More on Remembering Amelia

More on Remembering Amelia


During 2013, Jennifer Mascall and I participated in the Remembering Amelia project along with many others, honouring the life and work of Canadian movement pioneer and true dance legend, Amelia Itcush.

A master teacher, Amelia taught for five years  in the MascallDance summer intensive;  Mascall is working on a short film using interview and class materials collected during this period.

The exhibition arrived in Vancouver and was hosted by The Vancouver Dance Centre during September, accompanied by project instigator and director Robin Poitras of New Dance Horizons.   In addition to the installation, classes by Itcush Method instructors, lecture demonstrations, one on one sessions, and exchanges about Amelia’s life, work and legacy were held in conjunction with the Dance Centre and Culture Days.   Particularly memorable was a comparative approach session with Ashley Johnson (Itcush/Mitzvah educator) and Jennifer Mascall.

We’ve received the following update from Robin Poitras and Ashley Johnson:


The Remembering Amelia project looks to explore the history, legacy and current relevance of the work of movement pioneer Amelia Itcush.  

We are doing this by traveling the country presenting workshops, hosting discussions, collecting interviews and discovering how the work has evolved and changed through the daily practice of it’s enthusiasts.

It is our goal to create a community where body based practices continue to grow and thrive through ongoing collaboration of people from all walks of life.      

The tour and initial gathering have been an overwhelming success so far, and we warmly thank all those who’ve attended ‘Remembering Amelia’ at one of our wonderful locations – MacKenzie Gallery in Regina, Chapel Gallery in North Battleford, Open Space in Victoria, and the  Dance Centre in Vancouver.  



We have three locations to come; Dancers Studio West (Calgary) in November, Dance Saskatchewan (Saskatoon) in the spring, and Montreal (location TBA) in the fall.   The news is out for our Calgary dates!  Please check out the DSW website for more details –

Your input and feedback is greatly appreciated as we move towards our goals.  Please take the time please fill out our short online survey and, of course, share with us your comments, stories and advice, past and future.

Some of you expressed interest in the possibility of setting up a practice group in Vancouver.  It often takes the motivation of a specific time/place and others to keep us diligent in our daily practice.  Some of those interested have many years of experience in the work and others are relatively new.  Getting together on a somewhat regular basis, you can learn from each other and strengthen your connection to the work and your own healing journey.  

Elaine Hanson has graciously accepted the task of instigating the Vancouver practice group.  Please contact her via


Last, but far from least, a note from Elaine Hanson, Vancouver organizer:

Hi All,

Thanks to Ashley for paving the way toward the initiative of building a Vancouver-based Itcush community.  Unlike Ashley, I am not a certified Itcush practitioner however have spent more than 30 years working within the form. I have included a brief bio for your perusal. Though I am willing to initially lead the group, over time, others could emerge in order to perform the same role. Or perhaps at this time, there are others who feel confident about sharing that leadership role.
I am throwing out the idea that a group of interested individuals could meet once – or possibly twice – weekly in order to build a self-maintenance practice.  Together we would familiarize ourselves with the floor, standing and chair work.
In terms of practice space, we will require an available studio space.
In terms of materials, each participant will require an exercise mat, a head board and a stool.  Alas, I have recently sold the dozen stools I personally owned however improvised materials can be employed. In place of an upholstered headboard, a thick towel will suffice.  A patio stool is light and transportable.
 In terms of cost, a fee to cover the cost of studio rental could be set.  The cost – hopefully nominal if enough people participate – would be contingent upon rental rate. Ideally, the practice group would not run at a deficit.  If incoming revenues accumulate, they could be ear-marked toward bringing in a certified practitioner – such as Ashley, Kathy Morgan etc. – for workshops and tablework.
So if you are interested in the above proposal, please indicate the following:
  • the day (s) of the week and time(s) most suitable to your schedule
  • suggested available studio space including hourly rate
  • ability and/or interest to help craft a written code of conduct and liability waiver
  • any other ideas or suggestions
Though the group will be informal, the idea of articulating our goals with some kind of written document strikes me as helpful.  If you feel that is not necessary, please respond.  I am not attached to that idea and am totally open to
Because I am in Saskatchewan from October 27 – November 10th we can use the next 3 weeks to gauge interest in the above proposal with the aim of beginning week of November 11th. I realize that the month of December with all its business will soon be upon us however we could entertain the idea of trialing the group for say, 4 weeks.
Looking forward to your replies.
yours truly,