Turning Around Dance Research


  • Karyn Recollet University of Toronto
  • Seika Boye University of Toronto
  • VK Preston University of Toronto
  • Angélique Willkie Concordia University
  • Freya Björg Olafson York University
  • Lindsay Eales University of Alberta
  • Patrick Alcedo York University
  • MJ Thompson Concordia University
  • Michèle Moss University of Calgary
  • Alana Gerecke York University
  • Mary Fogarty Woehrel York University


This Forum features the responses of nine dance studies specialists to a set of five questions, each geared to connect with the theme of the special edition: backspace. Our questions attempt to draw out an expanded notion of background: previous and future scholarly and artistic pathways, directions, and communities; kinesthetic experiences and memories; personal commitments; and backgrounded labour.

Author Biographies

Karyn Recollet, University of Toronto

Karyn Recollet is an urban Cree assistant professor in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Toronto. Her collaborative research process explores urban Indigenous land relationships as expressed in movement, gesture and sound. 

Seika Boye, University of Toronto

Dr. Seika Boye is a scholar, writer, educator and artist whose practices revolve around dance and movement. She is a Lecturer in the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and Director of the research focused Institute for Dance Studies, University of Toronto. Seika also works as an advocate and consultant for dance across the arts sector. 

VK Preston, University of Toronto

VK Preston is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies. Their work addresses seventeenth- and twenty-first-century performance genealogies in critical dance studies, race, queer, and Indigenous/settler histories. Preston received the Dance Studies Association’s Gertrude Lippincott award for best essay in English in 2018.

Angélique Willkie, Concordia University

Performer, singer, pedagogue and dramaturg, Angélique Willkie spent a twenty-five-year career in Europe working with, among others, Alain Platel, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, and Jan Lauwers/Needcompany. A dramaturg for dance and circus, and an ongoing performer, Angélique is an assistant professor in the Department of Contemporary Dance at Concordia University and a Concordia Research Fellow.

Freya Björg Olafson, York University

Freya Björg Olafson is an intermedia artist working with video, audio, painting and performance. Her praxis engages identity, the body, technology and the Internet. Her work has been presented internationally at museums, galleries, festivals, archives and conferences. Olafson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dance at York University.   

Lindsay Eales, University of Alberta

Lindsay Eales studies, choreographs, and performs integrated dance, as well as disability and Mad performance art. As co-artistic director of CRIPSiE (formerly iDance), she has spent the last ten years creating vibrant movement communities that appreciate diversity and re-imagine (dis)ability. Lindsay’s choreographic work has been featured in such venues as The Alberta Dance Alliance FEATS festival, and The Works Art & Design Festival. Lindsay has also made several films, and is currently doing a PhD at the University of Alberta on dance, disability, and madness. 

Patrick Alcedo, York University

Winner of the President’s University-Wide Teaching Award, Dr. Patrick Alcedo is an associate professor in the Department of Dance at York University. His ethnographic research on Philippine dance, articulated through print, film, and live performance, has been recognized with an Early Researcher Award and grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

MJ Thompson, Concordia University

MJ Thompson is a writer and teacher working on dance, performance, and visual art. She is Associate Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies and Practices, at Concordia University in Montreal. Her articles have appeared in Ballettanz, Border Crossings, The Brooklyn Rail, Canadian Art, Dance Current, Dance Ink, Dance Magazine, The Drama Review, Women and Performance, Theatre Journal, and elsewhere.

Michèle Moss, University of Calgary

Michèle Moss is a dancer, choreographer and community educator. She co-founded Decidedly Jazz Danceworks as dancer, board member, choreographer and director (1984-1999) and has served as artistic director at Dancers' Studio West (2000-2005). Moss is Associate Professor of Dance in the School of Creative and Performing Arts, University of Calgary.

Alana Gerecke, York University

Alana Gerecke is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Theatre at York University and a settler dance artist. Her academic and artistic research practices—including a recent co-edited issue of Canadian Theatre Review and a book project, Moving Publics (under contract with MQUP)—explore the social and spatial lives of subtle and virtuosic choreographies in public spaces.

Mary Fogarty Woehrel, York University

Mary Fogarty Woehrel is an associate professor in the Department of Dance at York University.