Faculty

Meet the Directors

Miss Stephanie {BA, BEd., MA (Educational Research)}

Dance School Director

Miss Stephanie began her study of dance over 30 years ago, focusing on both ballet and Ukrainian dance technique. She began choreographing and teaching dances at a very young age and at the age of the 15 had received her first award for original choreography. Child and youth  development is foundational to the programming and philosophy at ESD, something Stephanie is passionate about. With her 10+ years of experience as a local elementary school teacher and leader, proper dance education for all dancers and learning in a play based environment for the youngest ones is integral to her philosophy as a dance school director. It is her goal to create a dance school where all dancers feel valued, respected and safe.

Miss Stephanie is also a mom to 4 little ones –  all aspiring dancers!

IMG_3773Miss Vanessa, Dance School Director {BA (Dance) & BEd.}

Dance School Director

Miss Vanessa brings with her over 20 years of dance experience. She has received extensive training in ballet (RAD, ISTD, Cecchetti, Vaganova), lyrical, jazz, contemporary, and Ukrainian dance. Miss Vanessa completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance (Ballet Major) at the University of Calgary. Her studies included the anatomy, psychology, and history of dance as well as music for dance. Miss Vanessa is working towards her Associates Teaching Exam.
Miss Vanessa has been teaching dance to children of all ages at various dance schools in Calgary for the past 10 years. She has a creative passion for dance as well as for teaching. In the past she taught with Three Left Feet Movement Creations as a dance teacher.
Miss Vanessa is a middle school dance and humanities teacher with the Calgary Board of Education, and has an adorable daughter who loves to “bust a move” with her mama!

2018/2019 Faculty

Miss Jenna (BN, RN)

Office Administrator
(Guest Teacher)

Miss Jenna has over 20 years of dance experience. She grew up dancing and competing in Calgary and has a vast knowledge of ballet, lyrical, and Ukrainian dance. Miss Jenna has worked closely with children of all ages as a dance teacher, nanny, and day camp leader. She has been with ESD since its inception and has taken on many leadership roles as well as instructing students over the past few years. When she is not in the office, you will find her delivering babies as a Labour & Delivery nurse at Foothills Medical Centre.

 

 

Miss Natalka {BA Dance, Associate Diploma CC-CICB, MA Counseling Psychology (2019), PBT US}

Teacher (Ballet Director)

Miss Natalka is a dance artist, educator, and choreographer based out of Calgary, AB. Natalka has an extensive background in ballet and contemporary dance; she has studied in depth the Cecchetti method, RAD, ISTD & Vaganova ballet, as well as modern dance techniques, jazz, lyrical, and more.

Natalka has completed ballet & modern exams in Cecchetti, RAD and ISTD. She received her BA in Contemporary Dance & Ballet at the University of Calgary while simultaneously training in the School of Alberta Ballet’s professional division. She holds her Associate Diploma teaching qualifications granted by Cecchetti Canada and is currently working towards her Licentiate qualifications. Natalka’s students excel in their Cecchetti ballet examinations and many of them are working towards or are enjoying professional dance careers. Natalka has over 15 years of experience teaching dance.

Natalka has over ten years of professional experience as a dancer. She has performed as both a freelance artist and has also been a company member with several dance companies such as Corps Bara, Soulocentric, 49th Parallel Dance Co. & Momentum Dance Collective. Natalka is the Artistic Director and founder of Trip the Light Dance & Performance Company which she formed in 2013. Natalka is well known in the Calgary dance community for her work choreographing and performing for large events, corporate activations and industrials, creative projects and productions.

Natalka is passionate about human development, mental health, community building, empowerment, health & wellness, and teaching. She is currently completing her Masters of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology. Natalka’s education in both the dance and mental health fields enriches her teaching with her keen knowledge of the physical and motor development of her students, human anatomy & physiology, pedagogy, safe dance practices, and the psychological development of children and adolescents. As a teacher Natalka encourages her students to excel to their technical best and to find enjoyment, purpose and fulfillment though their art.  2018-19 will be Natalka’s 12th season with Evolutions!

Ms. Kyla {BA – Dance}

Teacher (Preschool dance, Jazz, Contemporary)

Miss Kyla began her dance career with Highland dance at the age of 2. From there, she went on to add Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Tap and Musical Theatre. Knowing that dance was her passion, Miss Kyla moved to Winnipeg for her post-secondary training. Attending the Professional Program of the School of Contemporary Dancers, in affiliation with the University of Winnipeg, Miss Kyla earned her BA(Hons) in dance. While in Winnipeg, Miss Kyla danced with several companies and performed throughout Canada and the United States. Making the difficult decision to leave Winnipeg in search of new opportunities, Miss Kyla moved to Calgary and immediately found a home at ESD!
Throughout her dance life, Miss Kyla has enjoyed teaching dancers of all ages. She is able to say that she has taught dancers from 6 weeks old (Mommy & Me right here at ESD) all the way up to professional company classes.

Miss Kyla is proud to be a part of such an amazing dance studio that focuses on the whole dancer and really fosters a supportive environment.

Miss Stephanie

Teacher (Tap, Jazz, Preschool Dance, Adult Dance)

Stephanie has been dancing from the age of 4 yrs old at the former Hanson School of Dance in Kindersley, SK, where she grew up.  She achieved her ADAPT Advanced Jazz, RAD Intermediate Ballet and Gr. 8 Ballet, CDTA Advanced Tap and Jazz.  During those years she also studied voice and piano and achieved her RCM Gr. 8 Piano and Gr. 7 Voice.
Stephanie attended Grant MacEwan’s Theatre Arts program in Edmonton and received a Diploma in Musical Theatre studies.  After completing college she moved to Calgary to study for a year under the jazz style instruction of Decidedly Jazz Danceworks in their Pre-Professional Program.  Upon completing her training with DJD she went on to achieve her ADAPT Teachers Certification in Jazz and Tap.

Stephanie has had the joy of dancing and performing with many dance groups and events over the past few years.  She has performed with En Corps Dance Collective and Wild Aces.

Stephanie hopes to share her passion of dance and performing with the students she teaches while they have fun while learning.  She is proud to be part of the faculty at Evolutions School of Dance.

Miss Jenna {MSW, RSW}

Teacher (Hip Hop, Jazz)

Jenna has been a member of the ESD faculty for 3.5 years. She grew up dancing and competing in Calgary since she was 7 years old. She has taught dance for over 14 years and has trained, performed and choreographed with En Corps Dance Collective for 10 years. Jenna was also the Artistic Director for ECDC and directed five shows. She also danced and choreographed for Groove Academy and has joined illFX for various performances.

For two years now, Jenna has worked for Artists Emerge (writing for Steve Bolton, Loose Joint, and King Guttuh) and REP (writing for Philip ‘Pacman’ Chbeeb), and this year is also doing Artists Emerge Vancouver (Chris Martin) and Dancers Paradise in Mexico.

Jenna has her MSW in Clinical Social Work and works for carya as a full-time Registered Social Worker, working with older adults.

Miss Reanna

Teacher (Pre-school dance, Ballet)

Miss Reanna started her dance journey at the age of 4, training in Ukrainian/ National dance here in Calgary. In 2007 she began training at Evolutions and has acquired a knowledge of both ISTD and Cecchetti classical ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary and Ukrainian dance. She has since completed her Standard 6 and Senior Certificate Cecchetti examinations. She has competed in many dance competitions in Alberta, as well as has performed various main character roles in ESD productions. Reanna joined the ESD Inspire Jr Instructors Program at age 14, and joined the faculty with her completion of the program.
In 2016 she received a fine arts scholarship to further her passion for dance education. Reanna currently attends the University of Calgary where she is working on a double major in Dance and English. She is currently studying choreography, contemporary technique, and pedagogical perspectives of dance science. She plans to combine the perspectives of Dance and English and become a teacher specializing in both topics.

Miss Karissa

Teacher (Pre-school dance, Ballet, Jazz, Teen classes)

Miss. Karissa began her dance training in Ukrainian dance, but expanded her focus to include ballet (both ISTD and Cecchetti), Jazz, Lyrical and Contemporary dance.  She has since completed her Standard 6 and Senior Certificate Cecchetti examinations. Karissa joined the ESD Inspire Jr Instructors Program at age 14, and joined the faculty with her completion of the program.
Miss Karissa currently attends the University of Calgary where she is working towards completing a double major in Sociology and Education, with a minor in Contemporary Dance.
She can’t wait to continue to give the students at ESD an opportunity to learn skills that they can use for years to come, and is excited to bring her passionate love of dance to her students!

 

Miss Misha {BA – Dance)

Teacher (Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Preschool Dance)

Miss Misha has over ten years of teaching dance experience, four of which have been at Evolutions. Misha Behnia graduated from the University of Calgary in 2017 with a BA in Dance, focusing her training in contemporary, ballet and choreography. During this time and following graduation, she has had opportunity to choreograph and perform around Canada and train under some of the worlds most recognized and renowned dance artists and teachers.  Professionally, Misha has had the privilege of working as both a teacher and choreographer for numerous companies and studios around Calgary over the past eight years, including: Trip the Light Dance Company, W&M Physical Theatre: Surge, Alberta Ballet and En Corps Dance Collective.

Following her graduation Misha began to clearly recognize her undeniable love and passion for teaching and facilitating the growth of young students. She has focused her current training on teaching methods in ballet, contemporary, jazz and tap forms and continues to study dance and teaching methods while actively teaching. Misha strives to create a learning environment where everyone is welcome, challenged and successful; she strives to create a one on one relationship with each of her students to tune into their individual needs and help them grow.

In addition to teaching dance, Misha is passionate about fitness and conditioning, teaching spin and barre around the city of Calgary. Misha is beyond excited to be returning to school in the fall to begin her Elementary Education After Ed Degree, continuing to pursue her passion: teaching children.

Miss Jeannie

Teacher (Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Performance Division)

Jeannie’s had 8 years of competitive and recreational teaching experience throughout the Alberta and Peace Region. She teaches a broad range of styles including Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary, Heels, and Hip Hop.

As well as teaching, she’s choreographed and performed several Burlesque shows for local organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters and The Canadian Cancer Society.

Jeannie’s dance career brought her to the ITP program in Vancouver where she had opportunities performing for the Vancouver Spring show, Team Canada Gala for Gold fundraiser, and danced onstage with Micheal Bernard Fitzgerald for his Way to Big Way to Loud tour.

Theres nothing that brings Jeannie more joy than being in the classroom inspiring and supporting students as her past instructors have done for her. She feels very fortunate and happy to be able to have turned her love and passion for dance into a rewarding career.

Miss Nicole

Teacher (Contemporary, Zumba)

A graduate with a University of Calgary Bachelor Degree in Arts with a specialization in Contemporary and Jazz, Nicole has been fortunate to have had many opportunities in the YYC arts community and abroad.  After graduating Nicole worked with W&M Physical Theatre and travelled to Poland  performing and teaching around the country; a truly unforgettable and inspiring experience.  Nicole also worked with Three Left Feet Movement Creations teaching in Alberta Elementary and Junior High schools sharing her love of dance and creativity.

Nicole then took a hiatus from the YYC dance community to pursue another passion of hers and received her Bachelor of Nursing Degree at the University of Calgary and is now a Registered Paediatric Nurse at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.  Nicole is inspired every day by the children she cares for as a Registered Nurse; they are strong, resilient, free, happy, energetic, positive, forgiving, and trusting – all qualities Nicole strives for on a daily basis.

Nicole is a Principal Company Dancer with Trip the Light Dance Company, choreographing and dancing with the company since 2013. Nicole’s passion for teaching and inspiring young dance artists is what brought her to Evolutions School of Dance; a studio that holds all the values and principles that Nicole holds dear to her heart.

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Miss Madi {BA – Dance}

Teacher (Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Performance Division)

 

 

 

 

 

Miss Olivia

Teacher (Preschool Dance)