The Dance Teacher: A Biography of Kay Armstrong

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By Kaija Pepper
Vancouver’s Kay Armstrong was applauded for her Flamenco style dances. She was a former member of the corps de ballet at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. She had appeared in the Broadway musical Show Boat. Yet, as dance writer Kaija Pepper astutely notes in her examination of Armstrong’s career, the Vancouver teacher and choreographer was ultimately connected to the Vancouver landscape and her choreographic works most successfully expressed the environment and people of her hometown.

The Dance Teacher is an insightful portrait of a teacher who produced dozens of professional dancers and whose choreographic legacy is only now beginning to receive the attention it deserves. Pepper’s book is essential reading for anyone interested in the cultural history of Canada’s West Coast.

About the Author
Kaija Pepper, dance writer, teacher and journalist, is the author of The Dance Teacher: A Biography of Kay Armstrong (2001), Theatrical Dance in Vancouver: 1880’s-1920’s (2000) and The Man Next Door Dances: The Art of Peter Bingham (2007 – finalist for the Vancouver Book Award). Her essays have been included in The Responsive Body: A Language of Contemporary Dance (Banff Centre Press, 2002) and in Right to Dance/Dancing for Rights (Banff Centre Press, 2004). Kaija is a dance critic for the Globe & Mail and her quarterly “View from Vancouver” has run in Dance International for over a decade; she also contributes to many other North American dance magazines and journals. Kaija leads writing workshops and lectures on dance history and critical thinking. She is also the co-editor of Renegade Bodies: Canadian Dance in the 1970s.


Softcover, 6" x 9",  153 pp., 47 photos