Q&A with Rowen McBride-Pilon, Creator of the Emerging Artist Intensive

Photo by Bloom Media

The Guelph Dance Festival is proud to present, for the first time, the Emerging Artist Intensive. Including five days of online workshops and informational classes, the intensive designed to help provide emerging dance artists with the skills and knowledge necessary to become a professional dance artist. Here’s what the creator of the intensive, Rowen McBride-Pilon, longtime Guelph dancer and emerging artist herself, had to say about the experience:

GD: What are you most excited about telling the audience about the intensive?

R: I am most excited to be bringing the Emerging Artist Intensive to the Guelph Dance Festival this year because I believe it is a great way to connect dance artists of all ages together. The intensive is designed to support emerging artists as they transition from school programs to emerging artists within the professional world. An intensive like this is yet to be done in such an accessible way and I am absolutely ecstatic that this is the year it will be happening!  

GD: Were there any surprising benefits to the process of bringing the intensive online?

R: Of course I would love to have the intensive take place in person however, having it be online has provided some incredible benefits. Dancers from all over Canada will be able to sign up and attend every workshop, whereas if the workshops were in person, we would be limited to those who are able to physically attend the intensive. This creates more opportunity for cross-Canada networking among artists which is incredibly exciting. We were also able to have intensive leaders from various countries teach at the intensive which would not have been possible without the online platform. Online access creates more opportunities to meet and network with new people that you otherwise would not have had the opportunity to meet. 

GD: What do you hope people will take away from the intensive?

R: I hope that people take the risk in participating in this intensive for the first time as we really believe in the benefits the intensive provides for emerging artists. We hope that those who participate take away the necessary tools and information they need to feel comfortable and excited about starting their dance careers. The more participants we get this year, the more we can expand the intensive to provide even more opportunities and support for emerging artists in the following years.


The intensive will be running virtually from May 31-June 4, 2021. Tickets are $255 which includes a full-access Festival Pass to all of the Guelph Dance Festival workshops, events, and performances. 

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