Our Instructors

Heather-BeauvaisHeather Beauvais, Co-Director, Certified ADAPT/Acrobatique Teacher  

“Miss Heather’s” dance career began 22 years ago when she attended her first ballet class. From there she trained intensely in other styles of dance: jazz, modern, lyrical, gymnastics and musical theatre, receiving many awards during her teen years for her absolutely captivating solo performances. Not only was Heather born to dance, but born to teach. That dream of combining the two became a reality when she started teaching at Excalibre (now dansko studios). Through teaching, and creating dynamic, award winning choreography, Miss Heather is fortunate, as are the students she inspires, to keep her spirit of dance alive!

_DSC3508Allison Charlton, Co-Director, Certified ADAPT Teacher 

Allison trained since the age of 3 at Dancentral Studio in Red Deer. For many years she successfully competed throughout Alberta in tap, jazz, musical theatre, highland & ballet as well as completing with honors, all levels of tap & jazz exams through the A.D.A.P.T. syllabus, and every level of highland dance exams. Playing the role of “Peter” in Peter Pan got her hooked on live theatre. At 14, Allison added teaching to her professional career and has never looked back. As a young adult Allison moved to Victoria where she performed in local theatre productions of ’42nd St.,’ ‘A Chorus Line’, ‘South Pacific’, ‘West Side Story’ and ‘Evita’. Allison also choreographed ‘Brigadoon’ for VOS.  Allison is well known in Victoria for her truly unique, highly entertaining, award-winning choreography. That, combined with her amazing ability to motivate and inspire her students of all ages makes her a ‘teacher extraordinaire

_DSC3475Leigh Neuman, Co-Director, Certified ADAPT Teacher 

Leigh grew up dancing here in beautiful Victoria, BC, studying various disciplines including ballet, jazz, tap and musical theatre. From age 12, Leigh’s success as a soloist brought her many top marks, awards, and the privilege each year to represent Victoria at the BC Festival of the Arts in Stage Dance. At age 17, Leigh’s tap performance of “In Threes”, choreographed by Allison Charlton, received the “Dance Olympus Summer Dance National Champion (USA)” title. Leigh’s love and passion for dance led her to teach here in Victoria.

In 2004 Leigh began her career as professional dancer with Princess Cruises. Traveling and performing abroad on many Princess ships, Leigh was promoted to Asst. Dance Captain in 2005. After working abroad for four years, Leigh is excited and proud to return to the awesome dansko faculty to once again share her passion, love and experience of dancing with all of her students.

Sandi-Neuman

Sandi Neuman, Co-Director, Certified ADAPT/Acrobatique Teacher  

Dancing on her “tippy toes” since age 3, Sandi quickly realized her love of dance and performing. She continued her extensive training in Jazz, Ballet and Tap for many years. Her love for being on stage led her to receive many awards for her captivating performance deliveries including “Most Promising Jazz Dancer”.

At age 18, Sandi was hired by Jean Ann Ryan Productions, Ft. Lauderdale, and headed out on her first professional performing contract. Her “teacher” qualities were recognized during the first few days of rehearsals and Sandi was quickly promoted to “Dance Captain”. Since then, her dance career with NCL, Saga and Princess Cruises has taken her all over the world.

Sandi is a very energetic, charismatic teacher who makes her students feel great about being in class. She is thrilled to be back home in Victoria, resuming her teaching career at the beautiful dansko studios… excited to inspire her students and share with them her joy and passion of dance.

Gail-NeumanGail Neuman, Founder

Well known for her contagious energy, passion and positive spirit, Gail has enjoyed more than 30 years of success as dance teacher/choreographer in the Victoria Dance community. Professional credits include dancer/singer in “Gerry Gosley’s Summer Smile Show” original and revival, Bastion Theatre’s “Princess & the Pea” and “Plaza Suite”. Choreographer with rave reviews for numerous VOS Productions, developed and directed the Spectrum Community School Dance progamme for 10 years, founded and directed Dansko Studios Inc. (formerly known as Excalibre Dance Productions Inc.) since 1993.

Over the years, Gail’s inspirational lyrical, dynamic jazz, comedic and hot theatrical pieces have received countless awards and recognition from adjudicators. Gail’s greatest accomplishment, however, is the mutual respect, trust and friendships she shares with students, parents, colleagues and business associates.

