Current Students

MA Students

Joshua Swamy

Joshua Swamy is a self-taught breaker from Pickering, Ontario. While completing an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, he continued dancing as a pastime. While refining his critical thinking skills during his undergrad, Joshua went on to integrate his passion for knowledge with his passion for dance, attracting the attention of his professors as a unique voice from a under represented community. His studies focus on oppressed identities and the space they have within academic dance. Having come from a less institutionalized background of dance, as well as his identity as a person of colour, Joshua focuses his deep and intimate connection with marginalization into his research. Joshua hopes to understand how technique and movement can be acts of rebellion by recognizing how identity influences movement, specifically marginalized identities. Continuing forward, he hopes to continue to challenge the status quo and bring focus to the under represented.

PhD Students

Christine Bellerose

Christine cricri Bellerose is a Québecois movement artist and researcher. Her journeys from musician, costume maker, clown, tanguera, responsive technology dancer, and playwright have matured into simple solo-explorations in the wild. Today she dances forms of butoh, durational performance art, and somatic arts, with cultural artifacts, and nature's elements—especially with water, snow, ice, and wind. Eastern-Western cosmologies permeate her art and research. Christine completed her classical music studies at the Conservatoire de Musique Classique du Québec. A grant from the Canadian South East Asian Foundation allowed her to contribute to Dr. Vu Thi Thanh Huong's body language project, with the Centre for Linguistics and Vietnamese studies in Hanoi. In Beijing, she founded Homônumos—art, literature, philosophy, and science multilingual magazine. She is a recipient of the Evelyn Carnie Rowe Dance Scholarship for her research contribution along Canadian geographies, and has received the Ontario Graduate Scholarship award. Throughout her graduate studies, she conducts archival/embodied research, assisting on projects funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council: for Dr. Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt and Carol Anderson: "Collective Historical Acts of Social Memory (CHASM)" on the National Choreographic Seminars; for Dr. Darcey Callison: AlCan Highway, homesteading in Dakotas and West Virginia, and Hollywood male dancers. Her project, "Performative Listening of Métis Artifact," funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, led to her current doctoral research in Dance Studies at York University (Toronto, Canada) on the significance of the body as site-of-research.

Completing her doctoral studies in Dance Studies at the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design at York University, in Toronto (ON Canada), she also holds an MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from York University, and a BFA in Theatre and Development from Concordia University, in Montréal (QC, Canada), and is certifying with Eastwest Shin Somatics® and Land to Water Yoga® as an ISMETA registered somatic movement educator and therapist. Her academic interests spans across theories and methodologies of performance as research (PAR), performance studies, feminist existential phenomenology, ecofeminism, Indigenous knowledge approaches, cross-cultural frameworks of epistemology, sensory ethnography, post-human qualitative inquiry, land-based pedagogy, historiography, with an aim to contribute research to decolonizing the imagination and re-membering land. Her scholarly articles are published in: PARtake the Journal of Performance as Research, Choreographic Practices Journal, Phenomenology and Practice Journal, and Contingent Horizons YorkU student journal of Anthropology. The book cover for Moving Consciously: Somatic Transformation through Dance, Yoga, and Touch features her eco-performance (Fraleigh). Her MA Major Research Paper, "Being ma in movement butoh, durational performance art, and somatic practices," appears as a chapter with the University of Illinois Press in a book titled Back to the Dance Itself: Phenomenologies of the Body in Performance and edited with essays by Sondra Fraleigh. Christine has practiced, trained, performed, given lectures and workshops in North America, Asia, and Europe.

Gdalit Neuman

Gdalit Neuman is a PhD candidate in Dance Studies, with research interests in dance and Zionism. She is a proud alumna of York University's BFA and MA programs in Dance and is a graduate with distinction from Canada's National Ballet School's Teacher Training Program. Gdalit has taught ballet and pedagogy at York University's Department of Dance and Canada's National Ballet School. She also holds a Bachelor of Education from York University and ISTD teaching qualifications. Gdalit’s writing on dance has appeared in Dance International Magazine, Performance Matters, as well as DanceToday [Mahol Akhshav] in Israel.

