Artist in Residence: Hannah Beach

Artist in Residence Hannah Beach works with 2Y
Artist in Residence Hannah Beach works with 2Y

During the week of April 11-15, the junior school and little school was fortunate to be able to work with our Artist in Residence, Hannah Beach. Hannah is the founding Director of the Dandelion Dance Company in Ottawa, Ontario; an inclusive dance company for young women that explores social issues through movement. She also founded and directs a school of interpretive movement for children: Tournesol Dance.

Having grown up in a family of nine children and a further 16 sixteen foster siblings, Hannah developed a keen sense of empathy for the differences between people and a strong belief in social justice issues, all leading her to becoming a social worker. Hannah has combined this background with her passion for dance and developed a unique and inclusive approach to creative movement.

Gr. 6's explore social issues through dance
Gr. 6 class explores social issues through dance

The girls at YHS have really benefitted from, and appreciated, Hannah’s approach to dance. Those who were anxious about dancing, having not had much experience, were relieved to find out that there were no “wrong steps”, while those with a lot of experience were challenged to use their creativity to express their true thoughts and feelings, all in a safe environment. The topics covered ranged from fun and silly (have you ever danced “jello”?), to important social issues such as Inclusion, all through dance.

The response from the girls and the teachers has been extremely positive, as you will see from the quotes below. The week wrapped up with a sharing session for Grades 1 to 7, and after of week of intimate work, it was a great way to see the unique journeys each class took. The support of the Parent Association for the Artist in Residence Program is greatly appreciated by all, and certainly enriches our school in ways that words alone cannot express. Perhaps we need to dance it?!

Dawn Haylett, Junior Music Teacher

Watch the video, and the read the the comments from the girls below.

What Did She Say?

It was fun because you got to express yourself, but it was also a bit scary, because you had to make up something yourself. Mallory (ballerina), Gr. 6

We did colour dances and growing as a flower. It was really fun. –  Tera & Lauren B., Gr. 2

I thought it was expressively creative and you could do it even if you didn’t know how to dance. It was hard because you couldn’t be self-conscious.Christina, Gr. 7

It was cool.Isabel Gr. 2

It was fun. It was very different than I thought it would be.Samantha Gr. 4

It was good and fun. She related to us well, and she let us kind of have privileges and responsibilities to choose what we wanted to do. But she had rules that had to be followed and they got us on the right track.Anisha and Rachel, Gr. 7

It was cool. She made us do things I would never of thought of before to do.Katelyn, Gr. 4

It felt like we were free.Keana, Gr. 2

I really loved it. My favourite dance was the dolphin one.Annika, Gr. 1

It was amusing. It was something you don’t expect. Our favourite was the jello dance.Safya & Maya, Gr. 4

It was a little different than normal dance, but it was great. Salima, Gr. 6

I liked how even the shy and anxious girls were just as into it as the more outgoing girls.Miss Nicole, Teacher

It was unique. It made me feel awesome. It was the first time I danced like that.Tess, Gr. 3

My favourite was when my group got to dance cotton candy.Arabella, Gr. 2

It was really awkward at first, but then it got easier after a while.Ann, Gr. 7

I like the books. I like how we get to pitch in ideas for the dance, instead of the teacher coming up with everything.-  Lauren & Marissa, Gr. 6

She was original. It taught us to express our feelings without thinking about what other people would think, and that there are no wrong things in dancing.Kyra, Gr. 5

She is very generous with people. She is kind and she doesn’t laugh at people when they dance.Elaine, Gr. 6

It was awesome!Alicia, Gr. 1

Category: Junior School, Little School
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Tiger to a Terrapin

YHS Tiger, Danielle Signs with NCAA Div.1 University of Maryland

YHS Tiger, Danielle signs with NCAA Div.1 University of MarylandDanielle has done it all for the York House Tigers over her 13 year school career. Starting at YHS in kindergarten and now about to graduate with the class of 2011, Danielle has been a major player in York House Athletics throughout her life here.

