Our story

One by one, we are leading to a future where all emerging contemporary dancers and choreographers feel confident and empowered. Our collective mission is to get the right resources to the right people at the right time. Listen, educate, and advocate – that’s our motto for creating products and services that truly perform while holding ourselves accountable to unparalleled standards of accessibility. Why? It’s really this simple: nobody deserves to feel defeated.


Dansii’s mission is to empower emerging contemporary dancers and choreographers through innovative programs, services, and digital platforms. Within this mission, Dansii aims to provide emerging contemporary dancers and choreographers with tools to combat the discrimination and body-judgement found inside dance institutions and companies. Dansii’s work is geared towards the individual contemporary dancer/choreographer becoming their own manager, rather than the individual contemporary dancer/choreographer being managed by the educational institution or dance company that they are associated with. 


Dansii is a small non-profit organization from Canada. Dansii provides a mentorship service and career development resources for emerging contemporary dancers and choreographers, all of which are accessed digitally through this website.


We like to think of the people who created Dansii as honest and creative individuals. 

The team has been in constant transition since Dansii was first established in October of 2018, but every single member of the team helped push the company forward to where it is today.

Dansii has been made possible because of an incredible Kanien’kéha:ka woman (Canadian First Nations), Fern Mittelstaedt. Fern is a passionate arts and culture supporter who cares about the individuals she goes to the theater to see. Fern has almost single handedly financially supported the entire creation of Dansii. Without her dedication, none of this would have been possible.


Emily Mittelstaedt
Director, Co-founder 2018 – Present

Emily has been the director of Dansii since its establishment in October 2018 and has been a part of the entire creative process of Dansii. Emily is a contemporary dancer and choreographer, previously dancing with The Semperoper Ballett and Dantzaz Konpainia. She is now freelancing in The Netherlands.

Martijn de Vaal & Ovaal
Web Designer 2020 – Present

Martijn de Vaal is the lead of the website team, collaborating with Emily to create this website and discuss digital technologies that can be implemented to provide more assistance to emerging contemporary dance artists for the future. 

Richard Chen-See
Mentor Steering Committee

Richard is a Dansii mentor and volunteers his time to meet weekly with Emily to ensure the communications between the mentors and the working team are strong. 


Alexander Marcopoulos
Career Guide Researcher, 2020/2021
Alex has a bachelor of Arts & Science from The University of Toronto. 

Alexander Eideleman
Web Designer, 2019/2020

Arthur Stashak
Video Editor, Strategic Guidance 2018-2021

Arthur is an ex-dancer with a talent for video editing. In 2018 Arthur began helping Dansii with their video content. In 2021 Arthur became more involved in the development of Dansii’s strategy and in the creation of its services. Arthur is now a mentor with Dansii! Go check out his profile here.

Ayat Mohamed Salih
Marketing Intern 2020
Ayat is a graduate from Ryerson University where she studied Marketing and Digital Media. 

Eve-Marie Dalcourt
Program Creator

Eve-Marie approached Dansii with an idea to create a program that supports company dance reps. She developed this program with Dansii throughout 2020 and 2021 until the team decided to put the project on hold because of financial constraints. Eve-Marie is a freelance contemporary dance artist in The Netherlands, and previous dancer with NDT2. 

(We hope to launch this program as soon as possible!)

Keanu Uchida
Career Guide Researcher 2018/2019

Keanu is a contemporary dancer based in Montreal, Canada who studied Physics at University of Toronto. 

Lauren Janeway
Social Media Marketing 2020

Lauren is a dancer with Estonian National Ballet. 

Mathilde Pailley
Marketing Manager 2019/2020

Mathilde is a choreographer and dance company coordinator. 

Musab Memon
Marketing Manager 2020/2021

Musab was an integral part of the content creation process for Dansii’s website, its programs, and its social media. 

Samantha Tawaststjerna
Chief Operating Officer 2019-2021

Sam assisted Emily in the creation of Dansii, from contacting writers and photographers, to general administration, Sam was a jack of all trades. Sam is an ex-dancer who is now going on to study Arts Administration. We wish her all the best!

Sasha Newman-Oktan
Career Guide Researcher 2020/2021

Sasha is an ex-dancer now studying Neuroscience at Columbia University. 


Jesse Callaert
Candela Murillo
Lauren Janeway
Rachel McNamee
Juliana Javier
Alexandre Goyer
Corynne Bisson
Isabella Champagne
Junior Gaspard Caballero
Mason Alexander Lovegroove
Raine Madison
Risa Yokoyama
Teresa Royo
Mavis Staines
Jason Beechey
Sue Knox
Kim Lutes-Mckay
Vanessa Grant
Casandra Martins
Anita Nodilo
Daniel Smith
Marie Shimada
Ally Clarke
Amelie Lampidecchia
Anastasia Pattelaki
Clyde Charlene Judith
Marcus Pei
Naomi Charlot
Patricia Gomes Rodrigues
Sofia Sangregorio
Mika Omori
Carola Puddu
Sarah Branch
Camilla Agraso
Michaela Marrable
Elisabeth Ragault
Saige Palleske
Courtney Skalnik
Abby Fletcher


Dansii’s mentors were hand-picked by Emily, Samantha, Richard, and Arthur, based on their experiences in the dance industry. 

After 3 years of research, Emily and Sam had identified the following areas of concern for emerging contemporary dance artists: 

  • Audition preparation
  • Choreographic process
  • Communication
  • Creating dance films
  • Creative development
  • Dance advocacy
  • Discrimination
  • Emotional development
  • Establishing projects
  • Financial planning
  • Finding studio space
  • Finding your voice
  • Goal setting
  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Moving countries/cities
  • Negotiation
  • Networking
  • Physical development
  • Project management
  • Self-representation
  • Spiritual development
  • Being the underdog

So, the mentor picking team found 20 contemporary dancers/choreographers/directors/teachers who have experiences in those areas. 

Moreover, the mentor picking team ensured that the mentor team was going to be diverse, inspiring, and reliable

  • More than 50% of the mentors are BIPOC. 
  • The mentors’ ages range from 27 – 70! 
  • The mentors are located throughout most of the world, and have performed throughout most of the world as well.  
  • The mentors’ cumulatively have covered the following positions in the contemporary dance industry: dancer, choreographer, artistic director, administrator, co-founder, entrepreneur, teacher, coach, rehearsal director, repetiteur, ballet master/mistress, psychotherapist, cinematographer, videographer, director, and more. 

If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to go learn more about the mentors!


Dansii wants to be a safe place for emerging contemporary dancers and choreographers to join whenever they feel they are in need of career support. Dansii envisions a world where the negative impacts of competition are eradicated from the performing arts community, and where any and all individuals who wish to express themselves in contemporary movement are welcome to do so. 

Let yourself feel good.

Because support feels good.


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