Bridge to Artists is a rare organization that devotes itself to providing young dancers with exposure to the process of creating a full-length professional production. Through the experience of nine original BTA productions, the story-line for each show had its own personality. However, the creative process always had a raw fusion of positivity, intensity, and support from the cast members and choreographers. The rehearsal process really fostered an environment to learn and grow from high-caliber professional artists as you experience laughter, sweat, and hard work together for weeks building up to the shows. Working with Vlad and other faculty members really teaches young dancers the skills of character work and acting, prop and set management and the performance of difficult choreography that is most relevant to the current state of contemporary dance. These performances have laid a groundwork for the professionalism I carry today – it has provided me with the exposure to the process, structure, and intensity of working in a professional dance company. The rich environment of BTA runs unparalleled, and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to have worked and to continue working through such delicious processes.
Cassidy Willox was born in Toronto, Ontario and has displayed a love and passion for dance since the day she can remember. Enrolled at Vlad’s Dance Company by the age of 4, she has gained incredible experience from the brilliant Vlad himself, and many of his renowned faculty members. She remained a competitive dancer at Vlad’s until her graduation from the school at the age of 17, marking 13 years of high-level competitive dance training in all styles. At the introduction of Vlad’s professional company Bridge to Artists in 2010, Cassidy was thrilled for the opportunity to audition for the pre-professional division. Ever since, she has been a member of the company, performing in 9 of BTA’s original productions, including Prima Volta, Senses, On the Sawdust Trail, Checkmate, Imperfectly Perfect, Alice, Carmen, Notre Dame de Paris, and The Village. In 2013, Cassidy won the American Dance Awards regional teen dancer of the year and went on to compete at the National competition in New York City, with a piece choreographed by Vlad. In 2014, Cassidy was invited to attend the summer workshop, Generation IV, in Boston, held by Shaping Sound’s founder, Teddy Forance. In 2015, she received acceptance into Toes for Dances’ summer intensive Ignite held by Toronto’s very own David Norsworthy and Kristen Carcone. Cassidy is always excited to delve into different creative processes and is constantly in search for new and exciting learning experiences. A career in dance has always been enticing for Cassidy, which has encouraged her to audition for the B.F.A. dance programs at NYU’s Tisch School for the Arts, Marymount Manhattan, and the Conservatory of dance at Purchase College in New York, all of which she obtained acceptance into. Upon graduation from Newmarket High school with the Principal’s Honour Degree in 2014, Cassidy also held acceptance and scholarship into 11 other Canadian universities. Since 2015, she has studied at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, where she is currently fulfilling her B.F.A. in Dance with a minor in Arts Management under faculty from the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Merce Cunningham Trust, the Graham Company, Batsheva, and many more.