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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.

 

THE EXECUTIVE

President: Sara Corkum  

Ever since she began dancing at age 3, dance has been an integral part of Sara’s life. She has studied and competed in a wide variety of styles including ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop and musical theatre. She completed her Associates level exam with the British Association of Teachers of Dance in 2008, her ADAPT Teacher Training in 2019, and is a Level 1 Certified Alixa Flexibility Instructor. Sara is also in the process of completing her Intellidance certification. 

Sara attended Saint Mary’s University, where she received her Bachelor of Commerce, her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and her Certified Managerial Accounting (CMA) designation. She taught dance at many schools in the Maritimes throughout her studies, and was a member and choreographer of the award-winning Halifax based FUNKtion Dance Company, where Sara won her first choreographer’s award for her jazz piece.

Opening a dance school had been a dream of Sara’s for many years. After becoming a mom in 2014, she decided it was time to live out her dream so that she could one day show her daughter that if you work hard enough, you can make your dreams come true. Sara’s goal is to share the physical, mental and emotional benefits of dance, provide her students with a space to express themselves authentically and to inspire her students to never give up on their dream. At Motion Dance Centre, Sara and her staff believe that the soul of a dancer lives in bodies of all shapes, sizes, abilities and colours, and welcomes students of all ability levels and experience levels to use the lessons taught by the Motion staff to showcase their authentic movement. 

In addition to being a studio director, Sara is the Director of Finance of Common Good Solutions and is the proud mama of one fierce little 6 year old. When not dancing, teaching, accounting or parenting, you can find Sara on a beach with a good book, dreaming up her next adventure. 

 

 

Past President:  Sara Adams 

Sara is a high school teacher with 13+ years experience teaching French immersion sciences, Yoga and Dance 11. She also still competes and performs with Thirty-Something Dance Co and Strut Dance Collective. 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 frequently offers professional development sessions for dance educators. She served for 2 years on the Dance Education Advisory Committee for Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE) and has served many years as President of the Board of Directors for Dance Nova Scotia (DANS). Sara resides in Dartmouth, NS with her husband and two children.

 

 

Secretary:  Taryn Hines  

Taryn has always had a deep love of the creative and performing arts and holds degrees in Fine Art (painting) and in Honors French (littérature francophone). She works in post-secondary financial aid and currently manages the undergraduate scholarship program of a local university, along with serving on several national scholarship committees. She is also a freelance copywriter and content marketing consultant, specializing in blogging and e-communications. Dance has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember! She currently dances with The Academy Dance Collective (founding member) which competes in jazz, contemporary, hiphop and musical theatre, and she has previously studied ballet, tap, lyrical, highland and bellydancing

 

Treasurer: Catherine Conrad  

Catherine is a Chartered Professional Accountant with an initial background in Secondary education. She started dancing at the age of seven and also enjoyed performing with Neptune Theatre’s Youth Performance Company. She was pleased to spend two years dancing with the Nova Scotia International Tattoo. Catherine was excited to be back on stage this year with Strut Dance Collective in Dartmouth. She also performed in the Dartmouth Player’s production of The Fighting Days.

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DIRECTORS: 

Angela Bishop 

Angela has close to two decades of experience as a non-profit consultant, teacher, and executive. She has advanced collaborative solutions in diverse areas such as housing and homelessness, early childhood education, corporate social responsibility, and sustainable food production. While living in Toronto she had the opportunity to develop a certification program in Aboriginal relations and connect with the vitality and history of indigenous people. Angela returned from Toronto to be a grandmother and assumed a role leading the development of an industry code of best practices. After reacquainting herself with Nova Scotia’s rural and coastal communities and experiencing the passion Nova Scotians have for their communities, she led the Community Foundation of Nova Scotia as their Executive Director for four years. She is currently an active volunteer, including with the Ulnooweg Indigenous Communities Foundation, and serves on the Board of a small wind farm company. Angela is passionate about dance and is excited to watch as her granddaughter has the opportunity to have dance play a role in her development from an early age. 

 

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. Karen is the President of the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies and teaches globally.

 

Cheryl Ewing 

Cheryl has over thirty years of experience in management, facilitation, strategic planning, and new program development for provincial and national organizations. Her consulting work has been at the national level, primarily in performing arts but not exclusively. Leveraging her commitment to audience engagement, she has designed innovative young audience programs.Cheryl was introduced to dance in high school through a cheap ticket program for students. This led to a life-long passion of studying dance finally bringing her to Nova Scotia to manage the new Edgett Dance & Wellness Centre. She has studied ballet, jazz, tap, modern and folk dance and now competes in ballroom. She has been an active presenter of dance and has served on the board of directors with Toronto Dance Theatre founder David Earle.

 

Machara McNeil 

Machara is currently a high school student at Island View High School. She is a premier highland dancer who has studied at the Worthen School of Highland Dance for 14 years. Machara is very active in her school; she is co-captain of her school's dance team and is the arts representative on the school's student council. Machara has a great passion for dance and hopes to learn more about the dance community while contributing new ideas!

