My name is Nancy Morgan, and I am the owner of The Workshop Dance Studio. A few of you have asked me to write my dance bio. So here goes:
1960s & Kiddy Ballet:
Chateauguay, Quebec. The 1960s.
I am 3 years old. I am in kiddy ballet. My only weird and vivid memory of this is that at the end of the class, we were asked to pick imaginary flowers to give to the teacher – who in my mind’s eye is a beautiful Prima Donna.
When I was 5, my parents enrolled me in tap dancing at the Charles Griffith Tap Dance School. Charles had a loud, infectious laugh and he would tour all over the South Shore of Montréal, spreading his love of Tap Dancing.
My Teaching Career Begins:
At 11 years old, I began to teach for Charles, who several times a week, would pick me up after school and drive to all the small towns in the area to teach tap. I was paid in Kentucky Fried Chicken and I felt like I was his star student! At the year end recital, I wore the best costumes and felt honoured to be chosen to dance the final number along side Charles. I was hooked and studied Tap with him until I was 15.
Other Styles of Dancing:
My parents also liked to dance and we joined a square dance club called Country Cousins. My best memory of this was attending the very popular Montréal Square Dance Convention with my partner Phil. Thousands of people, from all over the world, took over the Queen Elizabeth Hotel – to Square Dance! This was amazing to me and I loved every second of it.
Montréal Tap & Jazz:
In the 70’s, I went to study tap in Montréal with the wonderful and graceful John Stanzel from Les Grand Ballet Canadiens. This opened up a whole new experience for me, so I started to study Ballet, Jazz and Modern at Les Ballet Jazz du Montréal. My Jazz teachers were the amazing Andre Lucas and Christian Haché, both founders members of Les Ballet Jazz du Montréal. By now, I am dancing several hours a day, 5 days a week!
Andre Lucas from Les Ballet Jazz du Montréal (right)
The National Tap Dance Company:
With written recommendations from John Stanzel and Andre Lucas, I auditioned for The National Tap Dance Company and was accepted to study under the company founder, Bill Orlowski. Now I am living the dream and the life of a starving dancer as I danced by day and worked retail at night.
While teaching for Phil and Don at The Dance Factory in Montréal, my tap partner Benny came up with the idea of starting our own Tap troupe. We formed Tapotage and I was thrilled to be dancing and teaching with the best Tap dancers in Montréal. It was a very exciting time for me.
Studebakers & the Fossils:
All through the 80s, it was a different time then and dance studios and night clubs were offering the most amazing dance classes in Club Line Dancing, Latin Dance, Lambada, Swing Rock and Roll, and strangely, even a class on Disco – all very popular styles in Montréal at the time. In 1991, I was invited to assist in the choreography for the Montréal All-Male Comedy Group – The Fossils. This is where I met my husband, Chris. Two kids happened and I decided to take a break from dancing.
When we moved to Ontario, I felt it was the right time to start dancing again. First, I rekindled my love for Square Dancing because that was something I could do with Chris. What followed was some super fun Line dancing classes; a little bit of Ballroom; a little bit of Swing; some highly energetic Saturday night Contra Dancing, and of course, tons of Zumba. One does not live in my town without doing Zumba!
The Workshop Dance Studio
The Workshop Dance Studio came to life in March 2015. I named it The Workshop after my Dad, who for 40 years was the local high school Wood Shop teacher. My dad was always happy when he was making something in his workshop. Similar to how I feel when I’m dancing in my studio!