George Brown Dance (GBD) Alumna Cheryl Chan on Diversity of Styles and New Techniques

A Toronto native, Cheryl Chan grew up training in ballet, recreationally. A greater interest was sparked in her high school years and she chose to explore dance as a postsecondary option, where she discovered Canada’s Ballet Jörgen and George Brown Dance. Since then, she has been through various programs with the company and the school including, the Summer Intensive III program, the Dance Performance Preparation program, and the Dance Studies program.

Coming to George Brown Dance with a background strictly in ballet, Cheryl discovered new styles, such as jazz and modern. During school, students are exposed to Contact Modern, a technique that many aren’t familiar with and is generally new for most. For Cheryl, she shares that, “contact modern was something that I really got into and I really fell in love with.”

Students are also encouraged to go see shows and expose themselves to new ideas about dance. “That’s nice because then you get to expose yourself, while you’re in school, to other things. You can go talk to [artists]”, Cheryl explains, and ‘that gives you exposure to them and they can see how you are and you can get more jobs through that.”

This diversity of styles and introduction to new techniques brought Cheryl out of the program with a completely different idea about her future. Since graduating, she has worked with various companies including, Kashe Dance, Little Pear Garden Dance Company, and is now also working with a new company called Impromptu Movements.

“[The programs] have strong technique…they give you good opportunities and a fair amount of exposure,” Cheryl describes. The George Brown Dance programs are a place for young artists to develop their technique for a strong foundation, grow artistically, and build connections in an encouraging environment.

Written by Elise Tigges