Find out more about our work and read guest posts from artists, and learn about our community.
January 2024: Kaili Che
Who is Kaili Che in a sentence?
A spunky, empathetic, kindhearted Chinese-Canadian artist—whose interdisciplinary work is deeply influenced by the nurturing connections within her communities.
Tell us a bit about your work and practice.
I am immersed in the craft, practice and creation of dance on Turtle Island—specifically in Moh’kinstiss (Calgary) and on the unceded lands of the Coast Salish Peoples (Vancouver).
I center my practices on fostering safer spaces for myself and those around me. Alongside, an ongoing commitment to learning and expanding my understanding of anti-oppressive and Disability Justice principles.
My work integrates collaborations with artists from diverse disciplines, including dance, physical theatre, performance art, improvisation, music, digital/film, poetry, text/spoken word, and textiles. I enjoy creating immersive experiences, where audience members can engage and interact with my work. Presentations of my work can be found through media and/or live performances (theatre, gallery, and site-specific spaces).
How long have you been dancing?
In my childhood, I remember dancing to the theme songs of Old Master Q/老夫子 and Dragon Tales, marking the beginning of my dance journey at a young age. Formally, I took my first dance class at eight years old and never stopped. My professional career started in the summer of 2019.
How does dance fit into your life currently?
Dance and movement are well integrated in my life.
It is beautiful that this art form stretches along many other professions. As a freelancer, I get the privilege of working in arts administration, stage/site management, guest speaker/reviewer, competition dance writer, producer, dance educator, mentee, performer, and choreographer.
How would you describe dance’s impact on your life?
Dance continues to be the driving force in cultivating my self-confidence and sense of belonging and purpose in life. Through dance, I have crossed paths and connected with the most incredible, creative, and thoughtful human beings and communities—the gift of long-lasting friendships and relationships are priceless.
What three core values drive your engagement with dance?
Vulnerability— honesty and accountability
Play— laughter and risk taking
Relational— patience, shared/lived experiences and storytelling
Do you have a particular practice that you carry out each day or have you implemented new practices over these last few years?
Everyday I try my best to implement a full body scan and a gratitude practice (written or verbal). I offer you, the reader, to join me in a brief body scan and gratitude practice.
Focus on your breath. Starting from the top of your head. Slowly. Imagine water trickling down. Washing away the heaviness, weight, and tension. Next. Filling up your belly with a big inhale. Sigh with your exhale. Ground. Plant. Absorb. And the cycle begins again.
Today. At this very moment. Who/What are you grateful for? Why are you grateful? Where/When do you practice gratitude?
What would you say are the most significant benefits for you in being a Dance Centre member?
I find genuine joy in the unplanned encounters and interactions of artists—working, passing through, taking classes, rehearsing, and creating! The Dance Centre also has an abundance of resources (digital/in-person), subsidy options (Membership Discount, Dance Subsidy, Creation Subsidy, and Support for Small Dance Companies/Independent Artists (SCIAD)), applications, programs, networking opportunities, and extremely friendly staff members—some, who are also artists!
Interested in becoming a Dance Centre Member? Learn more here.
We support the development of dance in BC as a resource centre providing programs and services for dance professionals.
Photos by Carla Alcántara and Chris Randle