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Dance Instructors

Jennifer Aoki

Jennifer fell in love with movement through acrobatics and tap dance. She studied ballet through the Royal Academy of Dance, and completed both the Graded Syllabus and Intermediate Vocational Graded Syllabus. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Simon Fraser University, and her dedication and love for the arts keeps her creating, learning and performing throughout Canada and Europe. She loves sharing her passion for dance through teaching over the past seven years, and believes everyone should have the opportunity to dance. Jennifer enjoys inspiring students to express themselves with their bodies, to bring their curiosities to their dancing and to learn the value of teamwork.

Shion Skye Carter

Shion Skye Carter is a performing artist and teacher based in Vancouver, Canada. Born in Japan and immigrating to Canada at a young age, she holds a BFA degree in Dance with a minor in Kinesiology from Simon Fraser University. As a performer, Shion has worked with artists such as Rob Kitsos, KT Niehoff (USA), Vanessa Goodman/Action at a Distance, plastic orchid factory, and Yossi Berg & Oded Graf Dance Theatre (Israel). She also creates performances, both independently and as the interdisciplinary duo olive theory with Stefan Nazarevich. Currently they are experimenting with the intersection between live sound, embodied performance, and installation art.

Katie Eng

Katie is a graduate of SFU dance program and is now teaching ballet and yoga for the City of Burnaby. After graduation, Katie travelled to New York to dance in the Merce Cunningham intensive, and in the summer of 2007 travelled to Winnipeg to participate in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Teacher’s Seminar. When not teaching or training, Katie is rehearsing with dance collective 30Toes. During the 2006-07 season, 30Toes was awarded Artist in Residence at the Scotia Bank Dance Centre and completed an excellent year of creation and development.

Regan Cowan

Regan grew up dancing at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts from the age of 4 to 18. She then went on to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Simon Fraser University with a Major in Dance, where she had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Judith Garay, Megan Walker-Straight, and Wen-Wei Wang. Recently, she completed her Bachelor of Education at Simon Fraser University, and is now a BC certified K-12 teacher. Alongside teaching at the Shadbolt, she is also a teacher with the Burnaby School District, and continues to dance with Shadbolt's adult dance company Continuum.

Olivia C. Davies

Olivia C. Davies is an independent dance artist, choreographer, and community arts facilitator whose work investigates the body’s dynamic ability to transmit narrative. Davies trained at York University, and in 2006, she co-founded Toronto’s MataDanze Collective where she co-created numerous revolutionary dance-theatre works and movement workshops. She received the YWCA Women of Distinction award (2011) for her work with MataDanze. Commissioned to choreograph and perform for open-air stages, galas, gallery openings, and music videos, Davies collaborates with artists to bring stories to life. Her choreography has adapted words by E.E. Cummings, Khalil Gibran, Julie JC Peters, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Carmen Aguirre and has been performed throughout Ontario, Quebec, and BC. Davies has interpreted work by Art For Impact, Body Narratives Collective, Dancers of Damelahamid, Maura Garcia Dance, Starrwind Dance Projects, and Circadia Indigena Aboriginal Arts Collective. 

Davies facilitates dance and storytelling workshops, creating safe spaces where women are empowered through movemen,t and teaches Modern Dance to beginners and advanced level movers. She honours her mixed Metis, Anishnawbe, and Welsh heritage in her practice.

Bryn Kinders

Bryn began dancing at the age of two; as soon as she was walking, she was dancing! While tap dance is her specialty, she has also trained in jazz, ballet, contemporary and modern dance. She has traveled the world to train and perform with renowned international artists. In New York she has been mentored by such dancers as Barbara Duffy, Heather Cornell, and Claudia Rahardjanoto, among others. She attended the Institute for the Rhythmic Arts in Chicago and performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art alongside other professional tap dance artists and masters. 

Bryn has appeared in dance concept videos including Sedated by Alex Clancy, which was screened at Cascadia Dance and Film Festival in the summer of 2016, and Jessie Sawyers’ documentary: Music of Human Kind. Bryn has an endless passion for the tap dance art form and its rich history and is excited to share this with her students and to help them reach their fullest potential!

