Tara began her dance career with The National Ballet of Canada after graduating from the National Ballet School. She then danced for The Alberta Ballet and was a celebrated Principal dancer for Canada's Ballet Jorgen for 16 years. Bengt Jörgen created many lead roles in full length ballets for Tara including Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Anastasia, Coppelia, and The Nutcracker. She had the opportunity to guest perform internationally with The Hong Kong Ballet, The Ohio Ballet, Banff Festival Ballet and The Miami Hispanic International Ballet Festival. She has worked with many of Canada's most sought after choreographers including Gioconda Barbuto, Roberto Campanella, Allison Cummings, Robert Desrosiers, Robert Glumbek, Allen Kaeja, Karen Kaeja, Malgorzata Nowacka-May, Crystal Pite, Kathleen Rea, and Wen Wei Wang. Tara was featured in Michael Greyeyes short dance film 'Seven Seconds" and also featured in the award winning dance film 'Old Country' by Allen Kaeja. Since moving to Kitchener and having her second child, Tara has been teaching and coaching young dancers, choreographing, and performing as a freelance artists.
Over the course of the pandemic Tara created and presented a full evening of dance funded by The Region Of Waterloo Arts Fund which featured original work by David Earle, Allen Kaeja, and Nickeshia Garrick. These sold out performances of "Dance Takes Berlin" presented at The Registry Theatre November 5th and 6th 2021 were a huge success.
In partnership with Pat The Dog Theatre Creation Tara has launched a movement creation series aimed towards developing new ways of creation for all artists as well as demystifying dance and its creative process. Tara is an Associate Artist with Pat The Dog Theatre. She completed a successful creative residency with The Registry Theatre in July 2021 funded by Ontario Presents, and is thrilled to announce The Registry Theatre has invited Tara back for a second residency in July 2022 supported by The Region Of Waterloo Arts Fund.
Canada Council for The Arts, Ontario Arts Council, and The Region of Waterloo Arts Fund have funded "Resilience" which is Dust and Soul Dance Projects next evening of original dance for the Waterloo region.
Photo by Laura McBride
Aya found a love for dance at age five and started her training with the Alberta Ballet School in Edmonton. She later joined the professional programme with intensive focus on ballet, modern, jazz and pointe. She moved to the Edmonton School of Ballet for her graduating year where she danced many leads in their junior performing company. Upon graduating, Aya joined Ballet North and toured Alberta, B.C. and Russia. A year later, Aya moved to Jonquière, Quebec, where she started teaching ballet, pointe, variation and modern at L'École de Danse Le Prisme Culturel. In 1996 she joined Ballet Jörgen Canada as a soloist, where she stayed for the next twelve years, touring all over Canada and the United States and working with many of Canada's most sought after choreographers. Since 2008, Aya has been teaching mostly ballet and pointe at various studios. With her extensive professional stage experience, Aya excels at getting dancers to findfreedom in their movement in order to awaken their inner artistry, while maintaining a strong technical base.
Amanda is a passionate actor/dancer/singer rooted in Kitchener Waterloo. As a resident, she was actively involved in community theatre by sharing her expertise and energy with young people in schools and non-profit organizations. Amanda Damaren is a graduate of the Eastwood Collegiate Integrated Arts Program under the direction of Janis Price. She graduated with an Arts diploma majoring in Dance as well as an Ontario Secondary School Diploma. Eastwood Collegiate provided Amanda with a foundation for dance, theatre and vocal training as well as opportunities to perform lead roles such as Jan in the musical Grease, as well as dance along side professional modern companies including Ballet Jorgen, Toronto Dance Theatre and David Earle. Amanda recently lived in Vancouver BC where she graduated with her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at Simon Fraser University. Amanda is highly trained and has worked with numerous choreographers such as: Rob Kitsos, Judith Garay, Chengxin Wei, Megan Walker-Straight and Leslie Telford. Amanda has an extraordinary vision for improvisation, collaboration and creation.
Kate Kamo McHugh is a multidisciplinary theatre artist from Kitchener, Ontario. She is interested in artistically exploring concepts such as migration, belonging and the intersection of art and care. Recent highlights include an artist residency at the National Arts Centre, presenting a solo piece at IMPACT 21 Theatre Festival, and performing with Cosmic Fishing Theatre. In 2021 Kate was honoured to co-facilitate a movement based workshop for the Newcomer Youth Program in partnership with MT Space and the YMCA. Currently Kate is working on her show Twenty Grains of Rice: Seeds of Reclamation, an exploration of her Japanese Canadian identity - cultural loss, retention and creation. She holds a BFA from Toronto Metropolitan University in Theatre Performance Dance.
Michael has danced competitively for over a decade and loves all styles of dance – He has performed everything from jazz in a music video, to hip-hop at world championships, to taking the RAD solo seal exam. Currently I study Mathematics/Teaching at the University of Waterloo and compete as part of the UW Dance Company. Michael is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with and learn from professional dancers as he continues to pursue his dreams.
Marina Simonović is currently a third year at University of Waterloo studying mathematics with a major in financial analysis and risk management. She is an executive member and choreographer on the UW Dance Company competitive team, and is a teacher at Carousel Dance Centre, where she danced growing up. Marina has completed her RAD Advanced 2 Ballet exam, and has attended summer intensives across Canada and in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Marina is also a co-founder of Rhapsody Dance Project, a dance collective for young adult dancers in KW.
Bio coming soon
The mandate of DAS Dance Projects is to create and present professional dance performances for the Waterloo region. Our goal is to present exciting, original, and relevant dance performances as well as build a deeper understanding for the art of dance for our growing community. We are excited to be an integral part of the arts ecology here in Kitchener/ Waterloo.
An evening of original contemporary dance at The Registry Theatre.
Performance dates: June 16th and 17th 2023
Resilience features new work by award winning choreographers Aria Evans, Allison Cummings, Nickeshia Garrick and Karen Kaeja. This evening of dance has been generously supported by The Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and The Region of Waterloo Arts Fund. This evening of dance will celebrate these female presenting or identifying artists and their resilient and magical creations.
Stay tuned for more information and ticket sales for these upcoming performances as well as the opportunity to take part in movement workshops offered by these artists for our community.
Dance Takes Berlin
Dancers Preston McBain and Tara Butler
Movement Based Creation for Non-Dancers
This is an outreach series to educate and inspire our audiences. No dance experience is necessary. Participants will learn how dance is created and have the opportunity to create their own movement pieces. Our first movement workshop at The Registry Theatre in October 2021 was hugely successful. We are planning a 4 week session in spring 2022. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries
NEW DATES!!! April 23rd, 30th and May 7th, 15th.
Pre-Professional Choreographic Workshops
This series is meant to bridge the gap for dance students on the precipice of their professional career. Dancers will have the opportunity to be part of the creative process and work
with choreographers active in the field of dance. 3 day or 1 week session options. Please email email@example.com to book a workshop for your students. Stay tuned for new dates for open workshops 2022
Movement Based Professional Development
This is geared toward artists of any genres who are interested in widening their methods of creation. Through movement, participants will create personal work and develop new
skills to conjure creative flow in their own disciplines. This workshop series is run in partnership with Pat The Dog
Theatre Creation. Stay tuned for upcoming 2022 dates.
Das Dance Projects acknowledges that we are located on the Haldimand Tract, land promised to Six Nations, which includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. We are on the traditional territory of the Attawandaron (Neutral Confederacy), Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. We honour this land and the indigenous people who have lived on it and cared for it for thousands of years.
We love our patrons, so feel free to drop us a line.