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: 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 traveled 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 in Community Studies and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Cape Breton University. She is currently enrolled in a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in the Leadership Program at Dalhousie University and works as the Manager of Recruitment with Cape Breton University.
Vice President: 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.
Secretary: Elaine Mailman
Elaine started her first introduction to dance class when she was four and danced full throttle until she was eighteen. She was trained using the British Association of Teachers of Dancing syllabus at Joseph Wallin School of Dance and enjoyed the competitive side of the dance world with Footnotes Dance Troupe for multiple years. In high school, Elaine took her dancing shoes to the other side of the harbour to Jackie Vacca’s Just Dancin’ and was a member of the group FreeZone. After a crisp 14-year hiatus from dancing, she returned to the competitive dance world as a member of the Strut Dance Collective reinvigorating her love for dance. Elaine has danced three seasons with Thirty Something Dance Cooperative and continues to enjoy learning choreography in all forms. Elaine takes every adult dance class she can (especially in Tap- her favorite discipline)!
After growing up in Dartmouth, Elaine lived the majority of her 20’s away from Nova Scotia (in Newfoundland for her Undergrad, in Thailand teaching English, and in Ontario (for multiple years) working after completing her Master’s degree). She was happy to move back to her hometown in 2016 to peruse a career as an Occupational Health and Safety Officer.
Treasurer: 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.
Sara is a high school teacher with more than 15 years experience teaching French immersion sciences, Yoga and a variety of fine arts including 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 has 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 is happy to return to the board of DANS to further the arts in education. In addition, Sara is studying Expressive Arts Therapy -- using the arts, including dance as a therapeutic modality. She resides in Middleton, NS with her husband and two children.
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.
Paige is from North Sydney, Cape Breton and has been involved in dance for 22 years. She has been dancing since the age of four and over that time has won many awards; notable are the Doris Macdonald Dedication to Dance award in 2015 and the Paris Summer Dance Tour Scholarship (2014). Paige has also completed multiple exams with ADAPT syllabus and will complete the ADAPT dance teacher training program this July. Currently Paige teaches at Northside Dance Unlimited in Florence, Cape Breton. She has also implemented a free dance program at Five Eleven Youth and Family Center for at-risk youth.
In addition to her extensive dance background, Paige also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Arts Community Studies degree from Cape Breton University, as well as a diploma in Child and Youth Care from Holland College.
Kate is excited to be a director on Dance Nova Scotia’s board. She is confident her varied background and experience as a professional photographer and dance company artistic director turned public relations practitioner is a great fit for the work Dance Nova Scotia does to support and promote both the dance community and the art form itself. Kate is an effective communicator, manager of expectations, professional cat-herder, hand-holder and fire-putter-outer.
Lesley MacLean: (photo coming soon)
Lesley has been teaching dance in Nova Scotia, specifically Cape Breton, for over eight years. She is currently stepping back from teaching and choreographing to work full‐time in a public relations/communications role with the Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia. She recently completed the Public Relation Graduate Program at NSCC, serving the past year on the Canadian Public Relations Society Nova Scotia Chapter as the student representative for NSCC. Lesley is anxious to be a representative voice for the Cape Breton dance community and knows that her passion and love for dance in our province will be a welcomed strength as a Dance Nova Scotia board member.
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 traveling, and he likes cultures and diversity. Having visited 17 countries, Qasem looks to visit many more and increase his network.
Catherine lives in Halifax, NS and is currently in her final year of dental school at Dalhousie University. Before dentistry she earned a BSc. in Chemistry and Physics from Dalhousie University, an MSc. in Chemistry from Queen’s University and then later worked as a research scientist in Edmonton, AB. She danced competitively as a child and continued recreationally throughout university in a variety of styles including ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop and tap. Most recently she was a founding member of the Academy Dance Collective, a competitive dance troupe for lovers of dance over 30. She is also a Ranger leader for the Girl Guides of Canada and enjoys contributing to her community.
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.
Dancer & Artistic Director of Samqwan, Sarah Prosper, 22 year old L’nu woman she/her, has a B.Sc Therapeutic Recreation & ADAPT Certified. From Mi’kmaq First Nation community Eskasoni (Wekwistoqnik ~ land of the fir trees). An accomplished creator and leader in arts dance and culture, Sarah has performed, collaborated, co-created, co-produced, consulted, in Indigenous-inspired multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational productions, most recently: Koqm (shalan joudry), Nutuwiek? (NS Choral Federation), Alan Sylliboy & The Thundermakers (Co presented with Symphony NS), Fluid Forms ~ Utawtiwow Kijinaq (Mocean Dance & Sara Coffin), Ki’kwa’ju Reimagining Prokofiev’s Peter & the Wolf (FSPA, Christina Murray & Shelly MacDonald) & Lost Soul (George Woodhouse & the Public Service). Sarah creates and moves through topics of intergenerational healing, history, health, wellness, and truth, through these elements and stories of our history and the land, uplifting contemporary Indigenous artistry with an approach that is guided by Mi’kmaq spirituality. Sarah hopes to incorporate Indigenous creativeness in movement of all forms and help others find their inherent ability to move freely with Ms~t No’kmaq (All My Relations).
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: email@example.com