7Sarah Coupar

Since the age of three, Sarah has been dedicated to studying all forms of dance. Currently her focus is in ballet, jazz and modern but she also loves tap, lyrical, and contemporary. She has participated in many festivals and competitions on the island, including Victoria DanceWorks and Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival, as well as in Vancouver. Here she has received many soloist awards in multiple genres as well as young choreography awards. She has had the honor of representing Victoria at the Provincial level for three years in Stage and Modern. In 2009 she placed runner-up in the Modern category. While continuing her studies at the University of Victoria, Sarah enjoys sharing her passion as both a dancer and a teacher.

Rachel-Dewey

Rachel Dewey

Rachel has been dancing and performing since the age of three. She has had extensive training in Tap, Ballet, Modern and Jazz with such local teachers as Allison Charlton, Maureen Eastick, Sherry Black, Arabella Martin, Amanda Dewey, and Lynn Stevens. Rachel has also studied with such notable teachers and choreographers as Brian Macdonald, Annette av Paul, Susan Toumine, David LaHay and Crystal Pite. She has performed and competed at many festivals, recitals and benefits both nationally and internationally including the Dance Olympus Competition in Las Vegas where she was awarded the gold medal for her tap solo. As a dancer she has received numerous awards and scholarships including the Family Food Mart Trophy for the performer showing most potential as a professional dancer. Rachel has taught at such local studios as Pacific Dance Centre and Excalibre Dance, and loves sharing her passion for dance with her students.

Katherine

Katherine Geric

At the age of four, Katherine fell in love with dance when she took her first dance class at dansko. She has since trained and performed in various styles such as jazz, ballet, hip hop, tap and contemporary at Dansko. She has taken part and won awards in a number of competitions and festivals on the island, as well as in Vancouver and Whistler. Aside from studio dance, Katherine was very involved with school dance and has choreographed some small and large group pieces for classes in high school. While working towards a degree in Psychology, Katherine continues to share her love and passion for dance with her students and peers.

I0000oj0U2TfFELUHocine Layada

Born in Marseille, France, Hocine Layada started dancing at age 9, in Toulon France and began his professional training at the “Academie de Dance Princesse Grace” (Monaco, Monte-Carlo) 1980 – 1984. In 1984 he was a finalist at the Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland, earning the distinction of Encouragement. In 1984 he traveled to Hamburg, Germany on a scholarship with the Hambourg Ballet School and became a full company member in 1985-1990, performing as a Soloist. In 1990-1991 Mr. Layada joined the The Royal Ballet of Flanders, performing as a Soloist in Antwerpen, Belgium. After one year in Belgium Mr. Layada returned to Germany, to dance with the Komisch Oper Ballet, then went on appearing as a Principal Dancer with Gera Ballet Company and Erfurt Ballet Company. In 1993-1994 he came to Canada, joining the Alberta Ballet Company, performing in a soloist role. He later danced with the Ontario Ballet Theatre, with Raymond Smith as Artistic Director a Former Principal Dancer with the National Ballet of Canada, and returned to Calgary in 1996 to again join The Alberta Ballet and to teach at various dance schools. Mr. Layada first taught ballet for the Young Canadians School of Performing Arts in 1999-2001 while still dancing. In 2003-2004 Mr. Layada traveled to Victoria, BC to performed with Ballet Victoria in Peter Pan as the lead Principal Dancer/Ballet Master. The production was choreographed by Mr. David Roland, former Principal Dancer with the StaatsBallett Berlin, in Berlin Germany. In 2004, Mr. Layada move back to Calgary to teach at various dance schools. In 2005-2010 Mr. Layada was the head of the Ballet program at The Young Canadian School of Performing arts, under the Artistic direction of Mr. Brian Foley. From 2010-2016, Mr. Layada taught Ballet at Decidedly Jazz school of dance, as well as private Ballet classes. Mr. Layada also taught Ballet for the Calalta Figure Skating club in Calgary. From 2010-2016 Mr. Layada was also an Education Assistant for The Calgary Catholic School Board District, also In the Summer of 2015, Mr. Layada taught Ballet for Dansko Dance School for their Summer Workshop.

 

Angela-Mousseau

Angela Mousseau

Born and raised in Victoria, Angela began tapping practically from birth. After high school graduation Angela moved to Oklahoma and then to Philadelphia where in May, 2002 she graduated from the University of the Arts with a degree in Dance. Following four exciting years of dancing professionally with modern and tap companies in Philadelphia, Angela moved to New York City where she taught dance in New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Angela has had the awesome opportunity to dance professionally for MTV and perform in the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards and the privilege to study under such masters as LaVaughn Robinson, Jimmy Slyde, Buster Brown, Barbara Duffy and Savion Glover.

