Lesley Benham  BA, BEd, RAD Diploma
Lesley Benham brings 29 years of choreographic and teaching experience and is now celebrating her 23rd year as director and owner of Deas Island Dance.

Lesley has a thorough knowledge of a variety of dance styles and their technical aspects including ballet, modern, jazz, character and national dance (ISTD), musical theatre and flamenco.  Lesley completed her Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Teachers Certification with Distinction and her RAD Teaching Diploma with Anatomy and Child Psychology.  Lesley also holds Bachelor degrees in Liberal Arts and Education from the University of British Columbia.

Lesley has acted as a supervisor to new teachers enrolled in Royal Academy of Dance CBTS teachers program and has mentored many young aspiring dancers and dance teachers.  She continues her own professional development with international programs and workshops on dance technique, mime, musicality, anatomy and injury prevention.  Lesley returns in the summertime to The Ailey School in New York to continue studies in the Horton Pedagogy Program under the direction of Anna-Marie Forsyth, co-founder of the Ailey Fordam BFA.

Lesley has traveled extensively abroad which has influenced both her choreography and her strong sense of community.  Her participation in wilderness expeditions, in the Himalayas and at home, have helped develop a strong sense of determination which she passes on to her students.  Lesley teaches her classes with kindness and professionalism, attentive to both the physical and emotional well being of her students, and motivating her students to strive for their best of their ability.

Janet Gittens RAD Diploma
Janet Gittens is a highly experienced dance instructor. She has been teaching for over twenty five years and holds The Royal Academy of Dance Teaching Diploma with Anatomy and Child Psychology and Development and the Advanced Diploma in Benesh Movement Notation.

Janet taught ballet at the Benesh Institute and Ballet Rambert (London, England) and also owned and operated her dance studio for 17 years in Trinidad and Tobago.

Janet continues to assist her students to reach their ultimate goals through her coaching and encouraging. She has been involved with preparations for the Solo Seal examinations of the Royal Academy of Dance, The Genee International Competition (London, England), Prix de Lausanne (Switzerland), the award of scholarships, and placement in international dance schools and companies.

Katie Parks RAD Diploma

Katie Parks is an enthusiastic, fun-loving teacher with extensive experience in the dance world.   She danced semi-professionally with the Toronto Regional Ballet Company performing  throughout Northeastern USA and Canada. While enjoying performing with the company, she  also attended multiple summer schools, workshops and intensives at The School at Jacobs  Pillow, Massachusetts, The NY Academy of Dance, Poughkeepsie NY, the National Ballet of  Canada, Toronto and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal.

Miss Katie has studied dance pedagogy programs at both Ryerson University in Toronto and McEwan University in Edmonton. She has owned and operated dance studios in both Jasper Alberta and South Delta, (Tsawwassen) BC. Katie is a registered teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and received distinction on her Teaching Certificate Examination.  She also has her Dance Diploma in Anatomy, Dance History and Child Psychology and Development.

She enjoys exploring the world of teaching by attending inspiring courses which include the National Ballet of Canada’s Teacher’s Summer Seminars, Modern Intensives with renowned dancer/choreographer Peggy Baker,  Rhee Gold conferences, USA and the Royal Academy of Dance continued professional development courses.   She has choreographed for local dance festivals where her students have experienced wonderful success.

Miss Katie is a certified PBT (Progressing Ballet Technique)  instructor and enjoys sharing the syllabus with her students.  She also attends Child Development seminars, workshops and conferences with the Neufeld Institute to better understand and assist in the emotional development and wellness of her students.

Miss Katie is a retired Education Assistant who worked at the preschool, elementary and high school level with the Delta School District.  She holds a Certificate in Autism Training from POPARD.  (Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders).  She has broad experience teaching dance to children with exceptionalities and has choreographed for dance troupes involved in both the BC Special Olympics and the Canadian Down Syndrome Society Conferences. Katie’s goal is to empower young dancers to believe in their abilities, not just in dance, but in life too.  Katie brings a sense of humour to class which is enjoyed by all.

Tania Broissoit
Ms. Brossoit (formerly Tania Foster) was born in England and is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dancing Teacher Training Program. There, she gained extensive training in Ballet, ISTD Modern, National, Jazz, and Character Dance alongside dance anatomy, dance history, child psychology and classical repertoire. Tania had the good fortune to be taught and gained her extensive knowledge of the classical repertoire from many wonderful dancers of the Royal Ballet and many of the RAD top examiners. Ms. Brossoit came to Canada in 1985 and she owned and operated a highly successful dance studio on Vancouver Island from 1991 through the year 2000. She has spent the last thirteen years in Vancouver, teaching at the Richmond Academy of Dance, training dancers of all ages, including those in the professional division training program. Known for her love and passion for dance and for her exceptional work with young dancers, Tania produces a high standard of training and exam results. She is also an avid dance science researcher, and has studied at length, the physiology and biomechanics of the body and strongly applies these principles to her teaching.  Many of her students have gone on to dance in major Companies and Theatre Productions or have continued their training at some of the most respected institutes around the world. She has been sought after for many years as guest teacher and adjudicator around BC and has instructed in various summer schools within the province. Choreography is also a passion for Tania, and her choreography is often  recognized for its diversity and annually receives honorable awards. Tania has had the good fortune to work with some of the world’s leading dance experts and feels blessed to be able to share this wealth of knowledge with all the young dancers she has the good fortune to teach.
Calina Chan
Calina grew up dancing from the age of three, and has not stopped since! She trained in the professional division including an intensive half-day program throughout high school, training in ballet, jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, tap, modern, contemporary, hip hop, acting, voice and pilates. During her training, she earned a Distinction in the Advanced II Royal Academy of Dance examination certificate.

After high school, Calina trained with the Source Dance Company, and has performed in two productions including What Happens in Vegas and Conversations at a Station, and has also been part of KTL Co, working with industry leading individuals. Alongside dancing, she is also completing a bachelor’s in psychology, with a minor in creative writing. She is excited to be working with her students, and is looking forward to the season!

