Conferences / Annual Conference

Dancing Resilience: Dance Studies and Activism in a Global Age

October 15 – October 18, 2020
Simon Fraser University; Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Vancouver, located on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, has long been a site of occupation, exchange, defiance and resilience. From time immemorial, it has been a location of trade and traversal across coastal Indigenous communities of the Pacific and, in more recent centuries, a place where diverse cultures from across the world have encountered each other and interacted through colonial pathways and settlement. Vancouver is a site of Indigenous and international relationships. It is a site of resistance to uneven development, neoliberal markets, colonial laws, and to exclusion.

At this conference in Vancouver, the first DSA gathering in Canada, we invite presenters to explore dance and activism in localized and transcultural settings, and to share their strategies for productive change on the stage, street, screen and within the academy. In the same way that Vancouver serves as a powerful and complex example of both vexing histories and determined hope, we encourage participants to demonstrate how dance in other places intervenes in a range of issues, including race relations, gender-related rights, and land disputes. At the same time, the trend to commodify activism carries the potential for cultures of transformation to be appropriated into structurers of power and domination. In this gathering we wish to share the frameworks of dancing and dance scholarship that provide space for optimism, activism, and social movement.

Presentations may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Transformational relationships between land, memory and dance practice
  • Strategies of decolonization and reconciliation through movement and/or collaborative activist enactments of protocol and reciprocity through dancing and dance research
  • Dance as activist archive, and as archive of activism
  • Activist dance pedagogy and curriculum development as well as efforts to address, oppose, and redress exclusivity within academic institutions
  • Connections between media, dance, and social movements
  • Theories of optimism as factors in activist agendas, and their relation to dance
  • Critiques of resilience within structures of ongoing domination, and their relation to dance
  • Economies of dance performance, presenting, and philanthropy, and their impacts on justice work
  • Transcultural and transnational action and exchange, models for dance activism in particular geopolitical contexts

Proposed presentations may take the form of papers, panels, roundtable discussions, lecture-demonstrations, movement workshops, dance works using indoor or outdoor sites, and screendances. Papers that are pre-grouped into panels are encouraged and have higher likelihood of acceptance. Individual papers will be grouped into panels by the program committee. DSA encourages submissions to a new presentation format: hour-long “Lightning Topic" panels, comprised of three 10-minute presentations focused around a vital topic in the field, with 30 minutes of discussion. 

Submissions are currently closed and decisions will be sent out in mid-May.  

Conference details



Program Committee

  • Peter Dicksinson, Local Arrangements Chair, Simon Fraser University
  • Allana Lindgren, Program Co-Chair, University of Victoria
  • Ahalya Satkunaratnam, Program Co-Chair, Quest University
  • Patrick Alcedo, Committee Member, York University
  • Anurima Banerji, Committee Member, UCLA
  • Ya-Ping Chen, Committee Member, Taipei National University of the Arts
  • Jenn Cole, Committee Member, Trent University
  • Henry Daniel, Committee Member, Simon Fraser University
  • June Scudeler, Committee Member, Simon Fraser University
  • Anamaria Tamayo-Duque, Committee Member, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia
  • Melissa Templeton, Committee Member, University of Nebraska




With an estimated 500 dance scholars and educators in attendance, DSA’s 2020 conference offers publishers an excellent venue to promote dance and performance titles.


Make an impact as an exhibitor. This opportunity gives you the ability to network, advertise, promote and sell your books, products, and services to a captive audience which is highly invested in the study of dance. Each six-foot display table includes two chairs, wastebasket, and name badges for booth attendants. Display tables must be attended for the duration of the Exhibit.

• First table: $375.00 • Additional tables: $175.00 each


This is the perfect opportunity to promote one of your books to dance scholars and educators from around the world!

• Each display item is $40.00


In 2019, DSA successfully launched our mobile conference app. As we continue to green our conferences, we move away from printed programs and advertising and towards more adaptive, interactive, and environmentally-conscious modes of communication. To that end, support DSA and share your message with our attendees through sponsorship opportunities and/or digital advertising.

During three plenary sessions, two internationalization conversations, an opening reception, and our annual awards event, all 500+ attendees gather together at one time. By sponsoring one of these events you will have the opportunity to be seen by all. You will receive:

• signage at the event

• public announcement of your sponsorship via eblast, website, and social media

• sponsor profile in the mobile app used by all attendees


Plenary Presentation (three opportunities) ~ $500

DSA will host three plenary panel presentations over the course of our four-day conference, curating a group of dance scholars and practitioners from across the globe to address conference themes of dance studies and activism.

