Session D (Sun. AM) 10:00 am – 11:15 am

D1  Hip-Hop Shakespeare


Devon Glover is a teacher, poet, rapper, from Brooklyn New York. He performs Shakespeare’s Sonnets in a dynamic way through Hip-Hop in schools, universities, and theaters to young audiences nationally and abroad.  As The Sonnet Man, Devon has appeared on The Today Show, MSNBC, BBC, and Shakespeare Festivals throughout the world, including Oregon, Stratford, Ontario, and Stratford-upon-Avon.  The release of his debut video “Hip-Hop Hamlet” was selected for the Shakespeare Short Film Festival in Stratford-upon-Avon.  In April 2016,  Devon went on a SonnetMarathon tour through the US, UK, and Morocco—where he rapped all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets in succession on April 24th. For more information, visit

PARTICIPANTS will be introduced to Shakespeare’s sonnets in a modern innovative way: through hip-hop. We will study the structure and make up of a Shakespearean sonnet: their components, values, and meaning, as well as write our own. The workshop will conclude with a presentation by the participants.

Best Panel/s: Secondary Drama

D2  Drama and Dance through the Aga Khan Museum


Katy Whitfield is an award-winning history teacher, innovative curriculum designer and writer and a dynamic workshop leader. In 2015, she won the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian history for her “Historical Thinking Missions Project” which engages students in doing historical and inquiry fieldwork and commemoration design on Toronto’s St. John’s Ward. She co-wrote CODE’s inquiry resource “Curating your life” (2016) which engages drama students in doing inquiry with historical documents and objects. She is a co-writer of the “Every Objects Tells a Story” (2017) Secondary Drama unit for the CODE-Aga Khan Museum project. Katy currently teaches drama, history and French at Northview Heights Secondary School in the Toronto District School Board.


Roopa Cheema has been an educator in the Toronto District School Board for 10 years. She holds a BFA in Dance from York University and a MEd in Social Justice Education from the University of Toronto, focusing on anti-racism and anti-colonialism. She was awarded the William Waters Scholarship in Urban Education. Roopa conducts anti-oppression workshops at the University of Toronto for teacher candidates. Roopa’s passion and drive comes from doing her part to dismantle oppressive social systems, in and out of the classroom.

Katy Whitfield:  will model and engage participants in doing activities using self-, guided- and independent-inquiry frameworks in the secondary dramatic arts classroom using historical objects found in the Aga Khan Museum collection. Participants will explore the process of designing and curating a museum exhibit of historical objects, explore interactions and interrelationships found in mosaics used in Islamic art and architecture and will create a dance cipher working with shapes using embodied inquiry. Finally, considering multiple perspectives, participants will learn how to design a collective creation which explores and tells the origin and journey stories of historic objects found in the Aga Khan Museum collection. 

Secondary Drama


Roopa Cheema:  Learn about Islamic art and culture using artifacts at the Aga Khan Museum as inspiration. Through a lens of social justice, Roopa Cheema (and Sheliza Jamal) explored the museum to create dance curriculum in an effort to share Islamic knowledge, art, and culture with the hopes such curriculum might combat Islamophobia.

Secondary Dance


Best Panel/s: Secondary Drama / Secondary Drama

D3  Claiming Our Poetic Voices


Larry Swartz has been an educator for 4 decades. He has taught in the Peel District SB and in the teacher education and AQ programs at OISE.  He is the author of the book Dramathemes (4th edition)

THIS session will highlight practical strategies to work inside and outside poetry. Poems centred on identity and culture will be used to dramatize, perform write and respond to poetic texts. Handout provided.

Best Panel/s: Elementary Drama

D4 Dancing towards meaningful acts of Reconciliation


Carmelina Martin’s teaching career spans over two decades in the Peel District School Board in Ontario. Involved in a variety of provincial, national and international projects; including shaping policy for dance, curriculum writing and reviewing, writing and implementing in-service teacher education programs in dance with York University, a presenter at UNESCO on Arts and Learning and the daCi conference in Taiwan, a panelist and founding member for the National Roundtable for Teacher Education in the Arts, founder and director of Pulse Ontario Youth Dance Conference and a recipient of the Ontario Premier Teacher of the Year Award in 2011.

Carmelina has continued as chair of the Pulse committee and has extended the scope of the project to include conferences in other jurisdictions in Ontario such as North Bay and Ottawa, the development of a Professional Learning Symposium for dance educators called Free Flow and the most recent development to include Pulse Outreach Initiatives branch with a project to take place in Thunder Bay, Ontario this coming fall 2017 and spring 2018.

Her most recent activities also include being seconded to the Ontario College of Teachers as a Program Officer in the Accreditation unit which reviews and accredits Pre-Service Teacher Education programs in the province.

HOW do we begin to animate some of the calls of action presented in the Truth and Reconciliation report and what is our role as dance educators to explore current and historical truths and design dance composition processes for students that acknowledges, commemorates, and moves us towards meaningful acts of reconciliation? Beginning with a visual art provocation, we will explore a variety of compositional strategies to unpack and embody the issues through dance making. The workshop will be followed by a short discussion on how to inform your processes by involving Knowledge holders as critical friends, allies, mentors, and advisors when working with Indigenous issues.


Best Panel/s: Elementary/Secondary Dance  J/I/S

D5  A Record of your Students’ Voices


TIFF is dedicated to presenting the best of international and Canadian cinema to film lovers. What began as the Festival of Festivals over 40 years ago, has become the world’s most important publicly attended film festival and grown to embrace programming 365 days a year.  As a premier cultural institution TIFF offers screenings, lectures, discussions, festivals, workshops, industry support and the chance to meet filmmakers from Canada and around the world.

THIS session will help you as educators and artist to film live dance and drama pieces performed in your classroom, on your stages or in site specific locations.  Using techniques and cameras and phones available to you, get first hand knowledge of how you can capture student creations in your spaces so they can document their own learning and you can record the work.

Best Panel/s:

Contact Us

Conference Co-Chairs
Cameron Ferguson
Liz Burnip

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