Join a community dance activity

Community dance has many kinds of dance, dancers, and dancing – it's for everyone

Community-engaged dance residencies at Vancouver Park Board facilities bring together people of all ages, abilities, and cultural backgrounds to explore, create, and perform dance with professional dance artists.

Browse the residencies and contact them to join a community dance activity or project.

As a participant learning and dancing with a group, you will:

  • Develop an appreciation and understanding of the roots and richness of dance
  • Engage in the process of professional dance by creating choreography and performance
  • Connect with people from diverse backgrounds and boost your community spirit

As a dance artist, you’ll connect with other artists and grow a community-engaged art practice.

Attend our symposium on September 16-17, 2016

What are the possibilities when dance artists and community members collaborate to create and present dance?

Join us to explore the many faces of community-engaged dance through panel discussions, workshops, performances, dialogue circles, and more.

For makers, organizers, thinkers, and doers, this symposium brings together artists, programmers, students, and community participants interested in creating and performing dance as they build community together.

Learn more and register

Dance residencies

Ageless Dancers

Ageless Dancers

An inclusive community of older adults (over 50) who create, practice, and perform in ways that honour the aging body

Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre

In a series of free weekly workshops from September 14 to November 30, 2016, you'll explore the creative and interactive potential of your physical, mental, and emotional sef through dance.

Ageless Dancers works with different choreographers that change every two to three years. In 2016, the artist in residence for Ageless Dancers is Jennifer Mascall.

Learn more and register online

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The All Bodies Dance Project

The All Bodies Dance Project

Opportunities for every body to discover dance, and for artists with disabilities (and without) to access pre-professional dance training

Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre, Trout Lake Community Centre, Mount Pleasant Community Centre, Sunset Community Centre

Mixed ability dance (or integrated dance) is accessible to all bodies and all abilities, including people with physical, developmental, sensory, and neurological disabilities. In a mixed ability dance practice led by Naomi Brand, differences become creative strengths as you explore the choreographic possibilities of wheelchairs, crutches, canes, and different ways of moving and perceiving.

For activity details, email info@allbodiesdance.ca.

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Foolish operations: Dancing the Parenting

Foolish operations: Dancing the Parenting

What does it means to dance with our children rather than assuming that adults must always lead, direct, and teach?

Creekside Community Recreation Centre, Trout Lake Community Centre, and Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre

Parents, caregivers, children ages zero to four years, and professional dance artists come together in practice and performance. Facilitated by artist Julie Lebel, Foolish Operations co-creates work that explores the coming together of the family self and the creative self, the creative capacities of babies and young children as collaborators, and ideas of "appropriate behavior" while making art.

For activity details, email foolishoperations@gmail.com.

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Arts and Health Project: The Moberly Multicultural Senior Dancers

Arts and Health Project: The Moberly Multicultural Senior Dancers

Moberly Multicultural Senior Dancers

Exploring creative expression through movement, sound, and facial expression, and elements of traditional Chinese and Bhangra dance

Moberly Arts and Culture Centre

The Moberly Cultural Senior Dancers grew out of a group of older adult women already meeting regularly as a knitting group. With the leadership of dance artist Jacci Collins and assistant Anna Kraulis, this group weaves connections across cultures, with representation from the South Asian, Chinese, and Philippine communities. Diversity is integral to their practice and provides many opportunities for learning.

The dancing group explores creative expression through movement, sound and facial expression. Elements of traditional Chinese dance and Bhangra dancing have been shared by group members. Knitting remains a symbol of what the group strives toward: skill, attention, cooperation, and working towards a common creative goal.

For activity details, email caroline.liffmann@vancouver.ca.

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Arts and Health Project: The Vancouver Downtown Eastside Elder Dancers

Arts and Health Project: The Vancouver Downtown Eastside Elder Dancers

Discover expressive movement through improvisation and sharing.

Carnegie Community Centre

The Arts & Health Project, in partnership with the Carnegie Centre and Karen Jamieson Dance Society, coordinates this community dance project for seniors living in the Downtown Eastside. Coupling a strong, vibrant dance foundation and a fresh flexibility of social, creative movement in the group, Karen’s team of dance artists reach out to the participants, providing space to discover expressive movement through improvisation and sharing. Participants find a balance of playfulness, fun, motivation, and focus.

For activity details, email caroline.liffmann@vancouver.ca.

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Arts and Health Project: Collaborative Creative Dance for Older Adults

Arts and Health Project: Collaborative Creative Dance for Older Adults

Discover the joy of creating dance collaboratively

Trout Lake Community Centre and West Point Grey Community Centre

Dancer/choreographer Desirée Dunbar coordinates weekly dance projects in partnership with the Trout Lake and West Point Grey community centre associations. Participants take a creative journey and discover the joy of working and creating dance collaboratively. Where you go and how you get there is decided as a group. No experience necessary. All abilities are welcome.

For activity details, email caroline.liffmann@vancouver.ca.

