Brandy the Deaf Dancer
(Zoom dance teacher)
Brandy "Unique the Deaf Dancer" Mimms was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and lives in Bryant, Arkansas. She is a Deaf dancer, choreographer, teacher, motivational speaker, and the founder and director of Listen With Your Eyes Dance Troupe. Brandy's passion for dance started as a young child, but her parents did not believe that she could handle herself in a dance class because of her hearing loss. She never gave up or allowed anyone to stop her from following her dream. Her journey as a dancer started in the Fall semester of 2013 at the University of Arkansas Little Rock. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance degree. Brandy's first choreographic work "Category 4" was presented at the American College Dance Association 2017 in Auburn, Alabama.
She had the opportunity to perform at the Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival in 2017, 2018, 2019 in San Francisco, California. She started her own professional dance company "Listen With Your Dance Troupe "because she wants to share her passion and stories with Deaf and Hearing Communities. She also wanted to build a platform for adult trained dancers and choreographers opportunities to have a place where they can gain some experiences in their dance career. Her company recently had the opportunity to perform at the 2020 Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival virtually. Since the pandemic, Brandy has been appearing all over social media such as a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and motivational speaker, Brandy's number one dream is to become a well known Deaf Choreographer/Dancer.
(Zoom contemporary teacher)
Harmanie Rose is a facilitator, choreographer, and performer. She has been actively involved in integrated dance since 2006. Harmanie has worked with All Bodies Dance Project (ABDP), Alice Sheppard, CRIPSiE (AB), and Real Wheels Theatre (BC) and has created works for the Vines Art Festival since 2017. She facilitates Ready Dance Youth classes for ABDP and has guest facilitated online classes for Momo Movement, Propeller Dance, Kickstart Disability Arts and Culture, and more. In Addition to studying somatic dance with Donna Redlick, she has studied with several companies around the world such as AXIS Dance (USA) and Candoco (UK), as well as holding a BA in Dramatic Arts from the University of Lethbridge and an Arts and Cultural Management certificate from MacEwan University. Harmanie believes that everyone has a unique movement style. When embraced and combined diverse bodies create beautiful breathtaking dance.
Sarina has been dancing since she can remember. She studied contemporary dance at Simon Fraser University, and has trained with Vancouver-based hip-hop dance companies. Sarina loves music, rhythm, and finding new ways to express what she hears through her body. She is very athletic, she loves the outdoors, she finds joy in singing, and she enjoys baking. She now works professionally as a contemporary dancer in Berlin, Germany. Sarina had a wonderful time with the team at Blissful Dance, and she’s looking forward to sharing her passion with the community at Blissful Dance!
I have been dancing since the age of 4, in styles including Salsa, Bharatanatyum, Bollywood and Contemporary. Dance has become a part of me so much so that I don’t even realize I’m doing it. Dance brings people together, even if they speak different languages, come from different places, and dance in different styles – and that is why I love it so much. When I can’t explain my feelings in words, I explain them through dance. As a part of Blissful Dance, I hope that the joy that dance brings me is also felt by everyone else engaging with the videos!
Silvia Temis is a Flamenco Artist based in Calgary Alberta, she is also the lead singer of the award winning musical ensemble Notas de 4. In this project she fuses latin jazz, cuban and Flamenco rhythms. Currently Silvia and her band are working on their 2nd album to be released in 2022 thanks to the support of Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Silvia is also an active member of the flamenco community as a teacher (Song & Dance) and organizer of flamenco dance and song workshops in the city. Currently she is in the process of getting a master degree program in Flamencology from the prestigious ESMUC in Barcelona Spain.
(African Dance Teacher)
Cindy Ansah is a Toronto-born dance artist and emerging choreographer based in Mohkinstsis (Calgary). Cindy is in her final year of study for her BFA in Dance at the University of Calgary where artistic collaboration and connection fuel her pursuits. Cindy's curiosity for the arts also encompasses reading, writing, photography and music as sources of joy. She has also begun experimenting with short films as another form of storytelling. Cindy is passionate about her role as Dance Artist for Woezo Africa Music & Dance Theatre as she is endlessly inspired by the ambition within the Black-led organization. Cindy believes movement lives in all people and she continues to approach dance as a holistic practice in order to celebrate diverse ways of moving. Coming into the Blissful Dance community, Cindy is excited to be in a space of constant learning through inclusive dance practices that allow all bodies and abilities to move and be moved.
Brigid Ovelia Catjoa
“Brigid was born and raised in the Mohkinstsis area, also known as Calgary, Alberta, and to this day continues to live, work, play, dance, feel, garden, and magic with gratitude on these lands. Her primary background is in music, having trained privately since she could sit up and beyond. Later studying at the University of Calgary, majoring in a variety of woodwind instruments, along with enjoying the magic of voice! Her first professional foray into dance, was as a part of the youth musical theatre company, Summerstock Calgary, where she trained and performed in a variety of dance styles and live musical theatre productions. In the past decade, she dove into the wild and wonderful world of music festivals, hip-hop, sacred circle dance, and conscious dance, learning to love to move, feel, express, transform, magic, and create, through fun, freestyle, solo, communal, and authentic movement.
She has also been involved in a variety of mental health programs, social and environmental justice movements, and has pursued many spiritual paths such as reclaiming witchcraft, druidry, and many eastern practices and philosophies. One experience with trance dance in particular, sent her into another time to meet ancient ancestors, who adamantly communicated with her that “Dance is Everyone’s Birth Right”. We all have the magic in us to move and to groove, no matter our body, mind, age, race, gender, abilities, culture, or backgrounds of any type. As someone who has lived and breathed a life of C-PTSD, Autism, and Fibromyalgia, she also believes deeply in the incredible power and magic of dance to heal, move, and transform, anything that ails or challenges us. And that these health and ability experiences, can be deep creative and spiritual gifts for beautiful unique self-expression, even to help shift hearts and minds.
And it’s just FUN! Let’s dance~ 😀 ♥
Ashley has been dancing for 21 years with most of her training taking place in her hometown of Calgary, Alberta. Ashley first jumped into dance at the age of three after her long-time best friend inspired her to join a weekly ballet class. Since then, Ashley has completed two summer intensives at Toronto Dance Theatre, received a minor in dance at the University of Calgary and is enjoying her current training practice with YYC Contemporary Technique. Blissful Dance has perfectly captured her desire to fuse dance with the principles she learned in her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology degree. Ashley strongly believes in dance as a healing practice, for the soul, heart, mind and body for anyone and everyone. Ashley is excited to celebrate this important message through Blissful Dance.
Born in Calgary, Christahh became captivated by the art of dance at a young age. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Dance Program at the University of Calgary with a focus on choreography and performance. In the summer of 2015, she was an intern with OYO (Ombetja Yehinga Organisation) dance troupe in Windhoek, Namibia where she contributed to the creation of Ania. She has completed two years of the professional training program at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks and dances with a local hip-hop crew, The Tomorrows, under the direction of Lenny Len. Christahh is also the Executive Director and Founder of Dance YYC Community Outreach and Engagement Initiative (www.danceyyc.ca), an online platform providing free organized promotion for the Calgary dance community. Through this initiative she put on the Dance YYC Showcase, a fundraiser, developed the Dance YYC Mobile app.
Reese Wilson is an emerging dance artist based out of Calgary, Alberta. Beginning her love of dance and training at age four, this journey carried her through adulthood and into the University of Calgary as a Dance major where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in the Spring of 2020. Reese primarily practices Contemporary dance, and is passionate about teaching and working with youth that are interested in dance.
Infinitely inspired by the beauty in the mundane of everyday life, Reese hopes to delve into the delightful, the bewildering and the inspiring characteristics of human interaction, and how movement can help us communicate. Reese seeks to be a student of life always, finding new ways to transfer these ideas and experiences into the physical body, and is beyond excited to be a part of Blissful Dance!
Elysha Rea is a multi-disciplinary artist currently based out of Calgary, AB. Starting out at age 4 as a tap dancer, she grew up exploring a vast range of styles and spent most of her free time choreographing her own pieces to perform at school functions. After graduating from Central Memorial High School’s PVA Dance program in 2013, she decided to branch off from her path as a dancer, in favour of pursuing a career as a visual artist.
She moved to Kelowna to study Fine Arts at UBCO, and in 2014 she dropped out of school to take time to work, explore, and travel; all the while still keeping up a personal movement practice. During this time she trained and performed with Inner Journey’s Dance Troupe, started her own business as a clothing designer, as well as started doing freelance work in photography. Currently she is studying Fine Arts at Alberta University of the Arts, as she continues to dance and maintain her growing business on the side.
Born and raised in Calgary, Jocelyn first studied classical piano, which led to her interest in the relationship between music and movement. Jocelyn is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and has recently completed her Master of Arts in Contemporary Dance at The London Contemporary Dance School (London, UK). Jocelyn was a dancer and composer with EDge Dance Company (London, UK) for their 2018/2019 season, touring throughout Europe and the UK. In 2017, she was honoured to receive the inaugural Winchester Prize for Choreography. Her lively choreography has been presented at numerous Canadian festivals, as well as internationally.
Tasha loves movement, she trained in the Inner Journeys Dance Company and is certified Inner Journey’s ecstatic dance teacher. She participates in dance community events and loves to groove to music. Tasha is a Dance Demonstrator for the African Dance series.
(Zoom dance teacher)
With a background largely in the styles of contemporary, jazz, and hip hop, Chawna has had a life-long passionate relationship with dance! After pursuing professional training in the University of Calgary Dance Program, Chawna crossed paths with the art of Burlesque, and has since established herself as a prominent Burlesque artist under the stage name Eva Angel. In 2018, Chawna began work with accessible dance company, Momo Movement (now National accessArts Centre), and has sought to discover ways to bring equity and accessibility into dance ever since.
Dance is a way of life; to connect with the self, others, and the universe. A graduate of Grant MacEwan University in Dance, a student of Dance around the world and currently finishing a BA at Athabasca University. Enjoying life in Calgary by celebrating 22 years of marriage with my husband, surrounded by the love of my 6 pets.
We are excited you have found yourself here! We are a team of dance teachers with and without disabilities offering different dance forms such as African, Bhangra, Flamenco, Hip-hop, Ballet for All Bodies and Contemporary for all bodies, minds, experience levels, and interests.
At Blissful Dance we value accessibility, creative innovation, joy, expression, and growth. We have designed dance recordings for you to learn new moves, try something different and experience your body in a new way.
Blissful Dance is passionate about creating an environment to elevate others through creative innovation, radical acceptance of all human beings, and creating a space where everyone feels seen, heard, and accepted.
We love questions, feedback and chats! You can reach us with the contact form below.
Blissful Dance’s mission is to create digital dance spaces that elevate people. We desire to create an environment where people feel seen, heard, accepted and understood. We are passionate about creative innovation, and we strive for accessibility in all that we do.
Kyra Newton is a Calgary based dance artist and the founder of Blissful Dance. Kyra’s introduction to dance was first through Ballet, a dance form she cared for deeply. At the age of fourteen she was told she would never be a ballerina, for her body type “didn’t fit the requirements”.
This was a life changing moment for her, feelings of despair, anger, and sadness colored her world. Being a stubborn and also creative person, she decided to continue her passion for dance and at age 15 set out to make dance her career and make space for everyone to dance. Throughout her journey, she has studied dance through many different methods and under many incredible artists and companies. She obtained a BFA in dance and sociology from Simon Fraser University, and is certified in Inner Journeys, DanceAbility, AXIS teacher training, and Animal Flow.
Kyra is a passionate movement facilitator and enjoys combining her love of the healing arts with movement. For the past 8 years she has focused on offering dance classes and workshops to senior citizens, people with physical and developmental disabilities, adults, and children. She was the most recent artistic director of Momo Movement, an inclusive dance company, and is the co-creator of YYC Contemporary Technique, a training platform for contemporary dancers. As a dance artist, Kyra is inspired to create space for people who are Deaf, disabled, of all ages, and movement experiences to come together and experience different dance forms!
Flamenco is an art form from Spain, specifically the south of Spain also known as Andalusia. In 2010 Flamenco was designated World Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
The 3 main elements of traditional Flamenco are:
You also can have a 4th element which is a clapper or palmero who is the person that keeps “compas” or the beat structure.
Traditionally the Flamenco dresses include: ruffles, polka dots, heavy skirts, shoes with nails, flowers, castanets (optional) and spanish combs. As well as tight pants, short jackets, boots with nails and castanets
There are many styles in Flamenco that you can dance to.
Bhrangra is a traditional folk dance which originated in Punjab, India. The dance form came from the celebration of a successful harvest, people would gather and use the dance to give thanks for the food they were provided. Bhangra is a very energetic dance form and involves both intricate and large movements of the body. The dancers often wear beautiful fabrics in bright colors to show off their joy and to support the celebration. This dance form is practiced at events, festivals, in cities and towns, in studios and in homes.
Dundunba is a dance from Guinea in West Africa and is often referred to as the dance of the strong man; however, all people including, women, children and all people practice the dance for fun. Dundunba is also the name of the largest drum used in the drumming ensemble and it helps sustain the energy of the dancers. Dundunba is a dance of strength and energy and a dance form to share our energy with others.
Kpanlogo (pronounced with a silent K) is a recreational dance and music style that originated in Accra, the capital city of Ghana located in Western Africa. As a music genre, kpanlogo evolved into Highlife which is a modern style of music influenced by rock and jazz. It is sometimes referred to as the “Dance of the Youth” because it was made popular by young people as a form of entertainment. It is also a dance that uses gestures to help demonstrate emotion. Known as a dance of freedom, dancing the Kpanlogo helps the people of Ghana demonstrate a sense of pride and optimism in the country and in their people.
Ballet originated in the Italian Renaissance courts in the 15 century, so many many years ago. The Nobleman and women were treated to royal events and celebrations where music and movements, known as ballet, were shared. In the 16th century a dance academy opened in Paris and ballet moved from the courts to the stage. Then in the 19th century Ballet began to become more popular in Russia and choreographers and composers took it to new heights. Ballet is expanding beyond its traditional edges to become more inclusive. Today, it merges with Jazz, hip-hop, modern, and contemporary dance.
Hip-hop is a culture that has been around for decades. The dance styles include popping, locking, break dancing, house, free style and sub-genres. It also includes DJ’ing, MC’ing, Graffiti, and hip-hop fashion. Hip-hop has been practiced in the streets, in houses, at the clubs, in studios, and you can now find it in music videos, on the television, in music, literature and more.
Contemporary dance integrates different forms, movements, cultures and patterns, it is rooted in modern dance styles including the Graham Technique by Martha Graham, Limon, Cunningham, and the work of artists like Isadora Duncan, Steve Paxton and others. Today, contemporary dance also fuses movements and styles from dance forms like hip-hop, different genres from the African diaspora, Jazz, tap, and martial arts. Contemporary dance is always evolving and shifting and offers a landscape for expanding what dance is.
Purchase 10 pre-recorded videos
1-2 videos in each dance style
Welcome to Blissful Dance Agency programs!
We are committed to providing your agency with fantastic specialized programs to meet the needs of your members.
We prioritize accessibility and ensure that the needs and desires of your members are at the forefront of our program design. We work with people with different physical and developmental disabilities and our participants range from age 5 – 80. Our teachers are trained to meet the needs of your demographic with compassion, understanding and joy.
Blissful Dance offers different genres of dance including African, Bhangra, Flamenco, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Ballet, Burlesque, and Musical theatre.
We also offer varying genre programs, where you can select different styles to be included in your four or eight week series.
Each teacher specializes in their dance form and understands that each participant has individual needs to be met in order to ensure engagement, fun, and authentic expression.
Our programs are designed in collaboration with your agency, book a call today to hear more about what we offer or sign up today!
Big love you!
Testimonials from some of agencies we have partnered with Pending – May 12th
Ups & Downs – Agency for people with Down Syndrome
Wood’s Homes – Children’s Mental Health Center
Deaf Youth Today – Organization for youth who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Empathy Week
Access to all of our pre-recorded videos with new videos launched this summer
Ballet for All Bodies
1 workshop per month with an incredible dance teacher in styles ranging from African to Burlesque, 12 total - open to the public
4-week accessible Burlesque workshop in Fall 2021
4-week accessible African Dance & Hip-hop workshop in Winter 2021
Two 4-week private agency workshop for your members, 8 total
Scheduled and designed with your needs at the forefront of the program design
Hello! We would love to get in touch with you and answer any questions you may have about what we offer. You can drop your name, email, and question below and we will get back to you.
If you feel called, we would also love for you to share any testimonials from participating in the Blissful Dance Program.
If you have any accessibility needs you would like to share, please include that in the comments when you fill out the contact form.
The Blissful Dance Team