Opening Reception (singular opportunity) ~ $1000

The Opening Reception will take place on Thursday evening, October 15th, at the Pinnacle Harbourfront Hotel. Over cocktails and appetizers, our members and conference attendees will gather and mingle. As the singular sponsor for this reception, you will help us kick off our conference before the evening’s performance.

Internationalization Project Conversations ~ $300

In Vancouver, DSA will launch a five-year “Dance Studies as an International Field” project curated by senior scholar Dr. Susan Leigh Foster. In order to discuss how the field has emerged in different global contexts, this conference will host two public conversations between local, indigenous dance artists and scholars, and those from across the globe. We look forward to live-streaming these conversations as a part of the project’s stated mission for increased access, provoking reflecting and discussion around the relationship of locality to the various frameworks being deployed to study dance.

Membership & Awards Dinner: Table Sponsor ~ $75/table

Our annual Membership and Awards Dinner is an opportunity to share Association updates and honor publication awardees in the field. Each sponsor will receive signage on an individual table, as well as public thanks from the podium.


Market and endorse your books, products, events, and services by placing an ad in the conference app or in a push notification – as a part of our targeted communication with conference attendees. The DSA app replaces our printed programs as a part of a greener conference. The branded mobile app launched at our 2019 conference with a nearly 100% adoption rate. It is a dynamic platform for the conference schedule, book exhibitors, abstracts, bios, social connections, and more.

DSA Mobile App, Banner Ad

Banner advertisements scroll on the homepage of our conference app and are hyperlinked to a URL of your choosing. (Size: 950x400 pixels)

• $100 / month (August placement)

• $200 / month (September placement)

• $300 / month (October placement)

• $500 for banner ad to run from app launch through conference

Sponsored Push Notifications

Custom text push-notification will go out to all app-users, hyperlinked to a URL of your choosing. Promote your book exhibit or event, in real-time. You chose the date. In order to respect our app-users’ time and space, these sponsored notifications are limited, so reserve early.

• $100 / notification (August or September)

• $150 / notification (October, excluding conference days)

• $200 / notification (October 15-18)

All reservations and payments are due August 3, 2020.

Exhibitor/Sponsor/Advertising payment form HERE


The conference hotel and Simon Fraser University's Vancouver campus, which includes the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, are located on the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Musqueam (xʷməθkwəy̓əm), Squamish (Skwxwú7mesh), and Tseil-Waututh (Səl̓ílwətaɬ) First Nations. Framed by the Pacific Ocean and the north shore mountains, the city's geography is enchanting and richly storied by the intersecting pathways of Indigenous custodianship, colonial settlement, and diasporic migration.

The ten city blocks of Hastings Street that you will be traversing during your time at the conference also encompass some of the starkest contradictions of life in contemporary Vancouver: from the gleaming office and condominium towers and world-class conference centre (home of the TEDex Talks) near the hotel that mark Vancouver as a cosmopolitan global city to the edge of the poorest postal code in Canada, which the Goldcorp Centre abuts, and with whose place-based histories it is necessarily entangled. As DSA 2020 participants gather to explore the relationship between dance and activism, and as you move between events at the conference hotel and the Goldcorp Centre, we thus invite you to think about the different pathways of resilient assembly you are retracing.

We also invite you to explore some of the adjacent downtown neighborhoods and related activities: a walk or run or bike ride through Stanley Park (a 400-hectare natural West Coast rainforest filled with trails and encircled by a seawall that includes access to three public beaches); shopping in Gastown; the restaurants of Chinatown and Yaletown. Just make sure to bring your umbrella! Visit HERE for more information about the city, including our weather.

And don't forget to leave time for the film screenings, gallery exhibition, and performances that will complement the wide range of panels, workshops, and plenaries planned for DSA 2020.

The conference hotel is just a seven-minute walk from the Waterfront Station terminus of the Canada Line rail link to the Vancouver airport and a fifteen-minute walk from Simon Fraser University's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, where evening performances and related conference programming will take place.

Exiting Waterfront Station from its south entrance (the one closest to the back of the train) onto Granville Street, turn left onto Hastings Street and walk west for four blocks until you reach the Pinnacle (1133 West Hastings, between Thurlow and Bute Streets). To get to SFU's Goldcorp Centre from the hotel walk east along Hastings Street for nine blocks, until you cross Cambie Street; the entrance to the Goldcorp Centre is at 149 West Hastings, underneath the big red SFU sign.

