Workshops featured image


Explore dance styles of the AFRO DIASPORA and give space to inspiration, joy and creativity!

YENSA Festival, in partnership with the Performance at the Creative School, Toronto Metropolitan University, invites you to participate in a series of dance workshops that feature six remarkable black women who use their voice to advocate for representation and change.

→YENSA Festival wants to ensure the workshops and/or shows are accessible to ALL. 
Email if the fees are not within your means.

Saturday aug 13

Afro-Caribbean with Tamla Matthews
2:30 pm – 4pm

Explore Caribbean traditional and contemporary dance in a fun, high energy, creative, inclusive and educational way. Participants will be provided with traditional skirts and sashes and invited to explore the history, context characteristics, and movements patterns that accompany working with skirts in Caribbean dance.
A perfect workshop for lovers of dance, movement, expression, people interested in learning a new movement vocabulary or an opportunity to engage in a cultural cardio!

Movement and Intention with Esie Mensah
4:30pm – 6pm

Through this exploratory workshop, Esie will guide participants to understand how to imbue depth and intention to movement vocabulary to tell a story. Diving deeper with dancers to analyze “their why”. As a community this allows us to be critical by interrogating the intention of how we move and how it can help serve the storytelling. Transforming the rhetoric of how intentional movement can support the process. Utilizing decolonial approaches, Esie wants to challenge how we create. Expanding an artists’ mind which will allow them to be present and active throughout the process.
All levels are welcome!


Dancehall with Tasha ‘Tazz’ Ricketts
2:30 pm – 4pm

Tazz accredits her choreographic style to the dancehall culture from her birthplace, the beautiful island of Jamaica. Her insight on the music and culture is what fuels her passion for dance.
Experience the culture of Jamaica with Tazz’s unique style. 

Hip Hop with Shameka Blake
4:30pm – 6pm

Explore movement based in street dance styles, focusing on textures, rhythm and intention! Shameka’s dance vocabulary features a fusion of organic movements and choreography, incorporating various dance genres such as contemporary, Afro-Fusion, Caribbean and street dance.
Be ready to express yourself without limits!


An exploration of carnival systems with Jaz ‘Fairy J’ Simone
2:30 pm – 4pm

The ancestors who practiced Carnival used their art, music, dance, comedy, theatricality, spirituality, wisdom and intuition to fuel and refuel the energy they needed to survive and push through. Drawing inspiration from Caribbean Carnival traditions, Jaz will guide you through repetition (riddim/movement/sounding) to absorb our individual, communal and ancestral healing energy.

Traditional Haitian with Aïka Mathelier of Ekspresyon
4:30pm – 6pm

(Re)discover and/or deepen your knowledge of Haitian culture through its dance, its rhythms, and cultural codes. This workshop centers around one to three rhythms, basic footwork and arm placements. Movements from urban dances, afro-contemporary, modern techniques are also incorporated.


2:30 pm – 4pm

Lua Shayenne and Collette ‘Miss Coco’ Murray will share traditional dances from Guinea, West Africa. Experience this beautiful culture and its healing power accompanied by live drums.

This workshop will be followed by our ATSIA CIRCLE