Ellen Page and her wife Emma Portner have been very publicly celebrating Pride Month this June. The 32-year old actor and her 24-year old partner posted artfully topless pictures to Instagram of them caressing each other to start the month.
On Monday night at the premiere of Netflix’s Tales of the City in New York City, the two also shared a kiss on the red carpet. They are some of the more visible celebrities taking Pride Month 2019 very seriously.
Whereas Page made her name starring in films such as “Juno” and “X-Men,” Portner is a Canadian who is well known in the New York dance and choreography scene. Here’s what you need to know about her.
1. Page First Became “Transfixed” on Portner After Seeing Her Instagram
As Julie Bloom of the New York Times wrote back in Feb. 2018, Page first became “transfixed” on Portner after seeing the internet dance celebrity’s posts on Instagram.
It’s a love story as modern as they come: The actress Ellen Page saw the choreographer Emma Portner on Instagram and was instantly transfixed. Portner — a 23-year-old Canadian whose dance videos have a devoted online following — was twisting to the electro-pop music of Sylvan Esso, her large green eyes as captivating as her swaying body clad in its signature oversize black T-shirt, sweatpants and Nike Air Max sneakers.
“I thought, damn, this girl is so talented and so cool,” Page says. “I knew right away we were both creative spirits.”
The two started dating by 2017. One of the things Page picked up in the relationship was some dancing skills from her talented new partner. She appears in several of Portner’s Youtube and Instagram videos, as well as providing her guitar acumen to interpretations of songs such as Nelly Furtado’s “I’m Like a Bird.”
As of 2018, the couple lived together in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Melrose Hill. They frequently post pictures of them in New York City, where they also attend several events.
2. The Couple Married in January of 2018
Page emotionally came out in 2014 at a Time to Thrive event for LGBTQ youth. Just four years later, she married Portner. Page posted the news on Twitter and Instagram, with a photo of the couple’s hands showing off wedding bands on their ring fingers.
“Can’t believe I get to call this extraordinary woman my wife. @emmaportner,” the caption read.
Portner posted the same picture on her Instagram with the caption, “I get to call this incredible woman MY WIFE! @ellenpage I LOVE YOU!”
According to Yahoo! News, the actress admitted she’s “so in love” and absolutely adores “being married.”
“I’ll be walking my dog, and I start talking to people, and I end up telling them about my wife and making them look at our Instagram. I’m that person,” she told the outlet.
3. Portner is from Ottawa, Where She Started Dancing at Age 3
According to Dance Magazine, Portner started training to dance competively at age 3. Portner later started studying at Canada’s National Ballet School, but expanded past simply just ballet.
“I wanted to express myself in so many ways,” she says, “and I didn’t think ballet could hold it all.”
Although she auditioned for Juilliard, she was immediately cut. “I’m grateful for my broken Juilliard dream,” she says. “I would have just been starting my career now!”
At age 16, she moved to New York to study at the Ailey School. She learned there, as well as at RUBBERBANDance at age 17 how to improvise her moves, as well as communicate. Per The Cut:
It leaks out even when she’s talking — when, instead of using words to express a thought, she stops speaking and slips into pantomime. “I go into a studio like this,” she says, using her hands as blinders, or “my brain is like this” (hands moving in quick circles around each other), or “after the musical, I kind of went like this” (forearm angling into a steep downward slope). Words are secondary — Portner’s body is her primary method of communication. “I used to be such a mute,” she says. “When I realized dance could help people hear what I had to say in a clear way, that’s when I started to love it.”
4. She Achieved Internet Fame with Her Music Videos on Youtube & Instagram
While she was at the Ailey School, she met Los Angeles–based dancer Matt Luck. With him, per The Cut, she started her ventures into internet fame for her music video of “Dancing In the Dark,” which led to her meeting Justin Bieber in 2015.
They posted the video to YouTube, where it quickly racked up thousands of views and likes — so many that it attracted the attention of Parris Goebel, the choreographer who’d been tasked with Justin Bieber’s “Purpose” visual album. Goebel told Dance Spirit that Portner’s style — a striking flavor of highly technical contemporary expressed through intricate, gut-wrenching jerks and undulations — struck her as a perfect fit to illustrate “Life Is Worth Living.” Almost 50 million views later, it’s clear she was spot on.
5. She Teaches Contemporary Jazz at the Broadway Dance Center in New York
With her internet fame and skill putting Portner on the map, she now teaches a contemporary jazz class at the Broadway Dance Center. Her class description is on her faculty bio.
Emma teaches a class of exploring, sharing and pushing boundaries. Her choreography is physical, ever-changing, and affected by all forms of dance. She provides a blend of commercial contemporary, modern techniques, and floorwork principles with a tap influence.
Although every class is structured differently, Emma always includes a thorough warm-up, improvisational techniques, and a movement phrase. Her focus is to use dance as an emotional outlet, merge styles, and push the limits of the human body to find unknown shapes and capabilities. There is a constant and heavy focus on dynamics and musicality.
She stated in Dance Magazine that her goal was to start her own company. She also states her goals for 2020 to be: “to try out acting, directing, and editing and coloring film; to dance on Broadway; to open a dance residency in Halifax, Nova Scotia; and to spend more time with Page, whom she rarely gets to see.”
With their recent public displays of affection for Pride Month, it seems like the last goal is right on track.