Dani Harris

Dani is a high school English and yoga teacher, mentor and, grounded safe presence for hundreds of students every year. She teaches youth in her classes English classes of boundless brilliance including Indigenous students, new immigrants, queer youth, crime victims, survivors, ambitious youth, and those finding family in gangs. She seeks to see the amazing uniqueness in every student, the Truth in their lived experiences and the joy that exists in celebration for their wholeness.

She provides spaces that are as safe as possible, through careful planning, Indigenizing education with access to words, ideas, and a sense of self-abetted brilliance every day, by breathing and showing up.

Dani was the inspiration to Breathing Room, which she began in her classroom at Sir Wilfred Laurier Collegiate Institute in Scarborough, Ontario, a section on the east side of the Greater Toronto Area.

Dani has served not only as Breathing Room lead in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), but has led the the Queer Straight Alliance at her school, served on equity, literacy and safe schools committees throughout her career.

She has taught hundreds of adults in addition to thousands of young people, and she has contributed to Street Yoga, Each Amazing Breath, and the Yoga Service Council (YSC), where she is currently co-author on the YSC’s last best practice book, Yoga for Survivors of Sexual Trauma. Dani has also contributed to the YSC Symposium’s community resource paper for that same community.

Dani travels, does traditional beading, knits, loves alpacas, and all living beings, though barely tolerates Canadian Geese, who are terrifying. She is currently learning Mohawk language.