Teaching Faculty

Bleiddyn Del Villar Bellis

Bleiddyn Del Villar Bellis

Artistic Director

Fellow and Examiner CSC-CICB, Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma
Victoria Academy of Ballet

director@victoriaacademyofballet.ca

Bleiddyn Bellis completed her formative ballet training in Victoria, British Columbia, under the guidance of Christine Richardson, Fellow CSC-CICB. As a young dancer, she furthered her studies at Ballet British Columbia’s Mentor Program, Ballet Jorgen, and the Banff Festival Ballet learning from internationally known choreographers and teachers after which she established a professional teaching career across Canada and the UK. She has worked as an international guest teacher, lecturer and choreographer throughout British Columbia, Canada, Japan, Mexico and England.

Before locating to the UK in 2003, Ms Bellis was a faculty member of Vancouver’s Arts Umbrella. She served as both Assistant to the Director Artimis Gordon, and as Ballet Mistress for the school’s Junior Touring Company. As well, she choreographed for the Western Cecchetti Classical Ballet Awards and was instrumental in preparing students for their Cecchetti examinations.

In the UK, Ms Bellis taught for the Liverpool Theatre School and Kate Simmons Schools, teaching in both the lower school and Teacher Training College Program. As a full time staff member at the Hammond School in Chester, England she choreographed for the Senior School’s professional touring company, Taudevin, and was responsible for establishing the Cecchetti method within the professional school’s curriculum.

Ms Bellis is a Fellow and Examiner with the Cecchetti Society of Canada, holds diplomas in Applied Anatomy, and has been awarded the Certificate in Dance Education by the ISTD. Throughout her career, she has been recognized with many awards and scholarship including the Margaret Saul Scholarship by The Cecchetti Society of Canada for her completion of the prestigious Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma in London England.

Because of her dynamic and inspirational teaching style, she has been a frequent guest teacher and lecturer for organizations such as the British Ballet Organization, Northern Scholars in Manchester England, the Cecchetti Northern Associates of the UK, and “Dancing Days” (British Ballet Organization, Elmhurst School of Dance Birmingham UK), Random dance UK, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Manitoba Cecchetti Society , Ballet Victoria, and Ballet BC.

Her former students are currently working around the world in companies such as English National Ballet, Semper Oper Ballet Company and Karlsruhe State Theatre of Baden (Germany), with Matthew Bourne London UK, and in London’s West End Musical Theatre productions.

As Artistic Director at the Victoria Academy of Ballet she has developed both the Professional Training Program and the Post Secondary Bridge Program. Her students are continually recognized for their outstanding technique and artistry, winning many awards and honours in competitions and examinations.

 

Andrew Pronger

Andrew Pronger

Assistant Director/Principal

M.F.A – Creative Industries QUT, L.C.I.C.B. former Qld Ballet,

Enrico Cecchetti Diploma, A.B.S. Diploma

andrew@victoriaacademyofballet.ca

Mr. Pronger was originally trained in Bundaberg under the tuition of Michelle Matthew. He commenced fulltime training in 1986 at Sydney’s McDonald College. In 1990 Mr. Pronger graduated from the Australian Ballet School attaining his Diploma in Dance.

Returning to Queensland in 1991 Mr. Pronger was introduced to the style and technique within the Cecchetti syllabus. Under the guidance of teacher Janice Heale, he completed all Cecchetti Major Examinations including the Enrico Cecchetti Diploma. Throughout his professional career, he supported the Cecchetti Society as a guest teacher, choreographer, performer and adjudicator.

From 1992, Mr. Pronger joined the The Queensland Ballet. He performed a diverse selection of the Company’s repertoire from classics such as Giselle to new contemporary works like Jabula by Natalie Weir. Before joining Queensland Ballet, Andrew danced on several occasions with The Australian Ballet. He has had the privilege of working with many notable figures of Australia’s dance history including Kelvin Coe, Garth Welch, Lucette Aldous and Valrene Tweedie. After leaving Queensland Ballet, Andrew broadened his horizons to a variety of dance styles through his work with the Australian Folkloric Dance Company, Toadshow Productions (Glamalot – Knights in White Satin), and Pointeblank Productions (Dare to Dance) for the Queensland Arts Council’s School Touring Program.

