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Liam Ellington : thoughts into dance


With interpreters Carly Psutka, Shaelynn Loobbezoo, Maggie Lucas, Lindsay McBride

Liam Ellington


  • to create a 3-5 minute set dance

Began with:

  • 10 seconds of material for a trio

  • a narrative titled “3 Huntresses”

  • a clear vision of the stage setting

  • self-knowledge that he was just beginning learn about how to choreograph


  • desired to realize a narrative (huntresses and acolyte, initiation)

  • wanted to create a ceremony/ritual within the dance

  • wanted to learn from more experienced creators

Mentors’ Questions that guided the work:

  • How is the movement decided upon: do you dance and demonstrate, do you give instructions to the dancers to interpret with their own movement?

  • Are your instructions to yourself or to the dancers

  • functional (e.g stretch right leg, spiral to ground, pleading)?

  • task-based? (e.g walk in diagonals for 2 minutes-stop 3 times)?

  • sensation-based(your skin is burning)?

  • image-based?

Development/skill building

  • Improved his way of giving direction to be more precise.

  • Built 6 minutes of dance material.

  • Increased understanding of how to physicalize character from set movement.

Challenges (general/for choreographer/for dancers/for group)

  • to know the basic elements of the choreography well enough at its most basic levels.

  • to learn how to see the most basic aspects of the choreography.

  • to learn to distinguish what is essential in the movement in order to express your idea and thought.


  • Dancers respond better to direct clear instructions.

To practice:

  • Observing dances (can be on film/video) from single basic choreographic perspectives such as floor patterns, when dancers are close/far apart from each other, when is it fast/ when is it slow.

  • Internally process thoughts and ideas, distill them, then speak them out loud.


WILLIAM (LIAM) ELLINGTON: (2017) Originally from Jamaica, William Ellington immigrated to Canada in 2009 at the age of 16. Shortly after moving he discovered his passion for dance and began his pursuit as a dancer under the guidance of his first teacher, Marie Ann Longlade. He draws influence from people and dancers past and present. He is in his final year of a BFA in Dance at York University, where he has studied with Tracey Norman, Helen Jones and Susan Lee, as well as colleagues from the York University BFA program including, Grace Smith and Shaelynn Lobbezoo.

LINDSAY MCBRIDE: from Stouffville, Ontario, trained in ballet, tap, modern, lyrical, contemporary, musical theatre, hip hop and Irish dancing. Lindsay is in the 2016-2017 York University Dance Ensemble. In 2016 she performed in the York Dance Students Associations choreographers showcase “Bloom” and “The ODD Okward Sirkus” at the 2016 Culture shock showcase in Ottawa with the hop hop company Dark Dance Company.

CARLY PSUTKA from Waterloo Ontario. certifications in Ballet RAD and ISTD Modern Theatre Associate. She has worked and performed with Dancemakers, Toronto, and is currently studying at York University.

SHAELYNN LOBBEZOO, from Port Colborne, Ontario, is in her fifth year of the Specialized Honors BFA with the National Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program and York University. She competed and performed with Dance Expression Inc. for 14 years. and has Associate Membership with the CDTA ballet division. At York she has studied under Carol Anderson, Michael Greyeyes, Susan Lee, and Michelle Sillagy. She has been a part of the York dance Ensemble in their 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 seasons and performed her original work “Nyctus” along with the works of other peers the 2017 show “Bloom”.

MAGGIE LUCAS, from Ottawa, Ontario, is a 2nd year dance major in the choreography and performance stream at York University. She has extensive training in both ballet and contemporary and continues to develop her technique in these forms. In the near future she hopes to grow as a performer/ choreographer in the Toronto dance community.

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