THE Young Company
Halifax Dance’s Young Company (YoCo) gives gifted pre-professional artists the opportunity to complement their technical training with valuable performance experience. The Company offers dancers the tremendous experience of performing in works created with and for them by some of the best choreographers in the country. YoCo dancers are featured each year in Symphony Nova Scotia's highly successful annual production of The Nutcracker. Company alumni are all over the world performing, creating, teaching and shaping the future of our art form.
Sara Coffin is a Halifax-based dance artist and Co-Artistic Director of Mocean Dance. She has cultivated her professional career in Vancouver, BC, Halifax, NS, and Northampton, MA where she completed her MFA in Choreography at Smith College (2014). Sara additionally holds a BFA in Dance (Simon Fraser, 2003), and a BSc. in Kinesiology (Dalhousie, 2004). As an dance educator, Sara has taught in the five-college consortium in Massachusetts, NSCAD, Holland College School for Performing Arts, and Universidad Rafael Landívar in Guatemala City.
Her award credits include the Gretchen Moran Teaching Fellowship (Smith College, 2012-2014), the Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award (2009), and the BC Emerging Dance Artist Award (2005). Coffin has worked professionally with Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser (USA), Annie Kloppenberg (USA), Daelik (MACHiNENOiSy), Susan Elliott, The Holy Body Tattoo, Claire French, Kinesis Dance, Jennifer Mascall, Tilt Sound + Motion and she is a co-founder of the dance collective SiNS (Sometimes in Nova Scotia). An award winning choreographer, her choreographic work has been presented in many prominent dance festivals including; Canada Dance Festival/Magnetic North Theatre Festival, Dances for a Small Stage, Dancing on the Edge and Dance in Vancouver, commissioned by Mocean Dance (2014, 2016) and Verve Mwendo (2004), and her 2011 self-produced work Taking Your Experience for Mine was described by the Georgia Straight as “hauntingly gorgeous.” www.saracoffin.com
Gillian Seaward-Boone, a native of Nova Scotia, completed the Intensive Training program at Halifax Dance while obtaining her degree from Dalhousie University. She moved to Montreal to train at LADMMI: l’Ecole de Danse Contemporaine de Montreal. Post-graduation, Gillian worked with several Montreal and Toronto-based choreographers including Pigeons International, Sinha Danse and Sasha Ivanochko, among others. Gillian joined O Vertigo, under the direction of Ginette Laurin, as a full company member in 2007 and toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia, North & South America. During that time, she taught professional and pre-professional contemporary technique classes independently and on behalf of the company. Gillian took maternity leave from the company and returned to Halifax in 2013. Since returning home, Gillian has been a regular season performer with Mocean Dance, performing the works of Serge Bennathan, Parts + Labour Danse, Sara Cof n and Sharon Moore, and rehearsal directing for Daniele Desnoyers. She has also worked independently with such local artists as Lydia Zimmer and Lisa Phinney-Langley, with whom she regularly collaborates. Gillian is a director at Halifax Dance and is a member of their ITP modern faculty. Passionate about dance education and youth mentorship, Gillian is thrilled to be co-directing the Young Company alongside her colleague and friend, Sara Coffin, for the 2017 season.