Heather Kirkland

Heather Kirkland has been teaching dance in the Vancouver and Burnaby districts since 2003. Her early training included the Royal Academy of Dance ballet technique and examinations and later Cecchetti technique and modern dance at Arts Umbrella. She graduated from the Performance Intensive program at Main dance and then moved to Toronto where she completed the training program at the school of Toronto Dance theatre. Later she studied as a dance/ theatre apprentice with Jumpstart Performance Company. Before discovering teaching Heather could be found on stage in Toronto and Vancouver in productions such as 12 min max, Dancing on the edge and The Kiss Project. Now she is thoroughly enjoying sharing her love of dance through teaching and choreography in both ballet and modern dance forms. In her classes Heather encourages artistic expression and musicality while working with students on good healthy alignment and technique. She aims to cultivate a supportive environment where creativity can flourish regardless of your level of experience

Trevor Klushin

Trevor went to Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton where he received a Diploma in Dance Performance in 1992. He received the Evelyn Davis Scholarship for excellence in modern dance and choreography in 1993. He danced with Brian Webb Dance Co., Mile Zero Dance Co., and Ballet North. His chorography has been presented in the Cayman Islands, Canada, Brazil, Holland, and US. He has done independent films and commercials. A Creative Dance specialist, his passion is creating dances and teaching. Also known as Mr. Trevor by his students and their parents, he has been teaching his love of dance to young children at the Shadbolt Centre for many years.

Karen Kobel

Karen has been dancing for the past 25 years, teaching for the past 13 years and performing. With a BFA in Dance Performance from East Carolina University, she has performed for various artists such as Mia Michaels, Jay Norman, Marjon Van Grunsven, Tomi Galaska, Mary Carbonaro, Peter Grey Terhune Presents on the Regal Princess and Crown Princess Cruise ships, Madora, and some other local artists. She is also a STOTT certified Pilates instructor. Karen has also studied with Lynn Simonson, Mary Carbonaro, Katiti King, all Simonson certified instructors.

Jessica Lin

Inspired by Laban / Bartenieff Studies, Jessica believes in the connection between brain and body, how it is really about dancing with “your heart”, and that there is a strong mathematical aspect to the whole equation. She is a professional dancer, choreographer and dance instructor with a wide range of influences. She grew up in Taiwan and received a BA in dance from the Taiwan National University of Physical Education in 2000. She has performed professionally throughout Europe and Asia and taught in Taiwan and Canada since 1999. Jessica continues to pass on the passion of dance to the next generation.

Natasha Lutz

Originally from Brampton Ontario, Natasha has been teaching people of all ages and stages since 2003. She is a graduate of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre's Professional Training Program, where she learned from a number of renowned artists from Canada and abroad. Over the years Natasha has also enjoyed a wonderful performance career working with many amazingly talented people, and dancing on various stages throughout Canada. She loves sharing her passion for dance with her students from whom she is always learning and gaining inspiration, She is proud to be a part of the Shadbolt community. 

Joanna Mansour Helou

Joanna is a dancer, teacher, choreographer & sociologist from Montreal, QC.  Joanna is interested in the different functions of dance such as: self-expression, cultural heritage and social messages. Joanna began her professional training at Collège Jean-Eudes de Rosemont, where she graduated with Honors (1999). She later joined Ballet Allegro International and started a BA in modern dance at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). Alongside dancing, she has worked as a teacher and choreographer in recreational and professional schools.

Carol Mendes

Carol Mendes is a choreographer, dance filmmaker, and dance educator. A native of Brazil, she received her BFA in Dance and her Teaching Certificate from State University of Campinas (Brazil). She also holds a Master’s of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her choreography has been presented at La Mama, Joe's Pub, Judson Church, Triskelion Arts, Martha Graham Studio Theater, Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, and at Dixon Place, among others. 

As a dance filmmaker, Carol has worked with the New York City Ballet Media Department as Production Assistant and Media Fellow. She co-directed and edited her own dance films screened in Brazil, Finland, US, Argentina, and France. She worked as the Production Director and Curator of WestFest Dance Festival in NYC, and she recently spent a year traveling the world. She was an artist in residence at Haihatus Art Center in Finland and has participated in classes with the Icelandic Dance Company in Reykjavik. Carol recently received a scholarship to study the ORFF-SCHULWERK method at UNICAMP, in Brazil. She was the Production Director of the X EEMU (UNICAMP’s Music Education Encounter) and her newest dance film project, “Untranslatable”, premiered at Danca em Foco in August 2017 in Brazil. Carol just moved to Vancouver, BC and she's looking forward to sharing her passion for dance, art, and culture in this city. 

Jeannine Miller

Jeannine Miller is a graduate from the dance teacher training program at Grant MacEwan College and a graduate from the PTI program at Main Dance. Jeannine worked as a dance teacher at the Shadbolt Center for the Arts for 13 years and was one of the artistic directors for the Youth in Motion Jr. Dance Company. Jeannine has worked as an independent dancer in Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary and has twenty years experience teaching dance to students of all ages and levels including a term for the Calgary school board as an Artist in Residence. Jeannine has recently returned to Burnaby and the Shadbolt is thrilled to have her back! 

Michelle Olson 

As a Vancouver-based choreographer, performer and the Artistic Director of Raven Spirit Dance, Michelle focuses on developing work in dance, theatre and opera.  She is the recipient of the Inaugural VIDF Choreographic Award and has studied at the University of New Mexico and Full Circle First Nations Performance.  She has a certificate in Movement Analysis from the Laban Institute and continues to explore the many ways dance and movement is vital to our lives. Michelle will be teaching Adult Modern at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts this fall and winter.

