“A Day in the Life” with Montréal dancer and choreographer Kaia Portner

I’ve always seen Kaia as a sunflower. She brings light into a room and can always make you smile. Kaia is a young, passionate, aspiring artist, looking to make a career through her love of dance. I have no doubt in my mind you’ll see her winning awards for her choreography in music videos.

Her dance career started at a very young age. She danced in studios from age 3 to age 16. After that, she took matters into her own hands. Kaia started creating her own pieces and took to learning new styles. You could often find her excited about a new class she’s taken or an upcoming one. Did the style matter? Of course not. This talented artist would thrive in styles ranging from ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and any other style she put her mind to.

I have seen her from many angles. From the studio, behind the camera, by her side on the stage, from my phone screen. It’s always crazy to see how far she has come. I can still remember our young 14 year old selves dancing on stage in high school. To see the work she is now doing and how dedicated she is to her work is always so inspiring.
She finds inspiration from her surroundings, and since moving to the beautiful city of Montreal, her work has done nothing but thrive!

Kaia never ceases to amaze me.She keeps pushing herself, and continues to strive for greatness, no matter what life throws at her. I will always support her as she supports me and those around her.

-Ashantae Spalding (best friend)

"A Day in the Life" with Montréal dancer and choreographer Kaia Portner
Dancing in a studio with photo by @jrosephotomtl
"A Day in the Life" with Montréal dancer and choreographer Kaia Portner
Dancing back home in Ottawa. Photo by: @collectivephoto
Another photo from the shoot with @collectivephoto
From a creative shoot with @toko_limited and @marshallhoang working with light and movement.
A collaboration with Montreal artist @ericparephoto
Another photo from my shoot with @toko_limited and @marshallhoang because it was just too cool.
A snapshot from a video project back in February 2021 with Mark King.
Pole Class at DGStudio77.

Which ‘hood are you in?

I live in what they call the “McGill Ghetto” in downtown Montreal.

What do you do?

I’m an aspiring dancer and choreographer. I am in my third year at Concordia University studying ‘Contemporary Dance and Choreography’ and I can’t wait to graduate and bring my projects to life. I am always working within my program on how to shape my creative process, and develop insightful projects that I can perform. I train outside of school in commercial hip hop/jazz funk styles as well as pole classes to stay versatile, and explore different means of dance performance. I also love working in front of a camera, bringing my passion for movement into a new context of style. I hope to work in tandem with artists on music videos, stage performances, theatre and other dance works as both a choreographer and a dancer respectively. I am so excited to share my work with the world!

What are you currently working on?

Currently I am working on my final semester piece which revolves around ideas of ‘catharsis and performance’. I hope to work with projections and challenge my physicality more than ever in this piece. In the future, I want to potentially develop this concept into a full length work under a residency.

Where can we find your work?

You can find me on instagram @kaiaaa.portner where I share all my dance and creative content.