Orchesis Dance Performance Group (ODPG)

Orchesis Dance Performance Group (ODPG) is a 54-year old organization that has its roots in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation. ODPG is now part of the Club Sports programming with Campus and Community and Recreation.



orchesis peggy flower

Choreography and Performance

ODPG offers specifically dance performance and choreographic opportunities to our dance members. Orchesis is a unique group that fosters long-term recreational and professional development in dance that is non-credit. ODPG is open to all students, alumni and members of the community with a desire to dance, choreograph and perform. Orchesis is devoted to creativity, expression and the well-being of all dancers.

View all the available programs

Dance Motif Show

Every year, Orchesis produces a major dance concert, "Dance Motif" at the Myer Horowitz Theatre in SUB. This performance facilitates a diversity of experience, allowing individuals the possibility of exploring ideas in a creative environment and giving experienced dancers the opportunity to continue developing their performance skills. "Dance Motif" occurs in the last week of January every year, which includes both professional and student choreographers.

Dance Motif 2020 marks the 55th year of Orchesis and will feature contemporary modern and jazz choreography by faculty and local dance artists. Motif 2020 features the guest choreographer Laura Krewski and we have received support from The Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Orchesis Dance Society, the non-profit society, makes this possible and with additional fundraising efforts.

Get more details on the next performance here

Required Dance Classes for Memberships

All members of ODPG are required to take one class in the appropriate style, for both the fall and winter terms to be in "Dance Motif", which include the contemporary modern, ballet & jazz dance classes offered by Campus and Community Recreation (CCR). These classes are for dance lovers of all abilities and experience, and the three dance styles are available at three levels of ability. See CCR for more details of the three technique classes.

The Orchesis Summer Dance Intensive (OSDI) consists of intensive training with professionals in the dance field. Learn more about OSDI here


The University of Alberta Orchesis Dance Program was established by Dorothy Harris, a professor of dance, and award-winning educator, in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation in 1964.

Harris was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and a disciple of Margaret H'Doubler, a professor of physical education at the University of Wisconsin, who, in 1918, established the first dance degree program at an American university. H'Doubler chose "Orchesis" as the name for a group of students there who wanted to dance more outside of their classes.

Learn more about the History of Orchesis here

Membership Fees and Fundraising

ODPG is open to students, alumni, and members of the community, but are required to pay a membership/performance fee to perform in "Dance Motif". That is one part of the fundraising that is needed to produce the show. Rates of membership are shown below:

Membership in One Dance Second Dance Third Dance
Students $105 $40 $20
Non-students $120 $40 $20

As a student group/club, Orchesis depends on its student board to facilitate the performance experience, and active board members, both student and non-student, receive a 50% membership fee discount.

The Orchesis Dance Society (ODS) is the fundraising branch of ODPG, which helps produce the "Dance Motif" show. All members are required to fundraise through the Orchesis Dance Society in a variety of ways.

For more information contact The ODS website is: orchesisdancesoc.ca

For more information you can email the ODPG at: orchesis@ualberta.ca
The website for ODPG is can be found at: uab.ca/clubsports

  • Awards and Scholarships

    Dorothy Harris Dance Award

    Field of Study Open
    Value $750 - $1000 (variable)
    Number available 1 per year
    Conditions To be awarded annually to an undergraduate student who has shown an interest in and contributed to dance choreography or performance at the University of Alberta Orchesis Dance Program on the basis of satisfactory academic standing, minimum GPA 3.0.
    Application Apply by designated March or April date to the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation. The date is also posted on the University's Office of the Registrar Awards Office website.
    Contact Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation Student Services Office 3-134 University Hall 780.492.5604
    Donors Endowed by the alumni of the Orchesis Dance Program at the University of Alberta and other individuals interested in dance in honour of Dorothy Harris for her contribution to Orchesis and the field of dance.


    Orchesis Spring/Summer Study Dance Award and the Dean's Orchesis Dance Summer Study Award

    Field of Study Open
    Value $450 - $500 (variable)
    Number available 2 per year
    Application April 6, 2018
    Donors Endowed by Orchesis Dance Program with additional support from the Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport and Recreation and two anonymous donors
    Open to Any Orchesis dancer who has been active in performance and/or choreography and who desires additional training in and outside of Edmonton commonly found in summer intensives, workshops or festivals with satisfactory academic standing.
    Eligibility Must be a university student, in either second, third, or fourth year of an undergraduate program with a minimum 2.0-point GPA, or a returning graduate student. GPA is determined by the previous full academic year. Therefore, for the summer of 2018, transcripts form 2017/18 will be reviewed.
    Nominated by Campus & Community Recreation
    Intent and timeline The receiving applicant may use this award toward dance studies any time after receipt and up to the end of the calendar year. The title "Spring/Summer" refers to the increased availability of outside professional training during the summer months. Study application may certainly be pursued after August if the desired dance study course takes place later and through December of the award year.

