The Training Society of Vancouver

June 17/19/21

Matriarchs Uprising Classes
Presented in Partnership with Olivia C. Davies

Michelle Olsen - June 17


Class Description:  The blueprint of our movement is wrapped up in the developmental movement patterns that we have been engaging in since birth. These patterns bring our inner life into the world and allows the outer world into our own experience. This class is an exploration of how these patterns live inside of us and allow us to drop deeper into our personal expressivity. Through floor and centre exercises as well as improvisation, this class opens up your movement palette, allowing new discoveries to be made.

Michelle has taught in many different settings working with actors, opera singers, professional and community dancers.  She currently teaches at Studio 58, teaching movement for actors and has taught at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts for 4 years.  She enjoys offering workshops across the country and recently taught with the Love-in crew in Toronto.


Mariaa Randall - June 19

Photo Credit: Jody Haines

Photo Credit: Jody Haines

Class Description:  A creative and exploratory masterclass uncovering the lines and curves that make up the land, rivers and cityscape that surrounds the body. Each line and curve is used as a choreographic tools to make movement sequences connecting to place. 

Mariaa Randall belongs to the Bundjalung and Yaegl people of the Far North Coast of NSW, Australia. She is a Victorian College of the Arts graduate obtaining a Graduate Certificate in Indigenous Arts Management, Graduate Diploma in Performance Creation and a Master in Animateuring (by Research) in Melbourne. She recently premiered her solo performance, Footwork/ Technique at the Performance Space New York. It was further developed into an ensemble work which premiered as part of Same but Different at this year Dance Massive. As an independent artist Mariaa continues to
teach, dance and make movement with others.


Santee Smith - June 21

Photo Credit: Ian R. Maracle

Photo Credit: Ian R. Maracle

Class Description:  Santee Smith’s Master Class will focus on our connection to the earth; taking inspiration from her Onkwehon:we (The People), Kahnyen’kehàka (Mohawk) Nation fundamental movement aesthetics. Giving and receiving from earth and sky, the class physicality explores a supple and responsive spine, footwork, across the floor full bodied movement sequences, cardio and coordination. The class will include discussion of cultural concepts in relation to body as land and inter-connectedness.

Santee Smith - Tekaronhiáhkhwa
Santee Smith is a multidisciplinary artist, award-winning producer and Managing Artistic Director of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre. She is from the Kahnyen’kehàka Nation, Turtle Clan, Six Nations of the Grand River, Ontario, Canada. Her interest is activating creativity through performance conceived and devised from an Indigenous lens and process. Santee trained at Canada’s National Ballet School and completed Physical Education and Psychology degrees from McMaster University and a M.A. in Dance from York University. Santee self-produced her debut work Kaha:wi in 2004 and one year later founded Kaha:wi Dance Theatre which has grown into an internationally renowned company. Santee’s artistic work speaks about identity and Indigenous narratives including over 13 full scale productions and over 12 short works. Her independent commissions include collaborations with National Arts Centre Orchestra, Canadian Opera Company, North American Indigenous Games, Stratford Festival, National Film Board of Canada among others. Her life and works have been the topic of TV series and films including Kaha:wi – Cycle of Life and recently CBC Arts The Move II. Santee is a sought after speaker on the performing arts, Indigenous performance and culture. She was appointed as the new Chancellor of McMaster University, one of Canada’s top ranked institutions.