We have been rehearsing and running classes out of The Dance Centre in Downtown Vancouver since our very first rehearsal in 2013. This July, their Member Spotlight featured our Artistic Director Susan Nase! In her interview she discusses her inspiration, the company's inception and our plans for the upcoming season. Read it all here!
Q & A with Artistic Director Susan Nase
1. Who is Susan Nase in a sentence?
My bio will tell you that I’m a prairie-born Scottish Highland dancer, tap dancer, singer and engineer, but what feels more true is to describe myself as a connector, a creator and an advocate of culture.
2. What was your path to creating Shot of Scotch Vancouver?
Shot of Scotch was first started while I was living in NYC. There is a ton of Irish culture there, but very little Scottish so SoS was formed as an outlet for me to continue to Highland dance. The group in NYC grew from three founding members to a large active company in only two years. When my work visa expired, I moved back to Canada and the Vancouver branch of Shot of Scotch was born.
3. Tell us a bit about the work the company does.
Our work creates opportunities for exploration and connection that lie beyond the limits of traditional Highland dance which is very structured, athletic, and rigid. The work we do honors the traditions and technique, but challenges the boundaries of traditional settings by incorporating movements and creation techniques of other dance and creative disciplines to create innovative, challenging works often in close collaboration with other dance artists or musicians.
4. Do you have any memories of moments or people that have influenced your artistic trajectory?
I am constantly being influenced and inspired by other artists in any number of disciplines! My experience of living in NYC for over 4 years, impacted me greatly. I was surrounded by emerging, established and legendary artists, many of which I remain in close contact with today. From time spent with them, I learned that anything is possible and to just show up and do the work. Day after day, week after week, just keep creating. Commit to the artistic vision and believe in yourself.
5. Do you have any ritual that you carry out each day?
Coffee! Every morning I have my espresso, green smoothie and I write in my journal. Often yoga or my newest effort – jogging (slowly) around the sea wall gets included in the morning ritual. I feel very grateful to live and work in this beautiful ctiy.
6. Any plans for the coming season?
Shot of Scotch has just become a non-profit society, so we have so many new ambitions and plans! In addition to our regular traditional performances in and around the lower mainland, we are working to create, present and tour a full-length show. We’re developing several ongoing collaborations with the VPD Pipe Band and Royal Academy of Bhangra and we’re very excited to be part of the Discover Dance Series next Apr.
7. I am a Dance Centre member because …
The Dance Centre has been our home since our first rehearsal in 2013. We’re grateful for the support we receive here as well as feeling connected to the broader dance community in Vancouver.