After returning from London undertook the Cecchetti syllabus teaching examinations. He gained his Associate of the I.S.T.D. with Distinction. In 1999 Mr. Pronger also gained his Associate Diploma with the ISTD and in 2001 received his Licentiate. He has also successfully passed the Fellowship examination. In 2011 Mr. Pronger completed his Masters of Fine Arts at The Queensland University of Technology.

Mr. Pronger was the Principal of River City Dance (Indooroopilly Academy of Dance) from1997 until 2011.   In 2011 Mr. Pronger accepted the position of Assistant Director at Victoria Academy of Ballet in Canada where he is working developing Professional Training Programs for Canadian and International students. Former students of the school are currently in dance companies in Australia, USA and UK as well as attending specialist dance institutions in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, New York and Wellington.

Mr. Pronger has been the State Organiser for the Cecchetti Society of Australia – Queensland Branch. In this role he was involved with studios and teachers from Northern NSW to Far North Queensland organising workshops, competitions, examination sessions and in the general running of the Qld Branch.

KerryLynn Turner

KerryLynn Turner

Bridge Program Director

ARAD, RAD RTS, Professional Dancer’s Teaching Diploma (RAD)

kerrylynn@victoriaacademyofballet.ca

Born and raised in Vancouver, Ms. Turner was trained primarily in the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and Vaganova styles of ballet through the GOH Ballet Academy. At 17, she was the only Canadian competing in the RAD’s Genee Awards in London placing as a finalist. She then spent one year in the inaugural year of Ballet B.C.’s Mentor Program before being asked to join the company .

Ms. Turner danced with the company for 6 years creating roles and working with many internationally renowned dancers/choreographers including; Jean Grand‐Maitre (Alberta Ballet), Dominique Dumais (Mannheim Oper), James Kudelka (National Ballet of Canada, Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie), Miko Nissenen (Boston Ballet), Patricia Neary (NYCB Pedagogue, LA Ballet), Michael Schumacher (Ballett Frankfurt), Chris Redpath, Victoria Simon, Michael Byers (New York City Ballet), Crystal Pite (Kidd Pivot), Emily Molnar (Ballet B.C.), and John Alleyne. During the course of her career, Ms. Turner performed as a soloist and/or a principal artist in several important works; “A Vile Parody of Address”, “There, Below”, “15 Heterosexual Duets”, “Split House Geometric”, “In the Course of Sleeping”, “Chiaroscuro”, “Rubies”, “Tema Celeste” and “Zero Hour”, and was a guest performer with the National Ballet of Canada, Hong Kong Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Banff Festival Ballet and multiple times at the Canada Dance Festival.

Upon retiring from the professional stage, Ms. Turner took a short break from the dance world locating to London, England where she earned Distinction in the Royal Academy of Dance’s Professional Dancer’s Teaching Diploma program (PDTD). She also holds her Associate (ARAD) status with the Royal Academy and since graduating has been asked to teach for the RAD in London, as well as summer programs in the U.S.A. Ms. Turner has been a guest teacher numerous times for the Vancouver Cecchetti Society at workshops and the Cecchetti Awards, and is currently working towards her teaching certification for the Cecchetti syllabi.

Ms. Turner’s choreographic work has been praised at competitions, continually winning awards for excellence. She has also served on adjudication panels for regional Festival of the Arts, including Surrey, Penticton Kiwanis, Quesnel, Peace River North and MADDfest.

Ms. Turner has also appeared as a dancer in various commercials and made‐for‐TV movies, and performed in the Vancouver Opera’s production of “Faust” and with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Further, she has also enjoyed performing/modelling in MAC Cosmetics Fashion Cares, Leone Boutique and other local community charitable events.

