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Ignite! (Workshop)

  • Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre 509 Parliament Street Toronto, ON, M4X 1P3 Canada (map)
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Ignite!  is an auditioned one-week summer dance program that will take you on a journey to expand your creative consciousness and refine your artistic vision. Join us this summer, July 22-27, 2019 in Toronto for six days of exploration, reflection and discovery!

Through classes, movement research labs, choreographic collaborations, life-coaching sessions, and field trips (to performances, open rehearsals, art galleries, film screenings and lectures), this program will open your eyes and open doors to a professional career in contemporary dance!

Now in its seventh year, Ignite!  is a collaboration between Toronto’s acclaimed school and company, Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre and TOES FOR DANCE.

PLEASE NOTE: The application deadline for Ignite! 2019 has been extended to Friday, June 14th at 11:59pm EST.



The Ignite approach is highly collaborative. It is acknowledged that each participant brings a unique and valuable set of experiences and skills to the program. Our intent is to work together to create a safe and brave space, within which each participant feels excited to contribute their inherent creativity to our shared experience.

ALL participants are “vision-keepers”; simultaneously dancers, choreographers and leaders. We will work together to break down the traditional roles of “dancer”, “student”, “choreographer” and “teacher” by questioning the conventional hierarchies. Our interest is in creating an experience that allows participants to bring their personal questions and inspirations into the room as a starting point for goal-setting and dance-making. The TOES FOR DANCE team will offer tools, guidance and protected time throughout the process but it is the participant's responsibility to devise and self-direct.

With an emphasis on process, not product, we will insist that we do not know what we will discover before we begin. It’s about taking risk and giving ourselves the opportunity to venture into new territory, not relying on what we know will be “good” or “impressive”. This is an exploration.

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Monday July 22 to Saturday July 27 from 11:30am-9:00pm daily

Click here to download/view the tentative program schedule (PDF).

  • Classes: Each day of the Ignite program will begin with a warm-up movement class led by either Kristen Carcone or David Norsworthy. The 2-hour classes will be technique-based with elements of improvisation. Our intent for these classes is to activate the body and mind; providing a foundation of focus, presence, physical readiness, and enthusiasm.

  • Movement Research Labs: Taking place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the program week, these 2-hour sessions will introduce and explore the contemporary movement and/or creative process ideas of our guest artists. Participants will have the opportunity to dive into a specific physicality and/or way-of-working, for the purpose of gathering new inspiration and different perspectives.

  • Field Trips: Each night of the program after 7 pm between Monday and Friday, we will embark on an art-seeking journey in the City of Toronto. Excursions will include but are not limited to performances, open rehearsals, film screenings and art galleries. Participants will immerse themselves in artistic experiences and then we will unpack and explore the ideas that surface through personal reflection, writing, and discussion. These ideas will serve as the inspiration for the Choreographic Collaborations.

  • Choreographic Collaborations: Throughout Ignite, participants will apply their learning through three emergent creative projects based on generative “challenges” or assignments; using dance as a starting point but also potentially expanding into the realms of other artistic disciplines. Each project will use inspiration from other aspects of the program; dealing with themes/ideas/ways-of-working that emerge from Classes, Research Labs, and Field Trips.



Stream One: Youth Artists

  • ages 15-20

  • minimum 3 years of movement experience

  • curiosity and eagerness to learn

Stream Two: Emerging Professional Artists

  • ages 18+

  • completed at least one year of post-secondary dance training at a recognized institution

  • minimum 3 years of dance experience

  • curiosity and eagerness to learn


Earlybird Application Deadline: April 26, 2019 at 11:59pm EST

Earlybird Application Fee: $25 including HST

Extended Final Application Deadline: June 14, 2019 at 11:59pm EST

Regular Application Fee: $32 including HST

PLEASE NOTE: The application deadline for Ignite! 2019 has been extended to Friday, June 14th at 11:59pm EST.

Requirements: Max. 1-minute video of improvisation uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo. We do not accept video files sent through email, DropBox or Google Drive.

Submit: Click here to apply and pay application fee!

Please note: There is no live audition for Ignite! this year.



$500 Tuition Fee + $100 Activity Fee = $600 CAD plus HST

*See scholarship info below.

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A limited number of scholarships will be awarded to applicants for Stream One: Youth Artists who demonstrate exceptional artistic merit and financial need. Scholarship applications will be available to accepted program candidates upon request.

Subsidized by our Scholarship Fund and Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre, Stream Two: Emerging Professionals is a tuition-free program. TOES FOR DANCE and Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre recognize the financial burdens of pursuing a professional career in contemporary dance and offer this development opportunity to a select number of artists who demonstrate extraordinary talent and potential. Stream Two participants are only required to pay the $100 Activity Fee and the Application Fee, plus arrange their own travel to Toronto and accommodation for the duration of the program. 

Ignite! Scholarships are made possible with the support of our generous donors. Help us inspire the next generation of dance artists by making a contribution to the TOES FOR DANCE Scholarship Fund. Click here for more information!



