Children will begin to explore basic jazz technique and make music with their feet in the tap portion of class
Erica Hendry enjoys studying many dance forms such as Acro, Contemporary, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, West African, and Musical Theatre. She received her Bachelor of Arts from The University of Calgary: A Collaborative Degree in Contemporary Dance and Kinesiology. Additionally, Erica has studied on Broadway at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) and Broadway Dance Centre in New York; In Calgary at the School of Decidedly Jazz DanceWorks, and in Guinea, West Africa with Ballet Matam.
Erica is the Owner and Artistic Director of Alberta Dance Academy. This will be her sixteenth year as owner and the company’s thirty-first season. Erica holds memberships with the Inner Circle of the Dancer Studio Owners Association (IC DSOA), Alberta Dance Educators Association (ADEA), and Dance Safe Alberta (DSA). In these memberships, she participates in weekly mentoring, quarterly training, and annual conventions to continue her growth as a dancer and studio leader. Other training and certifications include International Dance Teaching Standards, Intellidance Program, and Acrobatic Arts Module One.
Alex Krich started at The Alberta Dance Academy as a dancer in 2000. Throughout her years as a student she had the opportunity to train in a variety of styles, her favourite being Tap. In 2012, Alex returned to ADA and stepped into the role of Studio Coordinator. Since joining the ADA administrative team, Alex has taken on many roles. She specializes in accounting, customer service, and recital planning. Most recently, Alex took on the role of Social Media Coordinator.
Alex has passed her love of dance onto her daughter who is heading into her 7th season dancing with the ADA Company. They both consider ADA their “home away from home”. You can often find Alex cheering on not only her own dancer, but all of our students from backstage at competition!
Alex is heading into her 11th season as Studio Coordinator and can’t wait to see what the season brings!
Megan Daniels was born in Saskatoon and came to Calgary 11 years ago to pursue a career as a professional contemporary and ballet dancer. After dancing with several small companies throughout Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta, she decided to venture into teaching and fell in love with it right away. As a teenager, she was fortunate to train professionally at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and spent a few years in her early 20’s dancing as an aspirant with the RWB company. It was during those years that she realized that movement and dance are her life and she now feels so lucky that she is able to make her living teaching these things to others. Before she became a ballet instructor, Megan pursued a career as an economist and holds an honours BA degree in Economics from the University of Saskatchewan. Megan now works full-time as a ballet, pilates and yoga instructor. She recently added a certification in Progressing Ballet Technique and is in the process of getting her full Pilates teacher training certification as well. She is delighted to, once again, be a part of the Alberta Dance Academy Faculty and can’t wait to start the 2022/2023 season of dance with the talented and wonderful ADA dancers!
Shelby has been dancing since the age of 5, beginning in tap, branching out later into jazz and ballet, and even later (at 17!) in acro. Since then, She has danced with many performance groups, and choreographed for dance teams and musicals throughout Calgary.
Shelby is going into her fourth year of her teaching career. Her favourite part of teaching is supporting dancers through their growth, both technically and mentally. She currently holds certification from Acrobatic Arts, obtaining her Module 1 certification in August 2019 and her AcroDance Preschool certification in September 2022. Shelby continues to grow as a dancer, taking drop in classes around Calgary and auditioning for the collective dance group En Corps.
Outside of the dance world, Shelby is completing her Bachelor of Arts in History and Psychology at the University of Calgary.
This is Shelby’s second year at the Alberta Dance Academy and she is so excited to continue teaching, mentoring, and spending time with the beautiful souls and minds of ADA!
Charli Atkins is a certified instructor with both the ADAPT Tap & Jazz Syllabus, and the Gilbert Tap Syllabus.
She began her dance training in Calgary where she grew up competing in multiple disciplines and successfully completed a number of ADAPT Tap and Jazz examinations, Gilbert Tap examinations, and RAD Ballet examinations.
