Dance Committee

Amanda Hancox, Chair is the Executive Director of the Dancer Transition Resource Centre (DTRC). She is a graduate of the Arts Educational School in England and began her dance career as a member of Les Feux Follets, touring Canada, the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Amanda worked extensively for 25 years as a dancer and an actress in theatre, film and television, and is a member of both ACTRA and the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association. Amanda joined the DTRC in 2002 as Director of Administration, a position she held until her appointment as Executive Director in January 2006. She is an executive member of International Organization for the Transition of Professional Dancers (IOTPD), and Chair of the Dance Media Group (The Dance Current). Amanda has served as a juror for Canada Council for the Arts, and for the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Signature Awards in 2015. 

Ilter Ibrahimof has been the Executive Director of Sunny Artist Management (SAM) since founding the agency in New York City in 2004.  Born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey, Ilter moved to Boston to study at Emerson College and graduated in 2001 with a B.A. in Theater Studies with a focus in dance. Moving to New York, he worked with World Arts Inc. from 2001 to 2004 before starting his own company. Ilter’s next move was the relocation of his agency to Canada, basing himself in Montreal (2008 to 2015) and now in Toronto (2015 onward).

Ilter has remained active in his capacity as the Director of SAM while it has evolved from a singular focus on artist representation into a multi-faceted boutique dance agency. Ilter and the agency started and continue to work in representation and touring for select international dance companies. Ilter stepped into a new role in 2012 when co-founded a joint production partnership (Joyce Theater Productions) between SAM and The Joyce Theater in New York City to commission, produce and tour original work.

In a further evolution, Ilter has found himself taking on more curatorial roles, including as an Artistic Advisor for the Fall for Dance Festival at New York City Center in 2013 & 2014 and as the curator of the biannual OFF the EDGE festival at the Rialto Center in Atlanta in 2014 & 2016 & upcoming edition in 2019. Most recently, Ilter co-founded and serves as the Artistic Director of the Canadian edition of the Fall for Dance festival (Fall for Dance North – FFDN) at the Sony Centre in Toronto. FFDN enjoyed four extremely well-received seasons in 2015-18 and Ilter is actively working on building on that success and momentum for the 5th anniversary edition from October 1-6, 2019. 

Lilia Leon is a Mexican-Canadian performing artist with Mestizo heritage, whose artistic practice is deeply connected to her experience as a Latin American immigrant, living in Canada for over a decade. She has collaborated with a number of Indigenous, Canadian and Latin American artists as a performer, arts educator and choreographer in both dance and theatre. As an arts educator, Lilia’s pedagogy is rooted in empowerment and social justice. She enjoys working in multi-disciplinary and community-engaged projects involving participants of a wide range of ages, cultural backgrounds and abilities. As a choreographer she is drawn to themes of identity, home and ancestry. She holds a BA Degree in Dance from York University (2004), and is a graduate of the Professional Training Program at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre (2007). Lilia’s artistic practice is deeply influenced by her work in community- engaged arts. She has developed a strong relationship with Jumblies Theatre, and The Community Arts Guild, participating in several projects and productions since 2011. She has taught for different theatre companies and grass- roots organizations including: ExpressARTE 2012 program for Pan-American youth and for Aluna Theatre’s Young Panamerican Vo(i)ces. She has been a core dance teacher with Kaeja d’ Dance since 2009, teaching their successful EXPRESS DANCE method to hundreds of children from JK to grade 12, as well as the Kaeja partnering technique KAEJA ELEVATIONS.

Esie Mensah is someone whose work – every performance, project, and partnership – embodies the multifaceted artist, her creative footprint is everywhere. As a dancer, choreographer, and movement director, Esie brings her mastery in storytelling to audiences as diverse as her experience. From working with megastars like Rihanna, Drake and Arcade Fire, to historied brands of Coca Cola, Luminato, TIFF, Shaw Festival and 98.1 CHFI (to name a few), Esie Mensah’s creations shows no sign of limits or slowing down.

For her own work, Esie has committed to using Afrofusion to explore more personal narratives of her Ghanaian heritage, blackness, and belonging, and has created works ZAYO and the Dora Award-nominated Shades, a piece that uncovers the process of healing from shadeism in the Black community. 

Ariana Shaw is an arts administrator, working within the Programming department at TO Live (formerly Civic Theatres Toronto), the amalgamation of the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts, and the Toronto Centre for the Arts. Ariana is responsible for the ongoing coordination of a wide variety of risk programming events for TO Live, including dance performances, concert series, theatre pieces, and circus programs. This incorporates researching and constructing performance budgets, assembling contracts and facilitating their execution, as well the creation and maintenance of logistics and company management. She is a graduate from the Arts Administration and Cultural Management program at Humber College. Her previous arts management experience also includes working with Fall For Dance North, and Willis Sweete Productions (now Artemis Pictures). Her journey to a career in programming and arts administration has included a career in aerial circus arts. She has performed and toured across North America, choreographed multiple acts, and directed various productions. From a coaching and teaching perspective, she has received the Instructor Certificate from the École Nationale de Cirque in Montreal and has taught across the Greater Toronto Area and internationally. She has taught various classes to adults and youths at the recreational, preparatory, and professional level - including being an Aerial & Acrobatic Instructor for the Norwegian Cruise Lines entertainment production team as well as leading aerial arts intensive workshops for performing arts professionals. Concurrently and in addition to her job at TO Live, Ariana teaches classes in advanced aerial arts. 

Jera Wolfe. Born in Toronto, Canada, Jera Wolfe is a choreographer and performer of Métis heritage and is an Associate Artist with Red Sky Performance. Mr. Wolfe’s captivating choreography has awarded him the 2019 Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Original Choreography for Trace by Red Sky Performance. He has demonstrated an impressive repertoire of works presented by Canadian Stage, Fall For Dance North, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Festival des arts de Saint-Sauveur, Danse Danse and Jacob's Pillow. His recent works include Bare choreographed at Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Arise for Canada's National Ballet School, Embers for Canadian Contemporary Dance Theatre and Reliance for Ryerson University’s School of Performance.The official Canadian choreographer for Canada’s National Ballet School’s Sharing Dance Day 2020, Mr. Wolfe was also the Ontario Ambassador for International Dance Day 2020. Aside from choreography, he performs primarily for Red Sky Performance and has also performed with many other companies including Peggy Baker Dance Projects. Mr. Wolfe graduated from Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and since 2016 has returned to the company to create new works each year.