Bianca Corea
Bianca Corea, is a graduate of Deas Island Dance and we are so pleased to see her carrying on with her teaching career.  Bianca has a natural gift for teaching and lights up the classroom with her bright and positive energy.Bianca began her teacher training as a teaching assistant at D.I.D and continued as a dance instructor for Delta Parks & Recreation.  Over the years she has become a favorite amongst the junior students at both D.I.D., Delta Gymnastics and Delta Parks & Recreation.

Bianca has studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Tap, Musical Theatre and Hip Hop. Bianca has completed R.A.D ballet examinations from Primary to Grade 8 with final marks of Distinction and has received many festival awards over the years of her training.

Currently,  Bianca is continuing her education after graduating from Kwantlen Polytechnic University with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and is pursuing her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher through the Bachelors of Education program at the University of British Columbia.

Bianca considers Deas Island Dance her second home and the dancers and staff her second family.  She is delighted to be teaching on Saturday mornings.

Kayla Malanfant
Kayla is a Deas Island Dance alumni and a versatile dancer and performer. She has extensive training in RAD ballet, contemporary, jazz, musical theatre and hiphop. Throughout her adolescence she received numerous awards and scholarships, competed provincially and internationally, and spent her summers training at Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Arts Umbrella and The School of Alberta Ballet. Kayla successfully completed all of her vocational and graded RAD examinations, and had the honour of performing the Solo Seal Award. After graduation, she furthered her training with Lamondance Company and The Source Dance Company, and has most recently worked with Disneyland Tokyo as a dancer and performer.
Karly McMaster
Karly McMaster has grown up dancing in Delta since the age of four and focused her training in RAD ballet, jazz, lyrical, and contemporary. During this time she competed in numerous award-winning numbers while working as an assistant teacher and mentor to younger dancers.

After graduating highschool, Karly continued her education by studying medical biochemistry at UBCO and most recently completed her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine. Dance has always played a big role in her life and throughout her schooling she participated in the UBCO Urban Dance Club on the executive committee as well as a teacher. She also continued to teach both recreational and competitive level dancers at studios in Delta and Kelowna. Her students have won countless high-score and choreography awards. Karly is

well known for creating a positive environment for dancers to strive to be the best versions of themselves and enjoys seeing dancers accomplish their goals both inside the studio and out!

Karly loves being able to incorporate her medical training in anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics of the body into her teaching. She instils the importance of sustainable dance training in young dancers by focusing on technique and injury prevention.

Karly is thrilled to be a part of the Deas Island Dance faculty this year and to be sharing her love for dance with the next generation of dancers!

Morgan McQueen
Morgan is a talented individual who has been emerged within the dance world since the young age of three. Through her training, she has excelled in styles such as Tap, Jazz , Ballet, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre and Lyrical. Morgan has achieved a variety of dance accomplishments throughout her life. A highlighted few include the popular teen comedy, “John Tucker Must Die”, dancing with the BC Lions as a Felion (3 years), performing aboard Carnival Cruise Lines, a member of Vancouver’s Hip Hop crew, Make your mark and she is the co-founder/ main choreographer for the Hip Hop crew Stylistix.Aside from the many dance opportunities Morgan has been involved in, she was asked to be a part of the 2005 Canadian National Tap Team which competed at the World Tap Championships in Reisa, Germany. Morgan was extremely successful in her endeavors at the competition, placing seventh overall in the Women’s solo tap category and second place in the group category.Currently Morgan is the co-ordinator for the Vancouver Giants Dance team, where she has a selected group of girls that perform during the Giants Home games and attend promotional events outside the rink. Morgan was a dancer for the team for 2 years when she was then asked to take over as co-ordinator and has been doing so for the past 9 years; She has taken the team from 5 members to 22.

On top of Morgan’s evolving dance career, she takes time to stay true to her love of dance by teaching at various dance studios. She has had the opportunity to train at elite dance establishments in areas such as Los Angeles, New York City, Las Vegas and Vancouver.  Morgan’s passion for dancing is evident in her many successes as a dancer and as a teacher. She looks forward to working with the students at Deas Island Dance!

Jamie Montgomery
Jamie has been dancing since she was 3 years old and has training in ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern, hip hop, and tap. After graduating from Deas Island Dance, Jamie continued her dance studies at Calgary’s Decidedly Jazz Danceworks in Alberta, The Edge in L.A., Harbour Dance Centre in Vancouver.Jamie also spent two years studying and performing with the Source Dance Company in Vancouver.

In 2017, Jamie returned to school to earn her Education Assistant Certificate and received training in child development, autism spectrum disorders, behaviour management, basic healthcare and other topics related to education. She also received certification in CPI and first aid as well as from POPARD (Provincial Outreach Program for Autism and Related Disorders and POPFASD (Provincial Outreach Program for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder).

Jamie is excited to be entering her 20th year of teaching Jazz, Lyrical Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop with Deas Island Dance and feels so lucky that she and her kids get to be part of such a great dance family.

Davi Rodrigues

Originally from Brazil, Lamondance Artistic Director Davi Rodrigues is proud to be a Canadian Citizen. Prior to joining Lamondance, Davi distinguished himself both as a dancer for many years, and as a visionary young choreographer for nearly a decade. He brings high energy and optimism to his work, having made a name for himself on the basis of an audacious, immersive dance approach, unique choreography, and daring hard work.

While in Brazil, Davi studied Physical Education at the Universidade Católica de Brasília (UCB), and was a dancer for six years with the Aplauso Cia de Dança, under the direction of Junior O’Hara, in Taguatinga, DF. Davi also studied classical ballet with the Ballet Theatre Guaira’s principal dancer, Heloisa Almeida.

Davi’s gift for creating innovative experiences had its inception in Brazil, where he danced and choreographed for many companies. He has choreographed eight original full-length dance shows for Cia Criatividança, where he worked as both director and dancer for 15 years. With Cia Criatividança, Davi toured Brazil and received many awards as an outstanding dancer and choreographer. His works are known around the globe.

Davi moved to Vancouver in 2008 to work as a dancer and guest choreographer for Lamondance Company and has since risen to the position of Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer. In 2019, Davi was instrumental in getting Lamondance incorporated as Lamondance Arts Society, a charitable organization registered under the laws of the Province of British Columbia.

Davi’s unmistakable passion and drive have helped establish Lamondance Company as one of Vancouver’s premiere training programs for emerging dancers. Based on creative and ambitious choreographic work, combined with a strong focus on technical and artistic development, Lamondance Company is a formidable launching point for the careers of young artists.

Through the program, Davi connects his dancers with many artists from Canada and abroad, creating a significant network present in our community. Davi’s most recent works for Lamondance are Ubuntu – I am because we are, Garden of Lights, Kauã, WE, Marbled, IELE (a collaboration with the Emmy-nominated music composer Hall Beckett), How It Ends, and lastly, VIVA, which premiered in June 2019, in celebration of the company’s 10th anniversary.

Davi’s works as a choreographer have also been performed by many prominent dance schools in Vancouver since his arrival in Canada, including Arts Umbrella, Pacific DanceArts, Kirkwood Academy of Performance and Arts, and RNB Dance & Theatre. His choreography has received several awards from prestigious festivals in Vancouver, as well as in the United States.

Furthering his commitment to community impact, Davi created the Lamondance and Friends Gala. Now in its eighth edition, the gala celebrates the local dance community by uniting schools, training programs and companies from the all over the Lower Mainland, and engaging in a conversation about dance.

Davi showed promising leadership skills from a very early age. Outside of Lamondance Company, Davi continues to work in leadership positions worldwide. Working as a Mentor, Judge, and Choreographer, Davi is one of the most highly regarded faculty members of the International Dance Seminar in Brasília, Brazil – a momentous event that celebrates, educates and gives opportunities to dancers around the world. Davi also worked for many years as a member of the artistic committee for Vancouver’s Royal City Youth Ballet.

Davi has found success with his unique style, his infallible optimism, and his generous heart. As a passionate mentor, Davi enthusiastically contributes to dance communities by supporting, educating and challenging artists to take risks. He continues to pursue artistic excellence, creation, production and performance, with an ongoing commitment to share his breadth of experience with performers, choreographers, and arts educators in the community at large.

Krista Hassen  RAD RTS, B.Sc. (Hon) FNH, PBT Cert.
Born in BC, Krista trained both locally and nationally. She began at the South Delta Studio of Dance, under Katie Parks and Lesley Benham, and went on to train in the Professional Programs of The Richmond Academy of Dance, National Ballet School of Canada, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Banff Centre for the Arts, and Montreal’s L’Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec. While living in Montreal, she worked with company members of Les Grands Ballet Canadiens, and studied daily with the esteemed Alexandra Wells, former principal dancer of Boston Ballet and faculty member of the Juilliard School, New York.

Krista danced many classical and contemporary roles, completed all RAD Vocational Examinations, and won numerous awards and scholarships, including one to train at London Studio Centre, England. After injuries put a stop to her performance career, Krista obtained a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Food, Nutrition, and Health, from The University of British Columbia. With a special interest in wellness and injury prevention, she has conducted nutrition seminars for dancers. For over 20 years, Krista has taught at multiple schools in BC and Alberta. She holds her Teaching Certificate and Registered Teacher Status with the Royal Academy of Dance, and is also certified in Progressing Ballet Technique, a revolutionary conditioning program taught globally. From 2009 through 2021, Krista was Head of Ballet at RNB Dance & Theatre Arts, North Vancouver. During her time leading the program, she encouraged each student to rise to their personal potential – mentoring them through examinations, solo and group performances, and, most importantly, challenging them to find joy and pride, not only in the public successes and recognition, but in the daily process of class.

For the 2021/2022 season, Krista joins the faculties of Tri-City Dance Centre, and Deas Island Dance, where she looks forward to working with the Trainee and Ballet Intensive students, as well as those in the younger grades of study. She is also on Faculty at Lamondance, a pre-professional training company, and has been Resident Teacher with Ballet BC. Krista teaches company class with passion, and an eye for detail.

Krista continues to guest teach and choreograph at different schools throughout Western Canada, coaching dancers of all ages in open work (Vaganova and RAD influenced), RAD Exam Syllabus, classical repertoire, strength/stretch/PBT, and solo and group choreography. Her students are consistently recognized for strong exam results, awards and festival placings. They continue to be chosen as representatives to the BC Provincial Festival, are accepted to prestigious international training institutions, and have gone on to dance professionally. Krista has a genuine passion for ballet, and loves sharing this with the next generation of dancers!

Ashley Sweett
Ashley is a versatile performing artist trained in various forms of dance and theatre. Her ventures have steered her towards working professionally in live performances, dance theatre film/television, and dance education both internationally and locally in Vancouver, BC.Her passion for the performing arts and entertainment industry started as a child. She received countless awards and scholarships at a provincial level performer during and beyond her adolescent years. After graduating high school as a dance major from The Langley Fine Arts school, she became a member of The Source Dance Company under direction of Joanne Pesusich. She then became a member of the contemporary dance company Modus Operandi where she trained exclusively with David Raymond and Tiffany Tregarthen.

In 2013, Ashley founded Sweett Moves which has since led her to create sold out events such as “Bated Breath” and “Sweett Moves Summer Jam”. Since 2012 she has collaborated with many artists as both a choreographer and a performer for Vanessa Young’s company The Lovers Cabaret which has produced a variety of sold out events such as ‘Lovers of Marley’ and ‘Lovers of Queen’ in 2014 and ‘Six Word Stories’ in 2015.

