About DanceWorks Kenora

Our studio and our community are located on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe people in Treaty 3 and more specifically on the traditional lands of the Wauzhushk Onigum Nation. 

We’re grateful for the opportunity to live, and to dance here, and we thank all the generations of people who have taken care of this land – for thousands of years. Long before today there have been Indigenous peoples who have been the stewards of this place. We recognize and deeply appreciate their connection to this place.

Aki is the Anishinaabe term for the environment on earth. Anishinaabe-Aki is the whole world. She is a being. Sometimes we call her Mother Nature. Anishinaabe-Aki gave territory to many living beings; the animals, the birds, the trees, the plants, the wind and the water. Anishinaabe believe that we borrow all things that are part of Anishinaabe-Aki. When Anishinaabe want to borrow something they will acknowledge and give an offering, usually tobacco. The offering also reminds Anishinaabe to be humble, to live in harmony with all living things, and to recognize he is dependent on Anishinaabe-Aki to survive and live a good life.
 
We are committed to moving forward in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration - to asking ourselves what we can do to honour the relationships that allow all of Earth’s creations to live in harmony and balance.

DanceWorks Kenora provides quality dance instruction, for all ages of dancers, in a friendly and welcoming environment. We strive to provide training opportunities that meet the needs of all levels of dancers – from the beginner student, to the recreational dancer taking one class a week, to the more committed dancer training in multiple styles.

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Our History: In early 2014 Erin moved home to Kenora and quickly recognized a lack of dance opportunities in the city. She began teaching dance classes, to kids and adults, using school gyms and rec centre facilities in the spring of 2014. By the fall of 2014 the DanceWorks Kenora business was official and registration began for the 2014-2015 year with ballet, jazz, and lyrical classes continuing to be held in school gyms in Kenora, Ontario. The search for a more permanent and proper studio space continued and with some luck and a lot of hard work the doors to our current studio, located at 1051 Railway Street and partially shared with Inglenook Studio, opened in January 2015.

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With a dedicated studio space came the opportunity for additional classes in tap and creative movement as well as hip hop workshops. 2015 also saw the return of dance to the Kenora District Festival of the Arts and the first performance opportunity for DWK students. We capped off the year with the first ever DanceWorks Kenora year-end recital on May 23, 2015.

The 2015-2016 year saw more classes, including hip hop, pointe, parent & tot, and pilates. In addition to the Kenora Festival of the Arts dance entries we also entered two solos in the Manitoba Dance Festival and finished off our year with our second Year-End Recital on May 28, 2016. In 2017 we offered our first DWK Performance Ensemble and had a small group of dancers attend their first conventions and competitions. Over the years we have brought in a number of guest teachers and have encouraged dancers to pursue extra training opportunities. In the Winter of 2021 we had our first groups of dancers complete ADAPT Jazz and Tap exams as well as Ballet Assessments based on Ms. Erin’s own syllabus.

DanceWorks Kenora looks forward to continuing to grow and expand our offerings; bringing more dance opportunities and education to the Kenora area.

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Erin McCuaig

Director & Lead Instructor

Erin grew up in Kenora and has studied dance for over twenty years. She has trained at a number of studios, including the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School in Winnipeg and Free House Dance in Calgary. Her training covers many styles including ballet, jazz, modern, lyrical, and tap.

After high school Erin attended Wilfrid Laurier University and graduated with her Bachelor of Business Administration. She then moved to Calgary for work before returning home to Kenora in 2014.

During her time at the RWB, she did ADAPT Jazz and Tap examinations and Cecchetti ballet exams. Erin was also a member of Ember Dance Company in Calgary in 2012/2013.

As the owner and lead instructor at DanceWorks Kenora, Erin now looks forward to sharing her love of dance with others in Kenora while continuing to enrich her skills as a dance teacher through workshops and education events.

Read about the other DanceWorks Kenora instructors on the “Instructors” page.

“Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance. Great dancers are great because of their passion.”
– Martha Graham