In the context of her doctoral research Gdalit is investigating the little-known earliest dance repertoire of the late Yehudit Arnon, Israel's Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company's founding Artistic Director, in the framework of Hashomer Hatzair Zionist Youth Movement in Hungary, and with child Holocaust survivors. As part of her fieldwork, which also included oral history interviews and extensive archival work in Israel, she completed a community-based dance reconstruction project last year, which she was invited to present as hour-long lecture-demonstrations both at Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company's Dance Village in Kibbutz Ga'aton, as well as at Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and the Arts in Tel Aviv. Additionally, Gdalit has presented both her MA and PhD research at various conferences internationally - most recently at the Dance Studies Association conference in Valletta, Malta. Throughout her graduate studies Gdalit has been affiliated with the Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies at York University, as well as The Hebrew University in Jerusalem; first as a Visiting Graduate Student in the second year of her MA, and later as a Visiting Research Fellow during her PhD.

Sebastian Oreamuno

Sebastian Oreamuno is a PhD student in the Department of Dance at York University (Toronto). He holds a BA in Psychology from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver) and an MA in Dance from York University. His passion for dance began at a young age in Chile, and was later reignited when he began taking ballet and other dance classes in his hometown of Squamish, B.C. His current academic interests lie in the interstice of movement, migration and memories.


Jonathan Osborn

Jonathan Osborn is a Toronto-based choreographer, educator, and researcher whose interests include human-animal relations, research as practice, embodied perception, simulation, and the staging of nonhuman life within dance, animation, video games, and social institutions. A graduate of the Toronto Dance Theatre’s professional training program, Jonathan also studied at the Merce Cunningham Studio and Jacob’s Pillow. Jonathan holds an MA in Dance from York University, a BA in English Literature from UBC, and is currently completing his SSHRC funded PhD dissertation about kinaesthetic human-animal relations and zoological gardens entitled "Between Species: Choreographing Human and Animal Bodies,” under the supervision of Dr. Barbara Sellers-Young. His interdisciplinary academic work has been published in various collected editions including Narrating Performance (2018) and Zoo Studies and New Humanities (2019) and recent artistic projects include: Growing the Past, a three-week multi-artist summer residency and performance project at the Spadina Museum supported by the Toronto Arts Council focusing on choreographic interpretations of the site’s Edwardian garden landscape, and the creation ARK and ARCHE, two Toronto and Ontario Arts council supported works about zoological space at the Toronto Zoo and Zoologischer Garten Berlin. While at York University Jonathan was a contributing member of the Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology Graduate Caucus, the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies, and the York Popular Culture Working Group, the curator of the Sensorium Graduate Salon, a student representative on FGS council, and the co-curator for the conferences Collapsing Constellations: Remapping Art Science and the Planetary (2015) and Skin: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Cybernetic Containers. (2016).  Jonathan currently serves as a research assistant on Dr. Jody Berland’s SSHRC funded project Digital Animalities: Media Representations of Non-Human Life.

Year Two MFA Students

Lisa Brkich

Lisa holds a BFA in Dance from Ryerson University and a B.Ed from York University’s consecutive program. As a dance educator Lisa has had the opportunity to work in the role of full time dance teacher and choreographer at Cawthra Park Secondary School and St. Thomas Aquinas Centre For the Arts training the students and maintaining curriculum requirements for dancers in grades 9-12 . She has worked collaboratively with her colleagues in bringing guest artists to the schools for both training and creative purposes. Lisa Brkich is co-founder of Two Sister’s Dance Projects together with her sister Christine. Her choreographic works have won her acclaim with such awards as the Encore Series Prize for Best Choreography, the OMT Choreographer’s Choice Awards along with the Most Entertaining Show for Kids at the Huronia Arts Festival. Lisa currently works as choreographer in collaboration with The Oakville Children’s Chorus under the direction of Dr. Sarah Morrison. Lisa co-authored the children’s book entitled “Plies and Pleases” with her sister Christine and continues to write and create for the “Legwamers” series.

Christine Brkich

Upon graduating from Ryerson Theatre School's Dance Program, Christine Brkich co-established InMotion Dance Company in 1996. Ms. Brkich was responsible for organizing, choreographing, and performing in Dancing Through Front-Tears, the company's successful tour of Croatia's Adriatic Coast. Her contemporary choreography for the company includes “All’s Fair In Love And...” , “ FISH”, “Size Zero”, and many more performed in Toronto, Montreal, and Europe.

Christine has also choreographed various musical productions such as “Oklahoma!” for which she received the Encore Award, and co-choreographed productions such as “Fiddler On The Roof”, “Grease!”, “The Secret Garden”, for which she received the Drama Series Award for Best Choreography, “Hair!” and “Blood Brothers” for West End Studio Theatre.

