Dancing Backwards

Who were the Famous Five? Who was Canada's first woman MP?
Most high school students respond with a blank stare.

There is a PROBLEM

The heroic stories of women in Canada’s history – women who worked hard for those without rights – are curiously absent from the textbooks. Where are the role models for young girls (and boys)?

Teachers committed to covering government and politics in social studies are frustrated by this omission and their lack of resources to remedy the problem.

There is a SOLUTION

Dancing Backwards is historical storytelling by students for students as
they look to the past to propel women into the future.

This series of interactive classroom workshops is fun, accessible, creative, informative and inspiring!

Play Video Teaser

The Pilot Program

Dancing Backwards is an 8-part curriculum that puts the contributions of Canadian women past into the schools now.

Students investigate what politics means to them, get a dynamic, gender-balanced view of Canada's political history, embrace role models and enter critical conversations about equality.

Students research the accomplishments of Canadian women politicians from history, and are coached in their chosen form of storytelling - poem, video, puppet show, graphic story, narrated dance piece, skit, painting, etc. These are presented, filmed/uploaded onto an online website, that then becomes the core resource of this program.
Peer to peer teaching at its best.

Dancing Backwards creates a world where students teach each other about equality!

“Finally a resource that focuses on the many, varied contributions of women in Canadian history and politics!”

Jennifer O'Ryan Ractliffe, Grade 11/12 teacher
Spectrum High School, Victoria, BC

“Student collaboration, peer teaching and creativity are all the pieces that ignite and inspire rich learning, Thanks for this amazing opportunity.  It’s refreshing!”

Jessica Hoyt, Grade 8 Teacher
Gordon Head Middle School, Victoria, BC

You can make this happen!

Be part of developing a body of work for teachers and students Canada-wide by supporting the Dancing Backwards online library, rich with video stories told through the lenses of elementary, middle and high school students.

Help girls actively engage in their own future.

Combat youth voter apathy.

Encourage girls to step up and run for political office.

Support the use of artistic expression to explore and define what politics means to each of us.

We look forward to your contribution; join us in watching this program grow!

Thanks so much,

Sandy Mayzell

Sandy Mayzell
Founder, Dancing Backwards
a tentacle of Dancing with the Octopus

Two easy ways to donate...

Donate Online with Canada Helps

Donate Online via Canada Helps

Mail cheque payable to:
Educating Toward Change Society
4412 Wilkinson Road
Victoria BC V8Z 0C1
(Specify funds for
Dancing with the Octopus)

All donations are tax deductible and receipts will be issued for contributions over $20. Thank you!

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