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Board of Directors

Dance Nova Scotia is governed by a Board of Directors made up of community members with a deep commitment to promoting dance in Nova Scotia.

President:  Sara Adams 

" Sara is a high school teacher in Bedford, NS where she runs a dance team and teaches French immersion sciences and Dance 11. She also still competes and performs with Strut Dance Collective based out of Dartmouth, NS. In her 30+ years of dancing, she has studied and/or taught ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, highland, African, belly-dance, salsa, and social dance.

Sara enjoys advocating dance for all ages and abilities, particularly in schools. She served for 2 years on the Dance Education Advisory Committee for Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE) and is currently serving as President of the Board of Directors for Dance Nova Scotia (DANS). She resides in Dartmouth, NS with her husband and two children."

Vice President: Glen Leduc

Glen is a retired military officer. He joined DANS in 2013 as the representative for Scottish Country Dancing.  He was a member of the Governance Review Committee, has been on the Membership Committee for three years and Vice Chairman of DANS for 2 years.  He is an advocate for youth dancing.



Secretary:  Patricia (Trish) McIntosh 

Patricia (Trish)  was born and raised in Cape Breton. She feels like she was born dancing, a little jig here and a few steps there. She holds a master’s in education from St Mary’s University, and B.A., B.Ed. from St. FX.  As a teacher, she uses drama, dance and mime to encourage her students to see movement as an important language. She believes in the need to have a balanced approach to learning, hoping that body-kinesthetic intelligence is not just an afterthought. She is a certified Life/Educational Coach, currently supporting people to take important steps in their own journey. She now embraces Tango as her dance of choice. Learning Tango in Dubai and travelling to Argentina has excited her to find her passion through this dance.


Treasurer: Michelle Wood 

Michelle is an Accounting Manager with a strong background in financial analysis, human resources and client relations.  Strong leadership, communication and organization skills including day-to-day problem solving, and providing training, coaching and support to managers. Have completed CPA program with the goal of obtaining a Professional accounting designation. Michelle has two children who have taken dance classes for over 10 years in a variety of dance genres, both recreationally and competitively. 


Doug Belding 

Doug is a Creative Director, Artist and Strategist who strives to be constructive, fearless, charismatic, smart, and committed to a vision. He has spent the last 16 years creating stunning and compelling creative campaigns for Fortune 500 clients to Start Ups, as well as complementing, directing and enhancing the efforts of creative teams consisting of designers, art directors, copywriters, strategists, public relations managers, information architects, illustrators, animators, interface designers, front/back end application developers and CG artists. He says he has benefited from a well-rounded understanding of graphic design, web design, typography, marketing strategy, art, information architecture, usability, animation, technology, and experience design. He has an interest in dance, believes that as artists there are always challenges for exposure, and sees great benefits in cross promoting and working collaboratively.


Sébastien Belzile 

Sébastien is professionally trained as a physical actor. He has worked in the field of dance in Acadie (Atlantic Provinces) and elsewhere for more than 20 years - mainly for theater and youth dance - and these many opportunities have sparked insightful visions of the world. This has allowed him to better understand the importance of teaching the disciplines of movement and expression, mainly in the school context. His intensive work with children and youth (aged 3 to 18), since the early 1990s, challenged him to abandon old habits and revisit some of the preconceptions of life in general, by which we tend, as human beings, to limit ourselves. He currently works for the Acadian School Board in NS and lives in Cape-Breton. His main goal is to bring dance to life through the safe spaces of the school, while communicating his passion to children in need, children struggling for freedom and those for whom dancing is a pure expression of their full potential.


Karen Bradley

Karen Bradley is a Certified Movement Analyst in Laban Movement Analysis, a trained dance-movement therapist and Emeritus Associate Professor of Dance at the University of Maryland, where she was also Director of Graduate Studies in Dance. She is the author of Rudolf Laban, a volume in the Routledge series on 20th-century performance practitioners, and numerous articles on dance, arts education, and neuroscience. Bradley is the President of the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies and teaches globally.



Emily Hemlow

Emily is communications consultant with a diverse career history working with a variety of industries, including finance, transportation, technology, not-for-profit and the public sector. A specialist in higher education, she has over 10 years of experience in adult education and training and expertise in communication, facilitation, diversity & inclusion, program evaluation & program design.  She also has a background in theatre and a love of dance!



