Our graduates are vibrant members of the creative community; dynamic, adaptable, imaginative, resourceful. They have achieved success as dancers, choreographers, directors, teachers, and dance-related practitioners. Whatever their path, the knowledge, skills, and experience gained at the School has helped our graduates flourish throughout their careers.
Acclaimed as one of the most outstanding contemporary dancers of her generation, Peggy Baker moved from Edmonton, Alberta in 1971 expressly to study at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, giving her first professional performances as an apprentice with Toronto Dance Theatre.
Her career has taken her around the globe with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Dance Project, Dancemakers, and the companies of Lar Lubovitch, Paul-André Fortier, Doug Varone, Tere O’Connor, and Molissa Fenley, among many others. A solo artist, and the artistic director of Peggy Baker Dance Projects since 1991, her many honours include the Order of Canada, the 2006 Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, a Governor General’s award for lifetime achievement, an honorary doctorate from the University of Calgary, the Carsen Award, and five Doras.
Peggy is a master teacher who continues to inspire young dancers, notably as the National Ballet School’s artist-in-residence and, of course, at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre.
In Peggy’s words:
For over forty years The School of Toronto Dance Theatre has prepared dance artists to rise to artistic challenges, in response to an essential cultural need, with resounding success. The School’s superb faculty, stellar line-up of guest teachers, and impressive roster of choreographers all contribute to providing the School’s students with a carefully crafted, comprehensive, and progressive training in contemporary dance. Graduates are respected as some of the most accomplished interpreters and creators in the country. Every dancer builds their career on the foundation of their training, and it must serve their body, their mind, and also their soul. I have built an expansive, thrilling, and deeply satisfying career on the foundation of my training with The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and I am indebted to my teachers for their rigorous lessons and inspiring influence.
Help us to continue to inspire our students with the best teachers, most exceptional guest artists, and world renowned choreographers.
Since graduating from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 2000, Yael Loewenstein has been based in London, U.K. Her time in the U.K. has been a creative adventure, including studying for a Master’s degree in Choreography with Performing Arts. A resourceful and determined student while at the School Yael now directs her independent career in four main strands: as movement director, choreographer, performer, and teacher. She is a movement director for theatre, opera, film, and for motion capture for video games, while continuing to develop her own portfolio of choreographic works.
As a teacher, she focuses on creative movement for dancers aged 2-98, and is involved in compelling movement research to assist with fall prevention for frailer and older people.
In Yael’s words:
Studying at the School equipped me with the foundation to say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that comes my way. The training enabled me to flourish in the creative industries with a sense of core strength – physically, technically, and creatively. The range of experiences I had as a student is reflected in my evolving career, facilitating an ability to explore whilst knowing where home base lies. Thanks to this well-rounded training, I am able to apply and develop my skills in a versatile manner. I continue to dream of what’s next, knowing it is all possible. I continue to be grateful to everyone at the School who has helped make this achievable by sharing their practice and expertise.
Creative thinking, adaptability, innovation, imagination, skills, and knowledge learnt through our training equip our graduates to thrive and, like Yael, “say ‘yes’ to every opportunity.”
Pulga Muchochoma was born in Quelimane, Mozambique and it was fate that led him to a life in dance.
Inspired by seeing the traditional African dance company, Montes Namuli, perform before a soccer match, Pulga immediately joined the company and began his training. In 2006 the innovative theatre company, Shakespeare Link Canada, collaborated on an exciting project with Montes Namuli and hosted the company in Toronto in performances at the International AIDS Conference. On stage and in workshops Pulga was immediately identified as a gifted dancer with incredible potential and showed a keen interest in contemporary dance. In a leap of faith when Montes Namuli returned to Mozambique, Pulga stayed in Toronto to enroll in the School.
His progress through three years of training was nothing short of astounding. Pulga received assistance from the School’s bursary program, excelled in his training, and is now a company member with Toronto Dance Theatre.
In Pulga’s words:
I never realized that dance would have turned my life, and my family’s, around the way it did.
When I left Africa for Canada, I never knew that I would attend a dance school and one day follow my dream. Thankfully, I was sponsored and realized that my dream was coming true. At the School, I didn’t only learn about dance, but also learned to speak English. By being in an environment where the body was our language, I could communicate freely with my classmates. I am so thankful for those guys! The School kept us working hard and well organized and now all of the hard work is paying off. I am incredibly grateful for the people who have supported the School and am now happy to be contributing as a donor myself.