Frog in Hand was founded by sisters Colleen Snell and Noelle Hamlyn. We began collaborating 25 years ago, dancing in the mud and grass of our own backyard. Although we continue to draw from our local context we are now inspired by places we have lived and visited, all over the world: the Banff Centre, EDCM (Montreal), School of the Art Institute of Chicago, London Contemporary Dance School (UK), Shiseikan Budojo (Tokyo)
and Barefoot College (Tanzania).
With dance at the forefront, we blend disciplines, treasuring the interaction between space, place and the possibilities of narrative. We seek to blur boundaries that separate art forms, artists, audiences and communities; we collaborate with others who have similar aspirations. Our company members have trained with Gaga Movement (Israel), Jacob’s Pillow, Third Rail (NYC), Peggy Baker Dance Projects, and ProArteDanza. Like us, they are committed to listening for stories and working in community context.
More about our co-founders
Meet our inspiring team
Jessica Cen, Business Manager
Jessica Cen (she/her) is a second-generation settler of Chinese descent and a multidisciplinary artist based in the Traditional Territories and Treaty Lands of many nations, covered by Treaty 13 and the Williams Treaties, also known as Scarborough, Tkarón:to. She specifies in stage and production management, arts administration, marketing and public relations, and design. She is passionate about supporting artists to dynamically realize their visions and create intersectional immersive spaces and transcendent experiences, and believes the arts exchange transitional knowledge and offer a medium for therapeutic healing and expression. Jessica graduated from Albert Campbell Collegiate Institute as an Arts & Culture Specialist High Skills Major and X University’s School of Performance with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Theatre Production and minoring in Acting & Dance. Since 2019, she has been an Associate Artist of Mississauga dance theatre company Frog in Hand; collaborating with the collective as the Production Assistant and Stage Manager of their Summer Company (2019-2020), the Assistant Stage Manager of their site-specific promenade production Stories in the Woods (2019 and 2021), the Digital Production Coordinator of their radio play War of the Worlds Reimagined (2020), and the Business Manager (since 2020). Her other works also include Electric Moon Theatre Company, City Youth Players, Flato Markham Theatre, and the Female Eye Film Festival. Currently, she is the Business Manager of Frog in Hand and Project Coordinator of Jaberi Dance Theatre.
Alice Cavanagh, Rehearsal Director
Alice (she/her) is an Australian actor and movement coordinator for stage and screen who is fascinated by the art of physical storytelling. Trained as an actor at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne (2012), Alice became curious about the world of theatrical violence and physical communication. In 2013 she began to study stage combat and started her training as a fight director. After working for several years in the Australian Film & TV industry as an actor, Alice left Australia to continue her studies as a fight/movement director in the UK and Canada. Alice is now working in Toronto as a movement coordinator and actor with dancers, actors, directors, filmmakers, stunt performers, photographers, models, poets, and musicians to create meaningful stories for the stage and digital space.
Dr. Ruben Burga, Chair
Ruben Burga, PhD, MBA, P. Eng. is an Assistant Professor at the University of Guelph. He teaches and researches topics in Sustainability and Social Responsibility in business and is interested in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Prior to his academic career, Ruben was a senior executive in various high tech organizations and was based at various times in Asia, Latin America, the US and Canada. Ruben is passionate about the arts and has been involved with Frog In Hand since its early days and prior to that when his daughter and the founders of Frog in Hand were both involved in dance competitions in the US and Canada.
James Roy, Secretary
James began his career at 22 when he founded the Blyth Festival. This theatre in small town Ontario was one of the first to specialize in producing new Canadian works, and remains one of the most successful theatres in Canada today. Between 1980 and 1986 James was Artistic Director of the Belfry Theatre in British Columbia and the Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg. James joined CBC Radio in 1990 as the Executive Producer of Morningside Drama. Following two years as Head of Radio A&E, he left to lead the CBC team that launched Radio One on Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
Since 2015 James has been Creative Director for Amazing Agency and its sister company, IT World Canada.
Lorraine Alyea, Treasurer
Lorraine (MBA CPA), is an entrepreneur turned educator. Throughout her career, she provided accounting and taxation services to both corporate and personal clients. Lorraine has a strong passion for teaching, which can be seen in her role as Professor at Sheridan College, McMaster University and Certified Professional Accountants (CPA).
Volunteering and supporting the community is important to Lorraine. She assists parents of children with disabilities and Chairs the Halton Catholic District School Board’s Special Education Advisory Committee. Lorraine has been recognized multiple times by the Peel Chapter of CPA Ontario for her volunteering efforts to the association and the community at large. In 2012 she was awarded the Ontario Distinguished Service Award by CPA Ontario.
Caroline started her first dance studio in Mississauga, Blueheel Dance, in 2003, driven by a love of dance and a desire to share this awesome activity with others. Blueheel has over the years built a reputation of delivering excellent dance instruction in a fun, vibrant atmosphere that fosters friendship and camaraderie.
Caroline is an active part of the community, strongly believing in giving back through participation in fundraising, scholarship programs, and supporting youth. Caroline joined the Frog in Hand board in Spring 2020 - she serves on the Frog in Hand board's marketing committee.
Wayland lives in Oakville with his wife, four kids and two dogs. As a young child, he immigrated with his family from Hong Kong to Canada. Wayland is a professor in the Pilon School of Business at Sheridan College in Mississauga. He teaches business law and ethics. He also mentors students for case competitions and research theses. Wayland spent many years practising as a lawyer at respected law firms and a major bank. He is a graduate of McGill University, Osgoode Hall Law School and University of London. Wayland is a member of the Ontario bar.
Spoken word, composer, musician, actor (& spirit animal)
Dancer, voice actor (& fellow science fiction fan)
Composer, DJ, sound design, actor, (& go-to technical help hotline)
Musician, actor, writing circle teacher (& resident clown)
Dancer, (& our Limon dance idol)
Dancer, performer (& improv guru)
Actor, dancer (& our site-specific creative hero)
Dancer (River film), (& forever our fashion icon)
Dancer, performer (& emerging experience design expert)
Creative mentor, dramaturge (& latke expert)
Dancer, rehearsal assistant (& Québec cultural advisor)
Dancer, choreographer (& Frog in Hand ambassador to London)
Performer (& professional multitasker)
Dancer (& fellow stage combat enthusiast)
Dancer (& Frog in Hand founding performer)