Scholarship Creation

Kathryn Ash was on the Board of Directors of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre for 18 years and was President from 1995 to 2008.  Kathryn worked tirelessly for the School and offered constant guidance and wisdom in legal and governance issues. She provided a role model to new Board members, staff at the School and student representatives to the Board. She exercised great skill and care in her duties and responsibilities to the School, and showed passion and dedication to contemporary dance and the training and education of young dancers.  The Kathryn Ash Awards recognize Kathryn’s dedication to the School and reflect her passionate commitment to the areas of scholarship and creation.


The Kathryn Ash Scholarship

The Scholarship is a merit-based award given to a deserving student going into their final year of study and is the equivalent to one-half of one year’s tuition.  The Scholarship is awarded for: 

  • consistent demonstration of artistic and technical accomplishment;
  • receptiveness to the learning process;
  • curiosity, investigation, and exploration;
  • evidence of progress;
  • performance quality in class and on the stage;
  • work ethic, commitment, attendance, and professionalism;
  • integrity and dedication; and
  • a passion for the craft of the dancer, and the art of dance.


This year the Kathryn Ash Scholarship has been divided between Katie Adams-Gossage and Hannah Faith


Remarks on Katie’s application from the panel of senior faculty and Board members include:

Katie is an artist.  She is mature, has an incredible work ethic, has a willingness to stay open, and is exceptionally creative.  She has really taken to this work and has a beautiful, thoughtful, embodied way of working.  Her desire and her passion are clear.  Katie’s pursuit of her academic work is also impressive and she clearly shows her intellectual ability, as well as her passion, in her writing.  Katie brings a professionalism to her work and to each choreographic experience she embarks upon – whether her own work or the work of other choreographers.  The panel was extremely impressed with Katie’s application and considered her to be an excellent candidate to receive the Kathryn Ash Scholarship.

Brava Katie!


Remarks from the panel about Hannah’s application include:

Hannah is a very hard-working, reliable dancer.  She is very precise, detailed, thoughtful, methodical, caring, and consistent.  She is a very strong, technical dancer, and she’s very respectful.  Hannah is really beginning to shift her thinking about how she approaches movement; she’s pushing her instrument in a different way. Faculty truly appreciate that she’s opened herself up and has allowed herself to learn and feel new things.  Hannah is articulate, insightful, and introspective.  She’s very smart; she has excellent pick-up skills, and an amazing work ethic.  In her application, she wrote from her heart, and gave very mature answers to all the questions.  The panelists were so delighted to see her say so simply, “I just love to dance”.

Congratulations, Katie and Hannah.



The Kathryn Ash Choreographic Commission

This award is presented to a choreographer for the commissioning of a new creation for the students of the School. As an expression of the School’s, and Kathryn’s, dedication to new creation and the professional development of our alumni, priority is given to a choreographer who is an alumnus/alumna of the Professional Training Program.  The choreographer is given an honorarium in addition to their choreographic fee.


Photo by David Hou

This year’s award winner is Pulga Muchochoma.

Pulga was born in Mozambique, where he began his dance training and career with the Montes Namuli Dance Company. In August 2006, he came to Toronto to perform with that company, and stayed to study at the School, where he was an outstanding student. As soon as he graduated, he joined Toronto Dance Theatre, where he danced – superbly – for 11 years, until 2020. In 2019, he choreographed a wonderful piece for the School: the exhilarating and infectiously energetic Liberdade, and he premiered another new work, SEEN, for the School in Momentum 2021. Pulga infuses his choreography with his own magnificent physicality, musicality, and exuberance. 

With the support of this Kathryn Ash Commission Award, Pulga will create a new work for the School in the 2021/22 season.  We’re thrilled to make this award to Pulga, and can’t wait to see what he creates.

Congratulations, Pulga!