, of course, you can never just live in one world, so I was always bouncing back and forth between dance and school. And then, eventually, you know, here I am working full time at the college, and I’m comfortable doing that. But I have to kind of keep the creative stuff going as well.
Do you have to sneak some time away for dance?
Yeah, like right now it’s pretty minimal. But, myself and two other women in town are running modern dance classes on Thursdays. So that’s kind of important for me, just to keep myself in that frame of mind. I’m in the studio less than what I used to be when I was living in Toronto, but, you know, I just feel like that’s just the way life is. These things ebb and flow all the time, and this is just where I am right now, I’m settling in.
I still feel like I’m settling in in some ways. I feel like we’ve been here for two years, but I feel in some ways it’s only been a few weeks.
What will you be presenting at the upcoming Festival of New Dance in June?
I’m presenting a piece, called “Seven Dances for my Mother.” It’s a piece that I made when I was a graduate student at York University. It’s a 30-minute dance choreography that involves live dance and film. I made the piece following the time period after my mother passed away. So, the piece sort of draws on my experience of dealing with that. That’s what I’m presenting.