Dancing in the park with SASS

By Nick Seebruch, with files from Shawna O'Neill
Dancing in the park with SASS
Mélanie Bennett leads a group of dancers in Riverdale Park (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – Sexual Assault Support Services for women (SASS) held a day of dance in Riverdale Park on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2019.

The event featured several dancers from Cornwall and the Ottawa area who showed off different dancing styles.

Event organizer Amanda Marini-Rohde explained how dance can be an effective form of communication.

“Today is about dancing in an open space and feeling safe,” she said. “I think that dance is also a way of communicating. It is a way of speaking in another language. People need to step away from the idea that dancing is something sexual and see it as another form of communication.”

Dancers who were scheduled to attend the event include:

Mizuki Hoshino, a dance artist from Tokyo, Japan who attended The School of Contemporary Dance Program from 2002-2004. She has appeared in and choreographed pieces in the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, among many productions.

Mary Catherine Jack, an independant dance artist, is passionate about movement as a pilates and dance instructor, hoping for her students and clients to achieve wellness that will last a lifetime.

Mélanie Bennett, a dance theatre artist, translator, policy analyst, and previously as a teacher, has studied and danced in France, Japan, Cameroon, Morocco and India upon leaving Turtle Island. Mélanie’s dance theatre works and research are influenced by voices of Indigenous, francophone, racialised, disabled, queer women and persons.

Jaz Mystic Priestess, a spiritual coach and teacher, is certified in crystal healing, reiki, tarot reading and soul realignment. Jaz helps others shift from a ‘stuck’ flow, empowering others in their path to inner peace.

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