Luciterra Dance Society is a Fusion dance school and performance group aimed at providing innovative, accessible, and conscientious dance instruction and performance. Emerging out of the counterculture community of East Vancouver, their entertaining performance style is a product of the contemporary digital age. Luciterra's style draws inspiration from each company members’ various training in bellydance, contemporary, jazz, and waacking, in a hybrid of mechanical robotic movement juxtaposed with sweeping lines called Neo Bellydance. Neo Bellydance is a modern expression of a time honored artform connecting a powerful, traditional art form within the context of the contemporary entertainment industry. It brings elements of modern dance forms to the powerful body isolations, undulations and refined musicality of Middle Eastern dance commonly known as bellydance. Neo Bellydance honours, appreciates and admires the traditional dances that it is based on, not looking to sever the connection, but to bring new elements to the table. Fiercely dedicated to technique, safety, and conscientious expression, Luciterra strives to educate students and audiences on the histories and politics of dance, as well as create safe spaces for discussions on topics such as body image and trauma healing. Classes are held in Vancouver and focus on conditioning, technique, and repertory. Classes are co-taught by the Luciterra instructors.
Nikki Mae’s love for dance was sparked at an early age while watching her mother bellydance. In her early teens, Nikki enrolled in Egyptian Cabaret belly dance and Flamenco classes in her hometown of Calgary, Alberta. At 19 she moved to Vancouver, BC to study Massage Therapy and deepen her understanding of movement in the human body. Nikki quickly found Vancouver’s thriving electronic music scene which is where she discovered Fusion belly dance. Enthralled by the strong and isolated control of the body which gave a visceral translation of the music in a way so familiar to the style she grew up with, she was immediately hooked. She enrolled in the Luciterra School of Dance in 2010 where her passion for dance was re-ignited. Nikki has jumped on every opportunity to deepen her understanding of dance and learn new movements that she can incorporate into this style. Flying through the air was a long time fantasy which became reality when she started training in aerial arts in 2014 with aerial hammock being her main interest. As an RMT Nikki is constantly amazed by the diversity and capabilities of the human form and is dedicated to helping her students discover their own unique movements of expression. Forever a student of dance, she is honoured to bring her passion onto the stage to share with you.
Since an early age, Maeghan has been drawn to music and movement. Her dance journey began while growing up in Western Australia where she took classes in jazz, ballet, tap and acrobats. After moving to Canada in her early teens she continued her studies, expanding into contemporary, modern and lyrical dance styles. Forever curios about new dance disciplines and merging mediums, Maeghan started training as an adult in 2012 with Luciterra and was hooked! She was immediately attracted to the fusion dance style’s sharp isolations contrasted with soft, dreamy movement choreographed with innate musicality. In 2017 Maeghan was invited to join the Cast of Luciterra’s feature length show (i.m)position and performed in Vancouver’s Revolver Festival. Most recently, she has become a member of the Vancouver based performance group, Omnika. There is such beauty in exploring, learning and expressing yourself through movement and she is honoured to share that with others.
Amber Eastman is a dance instructor, performance artist and feminist anti-violence worker based in Vancouver. Amber is passionate about exploring innovative mediums for social justice praxis, and finds inspiration in using dance for healing, empowerment and community development. Amber currently also works in Vancouver’s DownTown EastSide as a violence prevention worker, offering support to people who experience abuse and gender based violence. Committed to being a lifelong learner Amber holds a masters degree in International Human Security and Peacebuilding, and is currently completing training in Somatic Therapy. Amber continues to study with international dance instructors, traveling as far as India in her quest for knowledge. Through her work Amber strives to develop an accessible, conscientious and supportive community for dancers.
Laura June explores dance with an intersectional feminist framework and a community development model. Raised in ballet and jazz, Laura began her contemporary dance training in '94, competing provincially through her high school years. She went on to a decade of study in bellydance with multiple mentors, most notably Suhaila Salimpour (Berkeley, USA), as well as two years enrollment in Colleena Shakti and Sudhansu Puhan's odissi (classical Indian dance) program under tutelage of Sujata Mohapatra (Rajasthan, India). She has now come full circle back to her contemporary dance roots, training and teaching locally in Vancouver. In her undergraduate work Laura studied art history and social theory, while also completing a certificate program in Sustainable Community Development. Laura is currently a Dance Studies student, pursuing her MA in the Comparative Media Arts program at SFU’s School of Contemporary Arts.
Naomi Joy has been working as a full time movement instructor since 2008. She is a certified pilates and yoga teacher. Her diverse training in anatomy, theatre, fitness, dance, self expression, and somatic emotional release have shaped her into becoming a unique instructor, as well as a charismatic performer. Naomi has travelled world wide and studied with many wonderful dance teachers, but her most influential to date would be Suhaila Salimpour and Colleena Shakti. She is a graduate of the New York American Musical and Dramatic Academy with intensive studies in theatre performance and history. Naomi continues to study new movement modalities to stretch her comfort levels and challenge her physical limits.
Gillian Cofsky is a student, a teacher, a dancer, and an organizer. After falling madly in love in 2002, her relationship with dance has since grown into a career as a choreographer, performer, educator, and co-founder of Luciterra Dance Company. Gillian is currently enrolled in the Professional Accounting program at Langara College, balancing her passion for creative expression and love for organizational structure. She is fuelled by her commitments to empower the arts and social justice sectors to thrive in the larger economic landscape and to build communities through art, wellness, and movement.