In 2005, Charli moved to Okotoks and began dancing at The Alberta Dance Academy. She has called ADA ‘home’ ever since. After spending 4 years as a student and an assistant teacher at ADA, she was invited to begin teaching her own classes. With tap dance always having been her favourite, Charli completed the requirements to become an instructor with the Gilbert Tap Syllabus. For the past decade she has been successfully preparing and entering her own students into Gilbert Tap Exams. Charli creates competitive choreography for our company students in tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical and hip hop in the form of solos, duets and groups for which she has received a number of choreography, high-score and specialty awards at competitions throughout the province.
This past summer, Charli graduated from the ADAPT Teachers’ Training School. She continues to attend classes & workshops to keep her training current; most recently she attended the Vancouver Tap Festival and the Alberta Dance Teachers Convention in Edmonton. She furthers her knowledge of the Gilbert Tap syllabus through attending yearly Gilbert Tap teachers’ workshops.
Charli works in the office as ADA’s Company Coordinator, doing scheduling & administrative work for the studio’s competitive program, and also runs ADA’s Assistant Teacher & STEP programs.
Charli is now beginning her fourteenth season teaching at Alberta Dance Academy, and can’t wait to get back into the studio for another season with the ADA team!
Charlotte has taken a variety of conventions, classes, and intensives including the summer intensive program with the School of Alberta Ballet, and performing with the Alberta Dance Theater for Young People under the direction of Jennifer Mahood, and the Alberta Dance Educators Association conference. They also participate in Al Gilbert Tap Exams, and Royal Academy of Dance ballet exams.
Kelsey is a senior ADA Company dancer who is heading into her 2nd year as part of the ADA teaching team. She began dancing in Calgary at the age of 4 and later came to ADA where she has trained for the last 10 years in styles which include jazz, ballet, acro, lyrical & contemporary. Kelsey has trained in RAD Ballet, Acrobatic Arts & ADTA Acro.
As a competitive dancer she has competed throughout Alberta in groups and solos, winning many specialty & high-score solo awards. This past season Kelsey was awarded the “Most Outstanding Senior Dancer” award. She continues to supplement her weekly dance training by attending classes, workshops and conventions with many dance professionals, her most memorable being Bree Wasylenko. After spending 5 years training as an assistant teacher, Kelsey spent a year being mentored as a junior teacher.
Kelsey is looking forward to another season as a part of the ADA faculty and the opportunity to share her passion for dance with young dancers at ADA!
Tasha grew up dancing at the Alberta Dance Academy, and is proud to still have ADA in her life today. There are places and people that “feel like home” and the Alberta Dance Academy is one of those places for her.
Tasha is also a proud dance mom of an ADA Company Dancer, she can’t wait for another excitng season of competition!
This is Tasha’s 13th Season with ADA, and we would be lost without her amazing skill set! She is the face of ADA, instantly welcoming each performer and parent with her charasmatic ways.
Tasha has recently attended the Alberta Dance Teacher Association conference in Edmonton. She is also our Dancestudio Pro and Quickbooks Guru.
Chris is an ADA alumni who is heading into his first year as part of the ADA teaching team. He began dancing with ADA at the age of 7 and trained in jazz, ballet, contemporary, tap, and hip hop. With a love for hip hop, he now trains with a Calgary based company called illFX. With this year being his 4th, he is now part of Psi Crew. As a competitive dancer he has competed throughout Alberta with many groups and solos. He continues to train by attending classes and workshops with many dance professionals, his most memorable being Carlo Reyes and Carlo Atienza. Chris is looking forward to a great season as part of the ADA faculty and the opportunity to share his passion for dance with young dancers at ADA.
Emily was introduced to dance at 2 years old at a small studio in Calgary before she started dancing at the Alberta Dance Academy at age 3. In 2011, Emily began to dance competitively, training in styles that include ballet, jazz, tap, acro, contemporary, lyrical, and hip hop.
Throughout Emily´s years of dance, she has had the opportunity to do classes and workshops with many dance professionals, some of her most memorable being Saxon Fraser and Bree Wasylenko. Emily also had the opportunity to perform two contemporary pieces choreographed by Bree Wasylenko. She worked to further her acro training over the years through completing Acrobatique Exams and attending Acrobatique workshops. Emily has successfully completed her Advanced Level 1 Exam with the Royal Academy of Dance in ballet and is working towards her Grade 6 Gilbert Tap Exam this season. In Emily´s competitive dance career she has been awarded many high score & specialty awards for groups and solos she’s performed, including being invited to compete at the 5678 Showtime World Cup.
