Young Dancers’ Program Director
B.A. (Hons), Drama, San Diego State Univ
ersity, California
M.F.A., Dance, York University

Michelle Silagy is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s Professional Training Program and has been active in Toronto as an independent choreographer, dancer, and teacher since graduation. She began teaching in the School’s Young Dancers’ Program in 1989 and is currently its Program Director. Over the past 25 years, she has received many awards through the Ontario Arts Council’s Artists in Education program to bring dance to schools throughout Ontario. As a mentor artist with The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Learning Through the Arts program, she has worked across Canada and abroad as a movement specialist, including projects in London, England, Toronto, and in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

Silagy’s extensive work with youth joyfully informs her desire to create with artists of all disciplines through collaboration in dance. Her choreographic work, supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Toronto Arts Council, has been presented in the Arctic Circle with Susan Aglukark; Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam; and Douglas Dunn’s Studio in New York City with Jennifer Dick. Toronto venues which have shown her work include: the Art Gallery of Ontario; Artscape Wychwood Barns; the du Maurier Theatre Centre [now Harbourfront Centre Theatre]; Dusk Dances; the Gardiner Museum; Koerner Hall; Series 8:08 (which she co-founded); Theatre Direct; and the Textile Museum of Canada.

As the Young Dancers’ Program Director, Silagy was instrumental in setting up a YDP sponsorship program for children and young people from Regent Park and St. Jamestown. Additionally, she advocated for the inclusion of a Creative Movement Made for Me class, an integrated class for differently abled youth. Silagy traveled to London, England for the Youth Dance England 2010 Conference, where she was first introduced to dance for all bodies. She has received two prestigious grants from the Canada Council for the Arts to pursue her DanceAbility Teacher Certification at ImpulsTanz Festival in Vienna 2012, and to pursue inaugural Master DanceAbility Training in Monte Video, Uruguay, in 2015. In 2014, Silagy traveled by invitation to Mexico with 15 international artists, to envision next steps for DanceAbility International with DanceAbility founder Alito Alessi. She was invited to perform new work with DanceAbility in the Encuentro De Danza Inclusiva performance in Mexico.

Currently, Silagy is developing inclusive dance environments for youth and all bodies. She instigated We Dance, a 2017 inclusive dance pilot for adults, in partnership with the School of TDT and Canada’s National Ballet School. As a guest artist with Theatre Direct, Silagy, with Director Lynda Hill, is creating Flying Hearts, a sensorial theatrical event for differently abled youth and adults. Flying Hearts premieres in May 2018 at the International Wee Festival in Toronto.