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Branksome Hall News

CIS Dance Festival: Celebrating the Art of Dance

On February 22, Senior & Middle School dancers had the opportunity to take part in CIS Ontario’s Dance Fest at York University. Open to Grades 6 to 12 students, the Festival is a place where students can try out multiple dance styles while working with top dancers and choreographers in a professional setting. Both preparatory and senior Dance Companies attended in addition to Grades 9–12 classes. In total, more than 60 Branksome Hall dancers were able to participate.
Students were able to choose three workshops, and then come together for a performance showcase and feedback at the end of the day. Workshop options included classical Chinese, Bollywood, Hip Hop, Latin Fusion, Contemporary, Kaeja Elevations and Musical Theatre. 

Annie Wood, Senior & Middle School Dance teacher and Drama and Dance Coordinator, noted, “The CIS Dance Festival empowers our students to take creative risks, develop their confidence and grow—not only as dancers, but also as human beings. The Festival offers our students a chance to celebrate their passion for the art of dance, and expression of movement, with each other and also with our broader community. The Festival really speaks to the notion that dance is a powerful form of expression and the experience helps our students see that dance is everywhere! I am so incredibly proud of our students' accomplishments in dance and Branksome dancers shine in our community as outstanding artists!”

Branksome Hall joined 14 other CIS Ontario member schools, including Bishop Strachan School, UTS, St. Clement’s, The York School and Greenwood.

"The Dance Fest represents a pivotal moment for the growth and artistic expression of every Branksome dancer,” shared Natalie Montalvo, Senior & Middle School Dance teacher. “It nurtures their development, cultivates their artistry and ignites their enthusiasm for the essence of dance—whether as participants, spectators or performers. Our students embrace the diverse styles presented by industry professionals, thus challenging themselves to new heights. As their teacher, witnessing their brilliance both in classes and on stage fills me with immense pride."

Branksome’s Senior & Middle School Arts season continues this spring, and the community is getting excited for Dance Night on April 4. At this event, Branksome dancers will present Force des Femmes, an evening celebrating movement, artistry and passion with themes of empowerment, resilience and strength. Tickets will go on sale after the March Break.
We wish to acknowledge this land on which Branksome operates. For thousands of years, it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work and go to school on this land.

Setting the new standard for girls' education everywhere takes collective action. From all of us.