Angela’s return home to Victoria to share her knowledge and expertise with the dancers atdansko studios has made her a valuable asset not only to the studio but also to our community. dansko students LOVE Angela’s classes!

2Amy Rowley 

Amy has trained at Dansko Studios since the age of 4, when her first dance class was with, now studio co-director, Miss Heather. She has continued to train in ballet, jazz, modern, and contemporary throughout her years at Dansko. Amy’s diverse dance talents have allowed her to represent Dansko at festival Provincial Competitions as a soloist in the areas of jazz, ballet, and modern, and in performance where she has received various awards and bursaries. Amy’s strength in ballet, through her years of training under the accomplished Amalia Schelhorn, has led her to much success in this discipline, as well as training with both the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and the School of Alberta Ballet. Amy proudly continues to share her love for dance with her students.

 

Jaqueline-thumbJacqueline Squire 

Jacqueline is passionate about teaching and dancing, which has resulted in being an accomplished dancer and choreographer.  She has trained in tap, ballet, jazz, lyrical and hip hop but is most passionate about contemporary Jazz.  Jacqueline has been dancing and performing since she was 4 years old and as a choreographer has won several awards including Young Choreographers Award in 2007 for contemporary jazz at the Greater Victoria DanceWorks Festival along with the Greater Victoria Arts Festival.  Jacqueline was also recognized for her teaching and choreography when she won the Teacher’s Inspirational Award in 2007 for contemporary jazz at the Greater Victoria DanceWorks Festival , and several other awards for hip hop and contemporary up until 2010. Jacqueline has danced and choreographed for numerous Recitals, Festivals and Gala presentations. Jacqueline loves to go to Vancouver and dance at Harbour Dance Centre to further extend her knowledge and seek inspiration. She adores her students and loves to see the dance movements in her head come to life with her amazing talented students.

 

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 Kylie Stanton 

Kylie Stanton began dancing at a very early age in Edmonton, Alberta.  Since then, she’s trained in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and Vancouver.  Upon settling on the west coast, Kylie performed with “The Source” and “Ruckus Dance Company”.  Her credits include contracts with Walt Disney Canada, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and the Canadian Military – travelling to Egypt and Israel, performing for the troops.  Kylie now focuses on her passion for teaching and choreography.  She’s grateful to all of the students she has the opportunity to work with across the county each year. 

Alyssa Talbot 

Since Alyssa was five years old she has been actively involved in dance, after she took her very first tap class she fell in love and expanded her repertoire to include ballet, jazz and lyrical. She has taken part and won awards in many competitions on the island, including Victoria DanceWorks and Greater Victoria Preforming Arts Festival. Currently, she is studying to receive her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education. Her patience combined with her ability to inspire and connect with her students is evident within the studio. As Alyssa grew up training at Dansko, she feels proud to now inspire her own students and share her knowledge and love for dance. 

Amanda Wild

AE Wild was born in Calgary AB, where her first tumbling, tap and ballet classes sparked a fire in her for the performing arts. After originally training in gymnastics, AE moved forward to discover her love for movement in multiple dance disciplines including ballet, modern, contemporary, lyrical, jazz and her passion: hip-hop. After moving to Victoria, AE began teaching at multiple studios and high schools for over 5 years. She then relocated to Vancouver to extend her training under Moe Brody of Harbour Dance Centre and their Intensive Training Program. There, Wild was invited to be the closing act of the Vancouver Spring show at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, as well as dance back-up for the artist, Michael Bernard Fitzgerald during the Vancouver stop on his Canadian tour. Due to her strong passion for teaching, as well as her unique choreography, AE was cast to work as a choreographer and lead dancer for local hip-hop artists: SO LOKI. AE has also trained with companies Two Four Seven Co. and SOULdiers Co. where she honed her technique in popping, house, locking, breaking and hip-hop.

 

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 Brittany Wong 

In Brittany’s pre-school ages, she tried her hand in piano, swimming, t-ball, karate and gymnastics.  She enjoyed each activity, but when she participated in Miss Jenn’s class at the age of 5, she knew that dance was the one thing she loved.  Brittany has been dancing at dansko for the past 16 years.  Brittany’s passion for dancing has led her to study jazz, tap, contemporary, modern, ballet and hip hop.  She has performed and competed in all these areas, achieving many awards and bursaries along the way.  Brittany was also very devoted to dance in high school.  She performed and choreographed many dances in her senior year.  Brittany is presently attending her last year at the University of Victoria soon graduating with a Bachelor of Education (Elementary) degree in 2015.  Brittany obviously has a love for teaching children and dance – what a perfect combo for teaching at dansko studios!