    Kathy Metzger-Corriveau, Director, University of Alberta
    Club Sports, Campus & Community Recreation, Faculty of Kinesiology, Sports, and Recreation
    2-670 Van Vliet Complex, Edmonton, AB T6G 2H9 Phone: 780-492-0770 FAX: 780-492-2364 E-mail: orchesis@ualberta.ca


    Orchesis Spring/Summer Award Application Form

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What type of volunteering is expected from Orchesis members?

    Volunteering for Orchesis is not typically time consuming. Examples include:

    - selling tickets to Motif for 1-2 hours in designated sales area
    - helping with poster placement
    - dance archival files
    - assisting with advertising sales in the concert program
    - helping to clean costumes after the performance
    - helping in the theatre before tech week

    There are more responsible roles as well. These are continuing volunteer positions and they are reserved for dancers who want to help lead the group. We call this group the Volunteer Executive and the Extended Executive. These roles have membership discounts of 50% - 75% attached to them because their roles are ongoing. Please refer to the volunteer executive link on this website for information.

    I want to perform in Dance Motif, but I do not know what that requires. Is there an audition? And if so, when, and do I need to choreograph something?

    Orchesis is very accessible for dancers who want to perform. You do not need to audition or choreograph anything.

    - To participate you will need to attend the choreographers' idea presentations in September (this year's date to be determined) from 8:10 PM to ~ 9:20 PM and the choreographic process is explained with time for Q&A
    - Each choreographer talks about their dance for approximately 4-5 minutes.
    - Following choreographers' presentations, interested dancers meet them and can sign up for a dance where the choreographer's rehearsal time works for them. Once you have signed up the choreographer will expect you to attend the first rehearsal.
    - Dancers are required to attend their classes regularly for training and technique and be committed to the time requirements of their dance.

    Where is the Dance Studio?

    Orchesis is housed in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation (KSR). KSR facilities are named the Van Vliet Complex (VVC) and it has seven building numbers: 1= University Hall offices, 2= East building, 3= , 4=Pavilion (PAV) often called the Butterdome (bright yellow exterior), 5= , 6= West Building areas 7= The Arena portion of the WEST building.

    The Dorothy Harris Dance Studio room VVC 2-635 is located in the WEST building of the VVC on the 2nd floor level, just past the Main Gym. Many of the buildings are connected on the lower level and have clear signs telling you where to go.

  • Governance
    Position Committee Member Contact Information
    Director Kathy Metzger-Corriveau
    Past Chair Sophia Yip
    Chair Anne Christiansen
    Vice Chair Jessica Round
    Treasurer Charlotte Brown
    Motif Coordinator 1 Katja Schreiner
    Motif Coordinator 2 Marleina Schreiner
    Media/Marketing Coordinator 1 Lisa Grondin
    Media/Marketing Coordinator 2 Ellen Weleschuk
    Club Sports Program Director Alberto Bustamante uab.ca/recreation
    Campus & Community Recreation Program Liaison Nicolette Marshall nicolette.marshall@ualberta.ca

    ODPG will hold its next AGM in April TBA, 2020.

    If you are interested in leading and supporting dancers and dance at the U of A in the Orchesis Dance Program, please attend.

  • Instructors

    CCR classes are taught by dynamic and talented instructors, many with significant national and international experience. All are leaders in their styles of dance and known for their ability to teach dancers at every level skillfully in an encouraging environment.

    Below, find the corresponding instructor for each Orchesis class offered:

    BALLET I (Thu 5 - 6:25 PM) - Kathy Metzger-Corriveau
    BALLET II (Mon 5 - 6:25 PM) - Kathleen Hughes
    BALLET III (Wed 5 - 6:25 PM) - Kate Stashko

    JAZZ I (Sat 10 - 1130 AM) - Andrea Fitzgerald
    JAZZ II (Sat 1130AM -1 PM) - Camille Ensminger
    JAZZ III (Tue 6:30 - 8 PM) - Sarisa Figueroa de Toledo

    CONTEMPORARY MODERN I (Mon 6:30 - 8 PM) - Kathleen Hughes
    CONTEMPORARY MODERN II (Thu 6:30 - 8 PM) - Kathy Metzger-Corriveau
    CONTEMPORARY MODERN III (Wed 6:30 - 8 PM) - Kate Stashko and Raena Waddell

    The director of ODPG advises CCR as to who should be hired as instructors for all the three styles and levels.

    Please click on the PDF link for a full of list Orchesis instructors and their brief biographies:

  • What we offer

    What we offer

    - Opportunity to perform in fully produced concert
    - Opportunity for choreographers, new or experienced, to create dances (link to choreographers' and application to choreograph)
    - Master classes and workshops sponsored by Orchesis include:
    - contemporary modern, ballet and jazz dance technique
    - improvisation and contact improvisation
    - dance theatre craft
    - dance somatics - example of offerings include: Pilates, Garuda, Dowd conditioning technique, etc.
    - lecture/demonstrations, dance research connections and discussions
    - classes in a variety of dance forms when appropriate