 

Qasem Najem  

Qasem is an electronics technologist working for the Royal Canadian Navy. In addition to his background in electronics engineering, Qasem has training and years of experience in customer service, conflict resolution and leadership. After nearly 13 years in Ontario, Qasem moved to Nova Scotia in early 2019 and is in love with the province since. Qasem enjoys Ballroom and Latin dancing. He danced for a few years socially and professionally, and he experienced teaching with different dance organizations. Qasem hopes to spread Ballroom and Latin dancing in Nova Scotia across all age groups. In addition to dancing, Qasem enjoys nature and travelling, and he likes cultures and diversity. Having visited 17 countries, Qasem looks to visit many more and increase his network.

 

Nick Nguyen 

"For nearly a decade, Nick ‘GenNew’ Nguyen has been teaching with the aim of building the Nova Scotian street dance community through Breaking. The home-grown Haligonian has worked with organizations such as Halifax Dance, Concrete Roots, the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts, and Dance Nova Scotia. GenNew, in partnership with Dance NS and the Halifax Central Libraries, established BreakSpace, which aims to increase accessibility to the art form of breaking through sustainable community development. Nick has also competed locally and across Canada. Nick’s mission through his teaching, BreakSpace and other endeavors, is to acknowledge disparities in access and empower community in an effort to attain Hiphop’s values of peace, love, and unity through expression."

 

Melissa Page-Webster 
 

Melissa is the owner of Cobequid Dance Academy in Truro, NS and a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance. She has been an active member of the Nova Scotia dance community for over 30 years. In addition to being a studio owner and Dance Educator, Melissa is the owner of Centre Stage Dancewear in Truro, NS.  In 2018, Melissa co-founded KickTalkDance Productions as a platform for bringing together the art and business communities in Colchester County. In the past, she has served as a Director on the Cobequid Arts Council board and the Central Nova Women's Resource Centre board. She currently holds a director position on the board for the Downtown Truro Partnership, along with being a director on the board of Dance Nova Scotia 

Sarah Prosper 

Sarah is a proud Mi’kmaq Women from Eskasoni First Nation, Nova Scotia. Currently, she is taking Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation at Dalhousie University. Sarah has a great connection to her family and her Mi’kmaq culture. Growing up in one of the  largest First Nation communities in the province, she has always been guided by her elders who have taught her to always be proud of who she is; a Mi’kmaq ~Mekite’t ta’n teli l’nuit and of where she has come from and will go. She began dancing at age 2 and soon after her mother began a boys and girls dance program in Eskasoni; The Native Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselling Association (NADACA) Dance Program us where hundreds of community members have come to learn and celebrate dance. Sarah became a fixture in the group where she began teaching dance at age 14. Sarah has continued dancing at Dalhousie University and as well as volunteering at special needs facilities and health centers during her school year. Back in her community, she continues providing opportunities for children and adults to build connections within themselves through dance. She is always involved with the community in one way or another and tries her best to bring recognition to her Mi’kmaq culture whenever the opportunity arises.

Maeghan Taverner

Maeghan is a disabled dancer, actor, choreographer, and academic. She began dancing at the age of 4 and has trained in 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 currently teaching at Stagecoach Performing Arts and continues to choreograph/teach through the PERFORM! (professional artists in the schools); a joint program of Theatre NS, Dance NS, and the Choral Federation of NS.

Maeghan received her Bachelor of Arts degree at Dalhousie University, where she studied a Combined Honours in Acting (Fountain School of Performing Arts) and Sociology. She is currently a Master of Arts student in Sociology where she is focused on issues impacting youth populations. She is passionate about arts education for youth and hopes to share her experience and love of dance with the next generation.

 

 

 

Cynthia Vokey 

Cynthia is from Sydney, NS. and 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. While training with the Cape Breton School of the Arts, she had the opportunity to study under the A.D.A.P.T Dance Syllabus (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers) and worked closely with Canadian dance legends Brian and Faye Foley. 

In her teen years, Cynthia travelled to Spain with the Candance National Dance Team and then furthered her studies taking programming at Toronto Dance Theatre and Broadway Dance Centre. Vokey is a certified dance instructor and educator through the Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers syllabus where she received teacher training in tap, jazz and ballet. She is also a certified Barre Instructor.

Cynthia continues to teach locally in Cape Breton for dance schools, has been a guest teacher for dance studios across the province, and choreographs many shows for The Savoy Theatre in Glace Bay, NS. and at the Highland Arts Theatre in Sydney, NS. She was also a recent Chrysalis Project participant in the 2019/2020 season at Neptune Theatre in Halifax, NS where she was assigned the role of assistant choreographer for Peter Pan and Billy Elliot. Vokey has also been a Board Member with Dance Nova Scotia for 3 years.

In addition to her dance background, Cynthia holds both a Bachelor of Arts Community Studies and Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Cape Breton University. She is currently enrolled in a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Leadership program at Dalhousie University and works as the Manager of Recruitment with Cape Breton University.

 

 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 as geographically representative as possible. Once elected, board members sit as independent director members and not as direct representatives of an organization or dance form. If they do have a dance background, they are encouraged to bring information about the viewpoint and concerns of their dance discipline and/or the region from which they come. So from that perspective, it is valuable to have a member of your dance discipline on the DANS board. With the ever-expanding purpose of DANS, the organization continues to search beyond the borders of the dance community to include individuals who can bring new areas of expertise to support the activity of the board. Currently, several board members are connected to dance only through a general enjoyment. They bring their own background and experience to the board room, which keeps things exciting and inclusive and aids the organization on many levels. 

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