Jane Ellison’s teaching is an expression of her lifelong interest in movement and body-mind practices. Childhood experiences in dance and yoga, and a desire for a creative life, led her to the Western Front artist-run centre in 1975. Jane was exposed there to Linda Rubin’s approach to bodywork and dance, which spurred her fascination with embodied anatomy and somatic practices. She deepened these interests by studying Body-Mind Centering with Bonnie Bainbridge in the 1980s. Since 2002 Jane has enjoyed a collaboration with Susan Aposhyan, whose work in Body-Mind Psychotherapy richly supports embodied presence.
Jane’s classes are dedicated to uncovering ease, well-being, freedom, and joy.
The fertile environments of the Western Front and the dance company, EDAM, have also greatly influenced Jane. She and EDAM have shared the dance studio since the company’s inception, and she continues to appreciate this connection with a research-based movement community. For decades the Western Front has hosted and housed artists from all disciplines, and their work is a steady source of ideas and pleasures. Laughter, music, images, cooking smells, objects and empty spaces, sounds and stillness filter through the building. All who come to the dance studio are encompassed by this spirited ecology.
Between 1991 and 2008, Jane was on faculty at Studio 58, Langara College’s acclaimed theatre school. As a movement instructor, she developed practices for working with young actors, ranging from simple physical conditioning to the complex task of establishing an authentic presence in relationship to other actors, the text, and the audience. This milieu was yet another opportunity to dance on the edges between art, performance, and life.
Underlying Jane’s work is an applied philosophy rooted in Buddhadharma. She has been meditating since 1984, mostly in the Theravedan tradition. This practice is gently embedded in her teaching, manifesting as clear and helpful instructions based on mindfulness and compassion for bodies and minds. Jane’s classes are dedicated to uncovering ease, well-being, freedom, and joy.