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Dancing Backwards Society

Mission Statement

The purposes of the non-profit Society are: to promote engaged citizenship, gender parity and women in leadership through developing and providing transformational, multidisciplinary education programs.

Dancing Backwards Society is licensed to implement and promote the Dancing Backwards Program, dancingbackwards.ca, in Canada.

Board of Directors

Executive Director, Sandy Mayzell

Sandy MayzellSandy has devoted her life to the arts, and believes that art-making can be a key to self-realization, and a route to real change in the world. Sandy is the founder and executive director of Dancing Backwards Society that is licensed to promote her work in citizenship, gender parity, and encouraging women and girls to step into the world of political leadership.

Director, Carol Matthews

Carol MatthewsCarol has worked as a social worker, as Executive Director of Nanaimo Family Life and as instructor and Dean of Human Services and Community Education at Malaspina University-College (now VIU). She was awarded the ACCC National Award for Excellence in Leadership, an Honorary Doctorate of Letters Degree from VIU, the Order of B.C. and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Carol has published a collection of short stories and four works of memoir. Her short stories and reviews have appeared in literary journals such as Room, The New Quarterly, Grain, Malahat and Event. A new book on bereavement will be published by Oolichan this fall.

Director, Monica Prendergast

Monica PrendergastDr. Monica Prendergast, Ph.D. Is associate professor of drama/theatre education at the University of Victoria and serves as the Drama Education curriculum advisor to Dancing Backwards. Monica's books include Teaching Spectatorship (2008), and with Juliana Saxton, Applied Theatre (2009, 2nd edition 2016) and Applied Drama (2013). Monica has also written a curriculum guide for K – 7 classrooms, BC History in Action (2008), a set of drama-based social studies lessons on BC history. http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/bc150/

Dancing Backwards Intern, Alexa Lewis

Alexa Lewis Alexa is a fourth year Honors Political Science student at the University of Victoria. She is one of Equal Voice’s Daughters of the Vote, representing the riding of the North Okanagan-Shuswap. Her work with Equal Voice introduced her to Sandy and the Dancing Backwards Society. She has now joined the team as an intern, offering support in social media and promotion, and bringing her passion for equality and youthful insight to Dancing Backwards.

Moving Forwards

The Society seeks further personal and corporate sponsors so it can carry on with its work. Specific projects that require funding include the following:

  • A translation of the program into French

  • A longitudinal study that will allow us to track students' attitude/behavior changes and their engagement as citizens (e.g. do they vote, run for leadership positions, run political campaigns, etc.)

  • Ongoing website maintenance, so that incoming Her Story Archive projects from across the country can be uploaded to the Dancing Backwards site

  • Ongoing social media, to promote the site and share feedback from students. 

Please consider becoming a partner of Dancing Backwards.

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