Jumping In

A Dancer's View Week 4

This Catalyst Dance blog series offers the dancer's view into the research and development of "A Port in the Storm" premiering July 2nd, 2015 at Aberthau Mansion in Vancouver, Canada

Jumping In

By Sophie Brassard

Desirée Dunbar's Catalyst Dance includes various challenges, some that seem achievable and some that are initially more intimidating.


“Dance like water!” No problem. I’m a trained contemporary dancer, I’m capable of embodying the fluid quality of water.

“Lead the warm up!” Slightly more difficult. I’d been guided through warm-ups for 16 years yet suddenly I seemed to forget everything I’d ever known about preparing my body for a dance class. It wasn’t perfect – the song I picked for sit-ups was a little too fast – but I did it, and now I know what I can do to improve.

“Create a video biography!” Umm… This task seemed more daunting to me. I didn’t know where to start. I decided to approach it in a light-hearted way in order to make it seem more like fun and less like homework. With the help of my brother and my dog, I created a short trailer of my life. It is poorly-edited and a little ridiculous, but I like it. I had fun making it, and I learnt a lot (about how annoying iMovie can be). I realized that if I had given myself a few more days it could have been a lot better, and that’s what I’ll do next time.


This program has pushed me to attempt things I wouldn’t usually try. Our focus is not only on movement and performance, but on other aspects of being an artist, including self-promotion. It’s funny how the latter seems so much scarier to me than dancing in front of an audience, or being chased by a bear. I’m kidding. But I’ve had to address my fear. Through creating a video, doing a photoshoot and writing this blog post, I’m starting to realize that my fear is unnecessary. In fact, we learn so much when we leave our comfort zone. I’m starting to jump into the deep end, and figure things out as I go, instead of letting my self-doubt and insecurities stop me from even attempting something. To quote one of my favourite Gryffindors, Ginny Weasley (because that’s how I roll): “you sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve”.

Sophie is a dance major at Simon Fraser University and an aspiring choreographer.  She is honored to be a member of Catalyst as well as the current installment of Project CPR.

SFU photo of Sophie Brassard by Johnathan Kim 2014

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