After spending many years training as an assistant teacher, this will be Emily´s first season teaching with Alberta Dance Academy! She is excited to be celebrating her 15th season dancing with ADA!
Kelsey is a senior ADA Company dancer who is heading into her 2nd year as part of the ADA teaching team. She began dancing in Calgary at the age of 4 and later came to ADA where she has trained for the last 10 years in styles which include jazz, ballet, acro, lyrical & contemporary. Kelsey has trained in RAD Ballet, Acrobatic Arts & ADTA Acro. As a competitive dancer she has competed throughout Alberta in groups and solos, winning many specialty & high-score solo awards. This past season Kelsey was awarded the “Most Outstanding Senior Dancer” award. She continues to supplement her weekly dance training by attending classes, workshops and conventions with many dance professionals, her most memorable being Bree Wasylenko. After spending 5 years training as an assistant teacher, Kelsey spent a year being mentored as a junior teacher. Kelsey is looking forward to another season as a part of the ADA faculty and the opportunity to share her passion for dance with young dancers at ADA!
Bri began her dance training with a small competitive studio in British Columbia. Her love of dance grew from there bringing her to Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles, Bri completed a certificate of dance program with the International Academy of Dance Hollywood. Bri trained across all genres and performed in pieces by Mackenzie Martin, Samm Price, and Amy Morgan. This training inspired Bri to move to Toronto and continue her professional dance career. While in Toronto she performed in various live events such as Fever After Dark (Kahvontay Slaughter, Indiance Mehta, Lindsay Aquin), Choreoball (Kathryn Miles), Let the Elephants Dance (Adam Martino), Rotary International Opening Ceremonies (Jessee Lee Santos), The Big Show Toronto (Ashley Schoffield/Opus Dance Collective), and more. Some highlight performances for Bri were The Introduction a full length show with Opus Dance Collective and choreographing and performing at the WISE International Women’s Day Event.
Bri moved to Calgary to diversify her training with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks. This past year Bri completed the professional training program. While in Calgary Bri filmed her first movie musical with Occasional Notes Productions in Candy Cane Kids. Bri continues to work with various companies throughout Calgary. With all her performance experience Bri has a love for sharing her knowledge with all dancers. She likes to challenge each dancer in her class to push themselves and find new depths within their movement. Bri is also a certified Acrobatic Arts Instructor and continues to further education through workshops and seminars.
Sean is the creator of VibeTribeYYC (est. 2013), and a founding member of The Tomorrows dance crew (est. 2012). His knowledge of music and movement is a direct result of his years of training in Flavorshop, a world-wide movement of like-minded artists created and developed by Lenny Len (Toronto). Sean started dancing at the age of 15 and has been involved in the dance community since as a choreographer, performer, and teacher. He has taught at multiple dance studios/programs in and around Calgary for the past 11 years working with recreational and competitive programs, as well as establishing VibeTribeYYC, a training program for current and aspiring Hip Hop dancers. Sean strives to affect artists and students alike, generating an enhanced understanding and mentality, as well as promoting growth and success through dance, music, and community.
Some credits include: Aboriginal People’s Choice Music Awards 2014 and Indspire 2014 (Inez Jasper), opening for Big Sean/Fetty Wap at Stampede 2017, opening for Juice Wrld at Stampede 2019, 10@10 Hip Hop events, back-up choreography for Yung Dre, choreography for Hayden McHugh’s music video “Take You” and Yung Dre’s “Dancing in the Mirror”, Dance Montage 2018, appearances in Make You A Star music videos (Lenny Len), back-up for Hayden McHugh at Calgary Pride events 2018-2020 as well as performances with Dance YYC, Unganisha, Troo Knot’s “Tungle” album release, Next Gen Film Festival, and “The Alley Party” at the Grand.
Courtney Niebergall ARAD RTS, has been a part of the ADA instructor team since 2003. Courtney is a Registered Teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance since 2006, and is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Theatre-Dance Performance program (2001).
