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Indigenous Dance Residency

Program archived

Program Information

Indigenous Dance Residency, The Banff Centre


Recognized for being leading-edge and rigorous, the Indigenous Dance Residency brings together acclaimed choreographers and teachers with dancers from across Canada and around the world to share, investigate, and strengthen contemporary Indigenous dance practice.This 4-week intensive features technique, improvisation, choreographic exploration, cultural process and knowledge, health + fitness, leadership, and the creation of a new short choreographic work that is performed in-studio and on stage. The combination of high-level faculty, rigorous exploration, and power of place here in Treaty 7 territory make this program truly transformative

What does the program offer?

Dancers accepted to the program participate in an exceptional artistic process with other Indigenous artists from various nations, backgrounds, and countries.

The program provides a critical space for emerging and professional dance practitioners to exchange artistic and cultural knowledge and practice. Emerging dancers train with high-level faculty, “shadow” professional dancers in classes, and develop performance skills in-studio. Professional dancers work with acclaimed choreographers and teachers to create a new short work that is performed at The Banff Centre. For merit dancers, integrated leadership is also part of their rich experience.

IDR creates the space for research, sharing, and exploring Indigenous creative and cultural process, integrated leadership learning, and strengthens the future of contemporary Indigenous dance. Dancers have represented all provinces and territories across Canada, as well as Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, United States, Samoa, and Fiji.

Who should apply?

We welcome Canadian and international Indigenous dancers from diverse dance backgrounds to apply. Applicants must have dance training experience in one or multiple genres of dance as well as a strong work ethic. Dancers should be open to the creative process, expect to work very hard, and be professional in and out of studio. If you are a professional dancer looking to transform your technical and performance skills in a rigorous yet supportive environment, or looking to transform your skills in contemporary Indigenous dance, this program is for you. Enrollment is limited to 12 dancers.

Indigenous Arts is generously supported by:

RBC Emerging Artists Project

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What's Included

Shared RoomRead MoreClose

Your program fee includes a shared bedroom on the Banff Centre campus for the duration of your program.

Get connected with other artists on campus and focus on your projects in a creative environment while we take care of the day-to-day essentials.

Regular Meal PlanRead MoreClose

Using a credit-based system to dine on campus, our flexible meal plans allow you to select meals according to your own needs during your stay.

The Regular Flex meal plan includes $29 credit per day, equivalent to lunch and dinner in Vistas Dining Room.

ScholarshipRead MoreClose

A full scholarship to cover accommodation at Banff Centre and meals while in the program.

Showcase your workRead MoreClose

This program offers opportunities to showcase your work in one of our performance venues.

Gym MembershipRead MoreClose

Your program fee includes free access to the swimming pool, climbing gym and fitness suite as well as discounted rates for classes at the Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre.

Paul D. Fleck Library and ArchivesRead MoreClose

Access a wide range of publications, books, music and films in the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, open 6 days a week.

Box Office DiscountsRead MoreClose

Enjoy special artist rates for ticketed performances or complimentary access to events.

Participant ResourcesRead MoreClose

Enrich your experience and get to know other artists on campus by taking advantage of the activities and support provided by our Participant Resources team.

Fees & Financial Assistance

Program fee (shared room)*
$3 373.22

Application fee: $35

* Dancers accepted to the program will receive 100% scholarship to cover the program fee including tuition, shared room, and meal plan at Banff Centre. Travel to/from Banff Centre will be the responsibility of each dancer.

How to Apply

It is important to be aware of all steps included in submitting your application.
Learn more.


A quality video, five to 15 minutes in length, demonstrating your most recent dance experience and (if applicable) your own choreographic work.

Personal statement

An audio-visual statement, two to four minutes in length, answering this one question: How will you contribute to this intensive dance residency?


The name, email address, and telephone number of one person willing to provide a reference.


A one-page resume or C.V. describing academic, professional, and other relevant experience.


Participants are selected by impartial adjudicators on the basis of their submitted material. In addition to artistic merit, consideration will be given to an applicant’s work ethic, professionalism, and ability to contribute to the program. 


  • Applicants must be of Indigenous descent and 18 years of age or older.
  • All international and Canadian Indigenous dancers are welcome to apply.
  • Applicants must have at least two years' experience in the dance world.


All programs, faculty, dates, fees, and offers of financial assistance are subject to change. Program fee is subject to applicable taxes. Non-refundable fees and deposits will be retained upon cancellation. Any other fees are refunded at the discretion of the Banff Centre.

Contact the Registrar

For questions on preparing your application, please contact the Office of the Registrar:

Toll Free Number (Canada + USA)