Ashley has directed and choreographed for Canadian recording artists Little India and Hey Ocean, Cirque du Soliel’s One Drop charity, the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and more.

Ashley’s work has been seen at The Vancouver Club, Roundhouse Performance Theatre, Vogue Theatre, The Dance Centre, The Waterfront Theatre, Surrey Arts Centre, Massey Theatre, The Rickshaw Theatre, The Fox Cabaret, Electric Owl and more.

She is an award–winning teacher and choreographer for many local training programs such as Affinity Dance Inc. and Deas Island Dance. She also travels regularly for contracts as a recognized adjudicator and guest teacher. She enjoys working with recreational, emerging and professional artists of all ages through her Sweett Moves events, classes, choreography and mentorship.

Ashley has recently returned from a working holiday abroad in Australia and its surrounding countries. Ashley is filled with Love and Gratitude

Sarah Tse
Guided by dedication and passion, Sarah Tse has spent the past years expanding her knowledge of dance. Growing up in Langley, B.C., Sarah began her dance training at Morningstar Dance Academy then continued her studies at Deas Island Dance where she excelled in completing Royal Academy of Dance Graded examinations up to the Grade 8 award with Distinction as well as Vocational exams. She had the honour of performing the Solo Seal Award, which is the R.A.D highest level of vocational examinations. Sarah is a graduate of the Certificate of Ballet Teaching Studies and is now a registered teacher with the R.A.D.

Alongside her extensive ballet training, she is currently excelling in contemporary ballet. She has been training and performing with the contemporary dance company, Lamondance, under the guidance of Davi Rodrigues for two seasons. She recently performed with Lamondance at the annual International Dance Seminar in Brazil this past summer.

In addition to performing, Sarah has continuously been perfecting her contemporary technique. She has trained with an array of international world renowned teachers and choreographers during her acceptance in Arts Umbrella’s International Summer Dance Intensive such as Doug Letheren (L-E-V), Amy Douglas (Dutch National Ballet), Marc Boivin, and Fernando Hernandez (Netherland Dans Theatre).

Sarah now looks forward to discovering new endeavours as a freelance dance artist in contemporary dance.

Lindsay White
Lindsay White is a highly experienced dance and certified yoga instructor.  She has been teaching and choreographing for 20 years in a variety of dance genres.  Lindsay is trained in multiple disciplines and continually attends conventions and various courses to learn new techniques to share with her students.  She is passionate about dance and her students.

Lindsay has grown up performing in the lower mainland competitive scene.  Her love of dance has transpired into a rewarding career. Lindsay teaches both at the recreational and competitive level with her students winning numerous high score and  choreography awards.

Her love of dance is most apparent in her commitment and dedication to train her students focusing on developing their technique as well as inspiring a love of performance.  Lindsay is encouraging, positive, and invested in nurturing her dancers through their dance journey.

Lindsay desires to share her love of dance with her students and aspiring teachers.  She proudly has numerous dancers who post graduation continue to dance professionally or teach, sharing their passion with the next generation.  Lindsay brings both energy and enthusiasm to her classes and enjoys watching her students succeed.

Ryan Williams
Ryan Williams will be teaching Hip Hop on Thursdays this upcoming year.

We are excited to welcome him back to Deas Island Dance. Ryan’s most recent training has been with the Souldiers Dance Company directed by Kim Sato. This semi-professional company focuses on training and performances in foundational Hip Hop, Breaking, House, Locking, Popping, and social dances. He has previously trained in intensive commercial Hip Hop with Harbour Dance Centre’s Kill The Lights, as well as Make Your Mark. Ryan hopes to create an environment for students where they will explore their creativity all while being physically active.

Jocelyn Wozencroft
After having the honor of dancing professionally in Europe and Canada; Jocelyn Wozencroft’s passion turned to the teaching and mentorship of future dancers. Jocelyn holds four accreditation’s: ARAD, BA(hons), RAD RTS, PBT and looks forward to completing her Masters. She has won numerous teaching awards in ballet and contemporary ballet including ‘Best teacher’ and ‘Best Choreographer’ at various international competitions. As a professional dancer Jocelyn had the honour of working with such choreographers as Wen Wei Wang, Crystal Pite, Shawn Hounsell, Joe Laughlin, Cathy Marston and Antonio Castilla to name a few. As a trainee, she completed all of the Royal Academy of Dance exams up to and including the Solo Seal and was a finalist at the Adeline Genee Awards in London England. Jocelyn had the privileged to train on scholarship at The National Ballet School, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Banff Festival of the Arts and Boston Ballet School. Jocelyn has trained extensively in Modern dance focusing on the Graham, Limon and Cunningham techniques. Jocelyn is a mentor, educator, adjudicator and teacher and finds passing on the art of dance to younger generations a very rewarding and prestigious opportunity.
Guest Teachers and Past Instructors/Choreographers
Heather Price ARAD, RAD RTS, BSc (Pharm)
Heather began her ballet training with the Cecchetti Method, and continued on with the RAD after the age of 8, successfully completing the Advanced 2 exam in 2009.  Heather spent 3 years in London Ontario teaching, training, and performing while attending university. She had the privilege to train with Dale Yoshida, a former principal dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.

Heather has been teaching Ballet and various other dance forms, including Modern, Jazz, and Tap, since 2002.  In 2007 she completed the RAD’s Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies program, which grants her fully registered teachers status.  Heather is also a registered pharmacist and a guest lecturer with UBC’s Faculty of Pharmacy.

Cara Lee Hrdlitschka
Cara is an accomplished dancer, performer and teacher with many film, television and stage credits to her name.  Cara has lived and performed in Paris at the Bal du Moulin Rouge and has also on stage with Sweet Mystery, Carnival Cruiselines, For the Luv of It, Variety Show of Hearts and much more!

