In her third year of study here at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and Student Council President, Emily Spearing is a force to be reckoned with as a dance artist and role model to her peers at the School. Despite the challenges she’s faced along her way, there is no stopping her now; Emily studies full time at the School, choreographs for every Coffee House production, creates work with peers and friends outside of School, had the opportunity to perform with Gadfly this past summer, and (somehow) even finds time to teach at her old dance studio…
Originally from London, Ontario, Emily started dancing in a local competition studio at the age of 13. Training and competing in acro, contemporary, and jazz, she quickly fell in love with the world of dance and threw herself into it whole-heartedly. She spent her free time researching artists and companies, teaching at her studio, choreographing and creating her own work, and she even produced and choreographed her own show with younger dancers from London, Mississauga, and Oshawa.
However her journey to the School of TDT after graduating from high school was not a straightforward one. Initially Emily had enrolled at college to study Interactive Media before she soon realised that she wanted to explore and pursue her love for dance. After deciding to consider post-secondary options in dance, a serious injury resulted in two knee surgeries, and kept her out of any physical activity for 12 months. Two years after high school, Emily had undergone a long and slow journey of rehab and physiotherapy, however her determination to dance had not faltered. She auditioned for several contemporary dance schools, ready to get back into the world she felt she belonged to.
“Auditioning at the School of TDT was so exciting… as soon as I walked in and felt the atmosphere, walked around the old church, met the people here, it all just had such a warm feeling… I knew it was the best fit for me.”
Since starting at the School three years ago, Emily has gone from strength to strength, and at the end of last year she was elected Student Council President, a position of leadership and responsibility in the School. In this role, Emily loves meeting with all three year groups to discuss ideas, organise student activities, and bringing the general student body closer together. She believes it’s important that there is constant communication not only between all three years, but also between students and staff. “Having a Student Council made up of students from every year means that every class has a leader and a voice that they can use to share their ideas with the rest of the School.”
Reflecting on her time so far at the School, Emily says that it’s her class and peers that have been the highlight in her experience. “My class is a group of really great people; I’m surrounded by an insane amount of talent. Plus, we all get along so well with each other which creates an environment where you feel comfortable to take risks and push each other to be even better. It feels more like we’re a family than a school class.”
Orientation week 2015, scavenger hunt, organised by Emily and the third year class for the newly arrived first year students!
Don’t miss Emily, performing in the upcoming winter production: IMPULSE 2015, along with all three years of the Professional Training Program.
Buy your tickets today!