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Up and coming dance artists, who will welcome and greet you in the lobby, all while learning about the inner workings of a festival setting.

The Dance Stewards, like our Dance Ambassadors are also the face of our Festival, welcoming audiences and helping to increase awareness towards artists in our festival.

With each festival, eight emerging artists are selected to be Dance Stewards. In addition to working alongside the Dance Ambassadors, they are given a variety of opportunities to grow their personal professional networks and develop their careers. We provide them with networking opportunities to the artists on stage. Our festival is bigger than the artists on stage, it is for the entire Canadian arts community. Supporting pre-professional and emerging artists as Dance Stewards is one of the many ways we aim to animate and disseminate wisdom from the community.

*The Dance Stewards will be performing their commissioned work in our WYSIWYG program.


Chronicling and covering all events and the Dance Stewards’ process throughout the festival. Written by Deanne Kearney.

Alli Carry

Alli Carry is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary dance artist. She has collaborated with notable choreographers and created her own pieces in film, dance, photography and theatre. Alli recently choreographed the North American Premiere of “Ladies day” by New Stuff Theatre and presented her work “A Subject” while in residency with The Garage. Alli values collaboration and aims to create authentic and diverse work. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with distinction from TMU (2022).

Photo by Calvin Thomas

Sophia Hassenstein

Sophia Hassenstein is an alumnus of the Alberta Ballet School (2017), the School of Toronto Dance Theatre (2020), and York University (2023). She has performed in various festivals like the Luminato Festival (2018), Fringe Festival (2019), and SummerWorks Performance Festival (2019). Sophia was honoured to recently be in the Stephanie Lake Dance Company’s Toronto rendition of Colossus (2023). She is curious about exploring physical theater and is passionate about movement as a communal unifier.

Photo by Aidan Tooth

Deanne Kearney – dance chronicler

Deanne Kearney is a dance writer, researcher, and critic, currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Dance Studies at York University in Toronto, Ontario. Her works have been featured in publications such as Dance Magazine, The Dance Current Magazine, Dance International, and Mooney on Theatre. Currently, she provides comprehensive reviews of a wide array of dance performances on her website, The Dance Debrief ( Her complete writing portfolio is available at Deanne is also an editorial board member of Riffs Journal and serves as the international secretary for PoP Moves, a global research group dedicated to popular dance and performance.

Micaela Janse van Rensburg

Micaela is a dancer currently based in Toronto. She is going into her final year at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre where she was awarded the First Year Excellence in Performance Prize. She has had the pleasure of working with Movement Market Collective directed by Kay Kenney, and performed in a work by Katie Adams-Gossage for Toronto Summer Works. Micaela is absolutely thrilled to be a Dance Steward for d:mic/fac this summer.

Photo by Jesse Maracle

Aryana Malekzadeh

Aryana Malekzadeh is an Iranian Canadian independent dance artist and arts educator based in Toronto. She is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours from York University, where she was awarded merit scholarships. Aryana has danced for renowned choreographers such as Emily Cheung, Syreeta Hector, Shannon Litzenberger, and Newton Moraes. In addition to performing, she is a faculty member at York University, where she pursues her passion of teaching.

Photo by Elanne Boake

Frédérique Perron

Frédérique Perron (she/her), from Abitibi-Ouest QC, is a dance artist currently based in Tkaronto. Since her graduation from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, she has performed creations by Katie Adams-Gossage, Brianna Clarke, Frog in Hand, Kaelin Isserlin, Near&Far Projects, Marisa Ricci and Renee Smith. Her artistic practice coalesces her enthrallment for human sensations, instinctive movements and individual’s perceptions. She has had the opportunity to share her choreographic researches in SummerWorks’ Lab and Nautanki Festival.

Photo by Marisa Ricci

Zuri Skeete

Zuri Skeete is an emerging dance artist within the Toronto community. She is a recent graduate from York University’s Choreography/Performance Specialized Honours BFA in Dance. Zuri is constantly striving to explore her identity and movement aesthetic, persistently questioning if she can go deeper in everything she works on. She is always grateful for opportunities to collaborate and share her passions with other artists.

Photo by Natasha Smith

Logan Whyte

Logan Whyte is an emerging Toronto-based queer dancer and choreographer from Brockville, Ontario. He is a recent graduate of the Dance Program at TMU. Throughout his time in the program, he has worked with well-known Toronto choreographers such as Hanna Kiel of Human Body Expression, Alyssa Martin of Rock Bottom Movement, and Allen Kaeja of Kaeja Dance. He has also worked with international choreographers such as Jesse Obremski, Dailedys Carzanna, and Stephanie Lake.

Photo by Brandon Oreto

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