GBC graduates dance for charity

Christopher Knowles and Lindsay Aquin made debut as duo at Let The Elephants Dance

A duo of George Brown College (GBC) graduates came together on the dance floor at the Let the Elephants Dance, annual charity on Nov. 3 at Glenn Gould studio in downtown Toronto.

This was the first time Christopher Knowles and Lindsay Aquin were performing at the event and it was a dream come true.

“Elephants Dance, honestly to me, was a show that I wanted to be a part for quite a few years”, Christopher Knowles said. 

This event brought together fans of dance and the arts in an effort to put an end to the stigma surrounding mental health. 

It was the fourth show of its kind to be staged. 

Knowles is a professional dance teacher and choreographer who teaches at the Millenium Dance Complex and for City Core in Toronto.

His partner, Aquin, was a long-time friend of his and also a choreographer who teaches at the Millenium Dance Complex among other dance studios in Toronto and Thornhill.

“Dancing with Chris is just like breathing,” said Lindsay Aquin. “We just work so well together.”

Aquin, also dances for the Toronto Raptors’ Dance Pak now known as the North Side crew.

Knowles and Aquin “had very similar journeys as choreographers and dancers”.

The duo graduated from the same dance diploma program at GBC and decided to go for the alumni experience, dedicating their time to teaching students choreography they put together.   

Their performance at the show paid tribute to their friendship which dates back to when they first collaborated.  

When one of the Knowles’ dancers was not there for rehearsals, Aquin who was a student at the time volunteered.

It was Knowles who came up with the idea to perform for Let the Elephants Dance and started the conversation with Aquin.  

They later choreographed the dance together to perform as a duo for the first time having only danced together in groups before.

“Sometimes you can even communicate with people without even having to say something,” Aquin said, describing the significance of their dance at the show.

They followed each other’s movements constantly instead of depending on counts as choreographers normally do in the presence of an abstract song that misses prominent back beats.  

“It was a very emotional show, like everybody that was in it was very dedicated to what the purpose was and coming together to shed light where there is usually darkness,” Knowles said to describe the event rooted on ending mental stigma.

Let The Elephants Dance was produced by Michelle Crossman to raise funds for the Kids Help Phone and The Canadian Mental Health Association. 

“People are definitely aware of this in the dance world but Michelle is really good for reaching out to our community and trying to connect as many artists as she can on the show,” Knowles said.

Aquin and Knowles have also collaborated to perform on other shows which include Toronto’s Choreographers’ Ball, Fever after Dark, and Dance Weekend for Dance Ontario. 

The duo also to produced a video centered on bullying which is available on Youtube.

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GBC graduates dance for charity