Laurel Toto Panellist/Evolving Dance Pedagogy
Laurel Toto began studying dance with Anna and Igor Youskevitch in New York City. She continued her dance training at the High School of the Performing Arts and the Joffrey School of Ballet. In her early career, she performed with the New Orleans Ballet, where she had the opportunity to work closely with Harvey Hysell and Ivan Nagy. Throughout her professional career, Toto has enjoyed working on both classical and contemporary repertoires.
A graduate of the Teacher Training Program at Canada's National Ballet School, Toto joined the NBS staff in 1983, where she continues to work today. She is currently the Junior School Manager and Community Engagement Co-Manager at NBS, and in the past she has also held the position of Manager of the Junior Associates Program. Exceptionally gifted in her work with younger children, Toto teaches ballet, pointe, historical and character dance to students in the Professional Ballet Academic Program at NBS.
In addition to her teaching roles at NBS, Toto is also in charge of rehearsing NBS students for National Ballet of Canada Productions such as The Nutcracker, The Contract and Pastorale. She has accompanied the Company's Nutcracker tour to Japan, the Pastorale tour to Germany and The Contract tour to New York.
Working at NBS for thirty years has allowed Toto to form significant relationships with her colleagues, parents and students, from who she gains inspiration each and every day.