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.

Deanne Kearney

Deanne Kearney is a current Ph.D. student in Dance Studies at York University. Her research follows popular dance and music within hip-hop culture. Her Master's specialized in the area of Canada's krump dance scene. Kearney is a graduate of The National Ballet of Canada's Emerging Dance Critics program and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival internship program where she worked in the dance archives. Kearney is currently a dance reviewer in Toronto for Mooney on Theatre and dance teacher.

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.


Year Two 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

Under Construction