Toronto is one of the most diverse cities in the world. It moves and breathes in its own vibrant tempo, creating a safe haven for artists of all eccentricities. Dancers of  all genres flock to this city to spread their wings – literally and figuratively – and together they make Toronto an even more beautiful place.

Yi Yuan – Strangers in Toronto

  1. What is your earliest memory of dancing?

I started dancing at an early age without realizing that I was actually dancing. I would unconsciously move my body to the rhythm whenever my mom played music.

  1. Could you please share a bit about your dance training and aesthetic?

I began my professional dance training in Beijing where I studied Chinese classical dance and folk dance. I moved to Toronto to broaden my studies to include contemporary, modern, and ballet. I can’t say which genre I like the most. Each dance form has its own unique movement and aesthetic, and I like to try and explore new territories.

  1. What inspires you as a dancer?

Dance was a big part of my life growing up and is one of the main reasons why I am who I am today. One of my favorite dance artists, Martha Graham, said: “Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body.” I could find “my soul” – my passion, persistence, and energy – through dance. Movement never lies.

  1. Why does dance matter?

Dance is like any other daily activity: cooking, driving, or doing your laundry. If you can move, you can dance. There are no standards as to where to begin or where you can dance. Anyone can do this, and that’s why it matters.

  1. In your opinion, what is special about the dance scene here in Toronto?

Canada’s multiculturalism is reflected in Toronto’s dance scene in all the various types of studios we have here. People are very open to other styles of dance.

  1. What are some things that you’d like to change/evolve in dance ecology?

Dance is about communication and revitalization. The part that I can play in evolving our dance ecology is to teach my students to play their part in our community as professionals.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I would like to be in a dance studio rather than on a stage. I want to become a dance educator as it brings me much joy whenever I witness progress and growth in my students.