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Polymer Dance

Polymer Dance

Mix techniques training and improvisation

Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre, and Hillcrest Community Centre

Polymer Dance offers weekly classes mixing techniques, training, and improvisation for beginners and intermediate/advanced non-professional dancers with at least three years of experience, along with opportunities to perform in a mix of traditional and non-traditional venues a few times a year.  Led by Miriam Esquitín and Kristina Lemieux, Polymer collaborates with other community dance and arts groups, city events, and professional artists.

For activity details, email polymerdance@gmail.com.

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Roundhouse Community Dancers

Roundhouse Community Dancers

Come together, learn about your body and how it moves, and dance

Roundhouse Community Centre

Now in its 17th year, The RH Community Dancers is a constant, ever-changing group of community participants that comes together to learn about their bodies and how they move – and to dance! They are united by a shared fearlessness and playfulness when it comes to exploring the body, mind, and emotion through dance.

Over the years they have worked with dance artists in diverse practices including contemporary dance, clowning, aerial dance, and flamenco.  Artists who have worked with this group include Julie Lebel, Karen Jamieson, Alvin Tolentino, Jai Govinda, Donna Redlick, Rosario Ensor, Barbara Bourget, Julie Lebel, and many others. In Fall 2016 they are working with Carolina Bergonzoni.

For activity details, email info@roundhouse.ca.

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Re-Create: Transformation and Inspiration through Dance

Re-Create: Transformation and Inspiration through Dance

A safe and restorative space for creative expression

In partnership with the Vancouver Park Board and City of Vancouver, this dance residency aims to create a safe and restorative space for creative expression for participants of Deborah’s Gate, a national, specialized program of care serving international and domestic women who have been trafficked into situations of sexual- or labour exploitation.

Facilitated by professional contemporary dance artist Caroline Liffmann, participants are invited to explore dance as a way of connecting to their bodies and communities, and dance-making as a way of expressing ideas.

For activity details, email info@deborahsgate.ca.

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The Dezza Catalyst Dance Residencies

The Dezza Catalyst Dance Residencies

Creation and performance of new contemporary dance works

Aberthau Mansion at West Point Grey Community Centre, Trout Lake Community Centre, and Moberly Arts and Cultural Centre

This residency facilitates the creation and performance of new contemporary dance works with emerging and mid-career dancers. Under the direction of dancer/choreographer Desirée Dunbar, dancers develop their own vocabulary and express themselves with peer support, as well as develop skills such as teaching classes. These dancers collaborate with other community dance and arts groups, city events and professional artists.

For activity details, email dezzadance@gmail.com.

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Terroir: Urban Cloth Project

Terroir: Urban Cloth Project

Discover and create local cloth using available plants and techniques from a variety of cultures

Trillium North Park and Means of Production Garden

Terroir, meaning a sense of place, is a community project where members discover and create local cloth using available plants and techniques from a variety of cultures. The project brings together First Nation gathering traditions, early settler agricultural methods, environmental art practices, and contemporary dance, while investigating urban cloth production.

For activity details, email miraerosner@gmail.com.

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Dance Troupe Practice

Dance Troupe Practice

Combine dance, voice, video, and installation

Pandora Park Fieldhouse, Hastings Community Centre, and Templeton Pool

Dance Troupe Practice is a movement-based performance collective, creating work that combines dance, voice, video, and installation. Committed to a deep exploration of the moving body and creative collaboration, they connect community needs and interests to their artists’ practices, to explore the connections between dance and everyday life in unexpected places.

DTP believes that powerful new dance works emerge from a commitment to collective process that fosters trust, personal expression and relationship.

Curious? DTP hosts open practices on the first Sunday of each month.

For activity details, email contact@dancetroupepractice.com.

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Written on the Body

Written on the Body

Navigate the intersections of music and dance, tradition and innovation, and composition and improvisation

McBride Park Fieldhouse and West Point Grey Community Centre

At the core of Written on the Body is a collaboration between musician Elisa Thorn (harp and composition) and dance artist Dayna Szyndrowski (percussive dance). Their work navigates the intersections of music and dance, tradition and innovation, and composition and improvisation. Through creative work and play with community members of all ages, the pair aims to develop methods to look within in order to look outwards in art and beyond.

For activity details, email writtenonthebodyresidency@gmail.com.

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Research paper for community arts practitioners

Cover of the Leading from Beside research paper

Explore the productive intersections between leisure, recreation, and community-engaged arts practice, with a special focus on dance, in a research paper by our arts programmers Cyndy Chwelos and Marie Lopes.

Leading from Beside: Community-engaged Arts in Recreation PDF file (2 MB)

LINK annual performance

The dance residencies listed above put on an annual performance, LINK Connecting Community Dance Series, in April or May. The performance stands as a final presentation of each residency's dance practice and showcases contemporary and cultural dance across Vancouver.

Check here for details on LINK in late winter.