The Week in the Life Series provides an inside look into the lives of Ottawa-based artists and their practices. This week independent dance artist Elizabeth Emond-Stevenson shares a week in her life pre-COVID-19 and post-COVID-19.




9:00 am Wake Up

I hit snooze a couple times and get ready for my day: I eat breakfast, get dressed, pack my bag with my notebook, shoes and audio cable for teaching.

9:30 – 11:00 am Admin

Admin for me means tasks such as responding to and composing emails, drafting and sending applications for jobs and projects and preparing classes and choreography.

11:30 – 12:30 pm Transit

I take a train and a bus from downtown to the west end of the city.

1:00 – 3:00 pm Teaching

I am currently teaching two classes through a City of Ottawa program called I Love to Dance. We warm up, learn some games and exercises and work on a dance that we will be presenting. 

3:15 – 4:45 pm Transit

I head back home. The train is delayed so it takes longer than usual.


9:30 am Wake Up

10:00 am – 12:00 pm Seminar

I watch a seminar by the Centre national de danse-thérapie called Dance Movement Therapy: An Experiential Introduction.

12:30 pm Pick Up

My dad picks me up for a visit with my family.

1:00 pm – 1:30 pm Groceries

We stop for groceries.

2:00 – 9:00 pm Miscellaneous

I walk my family’s dog and play with him. Make dinner. Eat dinner. Watch The Big Chill. 

9:00 pm – 9:30 pm Attempt at Yoga

My mom and I attempt yoga outside but even with bugspray there are too many mosquitoes.


7:30 am Wake Up

Sunday is usually my day off, but today I have an out of town audition. I put on the radio to get myself going, eat breakfast, pack a lunch and dance clothes and head to the Greyhound station.

9:30 – 2:30 pm Transit

The bus ride is straight forward and I arrive with plenty of time to spare.

5:00 – 8:00 pm Audition

There is a huge line up for registration. After I’m through, I head to the studio to warm up, where we are split into two groups. When my group is called we move into the adjacent room to learn a short floor combination in front of the judges. 

9:00 – 10:00 pm Dinner

My friend and I got cut so we decide to get some dinner before I catch my red eye bus back to Ottawa. 

12:00 – 5:00 am Transit

It is technically Monday. I sleep all the way through the bus ride.


12:45 pm Wake Up


1:00 pm – 2:00 pm “Breakfast”


2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Course Work

I am taking a course through the University of Alberta called Indigenous Canada. 

5:00 – 6:00 pm Bike Ride

I bike down by the Locks and back. 

6:00 – 7:00 pm Dinner


7:00 pm – late Miscellaneous

I can’t remember what I did… I probably answered some emails and did a bit of admin work.


9:00 am Wake Up

Another day, another alarm snoozed. 

9:45 – 10:25 am Transit

I take a bus to my class and listen to music on the way.


10:45 – 12:15 pm Class

Unless I have rehearsal, I train weekday mornings by taking a contemporary or ballet class at The School of Dance. When I arrive, I warm up on my own with some light cardio, strength exercises and joint articulation. Class progresses from smaller, more specific exercises to traveling across the floor combinations and jumps. 

12:30 – 1:00 pm Transit

I travel to my next activity in the Glebe.


1:15 – 3:15 pm Private Mentor Session

On Mondays I work one on one as a private mentor. The material is tailored specifically to my student and changes week to week based on their needs. 

3:30 – 4:15 pm Transit

I take the bus east to Vanier for the last portion of my day. 


6:00 – 8:00 pm Teaching

I teach adult classes with Propeller Dance, an Ottawa-based integrated dance company. This particular class is focused on storytelling, so we learn some vocal exercises, create stories and work on pairing text with movement. 

8:15 – 9:00 pm Transit

My last bus of the day! I head home to make dinner and relax.


9:45 am Wake Up

I get up just in time for 10 am class. 

10:00 am – 11:00 am Class

I take a contemporary dance class through Zoom.

11:00 – 12:00 pm Brunch/Prep

I eat and then plan the private session I will be teaching in the afternoon.

12:00 – 12:30 pm Walk

I walk to my massage appointment.

12:30 – 1:30 pm Massage

I get a massage following strict health & safety protocols. 

1:30 – 2:00 pm Walk

I walk back home.

2:00 – 3:00 pm Private Mentor Session

I teach my private session through Facebook video chat. 

3:00 – 8:30 pm ???

Another chunk of time that has disappeared from my mind. I did Pilates but not 5 hours’ worth… 

8:30 pm – 9:30 pm Bike Ride

I bike to the lookout in Rockcliffe and back. 

9:30 pm Dinner

10:00 pm – very late Miscellaneous

Yoga, meditation, dishes, rearrange apartment because frustrated with lack of space, dishes.


7:30 am Wake Up

I eat breakfast, get dressed and pack a lunch.

8:45 – 9:15 am Transit

I take the bus to Westboro. 

9:30 – 3:30 pm Rehearsal Coach

I am a rehearsal coach and support for Propeller Dance. This means that I help dancers with specific tasks and help clean and refine the choreography. The company is preparing two pieces for their tour in March. The day is divided into a morning warm up and rehearsal segment, then lunch and a second rehearsal segment. 

