Margaret Flynn – Artistic Director, Founder
Margaret Flynn holds her Cecchetti Licentiate from the ISTD (Cecchetti Branch). She completed her early training in ballet and modern with Laine Mets in Edmonton. She danced professionally in many musicals and light operas such as Kismet and Oklahoma. Further advanced teacher training at the National Ballet School of Canada allowed Mrs. Flynn to complete her International Cecchetti qualifications.  She was elected and served on the National Council of the Cecchetti Society of Canada for 3 terms.  In recognition of her dedication to the arts and community service, Mrs. Flynn has received numerous awards including the City of Edmonton Cultural Award and the Y.W.C.A. Tribute to Women Arts Awards.

Margaret Flynn grew up in Wetaskiwin and started dancing when she was four years old.  By the time she was eleven, she had founded the Wetaskiwin School of Ballet and was teaching dance to other Wetaskiwin youngsters.  Margaret completed her early training in ballet and modern dance in Edmonton.  She danced professionally in many musicals and light operas.  Further advanced teacher training at the National Ballet School of Canada allowed her to complete her International Cecchetti qualifications.  Through the years Margaret’s passion for dance propelled her to pass her love for dance on to others.  She founded dance schools in Edmonton and other Alberta centres, developed  training programs and syllabi for dance teachers, was a founding member of Alberta Dance Educators, has served on numerous boards, has lifetime memberships in many Dance Societies and has received awards for her contributions.  Many of her graduates have gone on to careers as professional dancers and teachers. Her expertise and influence have extended throughout Canada and around the world.

Vimy Dance Administration

Artistic Director – Margaret Flynn
Director of Contemporary Dance – Tina Covlin-Dewart
General Manager – Rachel McNicoll
Office Manager – Catherine Lacombe
Administration – Angela Gaudett, Ula Jo, Delores Waugh
Competition Coordinator
– Angela Gaudett
Director of Teacher Training – Janet Hagisavas
Academic Liaison – Tina Covlin-Dewart, Nancy Hamilton, Terra Mahood
Wardrobe Manager – Sharon MacPherson
Production Manager – Terra Mahood

Laurie Cahoon-Alston
Teaching Staff

Laurie’s career in dance has taken her around the world as a performer, award- winning choreographer, adjudicator, convention teacher, and instructor, most recently at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. She holds her Advanced II certificate with the RAD and performed with “Ballet North”. Laurie has worked as lead singer and dancer at Tokyo Disneyland and enjoyed working in the Cruise-ship industry. She recently auditioned for and was added to Cirque du Soleil’s bank of potential performers. Laurie has many Industrial and TV credits to her name. She enjoys teaching young dancers who inspire her with their love of dance.

Gayle Berg
Accompanist Staff

Gayle has a Bachelor of Music Degree with a major in violin at the University of Nebraska and piano at the University of Southern California.  During her studies, she was a recipient of various music scholarships.  Her experience as a piano accompanist has included assisting in vocal studios, choral groups, an operetta society, and music festival.  Since 1968, she has accompanied ballet dancing in Los Angeles, White Rock, St. Albert and Edmonton.  She is a registered music teacher and a church musician.  The Art of Ballet has broadened her appreciation and understanding of musical expression.

Tanya Berry
Teaching Staff

Tanya was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta and has been training in the art of dance since the age of 3, with experience in Cecchetti ballet, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, Musical Theater, and Hip Hop. She started her training in the Grant McEwen children’s dance program, eventually transferring to Lecky’s School of Dance. She has participated in a number of various dance competitions and workshops. As time went on she discovered her love for teaching children and encouraging them in the art and a talent and extreme passion for choreography. She decided to come to ESB to train in the Teacher Training program where she received her Cecchetti Associate qualification.

Tina Covlin-Dewart B.Ed. B.P.E. M.A.
Director of Contemporary Dance
Academic Liaison, Teaching Staff

Ms. Covlin-Dewart completed her initial training at the Edmonton School of Ballet. She furthered her training at the U of A, in Vancouver, Los Angeles, and New York, where she trained extensively in the Limon method.  She brings a strong anatomical background to her teaching in jazz and modern dance. She is the recipient of numerous choreography awards and her work was chosen to represent Canada at the Jazz Dance World Congress in Weisbaden, Germany. Ms. Covlin-Dewart is the Co-Director of Edmonton Contemporary Dancers. Her position as Director allows her to mentor young talent and help dancers develop the skills to reach their artistic, academic and personal goals

Rakiya Debaji
Production Staff – Stage Manager

Rakiya began her dance training at the Edmonton School of Ballet at the age of three. She studied many disciplines of dance, including ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern, hip hop, and tap. Rakiya began teaching tap in 2004 at ESB. In the 2008-2009 season, Rakiya assisted with stage managing for the Fall Showcase and Spring Show productions. She took on more productions on her own in the 2009-2010 season and has continued to grow as a stage manager each year since!

