Dance Educators' Seminar

August 7 - 10, 2018 at Canada's National Ballet School
Peggy Baker | Christine Wright | Sylvain Lafortune
Sarah Fregeau | Jennifer Bolt


Book before June 15 for early bird pricing, save $45! $350 Early Bird | $395 after June 15th

Submit registration form by 11:59pm June 15th to be eligible for early bird pricing; an email will follow within several business days to confirm your spot.

Led by master teachers Peggy Baker, Jennifer Bolt (NEW faculty for 2018!), Sarah Fregeau, Sylvain Lafortune (NEW faculty for 2018!), and Christine Wright, the Dance Educators’ Seminar is designed for experienced and emerging dance instructors with the goal of enhancing and refreshing teaching techniques. The curriculum focuses on highly kinetic and beautifully thought out materials and methods that may be brought immediately into vivid action with one’s own students. 

This seminar will take place in the heart of downtown Toronto at Canada’s National Ballet School. Full registration for all four days is required. You choose your first two classes of the day, and everyone joins together for the afternoon partnering and pedagogy sessions!

I love the wide open exchange with colleagues during the Dance Educators’ Seminar – the refreshing stimulation of new materials, approaches, and points of view around working with students at different stages of training.
— Peggy Baker


Click on photos for faculty biographies.




Opening and Connecting | Sarah Fregeau | 9:30 - 10:30am
This exploratory work focuses on activating the senses, enlivening awareness, awaking the imagination, and attending to one’s relationship with space, as a means to prepare for and enrich one’s engagement in class, rehearsal and creation.

Fundamentals | Christine Wright | 9:30 - 10:30am
Christine has developed a wide range of extremely refined exercises to address issues of articulation, strength and integration. These exercises are geared toward anatomical goals on a very specific level, a level too detailed to attend to in the complex setting of a regular dance class.

Contemporary Technique | Peggy Baker | 10:45 - 12:30pm
Peggy Baker brings the richness, depth, and immediacy of her physical practice into play in a class driven by dynamism and rhythmic feel, and focused on the expressive and kinetic potential of our bodies. The work unfolds fluidly, and with refreshing shifts of focus, through a wide range of vivid and invigorating movement explorations that address essential issues of impulse and action.

Ballet | Christine Wright | 10:45 - 12:15pm
Based on sound principles of anatomy, the focus of this class is movement, flow, and musicality. Ms. Wright's emphasis is on teaching dancers skills that enable them to bring out their own innate abilities, resulting in freedom of movement built on a firm foundation.

Partnering | Sylvain Lafortune, PhD | 1:45 - 3:45pm
Sylvain Lafortune’s uniquely powerful approach to teaching partnering revolves around two main themes: biomechanics and terminology. Participants are guided through a series of exercises through which exploration and practice facilitates the development of partnering technique. This class provides tools for creating partnering in your own choreography, coaching existing repertoire, and directing students in explorations of partnering. Several young dancers will be present learning from Sylvain, so you are invited to observe that work and also to gauge your participation to your level of comfort and capacity. The objective of the workshop is not to learn a few specific lifts, but to give teachers the tools to tackle partnering with their students, no matter what style of dancing they practice.

PRIMED for life: Pedagogy | Jennifer Bolt, PhD | 4:00 - 5:00pm
Facilitating persistence, resilience, internal motivation, and excellence for dancers' transition, health and well-being through a mindful approach to contemporary dance training. In this interactive workshop, participants will have the opportunity to experience the foundational concepts of a new, evidence-based pedagogical model called PRIMED. This model, which evolved from a Canada-wide collective case study on the fine arts dance majors' transition from high school to university, seeks to promote the transferable skills of persistence, resilience, internal motivation and excellence defined found to facilitate dancers' transition, health and well-being. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to achieve the following: consider transition as a four-stage process of separation, transition, incorporation and transformation; identify how and when the transitional challenge cycle surfaces in the dance studio, and how to equip students with the mental and physical resiliency to move through bouts of transition anxiety towards growth and insight; identify, discuss and explore how facilitating metacognitive embodied scholarship in the dance studio through proactive, dance-specific goal setting can help break down self-oriented, other-oriented and socially prescribed perfectionism; and synthesize Dweck's (2008) "growth mindset" with Gallwey's (1974) Inner Game of Tennis strategies with visualization techniques, and somatic practices to calm negative mental chatter and thus facilitate persistence, resilience, internal motivation and excellence defined (PRIMED). Workshop activities will offer concrete, transformative, student-centered approaches to training dancers, which have been pre-tested and studied on university and college performing arts students in transition. The workshop will be of value to those working in the fields of dance education, performance, mental health, and mindfulness.

Open Forum Discussion | Friday only 4:00 - 5:00pm
At the close of the week, all faculty and participants gather to discuss and share their insights, questions, and discoveries.


Early bird $350 - by June 15
$50 deposit (non-refundable)
$300 balance due by July 26
Submit registration form by 11:59pm June 15th to be eligible for early bird pricing; an email will follow within several business days to confirm your spot.

Regular $395 - after June 15
$50 deposit (non-refundable)
$345 balance due by July 26

All prices include HST.


In order to register, click the button below and fill out the form! Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. All registration forms will be assessed and responded to via email. Completion of the form does not guarantee a spot. We will reply within 4-5 business days to confirm your application, and you can make your deposit payment at that time (payment options: e-transfer, cheque, cash). 

Book before June 15 for early bird pricing!

Images from 2017 Dance Educators' Seminar. Photography by Jeremy Mimnagh

[Peggy Baker’s] classes this past summer were a revelation and have inspired, impacted, and freshened my teaching
— Julia Sasso, dancer/choreographer/educator

For questions or more information, contact Marlene at or 416-538-4436.

Dance Educators’ Seminar
August 7 – 10, 2018
Canada’s National Ballet School
400 Jarvis Street, Toronto