She is a certified instructor of Progressing Ballet Technique, and has recently completed courses in Stress Management and Performance Anxiety, Health and Safety in the Dance Environment, and RAD syllabus. She holds the Advanced Certificate in CDTA Jazz and Tap exams, as well as the Grade 8 Award, and Advanced Certificate in RAD Ballet.
Ms. Courtney is looking forward to another amazing year with the wonderful students and staff at Alberta Dance Academy!
Lauren has been dancing for over 15 years, training in tap, jazz, ballet, hip hop, lyrical, and contemporary, with her greatest passion being for rhythm tap. She grew up dancing in Calgary, and while she was studying Kinesiology she’d spent some time training and performing with En Corps Dance Collective and Tri-Tone Rhythm Ensemble, and teaching her own classes.
She had taught dance for five years before moving to New Zealand for chiropractic school, where she continued taking dance classes and teaching. She now works as a chiropractor in Okotoks. She is excited to teach at ADA and share everything she has learned through her dance journey.
Heather is going on her third year teaching at the Alberta Dance Academy and is excited to be back for another year. She grew up taking both gymnastics and dance but fell in love with the art of dance at age 13 and has been passionate about sharing her love for it ever since. Heather is entering into her fourth year of university at Mount Royal and is working towards her Bachelor of Health and Physical Education. She has completed her Junior acrobatic instructor’s course with ADTA and is working on completing the next levels.
This is Robyn King Edgar’s third season teaching with Alberta Dance Academy and she is thrilled to be back in the classroom teaching dance classes and joining the learning Hub teaching team. Robyn graduated from the University of Calgary with a B.A. in Psychology and B.ED with a minor in Dance, and has worn many teaching hats over the years. She taught English as a second language in Spain, worked as a regular substitute teacher at Strathcona -Tweedsmuir School, Webber Academy and Edison School, worked at the Reading Foundation, and was a teacher at Rundle College Academy in Calgary. She specialized as a learning strategist at Rundle College implementing individualized learning plans for students with learning disabilities including phono graphics, visualization, verbalization techniques for reading and math. Robyn then took on the very rewarding challenge of owning a dance studio for 17 years in Calgary working with all ages in recreational and competitive programming and is a certified CDTA (Canadian Dance Teacher Association) teacher and loves teaching Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Tiny Tots Hip-Hop and Tiny Tots Acro. Last year Robyn became a certified yoga teacher and has loved sharing this beautiful discipline with her students. Robyn is really looking forward to connecting with students and families and helping to foster their mental and physical well-being at the studio.
Nicole has a Master’s of Public Administration and a BAH from Queen’s University. She has been teaching recreational and competitive dance for twenty five years to students age 3 to adult. Her training includes the ADAPT and Al Gilbert syllabus’ in Jazz and Tap, and the RAD syllabus in Ballet, as well as Lyrical, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre and Salsa.
Nicole is certified with Acrobatic Arts and Rhythm Works Integrative Dance. She is pursuing her NCCP certification as a trained gymnastics coach. Nicole also holds her yoga teacher certificate and is trained in restorative yoga with the Yoga Studio College of Canada.
Nicole has an extensive performance and teaching background. Her passion for dance has led her on many exciting journeys. She has researched Andean Cultural Dances in Cuzco, Peru for the World University Service of Canada and has traveled abroad as a performing cast member for Princess Cruise Lines. She has adjudicated dance competitions in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan and has represented the Calgary dance and fitness community as an ambassador for Lululemon Athletica. She has held the position of Conservatory Coordinator for the Fine Arts Conservatory at Grande Prairie Regional College and was the Artistic Director of Urban Dance Projects prior to joining Alberta Dance Academy.
Nicole enjoys teaching dance to all ages and levels and is thrilled to be a part of the ADA team this season.
Lorraine is excited to be back working as a Studio Administrator for Alberta Dance Academy. She is a proud dance mom of a 15 year old dancer, and a mama to a 12 year old son.
Lorraine is an Educational Assistant with the Foothills School Division working with high risk students. She has her Early Childhood Certification, First Aid Certification including First Responder, she also has NVCI (Non-Violent Crisis Training).
