Retired Oak Bay dancer finds new legs in theatre

Sarah Murphy-Dyson performs at Centennial Square Friday, July 29

Submitted photo After a decade off the dance stage

After nearly a decade, Sarah Murphy-Dyson returns to the stage a newly developed hybrid – actor/dancer.

A former dancer trained with Maureen Eastick, artistic director at Pacific Dance, Murphy-Dyson has performed on Victoria-area stages before with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Today, Centennial Square forms her spotlight as she dances alongside a pair of free performances by Calgary singer songwriter Evan Freeman.

“I retired from the ballet to study acting full time,” said Murphy-Dyson, who grew up in Oak Bay.

“I really focused on acting for five years, to prove myself as an actor. I thought I was finished (dancing). I thought that part of my life was over.”

The universe had another thought.

She found herself listening to a favoured late-night CBC radio program, The Signal with Laurie Brown.

“It’s all amazing music, I fall in love with 90 per cent of the stuff she plays. It got me dancing in my living room at midnight,” Murphy-Dyson said.

“It hit me, I don’t have to be finished with dance. It can feel good.”

Then, through a series of connections that included a fundraising gala, Andy Kim (think The Archies’ Sugar Sugar) and Facebook, she discovered  Freeman’s music.

“The hook for me was (Kim) described it as ‘dreamy space pop.’ I thought ‘I don’t know what that is but I have to hear it,’” she said. “I listened to it. I loved it. I bought it.”

Then she emailed the singer-songwriter the equivalent of a video dance resume and threw the idea of collaboration into the cosmos.

“I’ve never done anything like that before. It’s so ballsy,” said Murphy-Dyson.

Kismet ensued. Freeman was keen and they shot a video that dropped last week. Then he was doing a tour, with a stop in her hometown.

Friday, she’ll dance barefoot and in shoes, point shoes, boots and heels for two 40-minute sets, embracing the dancer in the actor.

“We’re doing a free show and it’s going to be super fun. I honestly think it could be the beginning of bigger things. He is a super talent,” she said.

The two perform two 40-minute sets in Centennial Square at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“I definitely use my acting in the dance now; I always have, I’m just more aware of it now. It’s fun to be back dancing in this new form,” Murphy-Dyson said.

“My main focus I would say is acting, but to still be able to access my dancing this way, and still perform, it’s such a gift,”

Visit for a taste of the music.


Just Posted

Esquimalt man faces four charges of sexual assault, investigators suspect more victims

71-year old Kit Wong practiced acupuncture from his home during the time of the assaults

Heat and smoke raises health risks

Rick Stiebel - Sooke News Mirror Health risks arising from heat and… Continue reading

Victoria Lavender owner set to retire

Sidney storefront to remain open, future of goat yoga undecided

Pet-A-Palooza a good reason to ‘pawse’ this weekend in Victoria

Puppies, goats, wiener dog races and more on the grounds of St. Ann’s Academy Aug. 18-19

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Altidore nets 3 as Toronto drubs Whitecaps 5-2

Vancouver falls 7-4 on aggregate in Canadian Championship final

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

Most Read