Dezza Dance

Desirée Dunbar, Artistic Director 

 
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Biography

Desirée Dunbar, MFA is award-winning dancer, choreographer and holistic health practitioner. Her mission is in empowering others to feel happy, healthy and whole while unleashing their creative potential and finding more purpose and fulfillment.

Desirée’s dance career has taken her around the globe performing, teaching and researching. Based in Vancouver, she keeps her feet on the ground by rooting into the community, culture and land in which she lives through her offerings.

She is the founder and Artistic Director of Dezza Dance non-profit society in which she mentors emerging professional dancers in Catalyst Mentorship and the annual Leg Up! Contemporary Dance Concert.

Her Collaborative Creative Dance Workshops for Older Adults enhance social connection, embodied wisdom and artistry in elderhood and are supported by Arts & Health, Healthy Aging for Seniors and both Trout Lake Community and West Point Grey Community Associations.

A uniquely intergenerational dance ensemble has developed through her residency at West Point Grey Community Centre. Under Desirée’s direction she merges her ties to the professional, pre-professional and community dance circuits to offer the community presentations that are accessible and transformative.

The Dezza Dance Intergenerational Ensemble is currently in creation for Deep Roots which invites the question of how we reconcile the triumphs and injustices of the myriad of cultures that live within us and those that have occurred in the place in which we now live.

Desirée Dunbar’s authentic movement method helps surpass superficial desires, attitudes and beliefs and discover where inner resolution is needed.

She believes that dancing is the antidote to a variety of mental issues and can bring new equilibrium.

She is the creator of the Secret Garden Society School offering empowerment programs to women through Moon Temples, Sweat Lodge retreats and special immersion programs.

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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