Free Flow Dance Theatre Company 2019
Free Flow Board Members
- Joyce McBeth, Chair
- Janet French, Secretary
- Joan Goodman, Finance Chair
- Donna C Bretell
- Gina DiPaolo
- Clint Simpkins
- Sandy Bonny
Artistic Director, Choreographer, Instructor, General Manager.
Growing up in the small rural town Kincardine did not deter Jackie from discovering and cultivating her love of Dance and Art. From a young age, she showed the promise of a career in Dance or at least on Stage. Her wonderfully supportive parents Jack and Dorothy were the first ones to send out a supporting hand to push her in the right direction and they have been looking on in wonder ever since.
Jackie Latendresse is an alumnus of the University of Waterloo where she obtained her H.B.A. in Dance with a minor in Fine Arts. She founded the Free Flow Dance Company and its adjoining studio in 1995, in Kitchener Ontario. The Company relocated to Toronto in the winter of 1996 and has since found a home base in Saskatoon. Jackie has been choreographing and producing her own shows since 1993 when she presented her first full evening of dance works at Abstract Machines that Recognise Certain Languages.
Her work has since been presented all over Canada at many types of venues ranging from the traditional professional theatres to school auditoriums, parks, shopping malls, and night clubs. She believes in making modern dance accessible to everyone and enjoys putting dance into unconventional venues in the tradition of Post Modernist choreographers.
Jackie is an avid believer in arts literacy and is involved in Arts and Cultural Strategic Planning Committees. She wants to help deconstruct the belief that dance is for the cultural elite only. Jackie is an artist who strives to make her views known through dance and dramatic movement. She often discusses feminism and female issues in her choreography. She prefers to keep her statements abstract and open for interpretation so they remain on an equal level with the movement. She is known for her visceral and emotionally driven works which fit as well into the world of theatre as they do dance.
Jackie has great dreams and aspirations for the future of Free Flow. She looks upwards and thinks big. She strives to break boundaries and express her innermost feelings and ideals.
Laura began dancing at the age of 10 at Studio One. It instantly became her passion. She trained in a variety of styles and danced competitively until she was 18. After high school, she attained her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at the U of S, while continuing to dance with local groups. Since 2012, she has danced professionally in Singapore, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama and India. Laura has worked with many world-renowned choreographers and danced alongside huge Bollywood stars such as Salman Khan, Ranveer Singh, Akshay Kumar and Jacqueline Fernandez to name a few.
Taylor Zeller is an emerging dance artist and choreographer, who began her dance training in her hometown of Medicine Hat, Alberta. She is a graduate of the York University dance program specializing in choreography and performance. During her time at York she performed in several iterations of York Dances, Dance Innovations and Bloom. Zeller performed in an art installation for Nuit Blanche 2017 entitled The Forest, under the direction of Media Artist Will Kwan. In collaboration with York University film students, Zeller choreographed work in 2017 for two short films entitled Happiness Does Not Wait and Synergy. Zeller had the privilege of debuting her new choreographic work entitled Undiscovered in the York showcase entitled The Near Distance (2019). She was a member of the York Dance Ensemble for two years which gave her the opportunity to learn and collaborate with established artists including Susan Lee, Suzanne Liska, Darcey Callison, Lisa Brkich, Christine Brkich, Raine Kearns and Emilio Colalillo. Zeller is excited to continue her growth as a dance artist with Free Flow Dance Theatre Company.
Understudy and Apprentice
Alex began her journey in dance at The Saskatoon School of Ballet, taking ballet and Ukrainian classes as a child. Throughout her earlier years she also trained in jazz and lyrical ballet. She danced semi-professionally with Ukrainian company Pavlychenko Folklorique Ensemble in Saskatoon, touring to Eastern Canada, the United States, the Caribbean with Stars at Sea cruise lines, and to parts of Europe and Ukraine. Alex holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Saskatchewan (2011), where she grew a love for physical performance. She continued her performance training at the Globe Theatre Actor Conservatory, working with movers, dancers and artistic directors Johanna Bundon (Regina), Helen Walkley (Vancouver), Rebecca Harper (Montreal), Allyson McMackon (Theatre Rusticle, Toronto) and Candace Cox (Ontario) on techniques based in Limon, Grotowski, Laban, Bartenieff, and Alexander. Since then, Alex has worked as an actor, creator, director and choreographer in Saskatoon. This is Alex’s first foray into the world of modern dance, and she is delighted to be exploring it with Jackie and the girls at Free Flow.
Mitchell Larsen is a performer living in Saskatoon with his husband, Benjamin Johnson, and his roommate, Scott Read.
You may have seen him in The Gay Card, a dark dramady navigating the intricacies of modern dating; Santiago High Tech, a surrealist dive into a dystopic yet colourful future; The Inconquerable Faith of Gladys Struthers and Others, a madcap romance between two star-crossed talent show contestants; The Monument, a chilling attempt to move forward after atrocity; or Certain Times: a Mid-Apocalyptic Cabaret, the title says it all. You may also have seen him performing original music at The Last Sunday of the Month, Pride Mainstage, or any number of fundraisers around the city.
In addition to his work with Free Flow, Mitchell is excited to be working with Megan Zong on her piece, Unmasked, a personal journey through psychosis; Myriad Entertainment’s Crowsworld, an intricate alternate-history-based series; Howl, a collaborative multidisciplinary quest for the wild within us with Dancia Lorer and Ryan Bradshaw; and, at the time of writing this, many other exciting projects that have yet to be publicly released.
