Homebase: Kamloops & Vancouver
Languages: English, French
After studying dance at York University (Toronto) and L'École de danse de Québec (Québec City), Damarise Ste Marie has plunged wholeheartedly into the world of dance, as a teacher, performer and choreographer. Several trips to Africa and Brazil to teach and learn dance have nourished her passion and given her the inspiration to bring joyful movement experiences to her community. Damarise works with children of all ages, with adults, and with people with developmental challenges and other special needs. She has experience working in public and private schools and community centres. Her classes balance process and product, celebrating the simple love of movement as well as preparing students for onstage performances. Artist Statement: Damarise is interested in dance as a celebratory and joyful experience; an expression of balance between the individual and the collective; the embodiment of culture; and physical communication of the sacred and the beautiful.
From the moment my students stepped into the gym for their workshop with Damarise they were captivated. She set the tone for a space that was welcoming and accepting and they felt at ease right away. They were ready to take risks and follow her lead to try their hand at some new movements and new things. I was so pleased to see their faces light up as they felt her encouragement and tested their abilities with new sequences. My class was engaged during their time with Damarise and they had the opportunity to participate in this unique opportunity of learning about, and participating in, French culture. Elizabeth DeVries, Teacher, École South Sahali Elementary
Since 2010, Damarise Ste Marie has been involved with my arts-based charity, The Big Little Caravan of Joy, travelling to communities in South Africa, Swaziland and Burkina Faso. Damarise honours and celebrates the child's expressive and authentic spirit by drawing on the artistry of the performing arts and the magic of creative play. Damarise provides the program's curriculum with a plethora of spirited ideas that help unleash the creative nature of the children she works with. Sarina Condello, Founder and Director, Big Little Caravan of Joy
An intensive week of creation and performance for elementary school children. I work with the school to create a dynamic program that interweaves the performing art disciplines. Students explore technical and expressive aspects of performance, leaving room for their own individuality and group dynamics. Each custom built project integrates contemporary and world dance, improvisation, vocalization, mime, music and theatrics. Within a very short timeframe, students are able to learn, create, and interpret performance material. Themes are agreed upon with the school, and can include environmental stewardship, mythic storytelling, history & culture, curriculum connections, and more.
With experience in classical ballet, modern and contemporary dance, creative dance, musical theatre, and African and Brazilian dance forms, Damarise offers expressive and technically solid dance classes to students from K-12. Younger students explore a variety of concepts through movement and rhythm games, group tasks and improvisation. Older students develop clarity, versatility, physicality and performance quality through anatomically sound and inspirational dance workshops. Workshops can be tailored for curriculum enrichment, PE requirements, and lunchtime or afterschool programming.