Manitoba Association of Dance Educators 

MTS PD Day Workshops

Royal Winnipeg Ballet, 380 Graham Avenue


8:30-9:00 Register and mingle
9:00-10:00 Option A: Mindfulness and Yoga with Robyn Thomas
Option B: Stretch and Strength with Sofia Costantini

10:00-10:15: Break

10:15-11:45 Keynote: Indigenous Dance in the Classroom
Presenter: Ray Coco Stevenson and members of Walking Wolf

11:45-12:55: AGM and Lunch

1:00-2:00 Option A: Swing Dance with Hepcat studio
Option B: Preparing High School Choreography for the Stage with Sofia Costantini and dancers from Vincent Massey Collegiate

2:00-2:15: Break

2:15-3:15 Option A: Hip Hop with Angel Advincula
Option B: Basic Choreographic Devices for Elementary Dance and Performance with Sarah Roche

3:15-3:30: Reflection

Workshop Summaries

Mindfulness and Yoga

This 60 minute workshop will provide participants with theory and principles behind Mindfulness, activities to help understand what it means to be Mindful, as well as tips and tools on how to incorporate Mindfulness into everyday curriculum for students.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the term ‘mindfulness’ and how it affects learning and living in everyday life
  • Understand sensory processing and regulation and how this affects mindfulness
  • How to incorporate mindfulness into regular curriculum activities and every learning environment

Robyn Thomas graduated in 2007 with a Masters in Occupational Therapy and also became certified as a Yoga Teacher. Over the last decade, Robyn’s therapy career has provided her with opportunity to work with people of all ages (newly-born to senior) with a variety of health conditions and needs. The bulk of her career has been two-fold: She has worked extensively with children in the community on functional skills that enable them to engage in the life they want to live. Many children have been on the Autism spectrum, others have had health conditions such as FASD, CP, prematurity, global developmental delay and learning disabilities leading largely to focus on development of life skills (dressing, eating, play, reading, writing, etc), sensory regulation, attention and social skills. She is certified with the Handwriting Without Tears Program and also trained in Trauma Informed theories linked with Sensory Processing as well as the Alert Program. Secondly, she has worked with adults whom have a variety of health conditions including MS, fibromyalgia, arthritis, vision loss, coordination and balance disorders, chronic pain and fatigue, and mental health issues through her specialized practice in Yoga Therapy. She is passionate about enabling people to pursue the occupations that will allow them to successfully complete the job of living a full and meaningful life. 

Stretch and Strength

This is a one-hour class focused on body awareness, core strength and stretching tips specific to dance, for all levels. The class is structured so that you can take elements useful for younger or older students. Clear modifications are given to adapt accordingly. A towel or mat are recommended.

Sofia Costantini
Over 30 years of experience, Sofia Costantini is the creator of the unique program “Empowerment through Dance”. This program will bring out the best in both teachers and students and educates individuals to reach beyond their perceived potential! She is known for her high intensity, insanely challenging dance classes.

She has been hired by Hollywood producers to choreograph dance works for television and film. You may have also seen her as a performer on screen in “The Toy Castle”, “Shall We Dance”, “Make It Happen”, “You Kill Me”, the officer in the MPI Commercial – “Brighter Future”, or her famous silhouette in the Manitoba Lotteries commercial.

Sofia adjudicates, choreographs, conducts dance seminars and appears as a master teacher all across Canada. She is committed to raising the bar in dance by working as a consultant for organizations to help nurture and improve quality standards and techniques.

As the former Jazz Department Head for the prestigious Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, she developed the jazz curriculum for the RWB Teacher’s Course, worked extensively with the school’s Aspirant Program and created choreography for the RWB Company.

“Ms. Sofia”, a dance educator at Tec Voc High School, leads Dance Tec Company, one of the leading, most innovative high school dance programs in the province of Manitoba. As a member of the 9-12 Dance Curriculum Development committee she continues to help implement and build the dance framework for a Provincial Education system.

Sofia pioneered the all-boys dance class at Sisler High School known as Sisler’s Most Wanted, which later evolved into a co-ed troupe that was featured by CBC National news and Winnipeg Women Magazine.

Her passion and love for the arts permeates through her teaching, and sets her apart as a role model for her students. Her goal is to always provide the most exhilarating atmosphere in which the talented can thrive!


A workshop to demonstrate traditional dances, give teachers an opportunity to learn dances as well as talk about approaches to teaching First Nations dances in schools.

