On Mental Health and Movement
Whether looking at the science behind movement, such as increases in dopamine levels, or using movement to express personal narratives and heal inherent trauma, the mutually beneficial relationship between mental health and movement is undeniable.
Join us for a panel discussion where we will investigate the intersections of mental health and dance through the lens of art, creativity and science.
Shawn Bracke is a versatile dancer, choreographer and visual artist, creating movement for stage, film and television. His work is story-based and aims to inspire audiences to think critically and feel deeply.
His aesthetic stems from his strong technical training and a professional career that immersed in the commercial and concert dance worlds. His extensive training in Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip-hop and Vernacular styles have been integral to his unique movement. Shawn draws from experience with improvisational acting techniques to create a heightened emotional state with his work.
Having spent time living in, London UK, Milan, Vancouver and now in Toronto, Canada. Shawn has gained credits working with major brands.
Esie Mensah is 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.
Recently Esie and Black Stars Collective were amongst the Canadian Contingency who performed at Panafest 2019, a Ghanaian festival that honors the mass tragedy of the transatlantic slave trade.
Jocelyn Lai is a consulting pediatric physiotherapist, dancer and former figure skater and actor.
In her physiotherapist role for the school board, she collaborates and consults with occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, psychologists, social workers, child and youth workers, behaviour therapists, teachers, school staff, and treatment centres, to promote safe access, maximal integration, and participation for students with special needs with various conditions such cerebral palsy, developmental delay/disabilities, amongst other conditions with various fine and gross motor and sensory challenges. Jocelyn has previously worked with an orthopaedic, oncological, and pelvic health population, and she continues to incorporate her experiences from these practices within her day to day. Professionally, she strives to naturally incorporate concepts of attunement, co-regulation, connection, and the poly-vagal theory within the medical model of westernized practices to bring forth a deeper compassion, understanding, and respect within her consultation.
In her spare time, you can find her travelling the world (during non-Covid times), outdoors either cycling or paddle boarding and always on an ever-long quest to find the next best tacos.