Cara is an all round teacher, having trained in Hip Hop, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, Lyrical, and RAD Ballet.  She continued her studies in the United States studying at Millenium Dance Project, Debbie Reynolds, Edge Performing Arts Centre (LA) and the Connection (Seattle).  Cara is also a Source Dance Company graduate.

Joshua Haban
Joshua Haban is a unique and talented dancer, choreographer, and performer within the Vancouver area. He has worked with Disney Cruise Line as a Mainstage performer, danced with the Response Dance Company and the Goh Ballet Youth Company. He has also been featured in multiple film and TV performances. Some TV performances are “Something to Live For”,  ”Primitive” and “Center Stage: On Pointe”.

Joshua has performed works by Guangdong Contemporary Dance Company and GBYC for Vancouver International Dance Festival 2015, Sasha Evtimova, and Jesse Rob.

His recent choreography awards were 2016 Shine Dance Festival – North Vancouver, and 2016 Youth America Grand Prix Seattle (Outstanding Choreographer).

Sarah Marie Klukas
Miss Sarah Marie is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and a graduate of the R.A.D. Certificate of Ballet Teaching Studies program. While in the CBTS program, she was the inaugural recipient of the 2012 Dorothy Cox-Scruton Bursary given out to first-year students.
Miss Sarah Marie holds her RAD Advanced 2 Certificate and has worked through the graded examinations, receiving her Grade 8 award with Distinction. In addition, she has trained in Jazz, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre, Modern, Lyrical and Contemporary dance.
Sarah Marie has competed various programs including: Royal Winnipeg Ballet Teacher’s Seminar, American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive, Leap N Learn dance pedagogy workshop in New York City and Modern Technique at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre.
Andrea Gibson
Andrea is a multitalented dancer, teacher and choreographer trained in jazz, lyrical, contemporary, stage, ballet(RAD), hip hop, tap, voice and musical theatre. She grew up on stage winning multiple personal scholarships, competing as a provincial representative over a number of years. Andrea has starred in numerous stage productions as well as being casted as a principal dancer in the Warner Brothers movie Scooby Doo 2. Over the last decade she has taught at both recreational and competitive levels, with her students winning numerous high-score and choreography awards yearly as well as personally receiving the “Mentor” award at the Shine Dance Festival for her positive attitude and work ethic with her students. Andrea’s passion for performing is contagious and her focus in class is not only on building dancers but confident and passionate young people.

Andrea was selected as Shine Dance Festival “Teacher of the Year” 2015. She is always invested in furthering her education as an instructor and spent part of her summer at the Dance Teacher Summit in LA.

She recently completed Level One and Two of the International Dance Teaching Standards, and is currently taking a choreography lab this fall

Justine Fraser
Justine Fraser is a professional performer, choreographer, and dance educator. Originally from Vancouver BC, she began her professional training at Pacific Dance Arts, under the direction of Beijing Dance Academy’s: Li Yaming

Here, Justine trained in all styles of dance, with a pre-professional focus on both classical ballet and contemporary dance styles.

As a student, Justine spent her summers training at a variety of ballet schools on scholarship. Some of these included Boston Ballet School, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Alonzo King Lines, and the Banff Centre for Performing Arts.

In 2009, Justine represented Canada as a finalist dancer in both the Youth America Grand Prix (NYC), and as a semi-finalist soloist in the 2008 Beijing Invitational Ballet Competition.

Upon graduation, Justine received a scholarship to begin her B.F.A. at the Alonzo King Lines Dance Centre, in San Francisco, CA. Here, her training broadened to include Modern Dance Technique, Commercial Jazz, Percussion, Gyrokinesis work, Choreographic Process, and Neo-classical Ballet. As an emerging artist, she has had the pleasure of performing contemporary dance works, originally created on dancers of Alonzo King Lines, Toronto Dance Theatre, Dawson Dance, MOVE: the company, and Ballet X, to name a few. Since completing her studies, Justine has gone on to perform with multiple contemporary and classical ballet companies, throughout North America. In 2012, she became a soloist dancer with Ballet Jörgen Canada and has had the pleasure of performing soloist roles on both international and national stages.

Currently, Justine has found a passion for both choreography and dance education. She is an accredited ballet teacher, with the American Academy of Ballet, and has been a full-time Ballet and Contemporary dance instructor for the past 8 years. In addition to teaching, she is also a reputable dance adjudicator. As a member of the Professional Adjudicator’s Alliance, Justine enjoys sitting on panels for both dance organizations and festivals throughout Western Canada.

As a commissioned choreographer, she has had her work performed on professional stages throughout North America. Most recently, she had the pleasure of setting original choreography for the dancers of both Coastal City Ballet (BC) and Ballet Concierto Cancún (Mexico).

In 2016, Justine founded Reforming Art Productions – a Contemporary Dance company that provides innovative training, networking, scholarship, and performance opportunities, to Canadian dance students. Justine has had a wonderful year working with Deas Island Dance students and looks forward to sharing her passions for ballet and contemporary dance with this year’s summer dance intensive students.

Kate Nickel
Katherine has been dancing since she was two years old. She has trained across the lower mainland in ballet, completing her RAD exams up to and including Advanced 2, jazz, modern, lyrical, contemporary, and musical theatre.After graduation Katherine continued dancing, teaching, and attending university to work towards her bachelors degree. In 2019 Katherine accepted a contract with Disney Cruise Line’s entertainment department performing alongside some of our favourite Disney characters. Now that she’s home, she looks forward to rejoining her Deas Island Dance family and sharing her passion for the arts.
Lauren Last
Lauren is currently dancing with a Mega crew called “Unity”, former known as “The Community”, directed and trained under Ervinn Tangco. Unity has been very successful and has placed first in numerous competitions such as Bridge NorCal, Battlegrounds, WOD (World of Dance) Vancouver, and most recently placing second at Collaboration: NorCal. They also continued on to the WOD finals in Los Angeles, placing 10th. Unity is the very first dance company to sign with the Beast Network and receive scholarships from Willdabeast to attend his convention, “Buildabeast” to learn from some of the very best choreographers around the world. Lauren has performed in various amount of shows including Kolanie Marks: unrated, HHI Pre-Lims, Honours Performance & more. She was also apart of an all female crew, “Self-made” trained and created by Adam McKinnon for a couple of years.Lauren has received countless number of awards and scholarships throughout and beyond her adolescent years training under styles such as hip hop, tap, musical theatre, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern, and ballet at Dance Xpressions. Lauren was awarded Best Overall Dancer in Quesnel Festival and was Provincial Representative in 2013 & 2014.

She now hopes to continue her dance career and work hard as a teacher and choreographer to pass down her knowledge to create a professional, but fun environment in class to those you would to like to pursue dance as a career. Lauren is very grateful for all of her opportunities and is very excited to be apart of the Deas Island Faculty!

Bronwen Wilson B.Dance, Dip Tchg, RAD Diploma

Bronwen Wilson holds a Bachelor of Dance from AUT in New Zealand.  She has been teaching dance for over 15 years and completed her Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) ballet teacher training with distinction.  She also holds the RAD Teaching Diploma in Anatomy, Dance History and Child Psychology and Development.

Throughout her teaching career, Bronwen has taught at several tertiary institutions in New Zealand as well as for many private studios.  Bronwen is particularly passionate about teaching Musical Theatre and has performed in several shows including Sound of Music, Godspell, Highschool Musical (URP) and West Side Story (RCMT).  Bronwen loves the thrill of teaching large broadway numbers to her students and watching them catch the broadway bug!  She also enjoys teaching historic tidbits to give her students a rounded education.

Bronwen has become a regular face at Deas Island Dance teaching weekly classes, summer intensives and choreographing for Disney performances and festival routines.

Chris Larsen
Chris Larsen joins us after recently retiring from The Birmingham Royal Ballet in England.  Chris is a National Ballet of Canada Graduate and has completed his RAD teacher training at the academy in London, England.

Over his 15 years of dancing professionally he has danced a wide range of roles from Corps de Ballet to Principle roles that ranged from character parts to technical classical roles. Chris has toured Europe, China, Japan and North America with the companies such as Birmingham Royal Ballet, Hong Kong Ballet, and Ballet-Art Francois Klaus with and has danced in many international galas.

Marisa Gold
Marisa Gold is a unique and diligent dancer, choreographer, and performer within the Vancouver area. Graduating as a dance major from Langley Fine ArtsSchool was only the beginning of Marisa’s studies in her dance career. As a third year Simon Fraser University student, Marisa works towards her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. Marisa continues to expand her career through various collaborative and soloist works and continues to fine tune her creativity as an independent dancer and choreographer.
Meghan Anderssen
_Meghan is trained in tap, jazz, ballet, voice and musical theatre. She is lucky to have had the opportunity to study and perform in Toronto, Charlotettown, and New York City. Meghan has most recently appeared as Logainne Schwarzandgrubenierre in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Western Canada Theatre) and as Betty Jean in Vancouver’s premiere of The Marvelous Wonderettes (Hey Look! It’s a Co-Op). Other past performing credits include: Tammy in Hairspray! (Arts Club); Agatha in Guys and Dolls (Chemainus); Ruthie/Ned in Bat Boy (Patrick Street Productions); Linda in Evil Dead (DSR); Miss Dorothy in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun (Theatre Under The Stars); Cowgirl in Somewhere in the World… and Not Wanted on the Voyage (Charlottetown Festival); and a member of the Vancouver Urban Tap Squad. Meghan is a UBC graduate with her Bachelor of Arts in Dramaturgy and is a proud member of Canadian Actor’s Equity Association. Up next: Meghan returns to “Oz” as The Wicked Witch in Carousel Theatre’s remounting of the Jessie nominated production The Wizard of Oz.
Angela Lowndes
Angela was born in Costa Rica and has studied dance all over the world.  She is a choreographer, Dancer, Teacher, and Singer. Her technique ranges in many different styles such as Old Skool, New Skool, Locking, Popping, Street Jazz, Jazz and Ballet. She has also trained in South African dance and Break dance.Angela’s many credits include Moka Only, Rascalz, MTV Canada, MTV US, Much Music, City TV, Fear Factor for Kids, Canadian Philipino Idol, Nessa V, Red 1, Digable Planets, For the Hell of It, Olympics 2010 alongside K-OS, Mariannas Trench Celebrity Status music video  and many more.

Her Dance crew was the West Coast Hip Hop Champion in 2007. The group traveled to Los Angeles to represent Canada in the World Hip Hop Championships. She is currently traveling back and forth from the states performing and training. Her crew Lyrical Thesis is currently one of the opening showcases for the Massive Monkey’s Vancouver Tour January 2010.

Bobbie Wignall
Bobbie was born in the UK and has been entertaining audiences around the world since the age of three. Bobbie began her training at Ann Holland School of Theatre Dance. She then went on to train professionally at Laine Theatre Arts in Epson, London where she studied singing, dancing and acting. Upon completion of her 3 year theatrical course, Bobbie was awarded honours in two teaching exams: Modern and Tap. Bobbie is a fully certified Dance Teacher and earned this recognition through the Imperial Society of Theatre Dance (ISTD).After graduation, Bobbie taught and choreographed numerous shows and stage productions for students aged 3 and up. She was a headline vocalist for many summer season theatrical shows in the UK, and she took her talents abroad by performing on some of the most luxurious cruise ships afloat and headlining in their major broadway production style shows. Bobbie has a real passion for all styles of dance and this really shines through in her teaching style and interaction with her students. She is always eager to meet new students and to help them achieve their goals and ambitions.
Belinda Sobie
A popular teacher, Belinda Sobie has given master classes in jazz for the Royal Academy of Dance, Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association, Moosejaw Dance Society and the B.C. Jazz Dance Association.Belinda has adjudicated and coached jazz for the Moosejaw Dance Festival, Alberta Dance Festival, B.C Jazz Dance Festival, as well as for Ted Lange of the “Love Boat”.