Ms. Turner’s extensive professional experience, industry contacts and creative teaching style have been instrumental to the success of VAB’s Post Secondary Bridge Program.

Sarah Dahlseide

Sarah Dahlseide

General Program Director

Bachelor of Education, Associate CSC-CICB, ABT NTC Certified Teacher

sarah@victoriaacademyofballet.ca

Ms. Dahlseide began her formal training at the School of Alberta Ballet where she was accepted into the professional division on scholarship. During her time at the School of Alberta Ballet, she successfully completed her Cecchetti Advanced II examination, was awarded the prestigious Ali Pourfarrokh scholarship and performed soloist roles in various ballets. She spent her summers training at programs such as the Banff Center’s Summer Dance Program, The Joffrey Midwest Workshop and Joffrey New York Summer Intensive. After high school she entered the Pre-Professional Program at the School of Alberta Ballet to train full-time under the guidance of Murray and Nancy Kilgour where she was asked to perform with the Alberta Ballet company in Edmund Stripe’s The Nutcracker and George Balanchine’s Serenade. She was later awarded a full scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City where she spent one year training and performing.

Ms. Dahlseide is dedicated to expanding her pedagogical knowledge. She is currently an Associate with the Cecchetti Society of Canada as well as an  American Ballet Theatre certified teacher in levels pre-primary through 3 through the ABT National Teacher Training Curriculum.  Ms. Dahlseide also holds a Bachelors Degree with Distinction in Elementary Education with a minor in Mathematical Science from the University of Alberta.

Kathy Lang

Kathy Lang

Contemporary Instructor

Kathy Lang holds a lifelong commitment to dance and has an extensive performing and teaching career spanning 30 years. Kathy’s training background was in R.A.D and I.S.T.D ballet as well as a wide spectrum of contemporary techniques including Graham and Limon techniques. After leaving B.C., Kathy studied at the Lindsay Walsh School, University of Calgary and Grant MacEwan College Professional Dance Program as well as studied abroad in England and Belgium. She has danced for many contemporary companies and choreographers in Western Canada including Mile Zero, Tantrum Collective, coMOTION Dance, Joe Laughlin, Brian Webb, Lola McLaughlin, Ali Denham, Donna Krasnow, Debra Shantz, Sheila Lawrence, David Adams and many more.

Kathy’s teaching career has supported schools across B.C. and Alberta, and led her back to Vancouver where she was owner and Artistic Director of her own school. Here she expanded many contemporary programs and founded a youth performance company Purple Feet Youth Dance.

Kathy returned to the Island in 2003, where her talents have supported the professional, emerging artist and student dancer. Kathy`s devotion to mentorship and guidance for young dancers inspired Elev8 Youth Dance Project in Victoria, B.C. As founder and Artistic Director of this youth performance company, Kathy offers innovative and award winning choreography, international exposure and helps to bring the student into the professional dance realm.

Kathy was Dance Victoria’s first Artist in Residence, supporting her professional choreography and her commitment to bringing the world’s dance to the advanced professional student.

Kathy currently works as a freelance dance artist in Victoria, teaching contemporary dance and creating work on local dance artists, and is a longstanding teacher at Raino Dance where her love and expertise in contemporary dance inspires the beginner to the professional.

Over her career, Kathy’s initiatives and expertise have inspired and supported many young dancers into active professional careers in dance. Kathy’s diverse training offers her students a strong platform in which to explore strong technique while finding their own true style of movement. Her caring and energetic style offers dancers the physicality, artistry and sensitivity in which to explore the full body and expression of dance as an art.

Angela Mousseau

Angela Mousseau

Contemporary Instructor

Angela Mousseau is a 2002 graduate of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA where she majored in modern dance focusing on Horton, Limon and Taylor techniques.  At University of the Arts she studied with directors, choreographers and dancers from The Paul Taylor Company, The Limon Company, PHILADANCO, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, The Martha Graham Dance Company, Koresh Dance Company, Momix and many others.  Angela has performed in Philadelphia and New York Fringe Festivals, at the National Dance Day in Philadelphia, and with The Next Stage Project (directed by Jana Hicks and AKRNYM Dance Company in New York City).

She also appeared on the MTV Video Music Awards at Madison Square Gardens, NYC in 2003.  Angela’s choreography has been commissioned by studios and companies across the United States and Canada.  Many of her students have gone on to study at The National Ballet, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Toronto Dance Theatre, Ryerson University, Modus Operandi Contemporary Dance Program, Alvin Ailey and The University of the Arts.

Meghan Aris

Meghan Aris

Pilates Instructor

ERYT, Pilates Instructor, PTA

Meghan Aris is certified in both contemporary and classical Pilates as well as several disciplines of yoga.  She has worked as teaching faculty for Pilates and Yoga teacher trainings trainings throughout Canada and is currently an advisor for The Pilates Center in North Vancouver, as well as, lead instructor at Fix Healthcare Victoria.

Joseph Pilates determined that, ‘physical fitness is attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body.’ Meghan uses this concept in her classes while providing an inviting, safe and exploratory atmosphere for students of all abilities. She is passionate about helping others on their path to self-discovery through correct movement. On her own and in conjunction with physiotherapists, she has aided students in rehabilitation for muscle imbalances, spinal disc pathologies, hip and knee injuries, arthritis, scoliosis, and postnatal/prenatal care. She has taught Pilates and Yoga throughout Vancouver and Victoria for over a decade and is honoured to share the heart of these disciplines with her students.

Amber Lamanes

Amber Lamanes

Ballet Instructor

Amber Lamanes has a passion for dance, music and children. Taking her very first “real” ballet lesson at the age of 15, Amber’s teen years were spent for the most part in the dance studio. Though she became instantly obsessed with her ballet studies, she also obtained a thorough grounding in Jazz, Modern, Musical Theatre and Tap.

Formal training as a teacher took place initially at the Edmonton School of Ballet’s Teacher Training Program. Acceptance into The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program gave her intensive instruction in Ballet, Character, Modern, Jazz, Anatomy, Dance History, Music History and Pilates. Before moving to Victoria, Amber taught dance classes at several schools in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg.

Amber is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance, a certified Cecchetti Society of Canada teacher and a mother to 2 daughters (both VAB budding ballerinas).  In addition to being a teacher and a mother, Amber is a true dancer at heart, enjoying weekly ballet lessons as the student not the teacher in the classroom.

  • Luba Ellis, Principal Pianist
  • Grace Louis
  • Tanya Kuhn

2013-14:

  • Beverly Bagg (Alberta Ballet, Rehearsal Mistress)
  • Alex Ballard (Alberta Ballet, Ballet Master)
  • Suzanne Ouellette
  • Riannon McLean (Expressions Dance Company, Brisbane Australia)
  • Eric Hall (Ballet Victoria, Dancer)

2014-15:

  • Christine Richardson
  • David Roland
  • Matthew Rees, Simone Donati, Bradley Waller – BalletBoyz workshop
  • Bengt Jorgen (Ballet Jorgen, Artistic Director)
  • Adam Sklute (Ballet West, Artistic Director)

2015-16:

  • Alysa Pires (Alysa Pires Dance Projects)
  •  Christie Cunningham
  • Sylvain Senez (Ballet BC, Rehearsal Master)
  • Kirsten Wicklund, Andrew Bartee – Ballet BC workshop
  • Amber Funk-Barton (the response dance)
  • Curtis Tait – physiotherapist, Tall Tree Health

2016-17:

  • Jane Wooding
  • Meredith Kalaman
  • Jaime Vargas (Ballet Master, Royal Winnipeg Ballet)
  • Constance Cooke
  • Wen Wei Wang 
  • Amber Lamanes
  • Amalia Schelhorn