Social Growl is a Toronto-based, Contemporary Dance company established in 2012 by Artistic Director and Choreographer Riley Sims.

In 2017, Social Growl became an official Not for Profit Organization supporting the research, development, and performance of contemporary dance creations. The company holds a strong relationship with dance artists and from Quebec, Canada. Social Growl supports and encourages cross-provincal collaboration with other Canadian dance professionals.

Although primarily a dance company, Social Growl’s work is also heavily rooted in theatre and text. Our philosophy is centred around the fact that human beings are fundamentally complex animals. We are predators and prey. We are admirable and disgusting. We are genuine and fake. ‘Social’ because of the impact of larger society with its codes, norms, etiquette and expectations; and ‘Growl’ because of our baser animalistic sides, our instincts for survival from food to shelter to sex. This contrasting duality exists in all humans and that’s the energy we harness in our performances.



Social Growl Dance was founded in August 2012 by Artistic Director Riley Sims. Since its inception, the company has built a reputation for its provocative work. Sims’ first full length work Are You Still Coming Tonight?  premiered in December 2014 at the Alumnae Theatre in Toronto, Canada. Are You Still Coming Tonight?  received two residencies for creation in 2014. The first at Centre Q in Quyon, Quebec with Sims’ mentor Tedd Robinson (10 Gates Dancing / National Arts Centre Associate Dance Artist) and the second with Toronto theatre company lemonTree Creations. In August 2015 Social Growl's remount of Are You Still Coming Tonight? at the SummerWorks Performance Festival was awarded with the Vanguard Award for Risk and Innovation.

Social Growl has presented work in Toronto at the SummerWorks Performance Festival (Are You Still Coming Tonight?, 2015) Fresh Blood Dance Festival (Pretending To Listen Until I Can Talk About Myself Again, 2014), Gallery 1313 ( For Morgan, 2013) and at Dance Matters (Everything We’ve Ever, 2012). The company currently works with six dancers on a project-to-project basis including graduates from the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Ottawa’s The School of Dance, The Université du Québec à Montréal, LADMMI (L'école de danse contemporaine), and L'école de danse de Québec. 

In 2015, Social Growl Dance was selected to be the Dance Matters 2016/2017 Commission and Residency artist. This collaboration with Dance Matters presented Sims' most recent full length work Drunk On Fiction  which premiered at the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto from February 8th - 11th, 2017.

Currently the company is in creation for Amorous Playlist, the third full-evening creation by Artistic Director Riley Sims. Featuring dance artists from Toronto, Kingston, Montreal and Quebec City. Amorous Playlist features live music by Blunt Chunks and premieres March 27th - 30th, 2019 at The Citadel in Regent Park, Toronto.




  • Social Growl recipient of an international 3-week creation residency for Amorous Playlist in Berlin, Germany at Studio 142, June 2018

  • Riley Sims selected for Dance Ontario Creative Partnerships Commission 2017/2018

  • Social Growl Dance selected to be the Dance Matters Commission and Residency Artist, 2017

  • Recipient of 'Vanguard Award for Risk and Innovation' for Are You Still Coming Tonight? at SummerWorks Performance Festival, 2015