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Meet The Artist: Zoë

Meet Zoë, the contemporary dancer and model from Little Jamaica, Toronto who spoke to Bench to talk everything art.  

Meet Zoë, the contemporary dancer and model from Little Jamaica, Toronto who spoke to Bench to talk everything art.  

Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and where you're from?

A: Hi I'm Zoë, I'm 25 and I'm a model and dancer based here in Toronto, Ontario. I grew up here in Toronto, I was raised in little Jamaica and then eventually moved to Jane and Weston and I just really love my community and neighborhood.

Q: What drew you to the art of dance, what made you want to become a dancer?

A: That’s a hard question, I don't think I can pinpoint what exactly or why, I can't exactly pinpoint what made me want to be a dancer, I can just tell you that I've always enjoyed it and I've always had a love for it and at this point, I can't see myself doing anything else.

Q: How did you start dancing?

A: Yeah, so I got into dancing really just on a whim, I think my mom had taken me to a performance of The Nutcracker when I was like 18 months and I think that just sat with me and then by the time I was like 5 I started nagging her about putting me in dance classes and I've just been dancing ever since.

Q: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and where you're from?

A: Hi I'm Zoë, I'm 25 and I'm a model and dancer based here in Toronto, Ontario. I grew up here in Toronto, I was raised in little Jamaica and then eventually moved to Jane and Weston and I just really love my community and neighborhood.

Q: What drew you to the art of dance, what made you want to become a dancer?

A: That’s a hard question, I don't think I can pinpoint what exactly or why, I can't exactly pinpoint what made me want to be a dancer, I can just tell you that I've always enjoyed it and I've always had a love for it and at this point, I can't see myself doing anything else.

Q: How did you start dancing?

A: Yeah, so I got into dancing really just on a whim, I think my mom had taken me to a performance of The Nutcracker when I was like 18 months and I think that just sat with me and then by the time I was like 5 I started nagging her about putting me in dance classes and I've just been dancing ever since.

Q: What type of dancer would you say you are?

A: I’m primarily a contemporary dancer who can get down, I have a hip-hop background as well and I’m always trying to expand on my craft, so you know, I’ve taken a few Samba classes and I'm trying to get more into Afro. It’s important to always be training and continuing on the thing that you love.



Q: Most memorable performance of yours?

A: There's a few, I think my most beloved performance would have to be of this performance called Earth. It was at the Toronto Center for the Arts, and the first half of it was a solo and it was just a very vulnerable moment for me both as a dancer and a performer.



Q: How do you collaborate with your community in your city?

A: Yeah, so living in Toronto has been a really great experience thus far, the dance community is quite small, everybody knows each other for the most part and so there’s a lot of opportunity to collaborate and you know, explore different genres of dance within different mediums of dance because everybody does so many different styles and genres so it's a lot of mixing.

Q: What type of dancer would you say you are?

A: I’m primarily a contemporary dancer who can get down, I have a hip-hop background as well and I’m always trying to expand on my craft, so you know, I’ve taken a few Samba classes and I'm trying to get more into Afro. It’s important to always be training and continuing on the thing that you love.



Q: Most memorable performance of yours?

A: There's a few, I think my most beloved performance would have to be of this performance called Earth. It was at the Toronto Center for the Arts, and the first half of it was a solo and it was just a very vulnerable moment for me both as a dancer and a performer.



Q: How do you collaborate with your community in your city?

A: Yeah, so living in Toronto has been a really great experience thus far, the dance community is quite small, everybody knows each other for the most part and so there’s a lot of opportunity to collaborate and you know, explore different genres of dance within different mediums of dance because everybody does so many different styles and genres so it's a lot of mixing.

"I wanted to find a way to give back to my community, so the way I loved my hood was that I set up a dance fundraiser where I raised funds through this virtual showcase to give back."

"I wanted to find a way to give back to my community, so the way I loved my hood was that I set up a dance fundraiser where I raised funds through this virtual showcase to give back."

Q: Can you tell us what LoveMyHood means to you?

A: Yeah, so for me - you know last summer was very traumatic, and there were lots of different things going on within the city and around the world and I wanted to find a way to give back to my community, so the way I loved my hood was that I set up a dance fundraiser where I raised funds through this virtual showcase to give back to two initiatives: Native Child and Family Services Toronto and a black business grant set up to help businesses in Little Jamaica. So that was me just trying to use my craft in the best way I knew how through dance and raising money and redistributing the funds to those who need it.

Q: Tell us about any upcoming projects!

A: So in terms of up-and-coming projects, I got to be a part of a Disney movie called Sneakerella last year that will be coming out either at the end of this year or next year. Then on my own personal side, I am collaborating with a great dancer and videographer to create a short dance filmed inspired by the film: If Beale Street Could Talk by Barry Jenkins. So that’s in the editing process right now and it's a great passion project of mine that I'm really looking forward to sharing with you guys!

Q: Can you tell us what LoveMyHood means to you?

A: Yeah, so for me - you know last summer was very traumatic, and there were lots of different things going on within the city and around the world and I wanted to find a way to give back to my community, so the way I loved my hood was that I set up a dance fundraiser where I raised funds through this virtual showcase to give back to two initiatives: Native Child and Family Services Toronto and a black business grant set up to help businesses in Little Jamaica. So that was me just trying to use my craft in the best way I knew how through dance and raising money and redistributing the funds to those who need it.

Q: Tell us about any upcoming projects!

A: So in terms of up-and-coming projects, I got to be a part of a Disney movie called Sneakerella last year that will be coming out either at the end of this year or next year. Then on my own personal side, I am collaborating with a great dancer and videographer to create a short dance filmed inspired by the film: If Beale Street Could Talk by Barry Jenkins. So that’s in the editing process right now and it's a great passion project of mine that I'm really looking forward to sharing with you guys!