Lights Dance Festival began with its inaugural event held at the Drake Hotel on June 18th, 2017, and was a collaboration between Choifilms, and Momentum Dance Toronto. Its mission was to bridge the gap between creators and lovers of dance, and between dance and cinema. We opened to a full house in the Drake Underground, and screened a mixture of five short films and eight dance performances.

Lights Dance aspires to celebrate dance in its diversity and endless possibilities, through live performance, but also the cinematic medium. The festival began as a way to bridge our love for both of these mediums, and having gone through its first iteration, is ready to evolve.

Lights Dance wants to make dance more accessible to all. We are passionate about creating a stronger dance community here in Canada by equipping choreographers, dancers, and filmmakers through education, mentorship, and building a stronger network. It is imperative for us to strengthen the voices and craftsmanship of everyone who desires to tell stories through dance, whatever their background or identity may be.

We are a not-for-profit community initiative looking to build connections and make space for vibrant dance cultures in Canada. If you would like to work with us, please drop us an email.


Sarah Choi // Executive Director
Sarah Choi is an independent Korean-Canadian filmmaker born in Seoul, currently based in Toronto. Growing up in various cities in Korea, America, and Canada, Sarah developed a nomadic sense of identity and a passion for diversity, art, and justice. After graduating from university with a degree in Biology, Sarah made a leap of faith by moving to New York City in 2010 to study documentary filmmaking. She returned to Toronto in 2017, and began reaching out to the creative community here. She is fascinated by the world of dance and loves to narrate stories through them. Sarah won the Best Director Award in the Short Documentary category for 26 & Never Been Kissed at the Atlanta International Documentary Film Festival in 2012.

Michelle Gu // Communications
Michelle Gu is a creative in photography and videography. She has used these mediums to produce content for dancers, athletes, writers, and anyone with a story to tell. Currently, she works in collaborative relations with an established Toronto-based YouTuber to create video content and uses digital tools to maximize the marketable potential of her client. In different corners of the Internet, she writes, photographs, and films. The longer version of Michelle’s story can be found on her website:

Emma Tanaka // Design
Emma Tanaka is an art director and designer residing in Toronto. She graduated from OCAD University in 2016 with a focus on graphic design and now works at a creative technology company. Specializing in web, packaging, and print, she’s always looking for new ways to design the world around her.

Jasmine Gui // Festival Coordinator
Jasmine Gui is the founder of Project 40 Collective, an interdisciplinary pan-Asian artist collective based in Toronto and managing editor at LooseLeaf magazine. Coming from a marketing background in grassroots and community arts, she currently also works as a freelance arts administrator and has collaborated on festivals with VIBE Arts, and Regent Park Film Festival. She is an avid lover of dance and dance films, but also dabs in the literary scene as a poet.

Natalie Wee // Outreach
Natalie Wee is a Pushcart-nominated poet and has taken on various editorial roles, most recently as an editor for the pop culture site NerdyPOC. She is an outspoken advocate of diversity in literature, and is committed to building community relations and empowering POC through arts ventures. Born in Singapore to Malaysian parents, she currently resides in Toronto. She loves Yoo Jung Lee choreographies and has had a lifelong fascination of dance although she is physically unable.

Alena Loboda // Outreach Coordinator

Alena Loboda is a ballerina, choreographer, and poet. She found herself enchanted with classical ballet when the art form challenged her to explore the beauty in every emotion, both positive and negative. She has performed abroad in the U.S., Ukraine, and Russia, but also in Vancouver and Toronto. She continues to freelance in the Greater Toronto Area as a performer, dance teacher, and as a creator of works in dance, poetry, and a combination of both.

Alena is currently working towards a specialist degree in Arts Management at the University of Toronto and is excited about discovering new ways to bring dance to audiences.