As a successful choreographer for stage, television and film, Belinda has choreographed Westside Story (Jessie Award Nomination), The Pajama Game, Guys & Dolls and Maz & Me’s Dinner Theatre Restaurant. Other credits include Booker, Escandalo (Spain), Music Hallelujah (Seattle) and Rhythm of the Night.  She assisted with the choreography for Theresa Teng’s Orient Tour, Christmas in Never Neverland and Radio Active Dreams.

Her knowledge of Jazz technique has given her the opportunity to teach summer schools at virtually every major dance studio in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.  We are fortunate to now have Belinda with us on a weekly basis!

Moses Layco
A Native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Moses now trains and resides in Vancouver, BC. Trained in all styles of dance with contemporary jazz and hip hop being his forte. The focus of his class is not so much on technique, but more so capturing the emotion of the movement.Moses Started dance at the age of 19 and has continued his passion for the art and never looked back. He continues to inspire others, encouraging them that “it’s never too late to start.”
Moses has worked and trained closely with some of the most influential and sought after entertainers and choreographers in the business. Sonya Teyah, Mandy Moore, Erica Sobol, Chris Dupre, Blake McGrath, Bobby Newberry, Kelly Konno, Luther Brown, Nico Archambault, Wynn Holmes, to name a few.
You may also recognize him as one of Canada’s Top 40 finalists 2 years in a row on the hit show SYTYCD Canada. Moses continues to train, as he believes you can never stop growing and learning as an artist.
Jenny Stewart
Jenny has danced across Canada and the US with companies like Dance Nouveau, Pro Troupe and Legends Alive! and has worked with many influential and inspiring professional dancers.Jenny has choreographed for fitness pageants and fashion shows and was also proud to assist with the choreography for the World Track and Field Championships in Edmonton.

Originally a prairie girl from Alberta, Jenny moved to Vancouver in 2002 to pursue a career as a performer. She has been seen in various live shows such as Guys & Dolls, Godspell, West Side Story, Music Man, Crazy for You, Mack & Mabel, Lost Vegas Live!, Fosse, Fosse, Fosse and the opening program for the Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. Her recent Film & TV credits include “John Tucker Must Die”, “Dr Doolittle 3”, “Two for the Money”, commercials for Coke and Global, and appearances on Urban Rush and MTV Canada.

Most recently Jenny traveled the Mexican Riviera dancing for Carnival Cruise Lines and currently she works as a special needs aide in a private school and a dance instructor for children and adults.

Kiran Mander
A Bhangra, Bollywood and all around dance enthusiast, Kiran has over 10 years of professional and competitive Bhangra dance experience. She is the co-founder, choreographer and coach of the first all-female competitive team, UBC Girlz Bhangra. This award winning team has led the emergence of all female, competitive Bhangra teams in North America.  Her most memorable stage moment includes performing and opening for the 2009 Juno Awards with Russell Peters. Off stage, Kiran currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration (VIBC) and has co-founded her own South Asian dance company called FolkFit. Kiran’s notable ability is to teach the traditional artform of Bhangra while fusing it with modern beats and movements; she is looking forward to sharing her passion for dance and the South Asian performing arts!
Moe Brody
With over 25 years dance experience, Moe Brody has continued to entertain many with her hip hop, jazz and tap innovations. Prior to returning to her passion, dance, as her chosen career, Moe attended the University of British Columbia successfully earning her degree in Human Kinetics.

Moe’s return to dance commenced with a season as one of the NBA Grizzlies Extreme Dance Team members. During this period, she performed at numerous live and televised events including the official opening for Planet Hollywood with Bruce Willis, Will Smith and Arnold Schwatzenegger. She has also choreographed for the CFL and The University of BC dance team.

Her most recent projects have been filming “John Tucker Must Die” with Grammy winner Ashanti and Jesse Metcalf from Desperate Housewives. Also filmed Dr.Dolittle 3, both now on DVD. She just finished shooting a movie with Hayden Panettiere called I Love You Beth Cooper.

Moe has successfully proven her innate capability to choreograph or dance, on repeat basis, in commercials for such reputable companies as McDonalds, Barbie/Matel, Kyocera, Coca-Cola and Disney. Throughout her career, her winning personality and choreographic talents have landed her many interviews on radio and TV as well as several performances for MTV, Smallville, Crash Test Mommies and X-Weighted.

Currently Moe can be found teaching at the professional dance studio, Harbour Dance, in downtown Vancouver. She is also on faculty with The Source, Danzemode, DanceFusion and Groovestreet Productions.  As if not busy enough, Moe is also an established full time choreographer for season release shows for Roxy, Quiksilver, and Westbeach.

Moe is also an adjudicator at dance competitions where she derives much satisfaction dispensing helpful advice which she hopes will inspire future dancers.

Lynnette Kelley  A.R.A.D., A.T.Dip. – Instructor & RAD Vocational Examiner
Lynnette Kelley studied at the Wynne Shaw Dance Studio in Victoria, B.C. and at the Banff School of Fine Arts. She obtained the Royal Academy of Dance Advanced Teaching Certificate in 1971, and has since become an RAD Dual Examiner, and travels internationally teaching and examining.

Ballet is her passion, and she has successfully prepared numerous students for the Solo Seal Award Examination, which is the highest level of the Royal Academy of Dance.

Mrs. Kelley has also coached many students for the prestigious Adeline Genee International Competition and among them there have been many finalists and medalists.  We are very fortunate to have Mrs. Kelley join us and welcome her as one of the coaches of the ballet intensive program.

