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.

Dominic Who – Strangers in Toronto

1. What is your earliest memory of dancing?

My very earliest memory of dancing is in the living room, dancing around to the intro theme of Star Trek, which my mother used to watch quite often. My first memory of dance training is when I was in a boys class which was held every Saturday when I was about 12.

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

My dance training took place mainly at the School of Alberta Ballet. It was quite a rigorous training program, in my final few years being from 9:30am until about 5pm, and then I would go to work in a restaurant to support myself. I was always considered too skinny while in school, good technically but not a “dancer” quite yet, so it is awesome to see these photos and see the change that has occurred to my body throughout my years of work.

3. What inspires you as a dancer?

Music is my main inspiration in dance. I love and appreciate music so much, and it truly guides how I approach dancing. A good piece of music will always make me want to move and create beautiful art with my body.

4. Why does dance matter?

Dance is something that can change your mood, bring people together, tell stories, show off amazing pieces of music, give glory to God (I’m Catholic), and simply take people out of this chaotic world and show them something beautiful and a feat of the human body.

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

Toronto has a very accepting and accessible dance scene which makes it quite unique. You can find any type of dance here, see shows put on by individual artists or huge companies, take classes from world stars or other professionals of different forms of dance, and there’s an opportunity for all. From ballet and contemporary to hip hop, breakdance and even drag shows, Toronto really does have it all.

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

I would like to see more people become interested in professional dancing, especially the general public. It seems to be becoming a bit of a lost art form for big audiences, and a lot of younger people now don’t even know what “ballet” is. I would also like to see more support to the arts from councils, grants and the government. It is incredibly hard to get money to be able to create your own shows or fund a small project and I think it ruins a lot of individual chances at creating amazing pieces of art.

7. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Ten years is quite a while away, and I honestly don’t know where I’ll be in a single year! I have started a small dance company that may become a lot more of my life if I decide to take it further, but I also truly enjoy cooking so I may start a catering company, or both! I would like to be able to continue dancing in ten years, but I really don’t know where life will lead me right now.