Virginia's interdisciplinary approach has been forged in the heat of managing multiple projects from start to finish. She recently produced Dance on the Shore as result of a residency at Marc's Madness Dance in North Vancouver. She also was invited as artist in residence at Parkgate Community Centre. Through the Artstarts Mentorship program Virginia was recently able to work with dancer and choreographer, Kim Sato. She enjoys teaching, working with all ages. She is an instructor for the enrichment program at Bodwell High School. Her early performance experiences include dancing with the Karen Jamieson Dance Company and solos created for her by Serge Bennathan and Cornelius Fischer-Credo. Virginia is grateful to have danced as guest artist with the Dancers of Damelahamid and to have learned with Elder Margaret Harris and Chief Kenneth Harris. She graduated with a BA from the European Dance Development Centre, part of the ArtEz University of the Arts in Arnhem, The Netherlands. In Arnhem, her process developed and gained momentum amongst an international community of dancers, artists and master teachers. Virginia's journey has been enriched through sharing it with husband Frank and their two children. Virginia invites participants, collaborators and audience to discover the passion in all of us to apply our signature style in creative, collaborative and fun projects that celebrate and connect communities. Fabric , lettering, design, voice, paper, music, creative writing and theatre are all aspects of her practice that weave through the dance. Virginia enjoys teaching and inviting her students to co create with artistic work that is dynamic, creative and adaptable to a variety of settings. The design of each class is generating the results of her broad body of knowledge regarding physical conditioning, body awareness and tension relief. Some of the recurrent themes in her work include transformation, contrasts, conflict resolution, resurrection and love.
In only a few months, Virginia has already demonstrated herself to be a dynamic, energetic and skilled dance educator. Notably, she shows the following strengths, among many other admirable attributes: 1) a deep passion for the arts, exemplified through artistic skill, and an enthusiasm for helping students discover their own confidence and creativity, 2) flexibility to adapt to a unique classroom arrangement and programming structure, 3) detailed and purposeful curriculum planning, able to cater original learning outcomes and activities/assessment directly to student background and previous experience, 4) an ease in communicating with international and ELL students, 5) a dedication to connecting with students in a collaborative, creative and dynamic learning environment, 6) genuine interest in the students' own expression of ideas through dance and a wide variety of forms of movement, including cultural dances, 7) a professional and collaborative team approach, working seamlessly with the administrative and instructional staff, and 8) real world experience and knowledge of the dance/arts community to share with the students. Stephen Goobie, Principal, Bodwell High School
THANK YOU! Your passion comes through your dance and it reminds us of why we do what we do. For the love of creation, expression, and connection. You have made a huge impact on me and the community. Karen Pighin,Community Arts and Culture Animator, North Vancouver Recreation and Culture
Virginia is highly energetic and creative in her approach to incorporating movement that explores current social content in a challenging and affirming manner. She has a clear understanding of how to work with student dancers and give them movement problems that both shows her intent, the curriculum content and their abilities in the best light. Marc Berezowski, Artistic Director, Marc's Madness Dance Studio/School
The approach we took was studying favourite lyrics, pulling out single words and sentences, separating them out of context. Then we're reflecting on them while choosing specific sentences and words. We were illustrating words and even incorporating the words into a live performance. Getting a presentation ready right away was a great strategy to really test the students in their knowledge, abilities and skills sets when it comes to performing on stage. By the third class we were able to sit back and watch three diverse interpretations of songs with lyrics that were meaningful to the students. They learned it's possible to create new connections to songs that they admired and enjoyed. The presentations allow students have their own input and interpretations shared and valued amongst their peers.
The students made meaningful contributions by using the skills they came with and their unique background to shine. Discovering their strengths,students are often leading others in choreography or creating performance ideas leap frogging from artists they admire. Although they were very comfortable presenting their own original material within the safety of the class it was also made very clear that it's more difficult to present live to the greater student body. Getting this caliber of live performance ready seems daunting, however performing for the camera was a different story. Working with this generation of media oriented young people makes it a perfect medium for expressing group ideas and to showcase individual abilities. The students were able to share the creativity with family, peers and friends. When the students get to see themselves on video they really understand what a difference it makes when you are fully immersed and energized in your performance. We were making the videos, then watching them together. We followed up by discussing them and planning the next one. It was not only a great learning experience but super fun for them all to see how each person played a vital role in our team
This workshop is designed to have students think and learn like artists. A balance of research and using existing knowledge helps students navigate personal awareness in a creative and cultural context of inclusion. Ideas are welcomed as we collaborate on presenting performance ideas for the classroom through the visual, performing and media arts. Students use the arts lens to view fascinating subjects.