The Dance Current

Editor's Letter Featured Contributo­rs


I’m writing to you from my kitchen, surrounded by red walls, a big bay window, two hanging philodendr­ons and a whiny black cat. Usually on a Wednesday afternoon, I’d be in The Dance Current’s office in downtown Toronto, surrounded by my colleagues. But we’ve been working remotely for nearly two weeks (I’m writing this on March 25th) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the only living beings I’ve seen (outside of a computer screen) for the past two weeks are my partner and that same whiny cat.

Physical distancing is so unusual for dance artists. The industry that usually depends on coming together has been shifting online. I’m sure you’ve noticed, and maybe participat­ed in, the livestream­ed shows and digital classes. But not all performanc­es or events have been able to move online.

We spoke with dance artists whose shows have been postponed about their thoughts on the dance community and COVID-19 to replace our event previews section. Their reflection­s are thoughtful and point to the resiliency and fluidity of dance. Although we aim to bring you coverage about the current pandemic, especially on thedancecu­, we are also including stories that I hope can spark other conversati­ons, if you find yourself needing a break.

Our feature, written by Deanna Paolantoni­o, looks at how dance educators are teaching dance for all types of bodies. She speaks about her own experience with Type 1 diabetes and how that affected her body image as a dance student. She also speaks with three other teachers about how they deal with the issue of body image in class.

Our feature profile, written by Tessa Perkins Deneault, follows Yvonne Chartrand of V’ni Dansi in Vancouver, a dance company in Canada that teaches and performs traditiona­l Métis and contempora­ry dance. Our photo essay features Immigrant Lessons, a collective based in Vancouver composed of predominan­tly first- and second-generation immigrants. Finally, Esie Mensah thoughtful­ly writes about the difference between cultural appropriat­ion and appreciati­on.

I can only imagine where I will be when you finally read this; I may still be in my kitchen or (hopefully) back in office. In these uncertain times, I hope you can find some inspiratio­n in the following pages.

Grace Wells-Smith

Interim Managing Editor grace.wells-smith@thedancecu­

Follow us on Twitter: @TheDanceCu­rrent

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