Meet Emily Solstice Tait: Dancer, creator, passion follower

In celebration of International Women's Day 2023, meet nine remarkable Manitoba women who are making a difference.

'Dance is my way of showing up authentically and being vulnerable,' says Winnipeg contemporary dancer

Illustrated portrait of Emily Solstice Tait, a woman wearing a green, crew neck shirt. Her long hair is braided to one side and she wears purple earrings. The background includes tall branches of leaves and a white figure dancing.
'I feel so incredibly lucky to have matched with my passion in my lifetime,' says dancer Emily Solstice Tait. (Joanna Turner)

This is one of nine profiles on outstanding Manitoba women in honour of International Women's Day. The CBC Creator Network project was written by Carmen Ponto and illustrated by artist Joanna Turner. Some answers have been edited for space and clarity.

Emily Solstice Tait, 29, is an Anishinaabe/Scottish contemporary dancer from Winnipeg. She started dancing as an adult, and completed her degree in professional dance in 2019, just before the pandemic hit. 

What gives you joy?

I am a very shy person, but dance is my way of showing up authentically and being vulnerable.

Last week while dancing, I had this full body rush of feeling like I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. That's the feeling that I'm always looking for. Remembering that moment exists inside of me, whenever I'm dancing — it makes all the hard work beforehand worthwhile.

I feel so incredibly lucky to have matched with my passion in my lifetime. All of us would like that experience, I think, and I'm so grateful that I've had it. 

What do you want your legacy to be? 

Legacy isn't the word I would choose, but I do want to positively contribute to the dance community. 

I believe that there is so much more potential for the dance community in Winnipeg, specifically in terms of Indigenous and contemporary dance coming together. There's massive storytelling potential there. I would like to help that process along. 

On an individual level, I hope to be an example to others of someone who has found their passion. My message for young women is to distil down all the messages they've received about what success means. To listen to their gut. And then, to go for it.

An image of eight, illustrated women with purple crocuses in celebration of International Women's Day 2023.
In celebration of International Women's Day, meet Manitoba women who are living with purpose and meaning. They are passionate about what they do and want to make the lives of people around them better. (Joanna Turner)

Her story: Meet 8 more remarkable Manitoba women


Carmen Ponto

Filmmaker, writer, producer

Carmen Ponto is a freelance journalist living in Winnipeg. She studied journalism at the College of the North Atlantic in Newfoundland and occasionally creates documentary films with her partner. She is mom to two young kids and has a background in social work.