Choreographer: Gaile Petursson-Hiley
Photographer: Rodney S Braun
The General Program is committed to providing a strong technical foundation while fostering creativity and artistry within all individuals. We invite our students to discover the benefits and joy of dance within a welcoming and non-competitive atmosphere. We offer a variety of classes for ages 1-adult.
The School and Apprentice Program of Contemporary Dancers was founded by Rachel Browne in 1972 as a division of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers. In 1981, the Apprentice Program was recreated and Odette Heyn and Faye Thomson co-founded the Professional Program. In 1995, the School was separately incorporated from the company of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers in order to focus on its unique mandate more fully. The School celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012/2013.
Odette Heyn, C.M. and Faye Thomson, C.M. have co-directed the Professional Program for over 40 years. Under their direction the Program has developed into one of the leading contemporary dance performance training programs in Canada. Core staff for several years have included School Founder, Rachel Browne, C.M., Artist-in-Residence, Stephanie Ballard, and Artistic Associate, Gaile Petursson-Hiley.
Throughout the history of the Professional Program, numerous graduates have continued to enter the profession and perform with renowned companies and choreographers locally, nationally, and internationally. The Program has also been the source of distinguished choreographers and artistic directors within the Canadian contemporary dance community and beyond.
The School of Contemporary Dancers is located at 104-211 Bannatyne Avenue (on the corner of Main Street and Bannatyne Avenue) in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District. The School has many exciting features including three, bright, spacious studios and two lounges. We are on the main floor of the building with easy access for pick-up and drop-off. Parking is available in numerous parkades in the surrounding area. Please see the map for further information.
The School is located on Treaty 1 Territory, on the ancestral lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene Peoples and in the homeland of the Métis Nation. Or water is sourced from Shoal Lake 40 First Nation.