View this email in your browser

Dancing is bigger than the physical body. Think bigger than that. When you extend your arm, it doesn't stop at the end of your fingers, because you're dancing bigger than that. You're dancing spirit.

- Judith Jamison

The dI Blog


Trained VS. Self-Taught: A False Dichotomy in Dance
by Zahra Badua

The 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐂𝐨𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐫 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐬𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐁𝐥𝐨𝐠 is back! In this blog, our administrative assistant Zahra Badua invites readers to share their thoughts on the difference between technically trained VS. self-taught within the arts, more specifically within dance. Do you feel as though one will ensure more success than the other? Do you think that an artist must have both aspects to flourish in their journey? Let's debunk together.

Visit the dance Immersion blog page to read Zahra's blog post, share your thoughts with us, and join the conversation! If you do not feel comfortable sharing your perspective publicly, please feel free to email Zahra at with your thoughts.

We look forward to reading your comments!

Artist Spotlights
Spotlighting Canadian dance, drum, & theatre artists of the African- diaspora that have, and continue to pave the way.
Jenelle Rouse, PhD  


With a passion for learning and creativity, Dr. Jenelle Rouse (she/her) leads a dual career as an educator with a doctorate in Applied Linguistics (education) and as a contemporary, visual body-movement artist. Prior to the pandemic, she had performed in various shows from 2010 onward such as Talking Movement, Withered Tree, Perceptions II, Home: Body, Crossings, Hear, Feel, See, What! and Proud. 

Jenelle is a founder of a continuous creative project called Multi-Lens Existence; it enables her to explore and experiment with different mediums to illuminate stories and information, often without any reliance on words and/or music.

In addition to her career and project, she has assumed different roles while working with a variety of provincial and international academic-, arts- and community-related projects (e.g., Black Deaf Canada, VibraFusionLab, Sync, Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf, Bodies in Translation, and more).  

Upcoming projects: 

Multi-Lens Existence Body Movement Dance, spring/summer workshop for deaf kids (after-school hours in the American Sign Language environment)

Connect/Communicate, experimental film (in process, co-artist, working with the diverse creative team)

Click here to stay up-to-date with Jenelle's projects


Shameka Blake

Shameka Blake, born in Manchester, Jamaica, developed a passion for dance at the young age of three. Her passion for dance continued after she immigrated to Canada and in 2002 Shameka, began to pursue dance professionally. Her training in a variety of dance genres, including jazz, ballet and contemporary, helped her to develop her craft as a dancer/choreographer. 

Since establishing her professional dance company Artists in Motion in 2008, Shameka, through her choreography, has made a strong imprint on the Toronto urban and commercial dance communities. 

Her work has earned her the 2015 Black Canadian Award for Best Urban Dance Act and has been featured at the Association for the Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) Convention in New York City and the BNL (Basketball National League) Finals Halftime Show in South Africa, in addition to local Toronto festivals; Toronto Fringe, Pride Toronto and TIFF. She has also had the pleasure to co-choreograph for the Victory Celebration of the 2015 Pan Am Games honouring Canadian and international athletes. 

Shameka’s career began in the commercial dance field but has now evolved as she has found a new voice in the dance/theatre world. To date, she has six productions. Her most recent full-length production Earth was
commissioned by Uptown Moves in collaboration with dance Immersion, a double bill feature alongside world-renowned Zab Maboungou/Compagnie Danse Nyata Nyata. Earth premiered at the Meridian Arts Centre in November 2019. 

In the previous year,  Shameka was commissioned by Dance Ontario to present at DanceWeekend’18 and most recently for Dance Ontario ONWARDS in partnership with dance Immersion, where she premiered her first short film No Justice, No Peace!  

"As a Black Female creator and choreographer, I am intrigued by our stories and how the stories of our past can be manifested in the present. I am committed to shedding light on current events and issues of social justice. I am dedicated to celebrating my rich culture and uniting with like-minded individuals to create and facilitate spaces where Black people can exist in truth."

Upcoming Projects:

Ashes premiering April 2nd, 2022

LSDC New Festival- August 2022:  Black Canadians-Our Stories -To be Black in Canada is to experience silent oppression. To be Black in Canada is to not easily discern the enemy or the deep-rooted disdain of a racist.

Click here to stay up-to-date with Shameka Blake's upcoming projects

Ashes Dance Production
Shameka Blake/ Artists In Motion


A view of the history, struggles, and the victories of the Peoples of the African Diaspora, through an exploration of the "Black Experience"

Join Artists in Motion on Saturday, April 2nd at 2:00 PM (EST) and 8:00 PM (EST) for the production of ASHES

The story of the beauty born out of our brokenness. We are reminded that we are alive in the midst of our humanity. It is about reconnecting the dots and fragmented pieces of our history in order to remember our fullness as a people. It is about the delicate spaces between slavery and freedom, and the narratives accompanied that implore the soul even deeper into waters they may have never tread. Through movement and storytelling, we breathe life into the cultures of our resistance.

Ashes makes space for the history many so desperately want to cover — acknowledging slavery within Canadian space — and honours the phoenix that is our resilience.


Thank you to our Funders!
Copyright © 2022, dance Immersion, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
303-1000 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON
M4W 2K2

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
dance Immersion · 303-1000 Yonge Street · Toronto, On M4W 2K2 · Canada

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp