Jenelle Rouse is a bilingual (American Sign Language [ASL] and English) teacher of the Deaf and a scholar-in-training in London, Ontario with a Master of Arts in Education from Western University, Bachelor of Education from UOIT (University of Ontario Institute of Technology), Honours Bachelor of Arts from York and a specialized Deaf Teaching Diploma from York [2006-2008]. While at York, Jenelle took courses in modern and African dance. Her goal is to become a confident choreographer and dancer and has been active involved with Picasso PRO’s movement-based work since 2006, including Viv Moore and David Wilson’s Deaf Dance Open Studio ; Picasso PRO’s WinterDance with Miriam Rother ; Power of the Ensemble Masterclass/Bushell-Mingo ; and Deaf Acting Workshops with JBM . Jenelle is a member of the Talking Movement [TM] Ensemble], she choreographed one of three pieces [Withered Tree] for TM’s May 2011 presentation. In January 2012, she attended the IABD Conference hosted by Dance Immersions at the invitation of Vivine Scarlett who also provided ASL interpreters. Jenelle was the only Deaf participant at the conference. She performed in the public presentation of Talking Movement, November 2012, Al Green Theatre. She has continued her passion in dancing and performing since then.
Shelly Nafshi has been a member of the arts community for over two decades as a dance teacher, choreographer, collaborator and primarily as a performer. She has trained and performed in Canada, USA, Israel, across Europe and in South Africa. Throughout her career, Shelly has been the proud recipient of funding from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Since moving to Toronto she has had the honour of working with some extremely inspiring choreographers including Andrea Nann, Karen Kaeja and Ame Henderson. Her passion for dance ultimately introduced her to the Deaf community while dancing in Johannesburg, South Africa. Upon moving to Toronto in 2007 she began her work with Picasso Pro as a collaborator, dance facilitator and allied artist. Shortly thereafter she began her journey as an American Sign Language-English Interpreter. Combining her passion for movement with her love of American Sign Language has been enriching and exciting.