December 1st, 2021: COVID-19/HEALTH/WELLNESS--Travel Restriction for Children Age 11 and Younger Participating in Arts and Culture or Sports Events

Taking Steps to Fly 2020



For 15 years, Taking Steps to Fly has been anticipated by young Nova Scotia dancers wishing to spread their creative wings into the world of making dances.  This joint project of Dance Nova Scotia and Kinetic Studio has been the gateway for many young dancers who have gone on to study choreography and build professional dance careers in Canada and abroad. We are excited to announce that this year will bring some of the biggest changes to the program since it began 16 years ago.

The most significant change THIS YEAR will be to the “competition” nature of this exciting event. For the first time, there will not be a competitive element, but will instead focus on the choreographers, their dance-making experience and the presenting of their works. Instead of a group of adjudicators, the dances will be performed in two groups for a PANEL of professional choreographers. After the afternoon performances, the choreographers will get a chance to sit with the Panel and have a discussion about the pieces. This will include a question and answer session where the choreographers can ask about the process and the points made by members of the Panel. This will actually be a return to the original intention of Taking Steps to Fly.

As explained in this statement from Dance NS and Kinetic Studio:

“Both Dance Nova Scotia and Kinetic Studio would like to bring a more interactive approach to the one-day event; a chance for professionals to observe the submitted dances and spend time with the young creators to talk about their piece and the process they experienced. This will give the young creator a chance to ask questions of professionals and to talk about their work with other choreographers whose work is also being presented. We want to create a learning experience that will help them build future dances.”



  • This year there are only TWO entrance categories: Individual and Collective Creation;
  • The age level for all choreographers is 14 to 23 years;
  • For Collective Creation the submission form MUST INCLUDE ALL choreographers’ names and email contact addresses;
  • This year’s deadline for submissions is December 6th;
  • Waivers (for choreographers and dancers) are due January 24th;
  • All forms and information can be found by clicking on the links below;
  • Choreographers will receive photos, a video of their performance and a FREE 2020 Dance NS membership;


  • Depending on the number of submissions, the pieces will be divided into two performance streams. Choreographers in the first stream will do the usual process of spacing and lighting their piece. Once the first stream is ready, they will perform their pieces. Instead of “adjudications”, there will be a panel of professionals who will observe these afternoon performance runs;
  • After the first set of performances, the choreographers who just performed will meet for a discussion with the panel to talk about their process and listen to thoughts from the panel.  The choreographers will also have the chance to talk with each other about their processes. This will be a chance for a conversation rather than just getting a sheet with adjudicator comments as in the past;
  • While this session is happening, the second performance stream will do their tech/spacing and will repeat the performance/discussion process with the Panel;
  • For the evening Showcase, each choreographer will be asked to introduce their piece so the audience has a chance to hear them talk about it. The performances will be recorded as usual;
  • A representative of “the Panel” will talk to the audience to introduce them to the process that took place and talk about the value of the discussions with the choreographers;
  • Following the performances, there will be the presentation of the Pat Richards Award by Halifax Dance as well as an announcement about those chosen for scholarships (see below);
  • There will be a reception after the showcase so the audience can meet the performers.

Please know that Dance NS and Kinetic Studio have made these changes to the format of the showcase day to reflect concerns and requests expressed by past choreographers.

It is the hope of Dance Nova Scotia and Kinetic Studio that Taking Steps to Fly will be a learning experience for everyone and that it will be a chance for young choreographers and dancers to learn about each other as they exchange ideas and thoughts.


Individual Submission Form (Word)

Individual Submission Form (printable PDF)

Collective Creation Submission Form (Word)

Collective Creation Submission Form (printable PDF)




Choreographer’s Waiver  (ALL choreographers must fill out and return)

Dancer’s Waiver (ALL dancers must fill out and return).

**PLEASE NOTE: ALL choreographers and dancers MUST FILL OUT the appropriate waiver and send it into the Dance Nova Scotia office by JANUARY 24TH, 2020. If not, they cannot perform



by mail (or hand delivered) to: Dance NS, 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax, NS B3H 4P7

Click here for directions if dropping off by hand.



The Pat Richards Choreographic Award

The Pat Richards Choreographic Award was created in 1996 through an endowment by David and Margaret Fountain. The award recognizes choreographic promise and potential in young dancers. This award is presented annually by Halifax Dance at Dance Nova Scotia and Kinetic Studio’s Taking Steps to Fly program.  In particular, the award celebrates aspects of Pat Richard’s signature choreographic style such as a rich narrative, careful choice of costume and colour palette, a relation to the human experience, and a demonstration of range and creativity. The award also provides valuable mentorship by pairing the recipient to a current member of the professional arts community. Past recipients of this award have demonstrated rich imagery and meaning, and many have gone on to pursue careers in the creative realm as performers, choreographers and arts administrators. The Pat Richards Choreographic Award carries Pat’s legacy forward to new generations of dancers, ensuring that her spirit continues to transform, support and embolden our youth.

Pat Richards Award Submission form (fillable Word form) 


The Sally Brayley Bliss Scholarship

SALLY BRAYLEY BLISS  was born in 1937, London, England and later raised in Halifax. Her extraordinary career as a ballet dancer began with Canada’s National Ballet. In 1962, she left the company and moved to New York City where she performed as a guest artist with the American Ballet Theatre and the Joffrey Ballet. She also performed as a principal dancer with the Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Opera. In 1969, Sally co-founded the Joffrey II Dancers, a ballet troupe for beginning dancers, and served as artistic director until 1986.  In 1987, after legendary choreographer Antony Tudor's death, she was named Trustee of the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust. In 1995, she left New York City and became Executive Director of Dance St. Louis. At the company, Brayley widely expanded its education and outreach programs established the organization's fundraising programs, and "[maintained] an unbroken tradition of bringing extraordinary dance to St. Louis audiences."

Sally has had a long association with Dance Nova Scotia and has been a strong supporter of dance in this province. This cash scholarship ($150) is to aid young choreographers who are advancing their studies in dance; something that is very close to her heart. The recipient will be chosen from the submissions received.

Sally Brayley Bliss Scholarship Submission Form 


The Joseph Lappin Choreographic Scholarship

**Information will be coming soon** 

In the meantime, visit the Ross Creek Centre for Arts website to contact the Centre for information on the scholarship. There will be two awarded.



Taking Steps to Fly 2020 is a joint project of Dance Nova Scotia and Kinetic Studio with the generous support of the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage.