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InstructorsThe Richmond Arts Centre is proud to offer classes taught by some of the best and brightest instructors from around the lower mainland. Below are brief introductions to some of those instructors and their qualifications.
Ivan Dimitrov – Guitar
Ivan has recently moved to Vancouver from Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a professional guitarist who graduated from the Academy of Musical Dance and Arts in Bulgaria and has been performing ever since. He studied jazz and improvisation with the best teachers and performers in the country and later taught music in several music schools in Bulgaria and South Africa. Ivan is interested in Latin American and Spanish music, Flamenco in particular, and is continuously experimenting with this kind of music.
Connie Drewbrook – Ballet
Born and raised in Vancouver, B.C., Connie trained at the Richmond Academy of Dance for eight years before dancing with Alberta Ballet touring to five cities in China in 2007. In addition, she has danced the role of Wendy in Ballet Victoria’s Peter Pan, and performed for five years in the Banff Summer Dance Festival. Connie has received her Solo Seal Award, which is the highest attainable Royal Academy of Dance examination award. Connie is very excited to be teaching ballet at the Richmond Arts Centre again this school year, and is looking forward to the opportunity to inspire young dancers.
Gustavo Ferman – Latin Dance
Gustavo is a professional dance instructor, choreographer & performer with over 20+ years of extensive background in dance performance, dance production and musical theatre. Gustavo’s training began in San Francisco California at the City College arts program and then to Calgary, Alberta where he attained a full scholarship to train at the Young Canadians school of Performing arts, after finishing the program he worked with many different dance/entertainment companies in the city as a performer, teacher and eventually a dance choreographer and director. His training ranges from Latin to jazz, funk/hip-hop, African and ballroom. He is the creator of Latin Funk Dance®, a popular fun, high-energy dance program he brought to Vancouver in 1996, becoming the first and the most popular Latin Fusion dance program in the city. Gustavo’s passion and extensive knowledge of dance in general makes his classes fun and educational at the same time.
Gustavo quotes: Through dance, I see people’s self-confidence increase, their spirits come alive and their self-love blossom. I wish this from my heart for everyone.
Carine’s B.A. in Criminology, studies in acupuncture, and interests in different arts are reflected in her classes. Her journey began in 1998 with a paperback version of “The Sivananda Companion to Yoga.” Since then, this book, in combination with great teachers, has become a wonderful guide in revealing yoga's magic. Children and their open-mindedness, determination, and fun-seeking nature drive her own teachings. She believes that yoga has infinite positive effects in our society today: developing respect and kindness for each other, our precious environment, and ourselves. Yoga is also accessible to people from all walks of life. Carine aspires to empower her students through safe alignments, co-creation of peaceful minds, and ultimately happy souls.
‘Pranayama carried me through two natural childbirths - two awesome boys that inspired me to teach yoga.’
Miyouki Jego – Ballet
Born in Windsor, Ontario, Miyouki began her training with Florence King-Proulx, a graduate of the National Ballet School of Canada. At the age of fourteen, she trained in the professional program at the Edmonton School of Ballet. Later, Miyouki studied both RAD and Cecchetti methods of ballet, as well as other forms of dance including musical theatre, jazz, modern, tap, character dance, and performance. During the completion of her training, Miyouki performed in various ballets including The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Don Quixote, among others. Since performing with the Edmonton Festival Ballet, Miyouki's interest in teaching became a priority. She trained with the Cecchetti Dance Theatre specializing in the instructor's program in order to successfully understand the importance of teaching dance. Since 2000, Miyouki has taught students ranging from as young as three years old through to adults and has had experience with adjudication, program planning, and exam preparations. In addition to the School Year Ballet and Jazz classes, Miyouki will be teaching Adult Ballet classes at the Richmond Arts Centre.
Mrs Roberta Baseggio began her ballet studies at age six, and was accepted to study classical and contemporary dance at The National Academy of Dance in Rome at age eleven. Her training was in both classical Cecchetti School and Vaganova Method, as well as, contemporary dance from the Martha Graham Method. Mrs Baseggio obtained her Dance Teaching degree and Diploma in Arts from the National Academy of Dance in Rome. She also studied the Matt Mattox jazz style with Renato Greco, one of the most well-known followers of the method. Mrs Baseggio has performed as soloist in the Opera House in Rome, Maggio Danza in Florence, San Carlo Theatre in Naples, Arena and Filarmonico Theatre in Verona covering roles from ballets of modern and classical repertoires alongside legends of dance like Carla Fracci, Peter Schaufuss, Vladimir Vassiliev, and Charles Jude. She has performed nationally and internationally in musical theatre and television productions expanding her carrier experience in jazz and contemporary dance.
Since moving to Canada in 2007, she has been teaching ballet and jazz to students of all ages and abilities. In addition, she has worked as an adjudicator at Cecchetti Award, a ballet mistress at Ballet Victoria, as a judge in local dance festivals and as a choreographer and stage movement instructor with the UBC Opera Program. She founded The Vancouver City Dance Theatre in 2009 and The company opened in September 2010 with a world premiere “The Dali’ Universe” which featured principal dancers from The National Ballet of Canada as well as local and international professional dancers.
Tiana Kaczor is a multi-media artist and composer with 19 years experience. She has had 3 solo exhibitions and 23 group exhibitions. Her sculpture has been placed in Stanley Park and the Richmond Hospital, and her paintings have been sent to Japan, Washington State, Manitoba, Ontario and around BC. Her music was used for a CHWK radio talkshow, and a Chinatown Today TV program. Tiana has 10 years experience as a secondary school art teacher after obtaining her BEd from UBC and her BFA from Emily Carr College of Art & Design.
Ian began his circus career busking and performing juggling shows on the streets of England after attending several arts, circus & music festivals in the UK. After hearing the streets of London were paved with gold he decided to attend the Circus space, where he trained in various circus disciplines. On leaving he worked with an Aerial theatre company performing shows around the UK & Europe. A bizarre set of circumstances then led him to a summer camp in the USA, where he spent 6 years teaching kids circus arts. He then washed up in New Zealand, setting up a business coaching flying trapeze, and creating a circus skills program for the Performing Arts School of New Zealand. On his way back to the UK to work with Nofitstate circus he took a side trip to Vancouver, met his future wife, and is still here. He now coaches for Cirkids and continues to perform.
Sudnya Mulye, Artistic Director of Sudnya Dance Academy, is a professional Bharata Natyam dancer, choreographer and instructor. She has performed widely in India and Canada. Her performances in festivals include Vancouver and Yukon Story Telling, Vancouver and Surrey International Children and Jazz Festivals, Sacred Music Festival, and the Vancouver Folk Festival. Her choreographies and performances on episodes of the Ramayamna epic “The Golden Deer” and “Seeta Tyaga” (Seeta’s abandonment) were greatly appreciated by the scholars of Ramayana. She has worked in collaboration with a range of arts organizations including Cultural metaphors, Masabo Culture Company, Eastern Star groups, and East West Cultural Exchange. To share her knowledge of Indian culture, she performs and gives workshops in schools. She has won many awards in various dance and choreography competitions including the prestigious "Shringar Mani” award. In 2007 Sudnya was nominated for Richmond Review’s Ethel Tibbits Women Of Distinction Award. Sudnya has performed in “Nritya Bharati”, a television serial on Seven Classical Dance Styles from India. Since 2004 she has been organizing “Kala Utsav” an evening of Classical Arts of India, a charity show for Red Cross. She holds a BFA in Bharata Natyam and MFA in Choreography from the University of Mumbai, India.
Fiona has been dancing since she was a child. She grew up in a dance studio and trained in everything from competitive Irish and Highland dancing to tap and hip hop. Despite her eclectic background, she particularly enjoys tap and musical theatre. She has won multiple gold, silver, and bronze medals representing Canada in Dance World Cup 2008-2011, most recently winning a gold medal for her tap solo in Niagara Falls 2011. In 2008, she was among twenty-five students from around the world to be chosen to go to London, England for a dance tour and training at the world famous Pineapple Studios. She has trained in Al Gilbert, R.A.D ballet, and U.K.A syllabus and continues to train and upgrade, taking workshops and attending guest seminars. In 2010 and again in 2011, she joined the Tap Stew Company. She has her BA with a major in Sociology and English, and will be attending UBC this fall for the twelve month practicum program to become a high school English and Social Studies teacher. Fiona looks forward to another season at the Richmond Arts Centre and can’t wait to work with all the talent.
‘See you in the tap studio!’
Vanessa Kelly – Visual Arts, Comics and Cartooning
As a comic artist, Vanessa wants to empower students through the medium of sequential art. Vanessa holds a bachelor of Fine Arts from the School for Contemporary Art at Simon Fraser University and her continuing studies include visual culture studies, philosophy, sociology, pedagogy, and publishing. Vanessa has experience with a variety of cartooning techniques, including Japanese and Indian styles. She is currently a contributor and editor of several independent comic compilations in Vancouver.
