>> by Kate Stashko
Members of the dance community are finding ways to connect with one another through monthly or quarterly dance community meetings. In cities such as Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver, informal gatherings provide dance community members an opportunity to connect, network, share ideas and offer advice. Montréal’s “5 à 7”, a monthly event organized by the Regroupement québécois de la danse, started as a setting for dance artists to convene, share information and offer support to one another. Toronto’s “Love-In”, begun in February 2009 and modeled after “5 à 7”, was the initiative of emerging dance artists Amanda Acorn and Eroca Nichols, who felt that this kind of meeting could benefit the Toronto dance scene. These monthly meetings are open to all members of the dance community on a drop-in basis. In Vancouver, a similar concept has emerged with The Dance Centre’s community meeting in which members of The Dance Centre are invited to discuss their needs and expectations with the centre’s artistic advisory board, in order to enhance services and programs for dance artists.