CIS Ontario Dance Fest

So you think you can dance? It really doesn’t matter! We welcome grade 6 to 12 students who've had some external or co-curricular instruction and those with no experience whatsoever. This festival is the place to try out multiple dance styles while working with top dancers and choreographers in a professional setting.

Making use of the studios at York University’s Faculty of Dance, students choose from three workshops, then come together for an optional performance showcase and strength-based feedback at the end of the day. Options have included three levels of hip-hop, musical theatre, Pow-wow (indigenous), contemporary, Bollywood, Brazilian Samba and much more.

Whatever the selections, students glean valuable instruction on how to appreciate and contextualize various dance techniques. It’s also a great chance to see what CIS Ontario member schools are doing, backed by a supportive and enthusiastic audience of their peers.

Dance Fest 2024

All enthusiastic dancers, from beginners to experts, were welcome! 

Dance Fest 2024, an exciting and supportive inter-school student dance festival was held on February 22, 2024 at the Faculty of Arts, Media, Performance and Design, MacLean Performance Studio & the Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan Theatre at York University. 

Students in grades 6–12 participated in three workshops of their choice with professional dance instructors and then had the opportunity to perform for their peers. The day supported both curricular and co-curricular dance programs.

CIS Ontario Dance Fest 2024

Dance Fest 2023

We were back in the dance studios at York University on February 23rd for a fantastic day! Participants awoke to a hefty snow accumulation, and many of our schools' buses were cancelled. Still, more than half of our dancers made their way to York University for our first in-person Dance Fest post-pandemic. Grade 6–12 students from CIS Ontario member schools participated in three workshops of their choice with professional dance instructors and then had the opportunity to perform for their peers. Workshops included:

  • Malcolm Messadol, Beginner Hip Hop
  • Shavar "Caution" Blackwood, Intermediate/Advance Hip Hop
  • Luke Opdahl, Beginner Contemporary
  • Stéphanie Visconti, Intermediate Contemporary
  • Marisa Ricci, Samba
  • Cecilia Xiong, Classical Chinese Dance
  • Indiana Mehta, Bollywood
  • Josh Doig, Musical Theatre
  • Brandon Bizzy Owusu, Soca (Islander Style)
  • Allen Kaeja, Kaeja Elevations

Following the workshops, participants were treated to a showcase of nine dance performances varying in dance genres from CIS Ontario members: Branksome Hall, Greenwood College School, Pickering College, The Bishop Strachan School, UTS, and The York School.

It was a wonderful day of high energy and inter-school engagement. The CIS Ontario team would like to personally thank all the student participants and their faculty advisors for their commitment to this student program that offers learning in a dedicated arts post-secondary program with top Canadian professional talent. Planning has already begun for CIS Dance 2024, and we look forward to welcoming more CIS Ontario members to this magnificent event!

Watch the 2020 Highlights Video

View the 2020 Photo Gallery

CIS Ontario Dance Fest

For additional information, please contact:

Jeremy Barr
Event Manager

“Dance like no one’s watching.” So goes the famous quotation. So delight in the power of dance in a supportive atmosphere, while collecting valuable tips and tricks from the pros.