Sylvia Deluniversidad RAD RTS
Teaching Staff

Sylvia began her ballet training at the age of 7 at the Edmonton School of Ballet and her flamenco training at the age of 4 with Conchita de Pectel.  Sylvia completed her advanced Flamenco training in Spain with Berta Valencia and she completed the ESB teacher training program with RAD RTS and AISTD (National Branch).  Ms. Deluniversidad has also enjoyed adjudicating ballet in various competitions.  Sylvia’s Flamenco students danced in the opening ceremonies of the IAAF World Track and Field opening games.  She has taught at ESB for more than 10 years in both the after school program and in Vimy Dance.

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Dixie Devries RAD RTS
Teaching Staff

Dixie has over fifteen years of teaching experience and has been a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance since 2008.  In her classroom Dixie demonstrates passion and enthusiasm through a rich palate of movement approaches.  She works to instill confidence, expression, and determination in her students. She has undergone extensive training with many renowned artists, and has obtained teacher certifications in multiple dance disciplines. She procured many awards throughout her education in Dance and Kinesiology, at both; Grant MacEwan College and the University of Calgary.  Dixie continues to perform, teach, choreograph, and adjudicate throughout Canada. She hopes to participate in the preservation and evolution of Dance by sharing her knowledge with future generations.

Ofelia Estrada BM
Accompanist Staff

At her graduation recital, Ofelia’s repertoire included the Khachaturian Piano Concerto with full orchestra and won the award of Most Outstanding Pianist.  She was then invited to join the Music Faculty of Santa Isabel College.  She also gave piano lessons and taught music in the elementary and university levels.  Ofelia has a wide experience in playing for ballet classes, exams, master classes, auditions and workshops.  As principal ballet company pianist of Ballet Philippines, she had the opportunity to work with renowned international ballet masters, i.e. Laura Alonso, Melissa Hayden m, the late Patrick Bissel (ABT), Mikhail Kukharev (Kirov Ballet), Jean Marion (Jeunne Ballet de France) and many others.

Janet Hagisavas
Director of Teaching Training
Teaching Staff

A Fellow of the Cecchetti Society of Canada-Cecchetti International, Janet has taught at ESB for over 25 years beginning back in the late ’70’s after graduating from the National Ballet School. She has taught every age from 3 yr. olds to pre-professionals. She plays a continuing role in developing the Teacher Training Program and mentoring young teachers.  Janet has been involved internationally as speaker for the Australian Cecchetti Congress, coach for the 2001 Cecchetti International Ballet Competition in Australia, member of the Organizing Committee for the 2008 CICB International Competition, producer for the internationally acclaimed video “Visions for the 21st Century”.

 

Nancy Hamilton B.Ed.
Academic Liaison
Teaching Staff

Nancy graduated from the ESB professional program in 1990 and went on to Montreal to continue her training with the school for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Upon graduation from that program, she moved to the United States to dance professionally with Cincinnati Ballet. Nancy has been Ballet Mistress for Edmonton Festival Ballet and Citie Ballet, rehearsal assistant for Alberta Ballet’s Nutcracker children, and a ballet teacher at various studios around the city. Currently in her twelfth year at Vimy, Nancy is teaching Language Arts, Foods, Physical Education, non-syllabus, variations, pointe and repertoire as well as co-directing Edmonton Festival Ballet with her friend and colleague Terra Mahood. Nancy really values the high technical standard set by the dancers at Vimy, and the dedication they show to their program and their art.

 

Kathleen Hughes
Teaching Staff

Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Kathleen began with ballet training at an early age, and was introduced to Modern in the dance program at Grant MacEwan College. She then completed her studies at The School of the Toronto Dance Theatre. Since 1995 she has worked with Canadian dance artists such as Patricia Beatty, Bill Coleman, Terill McGuire, Graham McKelvie, Naoko Murakoshi, Elizabeth Chitty, and Nicole Fougere. In 1999, Ms. Hughes co-founded a dance collective called The Aurora Dance Community under the mentorship of Patricia Beatty (Co-founder Toronto Dance Theatre, Member of the Order of Canada). In 2005 Kathleen co-founded and became the co-artistic director of Niagara Dance Company. Since 2010, Kathleen has been working out of her home town as the Founder and Artistic Director of Kathleen Hughes Dance Association, creating productions of dance and teaching continual graham-based dance classes. Kathleen has had the honour of being the guest Choreographer for Orchesis Motif  (2013) as well as the choreographer for the musical production of Voy Soñando, Voy Caminando (2013).

Raydene Koch
Accompanist Staff

Raydene is entering her 3rd year as accompanist for the Edmonton school of Ballet and Vimy Dance.  Upon completion of her degree in Piano Performance under the tutelage of Stephane Lemelin, she studied informally with Tess Uys and Nigel Clayton in London, England where she also worked as a singer in various church environments.  Her true passion besides playing, is teaching and working with kids.  She has taught her the past 18 years, including 5 years at Alberta College Conservatory.  Raydene currently runs a dynamic teaching studio from her home in McKernan.  Raydene is excited to bring a variety of repertoire to dance classes including music from opera, musical theatre, Disney, and classical piano.  Her playing brings a warmth and sensitivity to the classes she accompanies.

koybasi-susan-edit
Susan Koybasi
Accompanist Staff

Susan Koybasi has been playing for ballet classes for over 30 years.she is currently playing  at Edmonton school of Ballet and at Dance Alberta..Susan is also Major Exam Pianist for RAD in Edmonton and has played across Canada . Recently she has collaborated with Sheila Kennedy and helped produce “A Collection of Music”for ballet class. (Additional music for Cecchetti Advance and Diploma) In her spare time she loves to garden.

Cally Kuebler
 Teaching Staff

Cally Kuebler is currently an instructor, choreographer, examiner and adjudicator in Edmonton. Throughout her career, she has developed her artistry by training in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Tap, Musial theatre, Contemporary, Street Jazz, Improvisation, and Pilates. She trained at the Royal Winnipeg ballet school professional division . Later she graduated from the Edmonton School of Ballet. Upon graduating she danced with Ballet British Columbia. Cally has since completed her Associate Diploma in 2007; she is currently working on her Licentiate credentials in the Cecchetti method. Cally’s training and performances have aided her in becoming a very passionate and enthusiastic teacher. Cally is looking forward to her continued studies as an instructor and Choreographer and continues to share her drive, passion and love of all forms of dance.

 

Jayme Kurach
Teaching Staff
Production Staff – Stage Manager

Jayme received her initial training at the Edmonton School of Ballet.  Since then she has trained at the School of Toronto Dance Theater, the U of A, and in Winnipeg and New York City.  She began teaching at ESB in 2002, and has since expanded her repertoire to include stage management and company direction.  She is extremely excited to be sharing her passion for dance with young dancers and aspiring choreographers. Jayme has also received a BSc (Biological and Physical Sciences) and MSc (Laboratory Medicine and Pathology) from the U of A.

 

Sharon MacPherson
Wardrobe Manager

Mrs. MacPherson has been Wardrobe Supervisor for the Edmonton School of Ballet for over 16 years.  Previous to that, she had been secretary to Secretarial Technology at N.A.I.T. and also a school secretary for Edmonton Public.  Running the Wardrobe is a huge job involving fittings; inventory; buying materials and supplies; coordinating volunteers; booking appointments with teachers, students and parents; and any and all other unexpected issues that arise almost daily.  The job is still a huge challenge but enjoyable, as are the interactions with both staff and students.

 

Erin Madsen ARAD, RAD RTS
Teaching Staff

Madsen, Erin REGTEACHER [Converted]

Erin Madsen attained her Advanced RAD (ARAD) at 15. Since then, has over 25 years of teaching experience. Many of her students have gone on to professional careers or have become teachers themselves. Ms. Madsen is a registered teacher with the RAD. She also holds the Certificate of Higher Education: Dance Education, and graduated Honors with Distinction from the Arts and Cultural Management Program at MacEwan University. Re-cently, she trained with Marie Walton-Mahon and gained certification in PBT by Marie Walton-Mahon and is enjoying sharing this program with her students, helping them gain better technique in alignment in their dancing. Erin is a Mentor with the RAD CBTS program, sharing her knowledge and love of ballet with aspiring teachers; and an Examiner of the ESB Junior Grades Sylla-bus. This fall, she is also the Edmonton Rehearsal Co-ordinator for Jeunesse Classique Ballet’s Nutcracker Performances in November.