Today, Danielle signed a National Letter of Intent to join NCAA Division 1 University of Maryland Terrapins Water Polo Team. A Terrapin, or Terps, as they are affectionately known, are turtles and the University of Maryland is a major player in many NCAA Div. 1 sports. This is an amazing accomplishment and one we are very proud of Danielle for.

There is little doubt that Danielle was active in our Jr. School Athletic program and once in high school, she has played almost everything. She played volleyball throughout her career and swam for our swim team and played water polo. She played basketball until Grade 11 and this year is also playing soccer.

Danielle has been an active student coach, an official and scorekeeper, as well as an Athletics Head. All along the way she has been mature, hardworking, a leader amongst her peers and well respected by her teammates and coaches.

In her senior years, Danielle focused her attention to water polo. Water polo is not a high profile sport nor is it a common sport in BC high schools. Though YHS and St. George’s do team up for water polo competitions, Danielle’s training and participation was primarily out of school. Yet, despite the fact she was fully committed to water polo outside of York House, she never turned her back on athletics at YHS. She continued to play a huge role on teams here at school right up until her final days. In fact, as a senior, Danielle helped lead our 2010-11 Tigers Swim Team to our first ever BCSS Provincial Championship.

So just how did her water polo career take off?
Danielle joined Burnaby Barracudas summer swim club’s water polo team because they needed more girls in 2005. “The sport grew on me”, she says. “It seemed to combine some of my favorite sports, soccer and swimming.”

In 2006, she made the BC Summer Games Zone 4 team and then joined the Pacific Storm Water Polo Club – an elite team coached by James Gardiner and John Stockdale.

In May 2008, during her first season with Pacific Storm, she attended two National Championships and placed 3rd for her U16 team and 1st with the U18 team. Here she gained experience from great players who were part of National Team. Many went off to play at NCAA schools such as Hawaii, UC Berkeley, San Jose State University, Indiana, and the University of Maryland.

In 2008-2009, she attended U18 Nationals in Winnipeg and came second, losing the final by 1 goal. In the summer of 2009 she was part of Team BC and the U18 Team Captain. She travelled to Hawaii for an international. Since, she has been at U18 Nationals in and U22 Nationals in Langley where she was named to the all-star team.

Moving on to the University of Maryland provides ample motivation to continue to improve. “Now after signing with Maryland, it has helped me work harder and motivated me to push to reach my full potential,” Danielle admits.

At YHS, she has been playing for the Saints/York combined team since Grade 7. She was captain in Grade 11 and grade 12 years and was on named a BC all-star for the past 3 years

Danielle explains how these past couple years have made the difference in getting to the next level:
“I had an amazing opportunity this past summer where I was selected as one of the top 25 athletes in Canada for those born 1991 and later. I trained with the other selected athletes before the team was selected for Worlds. Unfortunately, I didn’t make the National Team but even making the top 25 selection was a great accomplishment for me and helped me improve.”

This past fall, she was selected to be a part of the Canadian Select League where the top athletes from all around Canada are chosen to play and then later drafted into 5 teams. There were some athletes as young as 16, while others were the women who will be participating in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Danielle also gives credit to the people who have helped her along the way: “My family has been so supportive and has really made everything I have accomplished possible. All my teachers have been great, understanding when I had to miss a few classes for tournaments, as well as my coaches in every other sport…thank you for helping me be the athlete that I am.”

The decision to go to Maryland was easy.

“For me I knew I wanted to go to Maryland and that was amplified in February after I went on my recruiting trip. I will be joining Allison Campbell (Maple Ridge Secondary, Class of 2009). The team was so nice and the coaching staff was very welcoming. I fell in love with the campus and I knew this was somewhere I could see myself fitting in next year.”

As Athletic Director, I cannot say enough about the contributions Danielle has made over the years at YHS. Her attitude, work ethic and leadership have helped continue our tradition of athletic excellence at YHS. We are very proud of her and happy that she will continue to be so involved in such a high level of athletics for many years to come. Good luck, Danielle and congratulations.

David Prissinotti
Athletic Diretor

Category: Athletics, Senior School
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