Headshot by Josh Harmer
Headshot by David Choi
We would like to introduce the recipients of the Patricia Fraser Teaching Residency – Sasha Ludavicius and Danah Rosales!
Sasha and Danah are both graduates of the School, who have gone on to build successful careers working with highly respected organizations such as ProArteDanza and the Toronto Kiki Ballroom Alliance.
Sasha is a professional contemporary dance artist in Toronto with a background in competitive dance and gymnastics. Sasha says that her “artistic perspectives are continuously being redefined as a performer and teacher. ” In her teaching practice, Sasha focuses on “revealing new perspectives anatomically or investigation-wise and seeing how [students] can improve and grow physically but also mentally as dancers.”
Danah is a Tkaronto based queer, millennial artist, a mother of two and a motha of a kiki house with extensive experience in the ballroom scene. Danah believes that as a teacher “it’s important to have an open-ended exchange (with students), as there is always space for concepts to be exchanged on both sides. Without students, there would be no opportunity for teachers to become experienced at their craft.” Because each style of learning is unique, Danah focuses on how “it’s important to have flexibility in adapting and a full understanding of different learning styles and different teaching styles to meet individuals and groups where they are at.”
Sasha and Danah speak highly of their chosen mentors, senior faculty members Johanna Bergfelt and Rosemary James. Sasha views Johanna as “my idol, both as a dance teacher and performer,” and says that Johanna is an ideal mentor for her because “we are both classically trained and ventured into the contemporary world. Additionally, we have a similar movement methodology, therefore, I can easily relate to her dance classes.” Danah is excited to be mentored by Rosemary because “Rosemary’s eye and awareness for detail and ear for musicality have always sharpened mine and I admire the presence that she carries in and out of the studio.”
Sasha and Danah will begin their residencies later this month!
More about Sasha Ludavicius:
Sasha Ludavicius is a professional contemporary dance artist in Toronto. During her adolescence, she trained as a competitive dancer and gymnast, but discovered her passion for classical ballet and contemporary dance by studying internationally. She was the recipient of the ProArteDanza’s Summer Dance Intensive Program Apprenticeship Award in 2015, and has been a company member ever since. In 2016, she graduated from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. In furthering her education as an artist, she became a freelance contemporary dance teacher, personal fitness trainer as well as a certified yoga instructor. For the past four years, she has been the training coordinator along with being the rehearsal director for ProArteDanza’s Summer Dance Intensive Program. Based on her diverse cross-training and professional experiences, she has developed an artistic and strong anatomical approach to her teaching. Sasha enjoys challenging her body to push its limitations and carries that motivation toward her teaching.
More about Danah Rosales:
Danah Rosales (She/Her/Siya) is a Tkaronto based queer millennial; second-generation Canadian-Filipinx; a daughter; a dawta; a sister; a sis; a cis; a mother of two little humans; a motha of a kiki house; and an artist in which her work encompasses teaching, collaborative and interdisciplinary choreography and performance.
Growing up in Rexdale, community-based and hip-hop culture was a large contributing part of her initial understanding and fascination with expression. It has led to her passion, interests, and pursuance of dance and culture. Danah was a music and dance major at the Etobicoke School of the Arts and is a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She has worked alongside various artists such as TDT – Christopher House, Susie Burpee, Peter Chin, Ame Henderson, Kent Monkman, Ralph Escamillan, Justin De Luna, Andrea Spaziani, Francesca Chudnoff, Annie MacDonnell, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Ballet Creole, The Kiki House of Siriano, Chromatic, Blank Canvas Collective, Mix Mix Collective, Rude Collective, Toronto Dance Theatre, James Baley, Dorian Electra, Gia Metric, Hollywood Jade, Matthew ‘Snoopy Lanvin’ Cuff, Scott Fordham and more.
Vogue was introduced to Danah back in 2006 during her early high school years and was introduced to the ballroom scene by Snoopy. She attended and walked her first ball in 2014. Since that first ball, Danah has been walking balls ever since. Danah was a kiki 007 up until July 2018, where she joined The Supreme Kiki House of Siriano. She became Maldita Siriano, became fully immersed in the Toronto Ballroom Community, and then became the Mother of the Toronto Chapter in December 2018. She has developed in Toronto and Montreal under Snoopy Lanvin, Twysted Miyake-Mugler, and in New York City under Danni Polanco, Prince Miyake-Mugler, Arturo Miyake-Mugler, Leiomy Amazon, Slim Eon Xtravaganza, and José Xtravaganza. She has walked over 20 balls in Toronto, Montreal, and New York, has won multiple mainstream and kiki grand prizes for performance and women’s performance, was part of the Top 10 List for Canada’s Performers, as well as being awarded and recognized as Mother of the Year for 2019.
As an active community leader, Maldita Siriano 007 contributes to the Canadian scene as a choreographer, and teacher in pursuit of increasing the awareness of the ballroom scene, its history, major contributions, relevance and presence within today’s time. She continues to develop herself as a ballroom artist for the mainstream scene, developing, training, working with and supporting her Kiki house in her leadership role as a House Mother and active community member within the Toronto Kiki Ballroom Alliance.