"Dance truly is for everyone, and NBS Sharing Dance Day plays an essential role towards building a healthy, connected and engaged Canada."
- Erin McAndrew, an independent choreographer, dancer, producer and arts advocate, who is bringing the community of Collingwood together through the power of dance.
We’re sharing stories of leaders across Canada who make a difference in their communities through NBS Sharing Dance. Today’s edition shows that you don’t have to live in a big city to experience the many benefits that dance has to offer.
Erin McAndrew first became involved in NBS Sharing Dance Day in 2017. She was looking for ways to bring accessible dance programming to her community of Collingwood, Ontario, and NBS Sharing Dance Day seemed like the perfect fit.
Already a strong believer in the capacity of dance to unite communities, she quickly became one of our most enthusiastic champions. And her work in Collingwood took Sharing Dance to new heights.
Along with leading public rehearsals at three different locations throughout the Georgian Triangle, Erin taught the choreography to almost 400 students at Cameron Street Public School and Worsley Elementary School. She also delivered weekly workshops at CASLE, an organization that provides programs to young adults with special needs. The community gathered on June 3rd
to perform the choreography as part of Collingwood’s National Health and Fitness Day.
After all her hard work in 2017, Erin has no intention of stopping; she’s only getting started.
This year, Erin wants to engage all 12 of the local schools in learning the choreography. She’s partnering with the Healthy Kids Community Challenge (a program that is part of the Government of Ontario’s Healthy Kids Strategy) to incorporate elements of their ‘Power Off and Play’ initiative into the Sharing Dance workshops she’s delivering. Working with students in Grades 6-8, Erin plans to empower them to act as ambassadors for the younger grades, strengthening their leadership skills and fostering a sense of community.
When asked about the impact Sharing Dance has had on her community, Erin claims that “Sharing Dance has given our community opportunities to break down barriers and unite through the universal language of dance. I am grateful every day that I can share my love of dance with individuals of all ages and abilities. I have witnessed people overcome their own personal obstacles and celebrate together through the pure joy of movement. People who say...'I'm not a dancer’...and then seeing their obvious joy when they begin to move, that’s the magic.”