Favourite local dancer

Photo by Reuben Todd

1. Jill Groening 

2. Zorya Arrow 

3. Dancing Gabe / Ming Hon / Becky Sawden (tie) 


Despite being only 25, Jill Groening has been voted two years in a row by Uniter readers as their favourite dancer, and is still keeping her audience enthralled with her high creative energy. 

Currently, Groening is dancing for Winnipeg based company, Gearshifting Performance Works, under artistic director Jolene Bailie. 

Groening got into dance through a natural inclination to physical activity, which led to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Intensive Training program in high school, and from there a switch to her true passion of contemporary dance. 

“(I love) being able to combine that kind of energy, like really physical energy needed to burn myself out, that combined with having a little bit more own artistic freedom and a little bit more of your own interpretation,” Groening says. 

The incorporation of other art forms keeps her passionate about contemporary dance. In a past work of her own, Groening used shadow work to enhance the experience. 

She continues to find the work she does under Bailie conceptually fascinating. This has included past performances in Toronto and Vancouver in a collaboration with artist Wanda Koop. 

Currently, Groening is an editorial intern and contributor for The Dance Current magazine. She says this gives her a lot of inspiration as it allows her to be involved in both the Winnipeg and Canadian dance community. 

“I’m very lucky to be able to have that kind of balance and being able to see what other people in Canada are doing,” Groening says. 

As for the future, Groening is working on a production with Gearshifting called New Creation, which will be performed at the Rachel Browne Theatre April 15 to 17. To get prepared, she says she will be doing up to four hours of training per day, lots of yoga, and listening to some music to get pumped up. 

Her personal favourite before a show? Blondie.

Published in Volume 70, Number 13 of The Uniter (December 3, 2015)

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