Dance and MovementThe 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.
Vanessa Coley-Donohue – Ballet
Vanessa Coley-Donohue has been dancing and performing for her whole life. She trained at The Richmond Academy of Dance and Burke Academy of Dance and has studied RAD Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, and Modern dance. She is also a choreographer and performer in Musical Theatre, Dance, and Opera throughout the Lower Mainland including companies such as Richmond’s Gateway Theatre, Theatre Under the Stars, and Burnaby Lyric Opera.
Vanessa has been a dance educator for over 15 years and has taught students of all ages and all levels of ability. She is passionate about nurturing students in their love of the arts, and teaching them to use their bodies and voices as a means of creative expression.
Alicia Koevoets – Tap
Alicia Koevoets began training in all dance forms at the age of 8 before realizing her passion for tap and perusing it more exclusively. She has trained with tap masters all over North America and performed in Los Angeles, Chicago, DC, Massachusetts and throughout BC. Last year Alicia was accepted into the tap program at the School at Jacob's Pillow to study intensively with world renowned artists. Just this past December Alicia travelled to Washington DC to perform with the Jacobs Pillow alumni along with an acclaimed cast in JUBA! a full length tap concert at the Kennedy Center. Alicia is currently teaching tap in Vancouver and always working on her craft, striving to be better.
Katherine Somody – Ballet and Jazz
Katherine trained as a dancer at the Anna Wyman School of Dance Arts and the Goh Ballet Academy, touring China and Japan and performing works by some of her favourite choreographers including Balanchine and Wen Wei Wang. She holds a BA in Art History from UBC and the Sorbonne in Paris, and an MFA (Performance Art & Dance) from Cornell University in New York. She has curated, taught, written about, performed, choreographed and exhibited art, music and dance in Berlin, Paris, New York, Halifax and Vancouver. Recent projects include Did you Say I Was Dancing at Experimental Gallery in New York, and How I Learned To Stop Blanking and Verb the Object at SFU Woodwards in Vancouver. She uniquely incorporates Forsythe’s Improvisation Technologies and the Laban Method in her classes. She continues to be blown away by the confidence, courage, creativity and grace of the dancers she works with.
Aubrey Walker – Ballet
Aubrey began her classical ballet training at age 8 with Barbara Stuart from The Royal Ballet of London and at age 12 continued training under Lila Zali formerly of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. At age 15 Ms. Walker became a member of Ballet Pacifica’s corps de ballet performing annually Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Four Seasons, La Sylphide, among other works.
Transitioning from dancing to teaching, Aubrey began her own school of classical ballet in California which she directed for 12 years. The school was based on the Cecchetti Method with students entering exams annually. The Youth Company, in residence, performed full length performances of The Nutcracker with guest artist’s formerly of the Bolshoi, Prague National Ballet and Texas Ballet. Students received full scholarships to ABT, The Rock School and Boston Ballet.
With sincere gratitude to Sheila Kennedy Aubrey earned her Associate with the Cecchetti Society of Canada. Ms. Walker’s additional teacher’s studies include The Kirov Choreographic Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia, ABT , Ballet Arts and Cecchetti USA.
Fiona Wong – Ballet
Fiona Wong began her ballet training at the age of 3. She was trained at the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). Her training also includes working with Shanghai ballet’s principal dancer. She has completed her RAD Advanced I and ISTD Advanced I levels. Fiona is trained under the RAD Certified Ballet Teaching Studies, and has done extensive training on ballet teaching for all levels.
Fiona looks forward to sharing her professional dance knowledge and passion with children of all ages.
Carine Young – Yoga
Carine’s B.A. in Criminology, studies in acupuncture, and interests in different arts are reflected in her classes. Skilled in sharing her knowledge of biomechanics in a tangible way, students are invited to discover their own forms in a safe environment. 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. Carine has been a guest teacher at the Semperviva 95-hour kids teacher training where she shared her innovative ideas and skills with future teachers. She believes that yoga has infinite positive effects in our society today: developing respect and kindness for each other, our precious environment, and ourselves. Carine leads various yoga workshops, and incorporates different energy modalities in her work. Carine is a Reiki master and Canadian Yoga Alliance registered experienced teacher CYA-E-RYT 350, with additional training in restorative, yin, prenatal, kids, and hot yogas.
"Pranayama carried me through two natural childbirths - two awesome boys that inspired me to teach yoga."