Participants in LEAD dance together


Leadership, Empowerment, Action, Dance

LEAD—Leadership, Empowerment, Action, Dance—is a free workshop led by professional artists and community mentors that engages participants aged 16-25, who identify as women, two-spirit and/or genderqueer, to take on leadership roles in their community.

LEAD (Leadership, Empowerment, Action, Dance) is a free program led by professional artists and community mentors that empowers individuals who identify as women and nonbinary+ ages 16-25 to invest in their leadership practice. Co-presented by Canada's National Ballet School, Dance Saskatchewan, Ballet Edmonton, Bella Dance Academy and Halifax Dance, LEAD Regional Workshops use dance as a foundation from which to explore and invest in the unique leadership potential of each participant. Through active workshops, dance classes, facilitated discussions, and peer networking, LEAD empowers youth to connect their dance practice to questions of equity, belonging and social justice, supporting them in taking on leadership roles now and into the future.


The LEAD partners acknowledge the historical and contemporary failings of our art form including persistent, systemic inequities. We commit to honouring and celebrating the unique, intersectional identities of each of our contributors and participants while striving towards a culture of humility, integrity and respect. We strongly encourage application from individuals whose identities have been marginalized within leaderships structures including those who identify as LGBTQ2S+, Black, Indigenous and/or people of colour. Our application process intentionally embraces those traditionally excluded from leadership roles in the arts, highlighting the importance of specialized spaces that empower young individuals to explore and nurture their creative potential.

“I learned how dance connects people…This program took different parts of my life that I value, intertwined them and showed me how I can make a difference.” 
- NBS LEAD Participant


Through this workshop, participants will:

  • Participate in movement classes led by professional artists who represent diverse styles and practices

  • Collaborate and communicate with peers

  • Learn how community arts initiatives can be a catalyst for positive change in their community

  • Further develop their leadership, communication, and social and emotional skills

  • Learn about available online tools and supports


LEAD 2024 Regional Locations: 

  • LEAD Toronto - Hosted by Canada's National Ballet School - February 17 - 18, 2024

  • LEAD Halifax - Hosted by Halifax Dance - March 3, 2024

  • LEAD Edmonton - Hosted by Ballet Edmonton - March 27 – 28, 2024

  • LEAD Saskatoon - Hosted by Dance Saskatchewan - February 16 – 19, 2024

  • LEAD Yellowknife - Hosted by Bella Dance Academy - April 6 – 7, 2024



Participants dancing in a workshop during LEAD Toronto 2024

LEAD National Summit, August 6 - 11, 2024

Further your leadership skills and learn more about how dance can impact the health and wellbeing of your community.


With dance as the foundation, Canadians aged 16-25, who identify as women and nonbinary+ will have the opportunity to learn from professional artists and community members in this FREE six-day workshop with Canada’s National Ballet School. Participants will explore leadership theory and practice, and foster the skills and confidence necessary for taking on leadership roles—now and into the future.


The application period is now closed.
Thank you to all the applicants who applied to be a part of this year's national summit; we received a record number of applications! All notifications have been sent out. If you have not yet received a notification from us, please reach out to us at

Press Release

New Sport Canada Funding Empowers Young Women to LEAD Through Dance

Dance teachers learn in a hands-on class

Part-Time Courses for Dance Teachers

Enrich your dance teaching education! Our part-time Professional Development Program offers dance teachers the opportunity to augment their experience, enhance their skills and add to their teaching qualifications.

Addressing Racialization in Ballet Symposium

Addressing Racialization in Ballet Symposium

In this Canada-United States Symposium, participants engage in meaningful and solutions-oriented discussions of equity, diversity and inclusion.

A teacher leads a creative movement class

Educator Webinars and Courses

Bring the joy of dance to your classroom! Our ongoing courses and webinars for educators will support you in preparing to engage your students through dance.

Let's get
In Touch

Do you have any questions about LEAD? Complete the email form, or contact

Canada’s National Ballet School’s (NBS) national expansion of its LEAD program is supported in part by the Government of Canada through Sport Canada’s Sport Support Program. The contribution from Sport Canada will support NBS as it scales the LEAD program, developing a national network alongside regional partners, artists, mentors and community leaders.

Presented by:

Government Partners