Liquid Lead Dancing

A gender neutral approach to partner dancing

 'Liquid Lead Dancing' is a gender neutral system of partner dancing created by Trevor Copp and Jeff Fox. This concept was curated into the TEDx Montreal series by Alida Esmail and subsequently picked up by in a talk which has garnered over 800,000 views to date. Trevor, Jeff, and Alida tour internationally delivering the talk and workshops promoting the idea of gender equality in dance and life.


Liquid Leading originally developed alongside a full theatre production, 'First Dance', about the development of the traditional first dance for a same sex wedding. 

Interested in our work? Click to contact us. We perform at conferences and events Nationally and Internationally. This has included Gender & Sexuality Conferences, Teacher's Conferences, Feminist Festivals, All-Women Prisons, and for a Planned Parenthood symposium. 

Trevor Copp was a full time Ballroom dance instructor and regional Fred Astaire's Canada American Style Latin/Ballroom Champion. He retired from teaching to pursue his love of theatre and now runs Tottering Biped Theatre - a professional theatre company emphasizing social justice and highly physical work in Ontario, Canada. He has performed in over 30 International cities and National theatre festivals. The Salsa scene keeps him dancing however; he has coached two pairs of World Salsa Champions and internationally he’s an avid Salsa tourist having danced it in 17 countries so far.

Alida Esmail was raised in dance and theatre companies and after completing a BFA in Contemporary Dance at Concordia University and a Diploma in Movement Arts and Mixed Media in India she now lives in Montreal and works in Arts and Health research. In addition, she has extensive training in International Ballroom/Latin dance and has competed nationally, winning in several categories. Her language of choice continues to be non-verbal and is inspired by how the body in motion can speak volumes. Alida continues to also work as a Choreographer, Dancer, Pilates instructor and Content Curator for TEDxMontreal. Her passion for movement also keeps her moving and she has presented various works at events, festivals, and conferences around Canada, Europe, the U.S., and India.

After graduating with an honours degree in psychology Jeff Fox entered the world of dance in the fall of 2000 almost by accident, investigating an ad out of curiosity, and he hasn’t looked back.  Working as a full time instructor, choreographer, and competitor Jeff has taught hundreds of students as well as managing to win professional titles in American Smooth, Rhythm, Theatre Arts, and Showdance.  In addition to his ballroom work, Jeff is a double black belt martial artist and creates lyrical contemporary work focusing on the universal experiences we all share which has been featured in festivals across Southern Ontario, Canada.

Jeff and Trevor met as colleagues during their shared tenure with Fred Astaire’s Canada and remained friends after Trevor retired from teaching.  They would dance at social occasions where they developed their ‘playing fair’ method of sharing the lead which caught the eye of a local dramaturg. Thus began the theatrical collaboration which led to the creation of a full length Ballroom Dance/Theatre production, ‘First Dance’, about the development of the first dance for a same sex wedding. Through building the show they formalized their ‘Liquid Lead’ concept and continue to tour the piece at regional professional theatres, festivals, and even as part of an international dance festival in Tirana, Albania.  In 2015 Alida Esmail – a former student of Trevor’s – championed the TEDx Montreal proposal and even graciously volunteered to help the boys demonstrate their work on the TEDx stage. She now tours with them offered a female perspective on the world of partner dancing and gender neutral dance.  

Liquid Leading: the original video