We took a moment to connect with our wonderful team at The Woods Arts & Wellness by asking them a few questions about themselves and their passions. Here’s what Elise graciously shared with us…
A piece of art that has moved you…

Pretty much anything by August Rodin or Anselm Kiefer will have me pause and catch my breath. Both artists have created works that never fail to move me. The Burghers of Calais is so human in its depiction of defeat and heroism, regardless of the controversy over it’s accuracy – both historically and artistically. While Kiefer’s work is usually in these calming neutral tones, but exploring subject matter that is far from neutral and on a scale that is just breathtaking.

A place in nature that evokes awe for you…

The forests here in North vancouver. I’m not a native, and I don’t know if that is why I am so awed by the relentless beauty of the North Shore. But in every season I feel I am discovering something new and magical.

A personal pet peeve…

Unkindness. Few people are outrightly mean, but sarcasm and thougthlessness can be just as unkind and makes me angry.

Something you find challenging…

Responding to emails and texts. Please don’t take it personally!

A favourite food item…

I don’t know if pistachio gelato counts as a food item, but oh my, I could eat that every day.

Morning person or night owl?

Morning person.

Something you want to learn…

French. My husband and two kids all speak French. I need to learn too. Also, the cello. I will eventually learn this beautiful instrument.

Preferred artistic modality or medium…

Dance is my first language and love. I love the discipline and beauty of dance. Being able to embody and express a story or a feeling through movment… there’s nothing like it.

What are you reading?

I’m a little embarrased to answer this one. With my role and education background people seem to expect me to be reading something deep and profound. Nope, I’m currently reading glorious fluff. A wonderful novel by Jenny Colgan called The Summer Skies. Maybe I’m longing for some sunshine.

What are you watching?

I’m not watching anything, I don’t really watch much TV. Though I did love Ted Lasso!

What are you listening to?

My spotify top artists list of 2023 were all classical musicians: Satie, Schumann, Bach. I’m not musically cool at all.

What do you feel most grateful for right now?

To be living here in this lush incredible beauty.

Your hero…

Julie Wells, my childhood dance teacher. She taught me so much: discipline and perseverence, and the value of imagination, and how beauty can increase resilience. I wouldn’t be who I am today without her influence and encouragement.

Three things you would want with you on a deserted Island…

I’m guessing a boat or plane is not allowed. I’ve a friend, Trevlyn, who is pretty much Mac Gyver. I’d want him with me, and then I’d let Trevlyn decide on the other two things that would most likely keep us alive.

What are you most proud of?

My marriage. We married far too young, with so much undealt with baggage. But after many years of work, we have a wonderful relationship.

What was your first job?

Teaching dance.

What would you wish to tell your 20-year-old self?

Lighten up.

A life motto or mantra…

Kind heart, fierce mind, brave spirit.

How would your best friend describe you?

I cheated and asked for text responses from two of my closest friends. Here’s what they gave me: “a thinker, easy going and kind, tolerant and understanding, she allows everyone around her to be themselves fully. She loves beauty. She’s a bit silly and a bit serious.” “Curious, intentional, strength-finder, beauty-searcher, intelligent, advocate and champion, joyful”.

If you were a tree, what type of tree might you be?

A willow tree. They look kind of soft and romantic, but actually have incredible endurance.