Dance Styles / Heels, Jazz Funk


Sarah (she/her) is a lifelong Nova Scotian who began dancing at the age of 13. Sarah’s training began in the styles of modern and jazz, and quickly expanded to include hip hop, jazz funk, heels, and more. Since 2019, Sarah has been a devoted member of the House of Eights Training Program, and dedicates herself to weekly training as a proud member of the House of Eights community. Over the past year, Sarah has developed her passion for dance as a choreographer and instructor, and is honoured to share her work with the studio she loves as faculty.

What do you want people to get from your class?

I want people to leave my class knowing that dance is non-exclusionary. As a plus-sized dancer, choreographer, and instructor, the dance world has not always been kind to me. I want my class to be a reminder to students that every body type, ability, gender, etc., is welcomed and celebrated in the dance community we’ve created at House of Eights. If you leave my class loving yourself more than when you walked in the door, I can be proud of the class I’ve delivered.

What motivates you to dance?

Honestly, I wouldn’t be my truest self if I didn’t dance. Anytime dance has been taken away from me in some capacity, be it due to injury, illness, scheduling conflicts, etc., I feel like I’ve lost a crucial part of who I am. Dance is so much more than just movement for me – it’s a creative outlet, an emotional release, a source of self-confidence – I could go on all day. On top of that, I feel so motivated by my peers to continue dancing. At times, the community at House of Eights has believed in me far more as a dancer than I’ve ever believed in myself, and if that’s not a great reason to dance, I don’t know what is!

What are some highlights of your career as a dancer/choreographer?

My recent growth as a dancer/choreographer has been the highlight of my dance career. I started my journey with dance late in life, and didn’t branch out to training in multiple styles until I started university. Since then, I’ve gone from absolute beginner to instructor in less than five years in styles I thought I may never try (Fun Fact: I couldn’t even walk in a stiletto before I started dancing in one). Choreographing for the DalDance Society and House of Eights, the two dance communities that gave me my start in heels, jazz funk, and more, has been my biggest source of pride throughout my career. 

Through House of Eights, I’ve also had the opportunity to train with world-renowned choreographers, including Jake Kodish, Neil Schwartz, and Kaela Faloon, as well as perform with some of the best local talent Nova Scotia has to offer. If you’ve been searching for proof that it’s never too late to achieve your dance goals, look no further! I’m it!

Classes with Sarah Macneil