Reconciliation Ally Misty Wensel
- Suliman Adam | April 19, 2022
Misty Wensel, owner of Fada Dance Studio in Regina, has made reconciliation a priority in her life.
“The long road of building real relations and bridging this divide, is the only way to access the truth,” she said.
The contemporary dancer and educator thought the best way she could contribute to Reconciliation was to not only hold space for Indigenous people, but to provide space.
In December 2021, Wensel opened her studio to weekly two-hour sessions for groups to practice cultural events. The age group is open to both teenagers and adults.
Chasity Delorme took Wensel up on the offer of free dance space and started a powwow dance class for members of the community. Wensel said the relationship has been mutually beneficial.
“Delorme gives insights from her worldview and philosophy of how the messages and work is coming through,” said Wensel. “ is a liaison for this work to share information and help us with bridging, and to create a process.”
Delorme commends Wensel’s allyship in the community and appreciates her self-awareness and consistent effort to grow. “More opportunities arise to do this work of reconciliation and building friendships, bonds, and collaborations,” said Wensel. “It’s there to be shared and used to create a community and keep the spirit alive.”
Tasheena Panipekeesick is a long-time powwow dancer, but lives in Regina and working full time and raising a family has meant that she doesn’t have much time to travel to powwows like she once did. So when Delorme began offering the powwow dance classes, Panipekeesick decided to join the class.
She’s glad she did.
“I love it.” said Panipekeesick. “I really enjoyed the opportunity to share space with other Indigenous women and in sharing the energy that’s created when we’re dancing. Having that experience, it’s so fulfilling to be able to express myself in an environment other than my kitchen and living room.”
She’s happy Delorme and Wensel have created a welcoming and safe environment for Indigenous women to participate in a cultural activity within the city.
“There are a lot of new people who never danced before or danced long ago, now they have this space where they can learn from other people like Chastity and myself,” said Panipekeesick. “Although I have never met Misty, I feel like this is an act of reconciliation. By sharing space, without any outside interference, creates a safe place for new dancers to learn and grow.”
Since meeting, Delorme and Wensel have formed a friendship and have long conversations about culture and reconciliation. Delorme respects Wensel for taking reconciliation so seriously.
“She always wondered if she was ever doing enough to help contribute to the truth and reconciliation journey,” Delorme said about Wensel. “She gives space to other Indigenous women to learn about their cultural dances or to practice … I think that’s a really beautiful relationship to have because it’s positive.” Wensel hopes to attract even more Indigenous dancers to the dance space.
“I’m hoping that these relationships and friendships will deepen,” Wensel said. “We will see this through, both the creative (work) and hard work of reconciliation.”
To learn more about the dance studio or Misty Wensel, visit www.fadadance.ca.