BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Executive Committee 

Nikolaos Markakis

Nikolaos Markakis was first introduced to dance at the Cretan Association of Toronto Knossos, where he studied Cretan Folkloric dance. He was introduced to western styles of dance in high school and followed his passion of movement to York University where he completed his BFA in 2013. Post his undergraduate degree, he has performed and choreographed with Half Second Echo and performed for; Susie Burpee, Valerie Calam, Marie-Josee Chartier, Alison Daley, David Earle, Hanna Keil, Shannon Litzenberger, Tracey Norman and Peter Randazzo. Recently Nikolaos completed his MFA at York University where he researched the possibility of hybrid choreography between Cretan Folkloric and Contemporary dance practices. His main objective is to use his two embodied dance recourses in his creative practice to allow an organic approach, and a cultivating environment for his two worlds of dance to live in his choreography.

Nikolaos Markakis was elected in 2017/2018 and became Co-President in 2018/19.

Kylie Thompson 

Originally from Barrie, Ontario, Canada, Kylie holds an honours degree in Kinesiology from McMaster University.  She has performed in contemporary and commercial works by Hanna Kiel, Gadfly Dance Company, Alias Dance Project, Keren Rosenberg (IL), Mate Meszaros (HU) Marie Lambin, Ljuba Castot (US), Jennifer Mote, Vanessa Li, Rebecca Zizek and more.   Her choreography has been presented at the Toronto Fringe, New Blue Festival, The Garage, The Canadian National Exhibition, Fresh Blood, Dance Matters and Toronto Original Choreographer’s Ball.  She recently debuted her newest work “33/33” at the Winchester Theatre in Toronto.  She is a passionate educator, having shared at over 50 studios and conventions across Canada.

Kylie Thompson was elected in 2017/2018 and became secretary in 2018/2019.

Rhonda Baker

Rhonda Liane Baker is a Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award winner and Dora Award nominated artist living in Halifax, NS. She has performed for Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, Mocean Dance, Rebecca Lazier, and Gallim Dance since graduating from The School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 2009.Rhonda danced with Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie from 2010-2014; performing in James Kudelka’s  Fifteen Heterosexual Duets, and his “See Series” for AllOneWord. In the autumn of 2011 she began working on a contract basis for Mocean Dance, and since that time has worked under the direction of Serge Bennathan, Cory Bowles, Sara Coffin, Emily Gualtieri, Sharon Moore, and Tedd Robinson.   

Rhonda is an independent artist who improvises, creates, and performs. She has worked with Chris Aiken, Guy Cools, Angie Hauser, and Lin Snelling. Rhonda’s movement training has extended into The Gaga Movement Language, Countertechnique, and The Axis Syllabus. She is the 2016/2017 recipient of Kinetic Studio’s Explorations program, and with their generous support,  will be investing her creative time in a collaborative project that will be danced by Lydia Zimmer.

Rhonda Baker was elected in 2016/2017 and became Treasurer in 2018/2019.


Directors 

Neena Jayarajan

Neena Jayarajan is a Bharatanatyam dancer who has trained under the tutelage of Guru Dr. Menaka Thakkar for over 28 years. She has been assistant teacher at Nrtyakala for over 15 years, and has served as both the Assistant Artistic Director (AAD), lead dancer and rehearsal director of the Menaka Thakkar Dance Company (MTDC) for over 6 years.  In her role Neena assisted in re-choreographing remounts of MTDC productions & new works and toured to various cities across North America and Asia. Neena performed in both classical and contemporary works throughout her years at MTDC, and in addition performed in the Children's programming wing of the company in over 200 schools across Canada. 

Through MTDC, Neena studied under renowned teachers in various dance styles including Padma Bushan Kalanidhi Narayan in Abhinaya, CV Chandrashekar in Bharatanatyam and Sujatha Mohaptra in Odissi. She has toured with MTDC’s Odissi production Gita Govinda across North America & India and was presented as an Odissi Soloist in India. She has also worked with various accomplished dancers including William Lau, Danny Grossman, Patrick Parson & Bengt Jorgen. In addition, taken intensives in other art forms including Kalaripayattu, Ballet, Modern dance and Butoh.  She has performed in Sylvie Bouchard's piece La gigue en souvenirNatasha Bakht’s Riaz, and Nova Bhattacharya’s piece Broken Lines, which won the Summerworks 2016 Outstanding Direction Award. 

Neena has also completed her MA in dance from York University where her research was a comparative analysis of the training methods used for the Plie in Ballet and Aramandi in Bharatanatyam.

Neena is a 2016 recipient of the Chalmers Arts Fellowship Grant, allowing her to explore 3 projects with Ravi Jain of Why Not theatre, a group choreography with 5 Bharanatyam dancers and a solo work with Nova Bhattacharya. 

Neena Jayarajan was elected in 2017/2018.

Slade Lander

Slade Lander has been working as an Arts Manager working with contemporary dance companies since 2006, first with Dance Umbrella of Ontario, then as an independent manager.  His clients have included Anandam Dance Theatre, Blue Ceiling Dance, Little Pear Garden Collective, and Public Recordings Performance Projects.

Slade has helped many dance organizations incorporate and become charities.  He has taught a workshop on the subject for the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts for six years. Slade has also worked in information technology in the pharmaceutical industry.

Slade was a dancer in Chicago and Toronto.  He performed with Judy Jarvis and presented his own choreography at 15 Dance Lab. In 2013 / 2014, Slade was a Dance Juror for the Dora Awards.

Slade has an MBA in Arts and Media Administration, 2006, from the Schulich School of Business; a BA with Honours in Dance, 1974, from York University; and a BA in Psychology, 1969, from the University of Chicago.

Slade Lander was elected in 2014/2015.

Tereka Tyler-Davis

Tereka started her training in the arts at Young People's Theatre followed by dance studies in Modern, Ballet and Afro Diasporic forms at Children & Youth Dance Theatre of Toronto and Theatre Performance at Humber College. She has spent 4 seasons with Kashedance where she has most recently performed the successful Facing Home: Love and Redemption (choreo. Kevin Ormsby and Chris Walker) including tours to Kingston, Jamaica, New York, Wisconsin, Madison and Carifesta XIII Barbados as well as a presentation of Recalcitare at the Re:generations Festival in Birmingham UK.

She has also worked with various Modern/Contemporary, Afro Diasporic and Musical Theatre artists including Jose Carret (DanzaCorpus), Arsenio Andrade (Kashedance), Ronald Taylor (Ronald Taylor Dance), Adrianna Yanuziello (Dance Migration) Victoria MataSoledad (MataDanze Collective), Natasha Powell (Holla Jazz), Esie Mensah, Jasmyn Fyffe, Wind In the Leaves Collective, Expect Theatre, High Society Cabaret and a production of Sister Act with Lower Ossington Theatre. She is an advocate for arts education for youth and had given back to non-profit arts programming including DAREArts, ArtStarts and Children and Youth Dance Theatre.

Tereka Tyler-Davis was elected in 2017/2018.


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