Dezza Dance

Desirée Dunbar, Artistic Director 

 
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Biography

Desirée Dunbar, MFA is embodied inquiry facilitator, dancer, choreographer and holistic health practitioner. She is committed to assisting others in unleashing their creative potential and sharing their gifts with the world.

She is the creator of the Secret Garden Society School offering empowerment programs to women through the GUSH Goddess Circle, Chrysalis Code Immersions, Sweat Lodge retreats and the Nest Urban Retreat.

She is the Artistic Director of Dezza Dance and mentors emerging professional dancers in the Catalyst Apprenticeship Program and the annual Leg Up! Contemporary Dance Concert. In the Dezza Dance Performance Program (part of her residency at West Point Grey Community Centre/Aberthau Mansion), she brings together emerging professionals, community dancers and musicians to co-create a new production. Past productions include No Place Like Home and Amuse-Bouche.

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Selected Works

 

GLOW (2014)

Catalyst Mentorship Program 

Music: Kronos Quartet

Video trailer : David Cooper

45 minutes

 


Submerge (2015)

Sophie Brassard, Jenna Lee hay, Melissa Panetta

Music: Elliot Vaughan

Video trailer: David Cooper

50 minutes


At Last- Dancing on the Water's Edge (2016)

Catalyst Mentorship Program

Music: Etta James

Video trailer: Brenda Kent

50 minutes

 


A Port in the Storm (2014)

Catalyst Mentorship Program

Music: The End Tree

Video trailer: Brenda Kent

50 minutes

" it is my commitment to inspire and empower"

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 Photo of Desirée and student Michael Kong by Kerri Pfeifer

Photo of Desirée and student Michael Kong by Kerri Pfeifer

Philosophy

Dance is a celebration of the human spirit and an expression of both individuality and community.  I teach to inspire, connect, communicate knowledge and share my joy of dance. 

It is my goal to encourage the dancer to be confident in body, mind and spirit and to be excited to move outside their comfort zone.  From this foundation of self-worth it is possible to foster artistic development.  Dance training provides a platform to deepen one’s understanding of themselves and aspire to reach their potential. 

My method of teaching is based on a model of student-centred learning where the traditions of a codified modern technique can be interpreted for the individual body.  Based on their individual abilities, I assist each student to achieve excellence and arrive at their own destination.

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 As an educator it is my commitment to inspire, empower.  I desire my students to be imaginative and socially conscious artists.  I feel I have succeeded as an educator when my students feel hopeful and capable.  

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 In order to create an atmosphere that facilitates growth it is important to build trust through respectful communication, dialogue and critical thinking.  Students must be stimulated and engaged in the work and comfortable in asking questions. I encourage self-reflection to deepen their experience of the craft.  Through self-realization they will deepen their understanding of the choreographic process and their bodies and be motivated to investigate and discover inside and outside of the studio.  The classroom is a forum for exchange in which dancers share ideas through discussions and dialogue.  Through this support and interchange new knowledge is imparted.

Whether students are 8 or 80 years old I teach the GUSH method incorporating authentic movement, dance technique, creative dance and energy healing.  In my experience as a dance educator at various conservatories, colleges and community centres I have witnessed over and over again the profound expression of authenticity and overall enhancement of one's life that the GUSH practice brings. It is an honour to facilitate these deep individual and collective shifts.

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See examples of Desirée's classes and work with post-secondary students below