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DAVID NORSWORTHY (Program Director / Faculty Member), is a Toronto-based dance artist who is “an exceptionally lucid performer, impressive and articulate” (The Globe and Mail). David has performed and toured with companies including Peggy Baker Dance Projects (Toronto), Toronto Dance Theatre (Toronto), Dancenorth (Melbourne), ZviDance (New York), Brian Brooks (New York), Skånes Dansteater (Malmö) and Magma Dans (Stockholm). Recent performances include the national tour of “who we are in the dark” by Peggy Baker with live music by Sarah Neufeld and Jeremy Gara of Arcade Fire, and the Merce Cunningham Centennial Celebration “Night of 100 Solos” at the BAM Opera House in New York City. He has presented his choreographic work as part of Evolve! (Toronto), Wave Rising (New York), Our Voices (Stockholm) and the OnSite/InSight Festival (Winston Salem). A graduate of The Juilliard School (New York), David is the grateful recipient of the Living Arts Centre’s 2016 Ron Lenyk Award and one of three finalists for the Toronto Arts Foundation's 2018 Emerging Artist Award.


KRISTEN CARCONE (Program Director / Faculty Member), is a Toronto-born, internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer, teacher, and reiki healer. She is a company member of Third Rail Projects (New York), currently performing in their Bessie award-winning production, Then She Fell. Kristen is a guest artist with FROG IN HAND, and has also performed the original works of Jason Parsons and the Kuperman Brothers. She has performed internationally in: The Phish Concert at Madison Square Garden (New York), Tangente’s Danses Buissonnieres (Montreal), The New Prague Dance Festival (Prague) and Art Gallery of Ontario’s MASSIVE PARTY (Toronto). In 2016, Kristen was named one of the 25 Most Influential Young Choreographers to watch by Narcity Toronto. Her choreography can be seen in Cardinal’s Pride music video Masterpiece, and in Supa’Nova, a new play by Maria Ramirez. Thanks to funding from the Toronto Arts Council, and support from lululemon NY, Kristen’s latest work 4-7-8 will premiere in Fall 2018 in Toronto. She graduated from New World School of the Arts in 2011.


SYDNEY MCMANUS (Guest Artist), originally from London Ontario, is a multidisciplinary artist working between Montreal and Toronto. As a freelance artist her experience includes performances with TOES FOR DANCE, Fog in Hand, Alysa Pires Dance Projects, among others. Besides her work in performance, she is also a practising visual artist with continued studies at OCAD University. Now living in Montreal, Sydney is working as a company dancer for RUBBERBANDance and has been with the company since 2016.


NIGEL EDWARDS (Guest Artist) is a young artist known for breaking the boundaries in dance. He has been dancing professionally for 7 years with the internationally known dance crew The Moon Runners and established contemporary dance company Alias Dance Project. Nigel uses animation, waving, floorwork, threading and miming to make his style come to life and continues to inspire, innovate and create through dance. Nigel is also the founder of Lost is Found which is a platform that curates safe and inclusive spaces for dancers coming from all walks of life. The idea is to use movement and dance to challenge stereotypes and fight discrimination. In his words: “I am a movement storyteller. The stories I tell come from visceral responses that animate an embodied knowledge that allows me to maneuver the world around me.  As a self-taught movement artist, I discovered my identity and style through my roots in the Toronto’s street dance community. My artistic practice is inspired by the re-imagining of space, soundscapes and evocation of identity and freedom through movement. As a choreographer, sound designer and community arts practitioner, I am able to create spaces for movement artists to understand what it means to be present, have an honest exchange and experience reciprocity in its rawest form as I lead them through collective improvisation.”


ELKE SCHROEDER (Guest Artist)  is a Mover. A contemporary dancer and performer for over 20 years, her movement background includes dance of many styles, floorwork, acrobatics, yoga, functional movement and martial arts. Her greatest influence is Fighting Monkey, a task-based, longevity-driven practice created by Jozef Frucek and Linda Kapetanea (RootlessRoot). A close student of Jozef and Linda, Elke is a recognized FM instructor. She also owes much credit to her other main teachers: David Zambrano (Flying Low), Iñaki Azpillaga (Ultima Vez) and Peter Jasko (Les Slovaks). A graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and the Octopus Garden Teachers Training and Mentorship programs, Elke has taught for myriad organizations such as Spirit Loft (Toronto), L’Artère Danse (Québec), the University of Calgary, GMD Toronto, Caveman Strong (Cornwall), Jane Clapp (Toronto) and Mosaic Yoga (Toronto). She is an active creator and performer of contemporary dance and travels her work throughout Canada and abroad.


SCOTT MCCABE (Guest Artist), born and raised in Toronto, received his B.F.A in dance from The Juilliard School in 2013. He has performed the works of Andrea Miller, William Forsythe, Ohad Naharin and Merce Cunningham. McCabe had the pleasure of working with Gallim Dance as a guest artist while in school. Post-graduation, he joined Ate9 Dance Company in Los Angeles under artistic direction of Danielle Agami. In November 2015, McCabe became a member of Compagnie Marie Chouinard.


"I just wanted to congratulate and thank you for running such an amazing program last week! One of my students took part in Ignite & I can see already the impact it has had on her. She came home raving about the knowledge you shared, the experiences you gave, and has a new fire lit within her to create & collaborate. She also mentioned very specifically how kind and welcoming everyone was, and what a supportive environment you created for the dancers. I feel like I honestly can't say enough about how thrilled she was and how important I think this was for her dance & arts education. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!" -Meghan Seaman (Director of OnStage Dance, Canada)

“Your program took my daughter outside of the box and enlightened her in so many ways – she really developed her own ideas and desires in terms of what she wants out of dance and how to maneuver that path.  She can’t say enough good things about Ignite, the leaders and all the people she got to experience dancing with this summer.  It was exactly what she needed! She is very much hoping to do it again!” -Parent of 2018 Participant


School of Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre


Telephone: 416.924.5657

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