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Dancing for Change: The Dandelion Dance Performance Group at Women's Shelters Canada Conference 2018

Updated: Jul 24, 2021

Day 2 at the Women’s Shelters Canada Conference, June 14, 2018.

Gathered together at The Shaw Centre, we were treated to six short performances by an incredible group of young women who belong to the Dandelion Dance Performance Company in Ottawa. The Company exists to show that every girl – regardless of background, body type, and ability – has a valuable perspective to share with the world. This group of young women create works on the issues that matter most to them, such as women’s and children’s rights, inclusion, and poverty. Works evolve from the personal experiences of Company members and are performed in schools, universities, and at national conferences. They participate in leadership and social justice workshops, volunteer in the community, and share their work at important venues. A model for equity and inclusion, the Company challenges traditional notions of who can be a “dancer,” calls out stereotypes about young women from all walks of life, and showcases the power of art as a tool for social change.

This picture was taken during their dance entitled, “Barriers Youth Encounter.”

Dandelion Dance Performance Group 2018 at Women's Shelters Canada Conference

Just as we stand in the gap for the social justice issue of domestic violence, these young ladies complement our work and values with their unique and memorable repertoire of dance pieces that they, themselves, have choreographed. I was both moved and invigorated to press on in the work of S.H.A.D.E., Second Stage Housing for immigrant and refugee women in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The link below is a sample of what we were treated to during this year’s Dandelion Dance Performance, many of whom I recognized danced before us in Ottawa:

Following numbers like “Age of Perspective” and “Unapologetic Beauty,” the girls ended with “A Prayer for the 21st Century,” a spoken prayer they powerfully put to dance.

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