In 2000, InMotion Dance School was born as a feeder school to the company under the direction of Christine and Lisa Brkich. Christine has enjoyed being an integral part of the scholastic journey of dance students who have been accepted in the National Ballet of Canada’s Associate Program, Ryerson Theatre School, and York University dance programs.

From out of the many successes and challenges that come with teaching small children, Christine was excited to co-create “The Legwarmers”, under the production of Two Sisters Dance Projects. This production is a LIVE stage production series, mandated to teach youth about life lessons through the voice of dance, and the power of strong family ties through the magic of its characters. This production spawned into the publication of its first book “The Legwarmers in Plies and Pleases” in 2012. Passion for dance, and a strong pedagogical background developed over time is brought to the forefront here in a creative way to inspire young audiences to believe in themselves and to understand that family is never out of reach.

Christine is a frequent guest teacher for various dance workshops and master classes in the Paula Morgan Technique. She is an Associate Member of The Russian Ballet Society, and an examiner for the Performing Arts Educators of Canada (PAEC) in both the Ballet and Modern dance divisions whilst also the Chair of the Modern Dance Committee, and an Executive Board member for the organization. A full time wife and mother of two beautiful young and vibrant children, Christine Brkich is thrilled to add a new chapter of adventures to her life in returning to university to complete her Master of Fine Arts at York University.

Patricia Allison

Ottawa native, Patricia Allison graduated from L'École de danse contemporaine de Montréal in 2007. Patricia relocated to Toronto and has been working as a freelance Choreographer, Movement Coach and Performer since 2010. She specializes in working in theatre and on narrative based work, believing that movement and text provide the perfect balance to communicating story. Patricia has most recently worked as a choreographer on A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Megan Watson for Shakespeare in the Ruff and critically acclaimed Pool (No Water) directed by Jill Harper for Cue6 Theatre. Patricia produces live dance- theatre performances and contemporary short films under the company name LastName FirstName Productions, which is a company she founded in 2010 upon moving to Toronto.

Year One MFA Students

Maria Avila

Maria is an established independent flamenco dancer, choreographer, singer and teacher based in Vancouver, BC. She received her BFA in Visual Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Maria has obtained multiple professional development grants to study flamenco in Spain. She was also awarded a mentorship to work with Miriam Allard in Montreal. Maria has performed in countless productions and festivals. Some of these include The Coetaní Experimental Flamenco Festival in Greece, The Vancouver International Flamenco Festival, as well as The Victoria Flamenco Festival. Maria was a company dancer for Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy and a teacher at Karen Flamenco. She also graduated from Centro Flamenco’s PTP dance program. In 2016 Maria established Maria Avila Flamenco Dance School in Vancouver. She currently performs with Calle Verde, Raíces y Alas, and La Triana. For more information visit:

Emilio Colalillo

Emilio Colalillo is a Toronto based professional dancer and choreographer. Colalillo studied classical ballet, modern, jazz and contemporary and received his BFA degree in Dance from Ryerson University. As a dancer he has toured the world internationally with Corpus Dance Projects, Creativiva, A2D2 and his own company emiMOTION to Europe, Middle East, Asia, Caribbean and North America. He has danced for the Canadian Opera Company as a lead dancer in "La Traviata" and performed for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. Colalillo has worked and performed for many contemporary & jazz choreographers including; Newton Moraes, William Yong, Hanna Kiel, Colin Connor and Marie Josee Chartier. He has back up danced for Nick Jonas and Jason Derulo. In 2017, he danced the role of Tybalt in “Romeo and Juliet” a contemporary ballet version performed in Los Angeles with Contempo Arts Productions. He dances for various film and television shows.
Dance is his passion which led him to explore his creativity and become a choreographer. He is the founder of emiMOTION, a contemporary based dance company. Colalillo has choreographed 5 full length dance works known for his use of physicality, emotion and avant garde nature. Colalillo is the winner of the Paula Citron Award at Fresh Blood 2013 for his choreography of his duet "Avadita". Colalillo is inspired by his Italian culture and incorporates commedia dell'arte in his works. Colalillo also enjoys teaching and inspiring the youth. He has choreographed for Innovative Musical Theatre for their theatre program choreographing Footloose and Shrek The Musical. Colalillo has also choreographed Aladdin, Alice In Wonderland, The Little Prince and Pinnochio which toured internationally all over the UAE and Asia.

Raine Kearns

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