 

Terra Mahood B.Ed, Lic. (Cecc Inter)
Production Manager – Stage Manager
Academic Liaison, Teaching Staff

Ms. Mahood has been teaching ballet for almost 25 years.  Terra achieved her Adv. 2 Cecchetti in 1992 and Licentiate Cecchetti in 1993.  Terra is a senior teacher in Vimy Dance and at ESB and teaches Cecchetti ballet, pointe, variations, non-syllabus, pre-ballet, etc.  She is also a Sr. Examiner of Margaret Flynn’s Junior Preparatory Grades and the International Ballet Progressions senior levels, is the Production Manager for ESB, and is an experienced Stage Manager.  She co-directs the Edmonton Festival Ballet, gratefully sharing the job with Nancy Hamilton.  Terra also has a B.A. and a B.Ed. and has her Adv. 2 and Associate in I.S.T.D. National Dance.  Terra calls ESB and Vimy her home away from home as she truly loves and appreciates the dancers and staff she gets to work with each and every day.

Dina Perelman
Accompanist Staff

Dina Perelman has been working at ESB as an accompanist since 1992.  After graduating from the Musical College of City of Donetsk, Ukraine, Dina obtained a diploma of Pianist and Instructor of Theory.  From 1984 to 1990, Dina continued her education at the Conservatory of Music where she became a fully licensed piano instructor.  Dina plays for every level of classes, from beginners to the most advanced, and she accompanies for classes such as Cecchetti and R.A.D. and personally provides a wide variety of the best world classical music for unset ballet classes.  In addition to being an accompanist at ESB, Dina teaches piano lessons from home.

 

Krista Soleski
Teaching Staff

Krista has been teaching for well over a decade now. She received her Diploma in dance from Grant MacEwan University in 2002 and has also completed the ESB Teacher Training Program. Krista is a qualified member of the Cecchetti Society of Canada holding her Associate Diploma in the Cecchetti Method of Ballet. She is also trained in various styles of dance including jazz, tap, lyrical, modern and ballet.  Krista loves teaching dancers of all ages and enjoys watching the growth in her students every class.

Lynda Stewart
Accompanist Staff

Lynda Stewart has been playing the piano since 2 years of age.  She holds a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta and a Licentiate of Music.  Lynda has performed solo recitals in Canada and in the United States.  She has won numerous awards and scholarships with the Western Board of Music and Kiwanis Festival over the years.   Lynda also has over 33 years of experience as a Church Organist and is a ballroom dancer.

Vicky Watt
Accompanist Staff

Vicky Watt is a graduate of Bachelor of Music Education of the University of Toronto.  She started piano, violin, and singing music lessons before she turned 5 years of age.  She achieved Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto (A.R.C.T.) in piano performance at the age of 16.  She has taught music students and she enjoys performing music.  She started working at the Edmonton School of Ballet in 2003.  She loves playing piano accompaniment for various dance classes at the school.  In particular, she loves working with younger students and their teachers.  In her spare time, she enjoys jogging, hiking, biking, skiing, swimming and traveling.

 

 

Lindsay White Thornton
Teaching Staff

As a professional Lindsay explored many avenues in the dance world, but it  was in teaching she found her true calling. A certified educator (B.A., B.Ed.) and choreographer, Lindsay has worked with students around Alberta, winning choreography and group awards in Lyrical, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Tap, and Musical Theatre. She has completed her training in the Al Gilbert Tap System and has successfully entered students in exams. For the past ten years, Lindsay has been fusing together her knowledge in dance and training in education to adjudicate festivals in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Lindsay is well known for her high energy classes, and wants her students to remember to “dance with your heart, and your feet will follow!”

 

Jeanne Yang
Accompanist Staff

Jeanne Yang, currently working on a D.Mus. in piano at the University of Alberta.  Previous studies include a Master of Music in piano from McGill University, Master of Music in trumpet from the University of British Columbia, and a Master of Veterinary Medicine in Animal Welfare from National Taiwan University.

 

 

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