Walking Wolf Dancers & Singers

Walking Wolf Dancers & Singers perform traditional Aboriginal dances, sharing with audiences the stories and meanings behind them. The group’s performances include hoop dancers, jingle dancers, friendship dancers, drummers and chanters to captivate the audience. The ancient Hoop Dance is a magical and captivating performance for audiences of all ages. Using up to 30 decorative hoops, the hoop dancer forms configurations representing stories of nature such as the butterfly, the eagle, the moon and the snake. 

Coming from a Cree and Ojibway background, Ray Stevenson, better known by his spirit name Walking Wolf, started Walking Wolf Dancers & Singers to educate and share his culture with others. The group lends their energy to promoting the cultural identity of Aboriginal Peoples and works to bridge the gap between ethnic communities by showcasing the amazing talents of their culture.

Swing – For all levels.

Hepcat Studio– Suneil was born and raised here in Winnipeg. In the fall of 2000 he started studying swing, ballroom and latin dancing. In 2001 he stared teaching for CMU and U of M Swing dance club. During following years, he introduced the original swing dance, Lindy Hop to Winnipeg, along with several other complementary dances such as the Swing Rueda, Balboa and Blues. During his many years of dancing, Suneil has specialized in teaching and performing in dances such as: the Lindy Hop, American Jive, East Coast, Charleston, Blues, Balboa, Swing Rueda, Dips, and Aerials.

Using his love of dancing, Suneil has traveled the world training with some of the best swing dancers in the world. Eric and Sylvia, Bill Borgida, Jenny and Ryan, Steven Mitchell and Virginie, Sylvia Sykes, Ben and Sherry, and Frankie Manning are just some of the talent he has trained with.

In his many years of dancing, Suneil has been given the opportunity to perform for various organizations such as the Manitoba Ballroom Teachers Association, Winnipeg Blue Bombers Halftime show, Dancing on the Boulevard, and the Swing Cats CD release party. He has also taught at Dancing under the Canopy, the Winnipeg Jazz Festival, University of Winnipeg, The Lid and Patricia’s Dance studio. Recently, he has traveled teaching workshops in places such as Bemidji, MN and Kenora, ON. In 2005 he started competing in various dance competitions such as the Ultimate Lindy Show Down, Midwest Lindy Fest, Plex, DuPlex, and XXXPlex, placing first in the Jack and Jill division at DuPlex, and second in the Jack and Jack division at XXXPlex.

In 2009, Suneil started his own dance company, Hepcat Studio located in the historical exchange district. Suneils’ focus has always been about fun!

Polishing for Stage

The main focus of this class is to take a choreographed piece and learn how to add performance elements like eye focus, texture, intention and projection…so that it is ready for the stage. Dance Students from Vincent Massey will be the guest performance group used to demonstrate these techniques.

Sofia Costantini– See above for bio.

Hip Hop

Angel’s class involve work on grooves, new school, mix combos, footwork, combinations of triple T’s, fluidity, sharp and explosive dynamics, finding trigger moments, making movements bigger and cleaner, arm and core drills, and meditation
For links to Angel’s work:

Angel Advincula – Angel has 10+ years of experience as a dance/choreographer. He is the owner of LIVE Dance Centre, the first ever Urban/HipHop studio in Winnipeg, MB. Angel is the director of L.I.V.E. Winnipeg’s traveling competitive group and representative at HipHop Internationals 2017 in Phoenix Arizona.

Basic Choreographic Devices for Elementary School Dance

This workshop will focus on basic choreographic choices that elementary teachers can use to help invigorate school performances, as well as dance concepts to practice in the classroom. Standing in one or two lines is not the only way to go! Learn some new ideas for making performances and classes more dynamic.

Sarah Roche  Sarah Roche is a full-time dance and music educator in Winnipeg School Division at Robertson Elementary School. She has an honours undergrad in dance and an education degree from Queen’s University. She trained and worked professionally as a contemporary dancer in Winnipeg for nine years before beginning to teach in schools full time. She has over ten years of experience teaching dance in classrooms connected to curricula, as well as many years of teaching creative dance, modern, jazz, ballet, musical theatre and improvisation. She has specialized training in brain-compatible dance education and creative dance. She is keenly interested in the importance of creative dance for young students and elements of creativity in dance for all ages. Sarah is a passionate advocate for dance in schools throughout Manitoba.

Registration and Fees

Register online here:

Workshop Fee: $65.00 includes membership to MADE
Admin: Free
Teacher Candidate: $25.00
Lunch: $10.00