One of the most beautiful things about dance and movement is there are so many different emotional and physical aspects to it. People can be reached in so many different ways, and it can be a catalyst in bringing people together.

Being a dancer can be an incredibly emotional and thought-provoking experience. Growing up in the art form, I found that I was surrounded by people who fostered healthy vulnerability, self-awareness and empathy.

Beyond the studio, there are tons of places dance can take us to make our city better. These are 9 people that are doing just that. They are fostering young minds, creating conversation and breaking down barriers of misunderstanding all through the beauty of movement and dance.

via @sarahbrinson

Sarah Brinson

You may recognize this beauty from So You Think You Can Dance, but she does incredible things for Vancouver's dance community. She is an author, youth mentor and community leader, film editor and producer and choreographer. She founded a workshop called Acting for Dancers, as well as the Cultural Architect Awards, where she shines light on young dancers with amazing charitable efforts!

via @ralphescamillan

Ralph Escamillan

Ralph runs an absolutely amazing voguing class on Monday nights that everyone must attend. He wanted to share the culture of voguing with Vancouver by creating an inclusive by-donation class so that's exactly what he did. It runs at Scotia Bank Dance Centre on Monday nights at 8:30pm and all are welcome!

via @warehausdancecollective

Megan Hunter, Akeisha De Baat, Sofija Polovina // Warehaus Dance Collective 

These are the three talented beauties behind Warehaus Dance Collective, a contemporary dance company in Vancouver that creates stunning pieces with a focus on the human experience. You can catch their next performance January 15th at the Granville Waterfront Theatre.

via @mpattersonobrien

Mahaila Patterson O’Brien

Mahaila is definitely an emerging Vancouver choreographer to watch! She has an amazingly unique vision, allowing her to create stunning and thought-provoking pieces. She recently collaborated on a dance film that was shown at film festivals throughout Canada and the USA, as well as at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner!

Anna Dueck

When it comes to the dance industry, this girl does it all! She teaches contemporary at iDance Studios, Baza Dance Studios, is a dance teacher at Renfrew Park Community Centre, as well as performing professionally! She is also the co-producer for Inspire Dance TV, a program that helps young dancers with questions they may have about the industry. You can catch her next performance in November in Shattered Pieces with Collabart Creations.

via @maiwolfe

Sophia Wolfe

She is the founder of Festival Of Recorded Movement, or F-O-R-M, which is a festival that aims to shine light on films that present strong imagery of the human body in action! It's a way for young artists to have their work shown and acknowledged, and as artists that is something that is integral for progression!

via @shaunalynne4

Shauna Smith

She is a professional dancer and choreographer whose dance has taken her all over USA and South Africa. She has been featured in films and videos such as The Killers Spaceman, Studio 54 Las Vegas and Cinderella Story 2. She has been a dance ambassador for Lululemon Athletica, a director/dancer/choreographer for Kill The Lights dance crew which is a dance crew located here in Vancouver, as well as a guest instructor and choreographer for SASAD South Africa!

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