Amy Meyers Obregon 

Amy Meyers Obregon completed her professional ballet training at Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec and has performed with Le Jeune Ballet du Quebec (Montréal), Ballet Jorgen (Toronto), Storling Dance Theater (Kansas City), and Ballet Victoria (Victoria). She has danced in numerous independent projects in such locations as Times Square (New York City) and Covent Gardens (London).  

Amy obtained a Masters of Art in Choreography at Laban (London, UK) and has created works both independently and collaboratively including “39 Rooms, 87 Stairs”, a dance journey through Victoria’s Craigdarroch Castle; “The White Dress Project”, set in Calgary’s Devonian Garden; and “Bellitat”, a contemporary stage ballet by her project dance company, Sentio Dance.  

Amy shares her passion for dance through teaching. Locally, she has taught at Arts Umbrella, Anna Wyman School of Dance Arts, Harbour Dance Centre, Dancestreams, Dance Nouveau, Mirror Dance, various private lessons, and most recently at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts. Amy continues to learn about the moving body as she works toward her Stott Pilates certification.

Heather Parlongo

Heather is a graduate of the National Ballet School Teacher Training Program and the London Contemporary Dance School in England, from which she holds a choreography certificate. She holds her Intermediate and Associate Diploma Cecchetti teaching degrees. Heather has been teaching in the Lower Mainland for the past eight years.

Donna Redlick

Donna Redlick has a Masters in Dance Practice, with a somatic approach, from Trinity Laban, London, England.  She is a Certified Movement Analyst in Laban/ Bartenieff Studies, a Registered Somatic Movement Educator and she holds a diploma in Dance Teacher Training from Grant MacEwan College of Fine Arts.  Donna is the founder of Continuum Dance Company and currently works as their artistic director.  She also worked as the artistic director of the Shadbolt’s Youth In Motion Dance Company for many years. Aside from teaching at the Shadbolt  Centre (where she began in 1991), Donna has taught for Simon Fraser University’s School of Contemporary Arts and as core faculty for Laban/ Bartenieff and Somatic Studies International. 

Anneliese Rios 

Anneliese Rios is a professional ballet dancer from Caracas, Venezuela. She began studying ballet at age four, and at sixteen, she graduated from Nina Novak's Classical Ballet Academy as a Professional Ballet dancer and joined Teresa Carreño Ballet in Caracas. She has performed nationally and internationally as Corps de ballet and soloist in classical, contemporary and modern works. She began teaching in 2013 at the Academy, and in mid-2014 she moved to BC. She maintains her training as a dancer while searching for new opportunities to grow as an independent artist and improve her skills as a dance teacher. Anneliese works with children, teens and adults to share her passion for dance arts. Her teaching emphasizes proper classical technique, musicality and artistic expression.  Since 2016, Anneliese has been working at the Anna Wyman School of Dance Arts as the ballet teacher and head of their Professional Training Program.

Claudia Segovia

Claudia Segovia is both a dance and a visual artist.  She studied Contemporary Dance Choreography in Mexico City at the National Centre for the Arts as well as RAD, ISTD and Cuban Ballet techniques. Claudia has taught dance and visual arts in Mexico City, Spain and in the lower mainland for over 20 years.

She believes in inspiring children to be the best people they can through any art form.  She believes that children are incredibly intelligent, masters at expression and that they should be encourage and supported through arts education.

She works with children with all levels of abilities, learning styles, difficulties and challenges.  As an arts education Claudia feels the responsibility to create learning opportunities for all children.

Danais Yera Guerra

Danais was born in Cuba and moved to Vancouver in 2012. She is a graduate of the National School of Ballet as well as the Dance Program at the National School of Art Instructors. Danais’s experience and passion for dance led to collaborations with several dance companies including the Santiago Alfonso’s Company and Ballet Litz Alfonso. She has worked with choreographers such as Alberto Mendez. Danais is an established dance teacher and choreographer specializing in Folkloric and contemporary dance from Cuba and Latin America. She has received national awards for her works as a choreographer and teacher. Danais currently teaches dance for all levels and ages.

Sonja Beale

Sonja is a dancer/actor/singer from Fort St John BC where she taught jazz, tap and contemporary at the Move Dance Center. She moved to Vancouver in 2016 to attend Vancouver Film School for acting and has spent  the last 2 years pursuing a career as an actress. She has 20 years of training in tap, ballet, jazz and contemporary and has attended schools such as The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Alberta Ballet and Goh Ballet. Sonja has also been a apart of several musical theatre productions with Broadway Live Broadway in Grande Prairie AB, including The Little Mermaid, Tarzan and Fame. Sonja believes her training in acting can help bring another level to the artistry of dance. Dance is one of her biggest passions and she loves to share that with her students. 