Kyle began dance by studying ballet with Judy Rule in Prince Albert at age 5, and continued with Backstage Dance (Rene Skeoch), where she broadened into jazz as well. Early artistic and rhythmic gymnastics training has influenced her dance. She began her Modern dance training at Fort Qu’appelle dance camp and it has continued all over: with Henri Knoppe in Johannesburg, Decidedly Jazz in Calgary, Connie Cook in Victoria, Jackie Latendresse in Saskatoon, and at ‘Naranjo’ studio en Monterrey Mexico (graham technique.) She co founded KSAMB dance company and enjoys hanging out and ‘jamming’ with Saskatoon’s Improv Dance Collective.
Rachel Saufert started dance at the age of 4 taking tap, jazz and ballet at Kristy’s Dance Fusion in Saskatoon. There she continued her dance training taking ADAPT tap and jazz exams along with her RAD ballet exams. Rachel trained in other dance styles such as lyrical, modern, contemporary and hip hop as she progressed as a dancer. She became competitive in these styles of dance and was competing until she was 19 years old. She also trained in Ukrainian dancing. Rachel was able to take a dance academy class that they offered at her high school. There she had the opportunity to learn many different styles of dance from different teachers. She joined the Free Flow Dance Theatre company in 2017.
Elise Pallagi is a spoken word poet and multi-disciplinary performance artist with a passion for dance. In addition to being a sought after performer, Elise is the current administrative assistant for Free Flow Dance Theatre Company. She is also actively involved in organizing as both a member of Tonight it’s Poetry and The Saskatoon Indigenous Poets Society and is dedicated to helping make the arts accessible to all.
Board of Directors
Joyce McBeth, Chair
Joyce has been taking modern dance with Jackie since 2015 and participated in Free Flow Dance Theatre’s 20th-anniversary celebrations as a member of the chorus for the piece System Override. She has served on the Free Flow board of directors since 2016. Prior to studying modern with Jackie, Joyce took highland dance for three years in Vancouver in the late 90s (peaking with her silver medal test for sword dance!). Aside from dance, Joyce spends her days preoccupied with rock-related matters and teaching.
Janet French, Secretary
Janet is a provincial affairs reporter at CBC Edmonton, where she keeps a close eye on Alberta politics. Originally from Edmonton, with stints in Halifax, Toronto, and Vancouver, Janet spent 11 years in Saskatoon, where she reported for The StarPhoenix and took classes at the Free Flow Dance Centre. Janet began dancing at age 4 when she started ballet lessons and sported an unforgettable poodle costume. This led to decades of traditional and contemporary dance classes. Her foray into journalism began more than 20 years ago when a classmate asked her to write a review of a dance show for the Dalhousie Gazette. She’s proud to support a local arts organization that’s full of creative surprises and makes contemporary dance accessible to so many folks.
Joan Goodman, Finance Chair
Joan’s love of dance and music came from her roots, she began studying Middle Eastern Dance with Dancegypt Dance Company in the winter of 1998 and was performing with the troupe by 2000. She plans to continue dancing for as long as her body lets her! She is also a signed model with a local talent agency and loves to act. To keep food on the table and a roof over her head, she works as an Executive Assistant. She has a diploma in Office Administration through SAIT and is a Commissioner for Oaths and Marriage Commissioner for Saskatchewan. She is a firm believer in global citizenship and volunteers extensively in Saskatoon’s diverse communities.”
Donna C Bretell
Donna began her love of dance with ballet and tap lessons at the age of four, followed by classes in highland, jazz, belly and ballroom. In addition to dance she enjoyed a wide variety of activities including university studies. She earned a BA Honours in Psychology and a Master of Education in Educational Psychology. Prior to retirement Donna worked at the University of Saskatchewan in an administrative position which included working with students, program design, numerous other responsibilities, with a few evenings a week spent as a therapist providing personal and couples counselling with a community agency. Retirement, after thirty years of employment with the U of S has not diminished her love of dance and she remains active in the community both in learning new styles of dance and as a member of the Free Flow Board of Directors.
A strong foundation in ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern dance and contact improvisation. Gina has studied, worked and performed with world renowned teachers such as Linda Rubin in modern dance and various middle eastern dancers including Ahmed Fekry, Jalilah, Yousry and Nourhan Sherif, Aziza, Mahmood Reda, Aida Nour and many more too numerous to mention. Gina has travelled to Egypt on two occasions to attend the Nile Group Festival, attending workshops and gala shows and even performing with the Egyptian star Lucy! That’s an interesting story! Gina’s passion for dance flows with love and joy in classes, performances, workshops and shows!
Clint is a Carpenter and along with his wife Gloria they have been acquaintances and supporters of Jackie and the Free-Flow Dance Company for a number of years: helping out with personal transport when able, being patrons for numerous events and performances, as well as building sets and providing carpentry/woodworking services for Jackie and the troupe. Clint and Gloria are participants in social dancing (ballroom) and are patrons of the arts: symphony, dance, live Theatre, plus modern/historical artworks. Clint is a past director/ lifetime member of the Bergheim Community Association and a member/ past president of the Saskatoon Millennium Lions Club.
Sandy Marie Bonny is a literary and visual artist with an academic background in the geological sciences. While she has never been involved in dance herself, she is a fan of the performing arts, and proud parent to an eleven-year-old dancer. A long time Treaty 6 and Caswell Hill resident, Sandy is excited by opportunities for community-engaged performance to communicate across barriers of language and culture in our journey toward reconciliation in the arts.