Lisa Sandlos

Lisa Sandlos
Course Director

M.A., E.M.A., C.M.A.
Personal Website

Lisa Sandlos has been a faculty member at York University since 1998, teaching in the Department of Dance, the School of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies, and more recently in the Faculty of Education.

The recipient of a SSHRC doctoral award for two consecutive years, Sandlos is a PhD Candidate in Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies at York, where her current research focuses on the sexualization of young female dancers and the impacts of this trend on dance education, on public perceptions of dance, and on girls’ psychological and social development. Her recently published chapter in the anthology, Performing Motherhood: Artistic, Activist and Everyday Enactments, examines the role of dance mothers with respect to issues of gender and sexualization within private dance studios and dance competition networks.

Sandlos’ MA in Dance focused on global and local practices of “ecstatic dance”, and the ways in which consciousness-altering or transformative dance experiences can shape communities, influence health, and fulfill the human desire for spiritual connections. She is qualified as a Certified Movement Analyst (C.M.A.) through the Laban Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS) and as an Expressive Movement Analyst (E.M.A.) at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), which equips her to work with a diverse range of students in group or in individual coaching contexts.

An enthusiastic presenter of her academic research and the various embodied movement/dance modalities that she practises, Sandlos has offered her expertise at various conferences, training programs and festivals in locations including Chicago, IL, Sedona, AZ, St. John’s, NL, Vancouver, BC, Hamilton, ON, Ottawa, ON, and Miami FL. Most recently, she was invited to present a scholarly paper and a movement workshop at a conference called The Sustainability Of Dance As An Art Form: Economics, Politics And The Philosophy Of Resistance at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination, University of West Indies in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Based in the Toronto dance community for many years, Sandlos worked as an educator, choreographer, and performer.

For more than two decades, Sandlos taught modern dance and creative movement to all ages/levels, working through programs including the National Ballet of Canada’s Creating Dances, the Ontario Arts Council’s Artists in Education, the Toronto District School Board’s Drama/Dance Program, and the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Learning through the Arts.

Sandlos co-founded the performance collective dance continuum, which produced performances and workshops for adult and young audiences alike. She was also the founder and artistic director of a youth dance company, the Young Contemporary Dancers of Toronto (YCDT), whose members have now gone on to apply their early dance performing experiences in the YCDT to careers spanning education, choreography, international development, and dance scholarship.

As a graduate of professional training programs at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and George Brown College, Sandlos danced professionally in the work of such renowned choreographers as Yuri Ng, Menaka Thakkar, Sylvie Bouchard, Eve Lenzner, David Earle, Newton Moraes, Michelle Silagy, Judith Miller, Janet Lemon, Maxine Heppner, Robert McCollum and Motus O Dance Theatre.

Currently, Sandlos lives in Erin, ON with her husband and two children. In addition to her teaching at York University, she is a frequent guest instructor and choreographer for the Guelph Youth Dance Training Program and The Music Studio.