About Us

Staff Directory

CDA is a small but mighty cross Canada team of individuals, passionate about fueling change for dance. Meet our core team, full or part-time, and advisory staff that work to listen to the dance community’s needs. We would love to connect with you; email us!

Karla Etienne

Executive Director  |  karla@cda-acd.ca

A distinguished graduate in environmental sciences, Karla Etienne, a marathon runner in every sense of the word, has travelled the plurality of roads and pathways which lead to a deeper and more accurate appreciation of what today constitutes the strengths and the potential of our artistic and cultural community in Canada. While being more generally associated with Nyata Nyata, the dance arts organization she has led alongside its founder, Zab Maboungou, since 2003, Karla Etienne has, in fact, unfailingly devoted herself over the years to advancing the cause of inclusion – through better representation – in the arts, at all levels of practice, management and dissemination, within the institutions and organizations mandated to work in this area, including, among others, the Regroupement québécois de la danse, the Conseil des arts de Montréal and the Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec. Drawing also on her experience acquired within various community organizations (including ENvironnement JEUnesse, Regroupement des femmes en environnement, and Maison dHaïti), Karla Etienne uses her skills as a director, coordinator, writer and facilitator to advance Canada’s artistic and cultural development.

Photo Credits : Mathieu Gaudreault
Oriana is a white woman in her 30s. She is in front of a plain beige wall and wears a blue long sleeve shirt. Her brown hair is curled or her shoulders.

Oriana Pagnotta

Director of Membership and Engagement  |  oriana@cda-acd.ca

Oriana Pagnotta is a dance artist now making Toronto her home. Formerly based in Calgary and originally from B.C., she choreographs, performs, rehearsal directs, and produces. Oriana is passionate about integrating holistic and collective models of care in her work. She is a Lover/Co-Artistic Director with the Toronto Dance Community Love-In, and rehearsal director with lbs/sq” (Gerry Trentham). Her past roles include as Artistic Director for Dance Montage, Dance Curator for Ignite! Festival, and Artistic Associate with both W&M Dance Projects and Momo Movement. She holds a B.A. with Distinction in Dance (University of Calgary), an Arts Management certificate (Haskayne School of Business/Rozsa Foundation), and completed a Metcalf Foundation arts management placement with Peggy Baker Dance Projects. Oriana is a certified DanceAbility International teacher

Mayumi Lashbrook

Communications and Outreach Manager  |  mayumi@cda-acd.ca

Mayumi Lashbrook is an accomplished dance artist, choreographer, Artistic Director, and arts administrator residing in Tkaronto, Canada. She strives to increase connection, visibility and diversity in the Canadian arts landscape through on and off stage initiatives. A graduate of Ryerson University’s Theatre Performance Dance program on the Dean’s list, Mayumi values the support systems that allow performers to thrive. She works to develop healthy ecologies for dance to be made with a specific focus on prioritization of marginalized voices and inclusivity. She is the Communications and Co-Artistic Director of Aeris Körper, a contemporary dance company based in Hamilton. She is an active member of Wind in the Leaves Collective and a facilitator of Dreamwalker Dance’s Conscious Bodies methodology. She has garnered a wealth of skills, pulling on her managerial and administrative experience from movement studios Barreworks (Tkaronto) and GOODBODYFEEL (Hamilton) respectively, as the Dance Coordinator for the Burlington Performing Arts Centre 2018/19 season, and through her work as a freelance artist. Mayumi continues to contribute as a creative voice through both choreography and strategic marketing. Her different roles are all-encompassing and overlapping. This enables her to approach projects and communities with knowledge, openness, and curiosity.

Photo Credits : Hernani Sagra

Shelby Wright

Finance and Administrative Manager  |  shelby@cda-acd.ca

Shelby is a dancer, choreographer, and arts administrator and has called Tkaronto home for most of her life. She is dedicated to building support and sustainability for performing artists, and radicalizing the possibilities of dance training and presentation. Shelby holds an honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto in Cinema Studies, English and History, and received formal dance training at the Limón Institute in New York City. Shelby has co-create dance performance works with collaborator Katie Lyle since 2015, and has toured across Canada with their most recent work being shown at the 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art. Shelby is in her fourth year as Co-Artistic Director aka Lover of the Toronto Dance Community Love-In, where she and her team strive to create equitable and inclusive environments for dance practice, collaboration, and creation. In her spare time, Shelby is learning how to play the drums.

Photo Credits : Photo Credit: Marki Sveen
Pam is a Chinese woman in her 30s. She gazes forward with a soft hand laying around her neck. Her long black hair falls across the edge of her face and cascades down her shoulders.

Pam Tzeng

Advisor  |  pam@cda-acd.ca

Pam Tzeng is a Canadian-Taiwanese artist that lives and creates where the Bow River and Elbow River meet, Mohkinstsis in Treaty 7 Territory, also known colonially as Calgary. She is an active choreographer, performer, curator, and producer of the live and contemporary and is currently Artist in Residence 2019-2021 with Dancers’ Studio West.

Passionate about contributing to a healthy arts ecology in Alberta, Pam works as an arts professional and actively engages in initiatives that foster equity and diversity. She has had the pleasure of serving her local and provincial arts sector as Artistic Associate Producer and Marketing Director with Springboard Performance, Dance Curator for the Ignite! Festival, Director on the board of the Alberta Dance Alliance and providing her services in marketing strategy and volunteer coordination to non-profit organizations like Three Left Feet Movement Creations.

Pam is co-curator and founder of to the AWE, a recurring risk-based multi-disciplinary performance series. She shares her passion for embodied living as a therapeutic movement educator, teaching GYROTONIC© & GYROKINESIS© Methods and Yamuna Body Rolling.

Photo Credits : Mike Tan

Kate Beresford

Project Coordinator  |  kateb@cda-acd.ca

Kate Beresford is an arts administrator, and lifelong lover and supporter of the arts. Born and raised in Elmira, ON, she lived in Ottawa for 20 years and currently resides in Saint John, NB. A graduate of Carleton University’s Art & Culture program, she is passionate about providing support for artists of all kinds, and has worked at various cultural institutions including the National Gallery of Canada, Canadian Museum of Nature, and the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. An enthusiastic but amateur dancer, who also loves hiking, riding her bike, and is always up for exploring new places.

Ashley is a Mohawk woman in her 30s. She smiles brightly in front of a hedge. She wears a green choker style necklace and her brown hair falls across her forehead and across her shoulders.

Ashley Bomberry


Ashley Bomberry is Mohawk from the Six Nations of the Grand River territory. She is a writer, producer, director and actor for film and theatre. Her short documentary film, Hoop Dance, premiered at the Female Eye Film Festival and she continues to write and create projects within an Indigenous storytelling framework. Ashley recently co-produced The Hunt, a short VR film, written and directed by Danis Goulet, included in the 2167 installation at TIFF Bell Lightbox Theatre. It features a predominantly Haudenosaunee cast and the film is predominantly in the Mohawk language and shot on Indigenous territory in Tkaron:to and on Six Nations. As a producer and curator for multicultural and diverse showcases, Ashley creates discussion and aims to build bridges between marginalized and non-marginalized groups with her work. Ashley focuses on her Indigenous roots and endeavors to impart strength, hope, and healing in Indigenous communities around the world.



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