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Renowned dancer visits Orillia, inspires local students

Emily Law's visit launches Huronia Cultural Campus's artist in residency program; 'I enjoyed the whole creative aspect of it,' says student

Huronia Cultural Campus (HCC)  brought contemporary street dancer and choreographer Emily Law to Orillia this week for a dance residency, marking the 2019 launch of its Artist in Residence programming.

Law made the Sunshine City home for the week of Jan. 7 to Jan. 11.

“It’s such a beautiful space,” said the Toronto-based dancer talking about the Orillia Opera House, where she is working on a solo with fellow artist Julia Male.

The residency is being made possible by an Ontario Arts Council grant, which the HCC received last year. As part of this programming, each artist in residence will not only produce work while in Orillia, but also give workshops at local venues and schools.

Law gave a dance workshop Wednesday at Twin Lakes Secondary School.

“I enjoyed the whole creative aspect of it,” said Alexa Thompson, who was among the Grade 9 and 10 drama class students who spent time learning a house dance (freestyle dance) routine from Law. “She described how this dance came together. It was really cool to see how different cultures came together to make this dance.”

The 15-year-old said she is not an aspiring dancer, but the lessons she learned  can be incorporated in her drama performance, too. “I’m really grateful they (HCC) brought this to us,” said Thompson.

Law, who has taught many workshops before, said she was delighted to have the opportunity to share her passion with students in Orillia.

She said her approach to teaching is to educate students about the history of a dance, teach them some moves in a routine and encourage them to make it their own.

“The kids were really engaged and they totally jumped in and tried tricky things,” she said. “They really progressed from the beginning till the end.”

Law graduated from the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and The Etobicoke School of the Arts. She has trained and competed in house dancing and waacking.

Law is also a founding member of Mix Mix Dance Collective, the Toronto house dance crew Warehouse Jacks and Parks ‘N’ Wreck. She has performed across Canada and around the world. She has also been nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore award and a Gemini. Her work has also been showcased in several dance festivals.

Law is currently completing a BSc in Psychology with a focus on cypher mentality and gender.

For more information on upcoming HCC programming, visit or follow the non-profit on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

The Huronia Cultural Campus is a not-for-profit organization, which began its activities in 2015 in Orillia and area and is committed to and firmly believes in providing Orillia and area with experiences in contemporary arts.