Heryka Miranda is the daughter of beloved Guatemalan immigrants to the United States with Mestiza heritage (Indigenous and European ancestry). She has been living in the traditional territories of the Mississauga of the Credit, Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples for 16-years.
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.
Heryka is a community cross-cultural educator who uses 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 schools, migrant farm worker labour camps and a variety of formal and informal community spaces through dance and creative movement. Her graduate research study at Brock University in the Niagara Region explored the experiences of Mexican and Guatemalan migrant farm workers’ participation in experiential 'dance for relaxation' community art sessions. Her work using ecological land dance practices with the late Juan 'Luis' Mendoza de la Cruz 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.
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, Co-Artistic Director of Vanguardia Dance Projects; Charles Koreneho, Maori multi-media artist; Grupo Sotzil, Kaqchikel Maya ensemble from Guatemala and Marrie Mumford, Metis Program Director of Indigenous Performance Studies at Trent University.