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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, www.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, 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/ 







Director, Karen Aitken

Karen Aitken Karen L. Aitken has a passion for education and life long learning. As an Early Childhood Educator and now Director of the Parliamentary Education Office at the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, she is happy to provide resources, learning opportunities and mentoring to many. With a Bachelor of English, Early Childhood Education Diploma, Bachelor of Social Work and Public Sector Leadership Certificate, she enjoys sharing her skills to educate and inform and especially encourage young women to become involved in and around politics. She is married with two grown children and sits on the executive for Equal Voice Victoria.

Director, Lacey Jones

lacey jonesLacey Jones is from the Snuneymuxw Nation and was raised in Lekwungen territory. She has two beautiful daughters. Recently, she has completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a major in Political Science and a minor in Indigenous Studies at the University of Victoria, and is currently working on a Masters in Political Science. She is concerned about understanding the impact that colonialism has had on Indigenous women living within Canada's borders. Lacey's passion and responsibility lies in helping to empower Indigenous women and children that are affected by colonial trauma. Lacey oversaw the Dancing Backwards program offering more inclusive language and approach, and led the First Nations pilot program in Victoria.

Director, Kayleigh Erickson

kayleigh ericksonKayleigh Erickson is passionate about increasing women’s representation at all levels of government, and to increasing access to affordable and accessible education for everyone. She is a current undergraduate student at the University of Victoria studying Political Science, Sociology, and Social Justice Studies. Kayleigh is currently the President of the Equal Voice UVic Club, one of Equal Voice’s Daughters of the Vote representing Fleetwood-Port Kells, and Co-Chair of the Equal Voice Victoria Chapter. She looks forward to sharing her skills to support encouraging more youth to know Canada’s political history, in particular women’s ‘herstory,’ and to become engaged and active citizens.

Executive Assistant, Camille Ancessi

camille ancessiCamille has just graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Degree in Political Science and Internationatonal Relations! She is grateful and excited to be a part of the Dancing Backwards team!







 Dancing Backwards Former 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.

Contact us at

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