Zomi’s (she/her) dance journey began in her hometown of Vancouver, BC, at Place des Arts and Harbour Dance Centre, and her dance career began with House of Eights Dance Studio. While the foundations of her movement vocabulary stem from Hip Hop, Street, and Club styles, learning from other creatives and instructors along the way has also nurtured her love for Contemporary and Jazz styles. Zomi prides herself on being just as, if not more passionate about learning as she is about teaching. Incorporating what she learns as a student and as a guest in various dance forms and cultures, her work is known for precise musicality, unique movement and textures, and being constantly innovative for the benefit of her students.
In addition to being able to explore and train in her fellow faculty members’ styles, Zomi has had the opportunity to take class under artists such as Bo Park, Keenan Cooks, Neil Schwartz, Karen Chuang, Twysted Miyake Mugler, Chris Knowles, and Jake Kodish. In 2020, she completed mentorship programs from Ken “Kennon” Yung (Harbour Dance Centre) and Bo Park (Broadway Dance Center) who have both contributed immensely to her growth as an artist and as a dance educator. Some notable performance credits include Halifax Pride’s “The Bump” (2019) and Halifax Pride’s “Drag on the Mainstage” (2021), The Coast’s Best of Halifax Awards (2019), appearing in Gabrielle Papillon’s “New Age Faces” music video (2020), and dancing/choreographing for her “Last Deep Breath” music video (2021).
She is fortunate to have the mentorship of House of Eights’ teachers, which has shaped her into a cleaner, stronger dancer and choreographer. Her students are also her greatest inspirations, and she hopes to impact others’ dance journeys in the way that she has been impacted.
What do you want people to get from your class?
For anyone who comes to my class, I hope to provide them with an enjoyable time surrounded by others who also share the love of dance. I want people to be able to feel comfortable in this welcoming space and infuse their individuality, personality, and interpretations into my choreography. You are the only you, and I couldn’t ask for anything more!
Fusion choreography (referring to one’s personal choreography influenced by their dance background and/or influenced by multiple genres of dance) incorporates many types of movement. I want people to understand and be comfortable with exercising versatility. I am currently studying house, waacking, hip hop social dances, popping, and contemporary, so students can expect to see elements of these forms of dance within my choreography. As a personal goal, I like to challenge students with a new vibe each week. As a constant, my choreography will focus heavily on textures and musicality (how you listen to music), which will train one’s ears and understanding of executing a piece’s dynamics.
I want students to understand that doing or replicating choreography is not necessarily dancing, and that choreography is a means/method for dance. I expect effort, intention, and soul over perfection. “Messing up” is absolutely allowed; we are all in this space to dance, learn, and be challenged together. I hope to create an environment where anyone who comes in knows that their experiences and identities are essential in their dancing.
What motivates you to dance?
Dance has given me an outlet to de-stress and foster my own creativity. I love listening to music to constantly push my brain to picture how each sound would translate to the body and to the viewer. One of my favourite parts about teaching is learning from others, so seeing students perform my ideas through their movement and building that creative connection is another prominent reason why I dance.
As a person, I am so fortunate to have this space where I have seen growth in myself in areas such as confidence, happiness, and physical health. I have made lasting relationships with dancers who are so supportive in and of Halifax’s growing dance community. Being part of it, I am motivated to share my energy and passion with as many people as I can reach, and to innovate the dance culture and scene here. Passion is powerful, and I love growing alongside fellow dancers. The studio is my second home where so many friends and teachers inspire me. If I can be a part of someone else’s dance journey in the way that I have been impacted by others, it would mean the world. I would not be who I am today without dance and other dancers in and outside of Halifax!
What are some highlights of your career as a dancer/choreographer?
One of the biggest, most important highlights of my dance career is becoming a faculty member at House of Eights! I am forever grateful to the amazing community here for helping me find purpose and igniting my passion for dance.
Some local performance highlights include The Coast’s Best of Halifax Awards (2019), Halifax Pride (2019 and 2021), Atlantic Fashion Week (2019) and TeensNowTalk’s Passport 2 You-th Success Expo for rap/electronic duo Kin Crew (2019). I have also danced in music videos for local artist Gabrielle Papillon: “New Age Faces” (2020) and “Last Deep Breath” (2021).
In 2020, I was able to participate in two online training/mentorship programs: “Moving Forward” Volume 1 and 2 under Ken “Kennon” Yung (Harbour Dance Centre, Vancouver), “PARK” Volume 1 under Bo Park (Broadway Dance Center, New York). Both programs have been crucial to my growth as a dancer, a creative, and as someone pursuing a career in the world of dance.
In early 2021, I filmed and edited two virtual dance showcases: “Resilience” by the DalDance Society, and “Spotlight” by House of Eights Dance Studio. To highlight the art and capture the hard work of dancers in the community during a time of adapting in a pandemic was a tough but rewarding experience.