Alana has been dancing since the age of three in several different genres. She has studied and completed many dance examinations in Ballet (RAD), Tap, and Jazz (Al Gilbert). Throughout the years she has found her main passion to be in contemporary and lyrical dance. Along with the exam experience she has also competed in various different competitions in many dance styles. She brings many years of personal experience in dance and choreography and always looks forward to connecting, growing and learning something new about dance from each student.
Head of Ballet
Alida’s dance journey began in South Africa at age 3. She is trained in 6 dance genres, including Ballet, Modern, and Contemporary. Alida began competing at international competitions and European Summer Schools at age 9. She was awarded the Alan Hooper RAD Bursary to study at Elmhurst Ballet School in the UK at age 15. In 1987, Alida graduated from the University of Cape Town, majoring in Ballet, Contemporary, Anatomy & Physiology, and Ballet Teaching Methodology. Here, she was awarded her Solo Seal – RAD Ballet’s highest level. Her professional career as a soloist and first artist included performances in many classics, such as Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as several Balanchine works, training under NYC Ballet principals Melissa Hayden and Bart Cook. She also starred in 11 musical theatre productions, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. In Alida’s 27 years of teaching, many of her students have subsequently pursued professional dancing or teaching careers.
Amanda has always had a love of dance! Having danced in one form or another for most of her life she found her true passion as a young adult. After stumbling on Middle Eastern Belly Dance as a means of exercise she was hooked! Amanda has been studying Middle Eastern dance for 5 years and has had many wonderful instructors, most notably Wendy Schabrel, Cassandra Shore, and Ildiko Gyarmati. Amanda has been teaching for three years and looks forward to the new and wonderful journey this year in dance will take us on!
Anna teaches ballet to children ages 3 and up. Anna began dancing with the studio at age 3 and has studied ballet, flamenco, jazz and lyrical. She has had the pleasure of travelling to Spain to dance flamenco. Anna hopes to teach her students that the world is their stage and to point their toes with every step!
Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Acro, Combo, Zumba
Charlene started dancing at the age of 5 and hasn’t stopped dancing since! She has taken classes in a wide range of disciplines, competed in countless festivals and participated both onstage and behind the scenes in all of the DI Productions shows. In 1996 Charlene was fortunate enough to be among the first dancers in Canada to complete her Grade 9 Tap Exam with Al Gilbert. In addition to being certified in Al Gilbert Tap, Jazz and Ballet Charlene has received certification in ADAPT, Acrobatic Arts, Alixa Flexibility and Zumba. She continues to take courses and attend workshops to continue to bring new and exciting ideas to her classes. Charlene has over 25 years of experience teaching and choreographing for dancers of all ages and levels of ability.
Christine Penner has been dancing flamenco for many years and has travelled to Spain for further study over several summers. She has studied online with dancers and singers of Spain. Through travel and online work she developed a deeper understanding of the dance form and the culture. Her connection to music as a music teacher for over 30 years has allowed her an understanding of the intricate rhythms that are performed in the hands, feet and through the body. Christine understands the complexity of the dance can be overwhelming to students and approaches teaching dance in a sequential way that leads her students to success. She recently gathered live musicians and has developed a performing group called Flamenco on the Prairies.
Ms. Bell is an avid skater, skiier, hiker and swimmer. Ms. Bell is the senior instructor for the “Learn to Skate” program at the Brandon Sportsplex. Ms. Bell has severed on the Board of Directors for the Brandon Festival of the Arts for many years.
Crystal Scott has danced since 1979, studying Old Time, Couples Dances, Tap, Jazz, Highland, Ballet, Irish, Bellydance, Jigging, Itsy Bitsy Yoga. She trained at Woiden Dance School, Brandon School of Dance, Dance Images, Westman Highland, Westman Irish, Philip Brady’s Irish Dance, Pacific Celtic College, Ildiko’s Bellydance, Gypsy Jive, Arnold Asham’s Stompers, Helen Garabedian Yoga. Crystal earned her Associate professional designation in Highland dance,1999. She has choreographed and acted in numerous Strathclair Drama Productions. Crystal played opposite Patrick Swayze in a movie filmed in Winnipeg, 2001. She traveled to Wisconsin, USA with the Brady Irish Dancers. She’s performed at the Irish Pavilion in Winnipeg during Folklorama 2003 and the Scottish and Irish Pavilions in Brandon for several years. Crystal acted in “The Exorcism of Molly Hartley” filmed in Brandon and “A Dog’s Purpose” in Virden. Crystal owns/instructs Expressive Dance with Crystal Studio in Minnedosa, and is teaching her 34th year.
Ballroom Dance Instructor
James Morris started his dance career with the Fred Astaire Dance School in the 1970’s and has certification in all 3 levels of American Ballroom—bronze, silver and gold. He has been the dance director for the Fred Astaire Dance School in Winnipeg and has competed all over North America in competitions. He has won Canadian Nationals and consistently placed in the top 3 in North American competitions. He has done advanced training with Susan Taves. He loves to teach ballroom dancing and looks forward to meeting new students.
Kylie began dance at the age of 4 under the direction of Linda Kearns at Willowdale Dance Center and Dance Images. Kylie has certified in Acrobatic Arts Modules one and two with the highest marking of an A on her practical exam allowing her to enter students in exams from Primary through Pre-Professional 3. Kylie is the only fully certified Acrobatic Arts teacher in Southwestern Manitoba and takes great pride in what her students have accomplished in exams and competitions. Kylie is also certified to teach Al Gilbert Tap and Jazz and has trained in Cecchetti and RAD ballet. She continues to take courses, attend workshops and conventions to keep up with trends in the dance world. Kylie is certified in Alixa Flexibility and hand balancing through Aerial Dance Academy.
Combo, Creative Movement
Lillianne started teaching pre-primary ballet classes in Shilo in 2018. After teaching there for years she has been teaching classes at our studio here in Brandon. She has been trained in multiple disciplines including ballet, tap and jazz. In 2021 she became certified to teach Al Gilbert jazz after completing her final exam. She has taken many exams in both tap and ballet and attended many workshops with professionals that have helped give her experience in other disciplines including lyrical, contemporary and interpretative dance. Lillianne says “Teaching students has been the most rewarding part of my career in dance and I am thankful every day I get to spend working with your children.”
bio coming soon
I am palak Walia and I am 20. I hail from India and migrated to Canada in 2021 for my further studies. I am graduating next year from Assiniboine Community College in Brandon. Bollywood is the mixture of dances running in Indian provinces and mainly shown in Indian movies. It contains many forms itself which need different body languages. Learning Bollywood is fun and relaxing for everyone. I have been to Kathak dancing which is root to Bollywood dancing since 2012 and certified with senior diploma from India. I have given performances on many stages. I am the only Indian dancing teacher in Brandon.
Ballroom Dance Instructor
Parent and Me, Acro, Ballet, Jazz, Office administration
I have been dancing since I was 3. Dance is something that I have loved since I was little and one of my biggest passions in life. Competition season is one of my favourite parts of the dance year. I have taken almost every style of dance at some point in my life but some of my favourites are Lyrical, Contemporary and Acro. I have been assisting with classes for as long as I can remember and I have been teaching my own classes for about 3-4 years now. I love working with kids and watching them develop a love for dance. Making connections with kids is also a really nice feeling and I hope to continue teaching for many years to come.
Guest Teachers for Workshops