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 cultural management (HEC Montreal) and environmental sciences (UQAM), 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 d’Haïti), 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.

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. 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 was Co-Artistic Director aka Lover of the Toronto Dance Community Love-In from 2018-2022. 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


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