Foreign Currency Exchange at Vancouver International Airport

Passport/Visa Requirements:

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to Canada without a visa. Please visit the following Government of Canada website (below) for exact requirements. Click HERE

Banks in Vancouver (walkable from hotel):

TD Canada Trust; HSBC Bank; Royal Bank of Canada; BMO

Transportation from the airport:

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is located in Richmond, to the south of Vancouver. The easiest (and cheapest) method of transport from the airport to downtown Vancouver is via the Canada Line rapid rail link. The YVR Canada Line station is accessible from both the domestic and international terminals and will whisk you to Waterfront Station, the line's terminus, in under 30 minutes. From Waterfront, it is a short walk to the hotel (see map). The fare for adults is $9.25 CAD, which includes a $5 YVR AddFare, and which you can pay by purchasing a single-use ticket, a reusable Compass Card, or simply by tapping your Visa, Mastercard, or American Express credit card or Mobile Wallet Tap-to-Pay app on the turnstile card readers. You'll need to tap your ticket/card again to exit your destination station. More information HERE

Taxis are also available, with fares assessed according to different destination zones in the city. To reach the conference hotel, it will cost $32 CAD before gratuities. Metered rates apply on return rates to YVR. More information HERE

Uber and Lyft now operate in Vancouver, although capacity is limited and wait times can vary.

Public transportation in Vancouver:

Buses, above- and below-ground train lines, and a seabus help connect locals and visitors to their destinations in and around the city. Adult fares are $3 CAD for Metro Vancouver (more if you're crossing multiple zones) and you do not need to purchase tickets in advance; you can simply tap-to-pay with your credit card. To plan your route, and to find more information, visit HERE


Located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, the Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront features rooms with stunning harbour and city views, a bar and bistro offering first-class cuisine, a panoramic Vistas lounge where our opening reception will be held, complimentary high-speed WiFi, free bike rentals, pet-friendly rooms, and a fitness centre and pool. Steps from the city's famous seawall, the hotel is also close to the urban oasis of Stanley Park and is surrounded by numerous restaurants, shops and amenities.

DSA Rate of $175 USD/$229 CAD

Book here:
Or call and ask for DSA room block: 1-844-337-3118

All Bodies Welcome

All Bodies Welcome

The Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront, where much of the conference activity will take place, is fully accessible. So too is Simon Fraser University's Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, where additional breakout sessions and evening performances will be held. Walking time from the hotel to the Goldcorp Centre is 15 minutes on level sidewalks. Unfortunately, ride share options in Vancouver are limited, though that is supposed to change soon. Pre-arranged taxis are available and pay parking is available near the Goldcorp Centre.

All Genders Welcome

Participants may choose to have their preferred gender pronouns on their conference badge by filling in the optional box on the registration form. All meeting room floor washrooms at the Pinnacle and throughout Goldcorp will be made gender-neutral for the duration of the conference.

All Children Welcome

Although neither DSA nor Simon Fraser University is licensed to provide daycare, parents and guardians may bring their children to the conference. Children who can quietly read or watch a video are welcome at all sessions, as are nursing infants. (Spaces that can serve as lactation rooms will be marked on hotel and campus maps.) Local daycare centers may be able to provide drop-in care if arranged in advance. (The Robert Lee branch of the YMCA, at 955 Burrard Street, is one option.) More information can also be found HERE. Babysitters can be found through and Babysits.

There are abundant family-friendly options in the area. Near the conference hotel is Stanley Park, which includes an aquarium, petting zoo, and multiple playgrounds and beaches. Further afield are Granville Island Public Market (which includes a Kids Market), Science World, the H.R. Macmillan Space Centre, and University of British Columbia's world-famous Museum of Anthropology. Across Burrard Inlet on the north shore, you might like to visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge, or take a gondola ride up to the top of Grouse Mountain. More details HERE.

All Nationalities Welcome

DSA believes in international exchange and is committed to holding regular meetings outside the US. Hence our decision to follow up our 2018 meeting in Malta with this conference in Vancouver, Canada. For non-Canadian citizens who require a visa to visit the country for 2020, the acceptance letter to the conference should be sufficient documentation. If you encounter obstacles, please contact our administrative office at