Guest Artist for May 12th 2018, the fabulous Olivia Shaffer.
Olivia was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. Soon after learning to walk she was running, skipping and dancing, so her parents enrolled her in creative movement classes. At the age of 7 she began Cecchetti Ballet at Pacific Ballet Theatre School. Her teacher was strict and there were occasional tears on the drive to ballet class, but over the 10 years of training Olivia became devoted to dance. It was only in her final year of high school that she began studying Modern Dance. She loved it so much that she enrolled in the dance program at Simon Fraser University’s School for Contemporary Arts. Olivia completed the 4 year degree in 2009; she holds a Bachelors in Fine Arts and a Certificate in Liberal Arts.
Olivia has also had the privilege to train and pursue dance projects outside of North America. In 2007 she travelled to Ghana to study West African dance, music and history. In 2010 she travelled to Israel to take part in a 5-month apprenticeship with Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company. In 2011 and 2012, she spent a significant time exploring dance in England, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Ukraine, and Turkey.
Olivia currently resides in Vancouver and works as a freelance dance artist and teacher. She is a proficient improviser having trained with renown Contact Improvisation (CI) master Peter Bingham since 2011, and dancing with his company EDAM Dance since 2014. She also interprets the work of several other dance companies such as Starr Muranko/Raven Spirit Dance, Daelik & Delia/MACHiNENOiSY and Alvin Tolentino/Co.Erasga, with whom she will embark on a regional tour this coming Spring. In addition to her CI training, Olivia pursues ongoing studies with local, “somatic guru” Helen Walkley in dance improvisation, Developmental Movement Patterning and Laban Movement Analysis. Olivia, herself teaches CI, contemporary dance, and Pilates Matwork.