Ashley McGaw

Ashley has intensely studied and taught ballet, jazz, modern, musical theatre and hip-hop. Ashley also holds a B.Ed and M.Ed and currently teaches Dance 11 in the public school system. Ashley is passionate about making dance accessible to all, with an emphasis on promoting dance education for youth.



Don Rieder

Don has been involved in the performing arts since 1974 as a performer, writer, director, teacher, arts activist, and journalist/critic. His work, training and teaching include dance, circus, theatre, puppetry, mask, and the somatic arts. He is a Master Teacher with 35 years of teaching experience at professional and pre-professional levels guiding actors, dancers, and circus artists to achieve technical mastery of basic and advanced skills and self-expression. Teaching credits include The National Theatre School of Canada, numerous American and Canadian colleges and universities, the Cirque du Soleil, The National Circus School in Montreal, and En Piste. He will bring a wealth of experience to the Board, through his onstage experience and community arts involvement. He understands the needs of generative artists, sees the needs of the community that surrounds and supports those artists, and is very committed to serve the larger vision of Dance NS.


Martina Sommer

Martina, a native of Germany, who holds a master degree in science, discovered dance in her forties here in Halifax. She is a curious soul and has explored many forms of movement and dance, but found her passion and new destination in life in Argentine Tango. Together with her husband they teach classes and host social events in the South End of Halifax and sometimes beyond. Inspired by striking research results, they created Tea & Tango - a program for people living with neurological conditions - which is now in its fifth year. As a charter member of Dance for Parkinson's Network of Canada, treasurer with Dance NS and member of the Dance for Health Committee, Martina's focus is on the accessibility of dance for all adults.


Maeghan Taverner

Maeghan began dancing at the age of 4 and has trained in styles like ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, musical theatre, modern, contemporary, hip-hop, salsa, and highland. She has been a provincial representative in Scottish highland dancing for Team Nova Scotia in the ScotDance Canada Championship Series (2012, 2013, and 2017). She is a council member and choreographer for DalDance Society and was previously involved in the executive committee for Dalhousie’s Black and Gold competitive Dance Team. She also choreographs and is the assistant coach of the Charles P Allen Dance Team. She has completed up to her Advanced 1 Ballet exams in RAD. Maeghan is also in the midst of her Bachelor’s Degree at Dalhousie University doing an Honours in Acting at Fountain School of Performing Arts.


Cynthia Vokey 

Cynthia started dancing at the age of 5 and now has 20 years of experience in many forms of dance including ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, and musical theatre to name a few. While training with the Cape Breton School of the Arts, Cynthia had the opportunity to study under the ADAPT Dance Syllabus (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers). To date, Cynthia is one of two dancers east of Montreal to complete her advanced professional jazz examination under this syllabus.  She continues to teach locally in Cape Breton for dance schools, choreographs many shows for The Savoy Theatre and is the Resident Choreographer at the Highland Arts Theatre.  She is also a certified Barre Instructor and teaches for Breathing Space Yoga Studio. Recent credits include working with Neptune Theatre’s Artistic Director Jeremy Webb on the Savoy Theatre’s production of Beauty and The Beast, Disco Nights (Highland Arts Theatre), Beauty and the Beast (Savoy Theatre); Dream (Highland Arts Theatre); The Nutcracker (The Savoy Theatre).


Become a Dance Nova Scotia Board Member

Candidates for directorship are presented to the Annual General Meeting (in June) by the nominating committee. Candidates may also be nominated from the floor. The nominating committee is responsible for ensuring that the Board represents a cross-section of dance disciplines and interests and is geographically representative. Once elected, board members sit as independent director members and not as direct representatives of their dance organization. They do, however, bring information about the viewpoint and concerns of the dance discipline and the region from which they come, and in this respect, it is valuable to have a member of your dance discipline on the DANS board . 

With the ever-expanding purpose of DANS, the organization is searching beyond the borders of the dance community to include individuals who can bring new areas of expertise to support the activity of the board. 

Applications may be made to the nominating committee at any time. Elections are held annually at the DANS annual general meeting in June. To obtain an application please contact:  office@dancens.ca