MEET THE TEAM
Board of Directors
The Founder of dance Immersion, Vivine Scarlett is an administrator, choreographer, and instructor, whose artistic goals and aspirations are rooted in the love of dance. As former Artistic Director and performing member of the Usafiri Dance & Drum Ensemble, Vivine created and presented works in both traditional influenced African and contemporary African dance styles. Vivine’s contributions to the field of dance are generated from an energy that has fuelled her passion, leading her on a journey for over 34 years of giving and serving through the arts.
Drawn to all kinds of dance expressions and movement, Vivine’s passion has manifested many experiences that have served Canadian artists of African descent with opportunities that have laid a foundation for continued growth and representation. Vivine is the recipient of the 2011 Planet Africa Heritage Award received for her contributions. In 2008 she received a Chalmers Arts Fellowships to work with youth in Ghana, West Africa.
Her choreographic endeavours in the theatre production of “The Adventures of a Black Girl in search of God” won her a Dora Mavor Moore award in 2002 and her work in “The Freedom of dreams: The Story of Nelson Mandela” received a Dora nomination in 2003. Ms. Scarlett is the 2005 K.M. Hunter Dance Artist award winner and has taught for numerous institutions and organizations throughout Canada. She continues her creative explorations as a freelance choreographer.
Founder / Executive Director
Timea Wharton-Suri is an arts executive, curator and producer. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Dance from York University, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Arts and Media Management Graduate Diploma from Schulich School of Business. Timea performed for several years with dance companies such as Ballet Creole and Ronald Taylor Dance before opening a dance/fitness studio – one of the first that now proliferate in urban centres. She has produced events for TO Live, North York Arts, Holla Jazz, Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Toronto Dance Theatre, and the Remarkable Women Awards, and curated dance performances for dance Immersion, TO Live, and Canadian Stage Company. In 2020, Timea conducted on-camera interviews with artists for the Toronto International Festival of Authors / Harbourfront Centre Performing Arts Choreo Chats Series.
Timea served as the Interim Managing Director of Toronto Dance Theatre in 2020, and previously in administrative roles for the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, TVOntario, and Toronto Arts Council (TAC), where she managed the dance and literary arts portfolios. At TAC, she worked with Canada’s largest communities of dancers and writers to administer a $2.5 million grants budget, and co-developed the What’s Your Story?, Toronto Lit Up, Long-Term Dance Projects, Cultural Leaders Lab, Performing Arts Facilities, and Animating Toronto Parks programs.
Timea has served as a Big Sister mentor, taught dance to adults and youth, and has been engaged as a speaker on the topics of equitable access to public programs, arts funding, and career skills for over 20 Canadian arts organizations. In 2019, Timea co-developed and facilitated curriculum delivery for dance Immersion’s Legacy Leaders Arts Project Management course. She is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of Dance Media Group (The Dance Current) and a member of the International Association of Blacks in Dance, Ontario Non-Profit Network, Black Business and Professional Association, and Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce.
Zahra Badua is a dancer, administrator and youth counsellor from Ghana who grew up in Montreal, Quebec. She started dancing at a young age as a means to understand and learn more about her African heritage. Zahra is a trained Traditional West African and Afro-Caribbean folklore dancer. In moving to Toronto, she took an eight-year hiatus from dance to pursue her studies.
Her educational background is in both Legal Administration and Community and Justice Services. She has worked with the Afrocentric Alternative School and various other schools within the GTA building recreational, academic and/or dance programs to help students deal with school pressures, life skills training, conflict management, self-esteem issues or simply to provide an outlet to express themselves and learn about African and/or Caribbean cultures. She has also worked for youth detention centers as a counsellor for young persons. Zahra continues to counsel; however, she has changed her approach. She finds that she can reach youth more effectively through the arts within school settings rather than detention centers or through punitive measures.
In terms of dance, she has had the privilege to be a member of dance companies such as Coco Collective, Alpha Rhythm and Roots, Unrulygyal Performing Team, and BlackStars Collective. She is also a teacher for Afiwi Groove and Dance n Culture. Lastly, she started her own educational and performance-based company whose mission is to showcase dances which are a fusion of African and Caribbean dance styles and demonstrate the beauty and power behind Black/Brown girl magic. Zahra’s aim is to use the arts to teach culture, promote happiness, self-expression, and confidence.
Jillian Greyson is a graduate of Ryerson University who majored in social work and minored in acting and dance studies. Passionate about dance, she has experience in hip-hop, contemporary, jazz, ballet, kizomba, and several Latin dance forms. Through the Coco Collective mentorship program, Jillian gained knowledge of various West African dance forms. This wide-ranging education helped her gain tools to support her passion for giving back to the community.
In addition to her role with dance Immersion, Jillian is the assistant program manager of Girl Power’d, a hip-hop gymnastics program aimed at providing young girls identifying as Black an education in gymnastics and dance. Through this work, along with employment with other youth programs, she has aided organizations in the building of social media platforms, outreach initiatives, and communications materials.
Jillian continues to seek out ways to combine her passion for social justice with arts-based programing and ensuring that those within the community have access to adequate resources.
Nicole Inica Hamilton
Nicole Inica Hamilton is the Founder and Artistic Director of Inica Dance Industries. An award-winning choreographer, and a Dance Educator, Nicole serves as a certified Teaching member of Dance Masters of Canada and Dance Masters of America. She has operated as a Guest Teacher, Mentor and Speaker at institutes across Canada including but not limited to; George Brown College, University of Toronto and York University.
As a touring Educator and Speaker, she has presented in national, and international conventions, and championships including; En Avant – RAD world convention, Toronto Dance Teacher Expo, Creation Dance Championships, the Performing Arts Medicine Association and more.
Hamilton serves as an On-Air Radio Host on The Career Buzz Show and is a Producer/ Host with Turn Out Radio broadcasting on CIUT 89.5 FM. Hamilton reports on the current news affairs of our time with special focus on arts & entertainment, health, career and business news on CIUT 89.5 FM.
In her work in health, Hamilton serves as a Counsellor and actively works with organizations, schools and on nationwide platforms to advocate for and promote healthy practices for Dance Artists.
Learn more about Nicole: www.inicadance.com/nicole-hamilton Follow Nicole @n_hamilton_
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