Heryka Miranda

  • Adult Contemporary
  • Experimental
  • Improv
  • Interactive
  • Modern dance
  • Salsa
  • Site Specific

Heryka Miranda is a Guatemalan American living in the traditional territories of the Mississauga of the Credit, Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples for 16-years. She is a dancer, choreographer and dance educator.

Dance and music have always provided Heryka with a sense of freedom and liberation like no other. Listening, feeling and becoming aware of the sensations and impulses that the body offers throughout the lifecycle reminds her of her birthright; that is to simply "be".  Uncovering the hidden stories and memories stored in the body through dance expressions have provided Heryka with moments of curiosity and reflection, opportunities to connect to her intuition and spiritual knowing, celebrate joy and a multitude of feelings and emotions while gaining essential life skills to heal and transform self-sabotaging beliefs stemming from the historical impact of colonization on her family and Central American community.

As a community dance educator, Heryka is guided by ecological land dance practices and expressive arts therapeutic approaches in her work with institutionally vulnerable communities. She aims to bring understanding, harmony and compassion to migrant farm worker labour camps, schools and universities and a variety of formal and informal community spaces  through dance and creative movement. In the past three years, she has collaborated with Aeris Körper and Dreamwalker Dance company to deliver engaging and accessible movement wellness workshops using a ‘Conscious Bodies’ community practice methodology, created by Andrea Nann. In 2022, Heryka joined forces with violinist Caitlin Craven to co-create an interactive collaborative piece of live violin and dance entitled "Oblivion - Offerings for Grief and Loss" that they presented at the 'In the Soil' festival in St. Catharines and at the Cotton Factory in Hamilton. They have also offered ‘strings and movement’ community wellness workshops.

Her graduate research study at Brock University (2014-2017) in the Niagara Region explored the experiences of Mexican and Guatemalan migrant farm workers’ participation in experiential 'community dance for relaxation' sessions that she designed and led in Spanish. Her work using ecological land dance practices with the late Juan 'Luis' Mendoza de la Cruz, a migrant farm worker with over 30-years of working on Canadian farms is featured in 'The Sunflower Man’ a short documentary by Toronto-based, Colombian filmmaker Monica Gutierrez. Her dance work with people with disabilities is also featured in a documentary called 'Dance in the Shadow' produced by Parashoot Productions.

This past summer 2023, Heryka was one of the choreographers working with the Kaeja Dance’s Porch View Dances (PVD) ‘Real People Dancing in Real Spaces’ in Toronto -an annual award-winning community dance event that engages everyday people as creators, storytellers, and performers– many of whom have never danced before. As part of the PVD, she collaborated with Jim Adams, aka ‘Many Hats’ a multidisciplinary Indigenous artist and educator who courageously explored the themes of relationship, erasure and resilience, through honouring traditional teachings, stories and ceremony. She was also featured in a Toronto Guardian article entitled 'A Day In The Life' with Hamilton-based Choreographer, Heryka Miranda (Article - https://torontoguardian.com/2023/08/toronto-artist-heryka-miranda/).

Heryka's land dance practices come from teachings and experiences shared with her in the oral tradition and on site specific locations throughout Turtle Island. Her teachers and mentors for whom she offers her sincerest gratitude include local Migrant Farm Workers in the Niagara Region from Mexico and Guatemala; Rebecca Beayni, Disabilities Artist (dancer and painter); Maria Montejo, Traditional Knowledge holder that carries the Deer Dance, Corn/Seed and Creation Stories for her community; Rulan Tangen, Artistic Director of Dancing Earth Creations; Norma Araiza and Olga Barrios, Co-Artistic Directors of Vanguardia Dance Projects; Charles Koreneho, Maori multi-media artist; Grupo Sotzil, Kaqchikel Maya ensemble from Guatemala and Marrie Mumford, former Metis Program Director of Indigenous Performance Studies at Trent University.

Heryka is also a sessional instructor who teaches dance as education and wellness at two local universities.


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