Krista Savage  RAD RTS, B.Sc. (Hon) FNH, PBT Cert.
Krista’s early training was with Katie Parks and Lesley Benham at the South Delta Studio of Dance.  She later trained in the Professional Division at The Richmond Academy of Dance and also studied at the National Ballet School of Canada, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Banff Centre for the Arts, and Montreal’s L’Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec.  While living in Montreal, she worked with company members of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and studied daily with Alexandra Wells, former principal dancer of Boston Ballet.

Krista also obtained a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Food, Nutrition, and Health from The University of British Columbia, and, with a special interest in wellness and injury prevention, has conducted nutrition seminars for dancers.As well as performing many classical roles and completing advanced examinations while she was training, Krista holds her Teaching Certificate and Registered Teacher Status with the Royal Academy of Dance.  For ten years, she taught at The Richmond Academy of Dance, and other schools in the Greater Vancouver area.

Krista now coordinates and leads the Ballet Program at RNB Dance and Theatre Arts in North Vancouver, as well as continuing to guest teach and choreograph at a variety of schools in Western Canada. Her students have been consistently recognized for strong exam results, top awards in both local and provincial festivals, and have gone on to dance professionally.

Krista has a true passion for ballet, and loves sharing this passion with young dancers!

Elizabeth Burke
Elizabeth Burke opened “The Pilates Group” in 2005. Since the studio began Elizabeth and now Elvina (co – owner) have been committed to offering the highest standard of teaching.

Elizabeth started Pilates at the age of 15 after training at the National Ballet School, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and San Francisco Ballet School. Elizabeth continued practicing Pilates as a dancer and after dancing in London England decided to enter Dianne Millers 2 year teacher training course. After certifying with Dianne’ program Elizabeth taught Pilates in Hong Kong for one year. Elizabeth certified with The Pilates Method Alliance in 2006 and in 2009 certified with Michele Larsson’s “Core Dynamics Pilates” in Santa Fe NM. Working with master teachers such as Michelehave helped inspire Elizabeth to teach and share her passion of the Pilates Method with her clients.

Having practiced Pilates for 20 yrs Elizabeth feels everybody can benefit from the Method whether you are a total beginner to tri- athlete, Pilates gives you that longer leaner body while building core strength and having better posture. She looks forward to seeing you in her class soon!

Paula Skimin
Dubbed by CBC’s national television arts program ZeD as “Toronto’s leading authority on tap dancing.”Dancer, choreographer, director, adjudicator and educator Paula Skimin is a dedicated and motivated dancer who continues to bring to the forefront a mix of elegance and dynamic footwork with her Toronto based tap company, Turn On The Tap. As artistic director since 1999, Paula has produced many productions featuring original scores.

Paula collaborates with various mediums fusing her art form making her a  progressive artist and educator. This dancer, teacher and choreographer has studied with world-class New York based tap dancers such as Dr. James ‘Buster’ Brown, Brenda Bufalino and Heather Cornell. She has worked in New York with the prestigious Manhattan Tap and in Michigan with Sole Full of Rhythm.

Her teaching has reached dancers throughout Canada and the US. She is currently a Principal Artist with Learning Through The Arts, an education program associated with the Royal Conservatory of Music. Paula is on faculty at Sheridan College in the Musical Theatre Program, with SERC a research centre for creative aging, and, teaches workshops at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education associated with the University of Toronto.

Emily Tench
Emily Tench grew up in Rossland BC, training in RAD ballet with Carole Bonin and modern dance with Kimberly Hall.  She is a graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and the Rotterdam Dance Academy in the Neatherlands.  Between the two schools she performed in 20 new and remounted works by choreographers from around the world. After her graduation in Europe she performed for dance-theatre company Theatergroep DOX touring the Netherlands and Belgium extensively. She performed a solo work at the 2006 Prague Dance Festival with Lithuanian choreographer Agnija Šeiko. Emily was a then company member of Toronto Ontario’s Tilt Sound & Motion for 5 years. In between her tours with Tilt she danced for many fabulous independent choreographers. She was a soloist in MOVE: The Company’s production “Zero”,  by Josh Beamish, at the Vancouver International Dance Festival and in Toronto danced for Susie Burpie, Michael Caldwell, Diana Groenendijk, Sasha Ivanochko, Meagan O’Shea and Michael Trent.

Emily is an extremely passionate teacher. She is on faculty at The Joy of Dance Centre and Teacher’s Collage in Toronto Ontario teaching ballet, contemporary and conditioning. Recently Emily began working with Jr and Sr level international figure skaters, coached by Brian Orser and José Chouinard, on their quality and performance skills and modern dance technique. Emily also returned to British Columbia to adjudicate the BC Festival of the Arts in 2011.

Christie Lee Manning
Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, Christie Lee Manning has established herself as a a very sought after, upcoming artist. With her strong versatility, irresistible stage presence, and 5’10 build, this long legged triple threat knows how to stand out.

Christie’s extensive background has allowed her endless opportunities in many areas of the industry. A dancer, singer, and actor, Christie began as a member of The Source Dance Company, and has since worked with such artists as Lenny Kravitz, Nelly Furtado, Michael Buble, Big Time Rush, Suzie McNeil, and These Kids Wear Crowns. She appeared in a lead role for a the musical ‘Sweet Mystery’, and has recently returned from performing and adjudicating in Brazil for the XXI International Dance Seminar.

Christie has worked and trained all over the world, from New York to Australia, choreographed for the NLL, and is a faculty member of Harbour Dance Centre. She is also the Creator of Industry Dance Magazine, a Canadian online website for dancers, choreographers, and instructors.

Taylor Dolan
Courtney Johnson
Anton Lim
Kathyrn Long
Elysia Matheson
Mike McInnes
Lisa Metz
Katie Murphy
Davi Rodrigues
Jennifer Quibell
Sarah Whyte
Teya Wild
© 2011 Deas Island Dance. All rights reserved.