3:45 – 4:25 pm Transit

I head home to eat dinner and change. 

6:00 – 7:30 pm Class

I take an evening ballet class at The School of Dance. 

7:45 – 8:30 pm Transit

I head home.


9:45 am Wake Up

10:00 am – 11:00 am Class

I take the same contemporary dance class through Zoom.

11:15 am – 11:45 am Pilates

I do a Pilates class on Youtube.

12:00 pm – 1: 00 pm Lunch

I take a break, prepare lunch and eat.

1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Counselling

I have a virtual counselling session.

2:45 pm – 3:15 pm Class

Ballet barre on Youtube with the Dutch National Ballet. 

3:30 pm – late Miscellaneous

My inner bike tire pops, I visit my parents, we have dinner, my mom and I do some yoga. When I get home I do some cleaning.


7:00 am Wake Up

It’s starting to get lighter earlier, which is encouraging. Same routine as previous days. 

8:00 – 9:00 am Transit

I travel to Orleans on a train and a bus. 

9:00-9:30 am Warm Up

I dance for Tara Luz Danse, a young audience company based out of the Shenkman Arts Centre. I warm up at the barre, do some strengthening exercises and review the choreography. 

9:30 – 3:30 pm Rehearsal

We are getting ready for an out of town school tour. We go through specific sections of the work, take a lunch break, receive notes and then run the piece afterwards. 

4:00 – 4:45 pm Transit

I travel back downtown in preparation for my next activity. 

6:00 – 8:00 pm Teaching

I teach another adult class with Propeller Dance on Wednesdays. 

8:15 – 9:00 pm Transit



9:45 am Wake Up

10:00 am – 11:00 am Class

Same class through Zoom.

11:30 am – 1:30 pm Dogsitting

My mom drops off the dog, Gilligan, and I watch him she’s at an appointment. We go for two walks. 

?? pm – ?? pm Who Knows?

The afternoon disappears somehow. I eat at some point. I do some Pilates. 

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm YALC Meeting

Young Arts Leaders Collective has a virtual meeting to discuss upcoming initiatives. 

6:30 pm Dinner

7:30 pm Course Work

This is the Indigenous Canada course I mentioned earlier. 

8:30 pm – very late Miscellaneous

I watch an interview on diversity in dance while doing an anti-inflammatory treatment for my knee, read, do dishes, work on some applications, listen to music.


6:45 am Wake Up

So…. early…


7:00 – 7:45 am Admin

For some reason I have tons of focus this morning so I get some admin work done. 


8:00 – 9:00 am Transit

I travel to Orleans again.


9:00 – 9:30 am Warm Up

I focus on core strength and cardio in my warm up this morning. 


9:30 – 3:30 pm Rehearsal

We continue rehearsing the same piece in preparation for the tour. 


4:00 – 4:30 pm Groceries

I stop for groceries on my way home.


4:30 – 5:30 pm Transit

I make my way home.


10:00 am – 12:00 pm Conference

I attend a virtual conference called Culture’s Compass: How the Industry Keeps Beating. 

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Class

I take company class with Propeller Dance. 

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Project Meeting

I attend an introductory meeting for an upcoming project. 

3:00 pm – 3:45 pm Bike Repair

I take my bike in to fix the inner tube.

4:15 pm – 5:00 pm Bike Ride

Yay! Scary construction at River Road and Montréal Road, but other than that, smooth sailing. 

5:00 pm –  6:45 pm Puttering

I listen to some Al Green and putter. 

6:45 pm – 7:30 pm Class

I take another ballet barre with the Dutch National Ballet. 

7:30 pm – 8:30 pm Dinner


9:00 pm – late Miscellaneous

Netflix, watch some dance, talking to my parents on the phone, anti-inflammatory knee treatment.


6:45 am Wake Up

I struggle to get up but it happens. 

7:00 – 7:45 am Admin

I’m on a roll! 

8:00 – 9:00 am Transit

Travel to Orleans. 

9:00 – 9:30 am Warm Up

I take the time to roll out my feet with a ball and massage my Achilles tendons. 

9:30 – 4:00 pm Rehearsal

Same as Wednesday and Thursday.

4:00 – 4:15 pm Stretching

I stay late for some extra stretching to finish off the week. 

4:30 – 5:30 pm Transit

I take a bus and a train downtown.

5:45 – 9:15 pm Clinic

I have been dealing with a lingering cold so I bite the bullet and wait for over three hours to see a doctor. I am happy to hear that everything looks okay. I walk home afterwards.


11:00 am Wake Up

I eat breakfast and slowly get ready. 

12:00 pm – 3:00 pm ???

Time passes. It is really weird to not be able to account for every hour of my time. Maybe it’s a good thing?

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Virtual Theatre Showing

I watch a TACTICS’ live workshop presentation on Zoom. 

4:15 pm – 5:00 pm Class

I take a ballet barre on Youtube with the Dutch National Ballet. 

5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Class

I take a Funk class taught by a dance artist and friend. 

6:00 – 7:00 pm Dinner

What did I eat?

7:00 – 8:30 pm Class

Another dance friend generously facilitates a movement session that revolves around processing sadness. 

8:30 pm – 9:15 pm Bike Ride

I bike around a bit before it gets dark.