Catherine Kluthe – Visual Arts and Cartooning
Catherine is the recipient of an Art & Design Diploma from Red Deer College, Visual Arts Diploma from the Alberta College of Art and Design and has studied Traditional Chinese Painting at the Gaungzhou Academy of Art in China. Over the years, she has worked as an illustrator and designer for various companies both in Canada and overseas. After freelancing as an Art Director, Illustrator, and Designer in Vancouver, she discovered her true passion; teaching art to children.
Catherine has been an instructor at the Richmond Art Center for 13 years and continues to be inspired by the great work that her students bring to each and every class.
Megan holds an MA (Musical Theatre Performance) from Mountview Academy in London, UK, and a BA (Music) from the University of Western Ontario. She has also trained at Circle in the Square (NYC). She's taught at Take to the Stage! summer camp, was Head of Music and Voice at Buck's Rock Performing Arts Camp in Connecticut. Her performance experience includes: Evelyn in world premiere of Homecoming King (Neanderthal), Fay in Here on the Flight Path (Metro Theatre), and Georgeanne in 5 Women Wearing the Same Dress (BR Productions). Megan is currently writing on her own solo show project, Breaking Velocity, and is thrilled to be sharing her knowledge and encouraging young people to branch out and grow through performance.
Linda Montague – Fibre Arts
For over fourteen years, Linda has instructed children and adults in fibre arts at the Richmond Arts Centre. She has expertise in knitting, weaving, felting and dyeing. Linda is a graduate of the Capilano College Weaving program and has participated in fibre arts workshops, seminars, group and individual projects since 1990. She is also a proud member of the Richmond Weavers and Spinners Guild.
Tim Perez – Drama
Tim brings a vast wealth of experience to his classes. As an actor he has appeared in numerous Off-Broadway productions in New York and in regional theatres throughout the United States and Canada - as well as in countless TV and film productions, including guest-starring in such prime-time hits as ER and NYPD Blue. He has also directed the play "Slumber of Reason" at the Los Angeles Theatre Center - one of LA’s premiere theatres. He has an MFA in Acting from NYU, and has been teaching acting to youth since 1988.
Morley Watson – Visual Arts
Morley Watson has been a practicing artist for twenty years. He has been teaching Drawing and Painting in the Vancouver area since 2001. He studied fine arts at Langara College, Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, and received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Art & Design. Morley has exhibited in Alberta & British Columbia. His paintings have become part of several international collections.
“An enjoyable learning environment with projects that a student can interpret and create individually is the most productive one.”
Lydia Kay – Piano
Born, raised and educated in Russia, Lydia is a pianist, writer and visual artist. She holds a Master's degree in Music and a Bachelor in Visual Arts from the Kursk Academy of Music and Fine Arts. Currently, Lydia lives in Vancouver, B.C., and dedicates her time to teaching exclusively passing her experience and passion for music to the younger generation.
Tony Bowden – Visual Arts
Tony, or Mr. Tony, as he is affectionately known, started out working in animation on The Care Bear Movie and later apprenticed for an architecture firm. He received his Masters in Art at Case Western University with a concentration in Art Education. He also received a scholarship to the Cleveland Institute of Art where he later joined the faculty. His curiosity and passion for using art to better the world led him to create and direct Image Eccentric, which dealt with visual multi media shows as benefits for charities such as Art Cares, a successful benefit show with the Cleveland Museum of Art. Tony's art was used on billboards as well as many different showcases, including the Museum of Modern Art in Cleveland. He also teamed up with Mark Brown, creator of the popular children's cartoon series, Arthur, to do a limited edition print.
El Crighton – Clay Handbuilding, Clay Wheel
El graduated as a mature student from Langara College in 1996 accepting all the awards available to the graduating class. El spreads her love for clay by participating in and teaching many different workshops and classes. Teaching at the Richmond Arts Centre since 1996, she enjoys working with various age groups as well as visually impaired adults.
Lauren Burrows Backhouse
Media Arts programmer Lauren Burrows Backhouse runs the Richmond Youth Media Program (RYMP) and is a facilitator for several media-based community partnerships. Lauren has spent more than 10 years on the air, broadcasting everything from traffic reports on CKNW to the latest in independent music on CBC Radio 3, and she brings that expertise to her instruction on podcasting, music production, and learning how to DJ.