Hannah Beach – Founder and Co-Executive Director, Programs
Hannah Beach is an award-winning educator, author, keynote speaker and community-builder. A long-time advocate for supporting children’s emotional health and as the founder of celebrated experiential discovery programs at Tournesol and Dandelion Dance™, Hannah was recognized by the Canadian Human Rights Commission in 2018 as one of five change-makers in Canada. Her I Can Dance series, consisting of six books that support the emotional health of children through creative movement and expression, won the 2017 GOLD International Moonbeam Children’s Book Award (Books with Music/Theatrical), and has been adopted by multiple English- and French-language school boards across Canada.
Hannah’s work with children has been shared and highlighted in distinguished venues across the country, including the Senate of Canada, multiple universities, as well as national and international conferences. Hannah was the recipient of the 2011 Celebration of People Education Award for her development of inclusive education programs for the city of Ottawa.
Hannah has been consulting with schools, teachers and parents for 25 years, and provides professional development services in a variety of formats across the country. She is a certified Facilitator with the Neufeld institute, offering Neufeld workshops on the topics of anxiety and adolescence. Hannah is a sessional lecturer for the Faculty of Education at Vancouver Island University, lecturing on child development through a relational and developmental lens.
Monica Chohan, Co-Executive Director, Organizational Development
Monica initially joined Dandelion as a board member. With over ten years’ experience as a legal and policy advisor, and extensive experience in non-profit governance and management, Monica is now focused on the strategic growth of Dandelion’s programs.
Monica has worked as a legal and policy advisor in both the public and private sectors, including the federal government, Shaw Communications and Telus Communications. Monica’s past non-profit experience includes a position as President of the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre, a Board Member at Harmony House, and a Member of the Governance Committee at VON Canada.
Today, Monica is a member of the Steering Committee for Prime Minister’s Row, a member of the Advisory Committee to the Young Non-Profit Professionals Network of Ottawa, and a mentor with the Career Mentorship Program through the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization. Monica also provides consulting services to non-profits, charities and social enterprises in strategic planning, risk management, organizational policy development, and stakeholder engagement.
Monica is thrilled to be part of this team that is creating meaningful learning and leadership opportunities for all girls, while building a stronger and more inclusive community.
Kelsey Walsh – Performance Company Director and Head of Youth Programs
An interdisciplinary artist working primarily through community-engaged arts practices, Kelsey’s work emerges from a place of relationship. She uses dance, voice, visual arts, and the literary arts to engage with and challenge the world that surrounds her. As an arts-educator, her number one goal is connection.
Kelsey trained as a modern dancer before completing her BFA (Hons) in Theatre and Development. Her experiences with traditional dance and theatre forms led Kelsey to purposely seek inclusive and generous spaces for creative expression. She welcomes all of her students into the exciting language of the arts, and supports them to build a caring community within which everyone is able to create.
Besides working with Dandelion, Kelsey has most enjoyed teaching Acting for Non-actors at Concordia University, leading teens in outdoor self-discovery with Outward Bound, and designing and facilitating multi-arts programming for children and teens in Sri Lanka and Mali.
Sarah Posthuma – Head of Children’s Programs
Sarah is a local arts educator and community arts practitioner. She has a BA in English Lit (Hons) from Trent University and BEd from Queen’s University. Sarah supports girls in exploring their ideas and experiences through movement and using inquiry-based practices to discover their innate creativity.
Sarah studied at the Centre for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley, California. Cultivating self-expression, reflection, and connection with individuals and groups, she weaves a variety of storytelling forms and tools into her artistic practice. Sarah uses a relationship-based approach. This provides an essential foundation to help children express themselves and create more inclusive spaces in our communities.
Sarah has been studying movement and dance under Hannah Beach, founder of Dandelion Dance™, for three years. She has extensive experience facilitating classes, programs, and workshops in a manner that embraces all abilities.
We have a dedicated and enthusiastic group of individuals on the Board of Directors who are passionate about the work that Dandelion Dance™ does for the community. Some are parents of dancers and some are community members who have been inspired by the work we do with girls in the community.
Board members come from a variety of backgrounds including finance, publishing, education, legal, international development and research. Like the dancers, this mix of backgrounds has proven to be enriching and has built a strong foundation for our organization.
What all our Directors have in common is a tireless commitment to Dandelion’s model of supporting the emotional and social well-being of girls and young women.