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.

Devon Snell – Dancers of Toronto

 

  1. What is your earliest memory of dancing?

My earliest memory of dancing was when I was 6. Turning on my VCR copy of the musical Cats, putting on my cat ears and tail, and copying move from move through the whole film.  Using each piece of furniture to mimic the junkyard which the cats lived in. It was a full production in my living room. I truly believed I was going to be one of those cats when I grew up. I think I did this at least once week.

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

Currently I train and work professionally in the style of contemporary/modern dance. I trained at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and now currently dance for Toronto Dance Theatre.  During my time at The School, my training was primarily focused on contemporary/modern techniques such as Graham and Limon. But I have also had the privilege to have trained with teachers and choreographers who have their own aesthetic and approach. Throughout high school, I danced competitively and trained in ballet, jazz, acro, hip hop and musical theatre. My aesthetic is an accumulation of all the techniques I have learned, but it really has a big influence from the choreographers I am currently training and creating with on a daily basis. Honestly it is constantly changing as I am always becoming interested in new topics and new people.

  1. What inspires you as a dancer?

To witness other dancers, artists and creators simply just work on their craft and see how they’re trying to perfect it and grow truly inspires me. I am always fascinated in others who have such a different way of moving than I do, or would, necessarily move. I desire to experience life through my body/movement, and grow as a person through those experiences. I also find a lot of inspiration through other styles of dance outside of the contemporary/modern aesthetics.

  1. Why does dance matter?

I feel that with dance, the purpose is never to harm an individual physically, emotionally or mentally. It definitely has the power to trigger emotions and tackle subjects that can be highly  sensitive and powerful, but in a creative and complex way. Sometimes to get the message across it takes more then just verbally saying it.

It’s so important to have an understanding of the body; how the body works. The body is so much more than just bones, joints, tissues and systems.The degree in which we can experience pleasure and pain is so vast. Our body is what moves us through space, moves us through life. With a better understanding of what is possible with the body, and how it has an effect on us emotionally and mentally, is powerful. I think I can just know myself and who I am as an individual, and where I want to go in life through dance.

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

Every dancer and choreographer might not know each other personally, but everyone has heard of each other or at least seen each other dance. As I continue my career in dance I continue to see how big the dance community is in Toronto, but at the same time how intimate it is. There is also a huge amount of diversity within the community as it currently is making for a unique foray of dancers to communicate and participate with.

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

I would like to see more of a cross-over when it come to dance events between all the different communities of dance. There are so many great artists and events happening throughout the city but you never hear about them unless you are physically a part of that specific dance scene or know of someone within it. Building bridges between the different dance scenes and supporting each other is key to evolving Toronto’s dance ecology.

  1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Traveling the world. Meeting, creating and learning from other dancers along with other artists in various art forms. I hope to grow as an artist in whatever direction life takes me. Working with companies and choreographers around the world that I have looked up to and been inspired by for such a long time. Honestly at the age of twenty-one, 10 years really feels far away. But if I am healthy, happy, and being successful in something I love doing, I am golden.