Katie Cassady

Katie Cassady is a teacher, performer, and choreographer based in Vancouver, BC, the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Musqueam and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.  Katie completed her dance training at Simon Fraser University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and currently performs with Kokoro Dance and TWObigsteps Collective. As an independent creator, her work has been presented at the Shooting Gallery Performance Series, BC Buds, 12 Minutes Max #42, and Vines Art Festival. Katie holds a BA in Art History from the University of British Columbia. We are very excited to welcome to welcome Katie’s presence and experience to the dance program. 

Dance Accompanists:

Nick Apivor

Percussionist Nick Apivor has been playing for classes at Shadbolt since 1992 (when it was known as the Burnaby Arts Centre).  Since then, Nick has been involved in numerous musical projects.  Some recent highlights include performing at the Miri International Jazz Festival in Malaysia and playing with legendary vocalist Petula Clark. Nick was also in the pit orchestra for the Vancouver Playhouse production of The Drowsy Chaperone.

Israel (Toto) Berriel

Toto is a traditional Afro-Cuban percussionist and vocalist from Matanzas, Cuba. Toto began his professional music career at the age of 16 in Los Yumurinos, a group formed by the children of the famous groups Los Muñequitos de Matanzas and AfroCuba de Matanzas.  Toto was then invited to join the world’s best-known Rumba group Los Muñequitos de Matanzas. Toto worked with the Los Muñequitos for twelve years learning the Afro-Cuban repertoire. Toto is a naturally gifted vocalist with a distinctive sound, his easy charm and his Cuban warmth, make Toto an exceptional and approachable music teacher.

David DiTomaso

David DiTomaso is an accomplished musician who has been performing live since 1980. He has studied percussion and theory with some of the best instructors in the field, and has been teaching from his own private practice (DPS-DiTomaso Percussion School) since 1993. For over 20 years David has been a workshop presenter for elementary and secondary schools, as well as professional development conferences for teachers. David also accompanies dance classes at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and enjoys the challenge of adapting to each of the instructors individual styles.

Robert Mitchell 

Robert is well known at the Shadbolt Centre as a piano accompanist for dance. The last couple of years he has been challenging himself to learn hand drumming in order to become more versatile. With over 25 years of experience, he specializes in live performance of original music with his band, ‘the hermit’. Robert enjoys creating music compositions for the year-end shows at the Shadbolt Centre.

Victor Noriega

An award-winning composer/keyboardist, Victor has been a featured artist in the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, the Earshot Jazz Festival, Bumbershoot, the Filipino American Jazz & World Music Festival, and the Philippine International Jazz Festival.  His commissioned original work for the Oakland East Bay Symphony, Generations, Directions, which premiered in April 2012, musically addresses three generations of ethnicity in North America.  Born in Richmond, British Columbia and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Victor obtained a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies at the University of Washington.  Victor continues to work on a diverse set of original projects and collaborates with artists from a wide range of musical backgrounds.

Sarah Russ

Sarah’s instructors have included Ron Ellis and Judith Maltz.  She has worked with the Shadbolt dance program as a ballet accompanist since 1999 and has composed music for the year-end dance recitals.  She has published four piano compositions with RYCUN music. Sarah joined the music faculty as an accompanist in 2000 and as an instructor in 2003.  She currently assists with administering the music program as well as accompanying dance classes.

Isabella Tsisserev

Isabella Tsisserev was born and educated in Ukraine (former USSR). She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music and accompaniment as majors, and a minor in education in 1970 in the city of Kharkov. Upon graduation, Isabella worked in the school of music for gifted children for 7 years. She immigrated with her family to Canada in 1977. She worked with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and company (1978-1995), and was a senior accompanist for all levels of students and participated in playing for the teachers' training program. Isabella moved to Vancouver in 1995. She has been an accompanist for Ballet BC, Arts Umbrella, Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Dance, and Pacific Dance Arts, as well as playing for examinations around the city of Vancouver. Isabella has participated in workshops and performances for the Checchetti Society for 22 years, and has worked at Dance Co for 9 years. She has been an accompanist at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts since 2013.

Siobhan  Sloane-Seale

Siobhan has been training in dance professionally for the past twenty years.  She studied contemporary dance at Simon Fraser University and began teaching after graduating in 2004. Siobhan has worked as an apprentice with Peter Bingham of EDAM dance.  She is also a co-founder, in 2007, of The Body Narratives Collective (BNC). BNC has presented work at the BC Buds Spring Arts Fair, Dusk Dance, and at the In the House Festival. BNC has received a BC Arts Council grant to commission choreographer Rob Kitsos.  Siobhan is also a singer-songwriter, a gardener and a music accompanist at the Shadbolt Centre.