She has been happily married to Mr.Bills for 17 years, and looks forward to cheering on ADA this season!
Born in Calgary, Christahh became captivated by the art of dance at a young age. She has studied a variety of dance styles and is the recipient of scholarships from the Edmonton School of Ballet. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Dance Program at the University of Calgary with a focus on choreography and performance where she choreographed Indomitable Spirit (2016) and Essence of Humanity (2015). Christahh has had the privilege of working with a number of artists including Yung Dre, opening for Juice Wrld (2019) Big Sean and Fetty Wap (2017) Sabrina Naz at the Obsidian Awards (2016), Deanne Walsh in Ciclo De La Vida (2016), as well as dancing in Suite of Dreams (2014) originally choreographed by Hannah Stillwell. In 2014-2015 Christahh was a member of the pre-professional training company, SURGE, directed by Melissa Monteros and Wojciech Mochniej. In the summer of 2015, she was an intern with OYO (Ombetja Yehinga Organisation) dance troupe in Windhoek, Namibia where she contributed in the creation of Ania, a piece that tackles the issue of teen pregnancy. She has completed two years of the professional training program at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks and dances with a local hip-hop crew, The Tomorrows, under the direction of Lenny Len. Christahh is also the founder and designer for Dance YYC (www.danceyyc.ca) , an online platform providing free organized promotion for the Calgary dance community.
Theater credits include Rumpelstiltskin Revisited for Goodger-Pink Productions, Grey Matter for the Magic World Theatre, Titus Andronicus, Othello, The Queens and Richard lll for The Shakespeare Company, Love(her)/Fight(her) for Urban Curvz, King Lear for Theatre Prospero, Without You, Major Barbara, and Roberta Zucko for Studio Theatre, As You Like It for Free Will Shakespeare Festival, Blood Wedding and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for U of A, and Two Gentlemen of Verona and Romeo and Juliet for Shakespeare In The Park. Samantha has a diploma from the theatre program at Mount Royal College as well as a BFA degree in acting from the University of Alberta.
Kara is a Vancouver born dance artist graduated from the Arts Umbrella Professional Dance Program and is an alumnus of their Senior Dance Company. Her training took her to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Professional Summer Program, L’Ecole Superieure de Ballet du Quebec, the Banff Summer Training Program and Springboard Dance Montreal. As a performer, Kara apprenticed with Josh Beamish’s MOVE: the company and Amber Funk Barton’s the Response, toured Western Canada with Judith Marcuse’s interdisiplinary show Earth=Home and John Kaplan’s Fundraising Magic show. Kara received mentorship on her choreographic practice from Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg through the pilot project Art Police in 2013. Her work has been shown throughout Canada and she has been growing her choreographic practice in Calgary through residencies with W&M Physical Theatre, Theatre Junctions’s TJ Labs and Springboard Preformance’s contain. Kara as been teaching since the age of 15 and seeks to cultivate a love and respect for the work of dance in her students. She has taught all ages and skill levels across British Columbia and Alberta, setting choreography on advanced students and young professionals. She is a much sought after instructor and choreographer having worked with students at the Alberta Dance Academy, FreeHouse Dance Plus, Decidedly Jazz Dance Centre, Springbank Dancers, Counterpoint Dance Academy, Trip the Light Youth Company, Caulfield School of Dance and Danza.
Heather Herring grew up practising gymnastics at a national level with Calgary Acro. She later transitioned into dance at age 12, when she began dancing with Elite Dance Academy and studying jazz, acro, lyrical, modern, ballet and hip-hop.
In 2013, Heather had the opportunity to train and perform with the Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede as the city recovered from the major flood only weeks earlier. She was also given the privilege to attend the National Circus School’s summer intensive in Montreal on three separate occasions. While training at Elite, Heather completed her ISTD Advanced I Ballet and ISTD Intermediate Modern exams.
Since 2015, Heather has worked alongside the owner and manager of Acrobatique Acro Dance as an assistant teacher, demonstrator, and syllabus model. She is also in the process of completing her Junior Acrobatique certification.
Heather is currently a member of the Calgary Roughnecks Drill Crew. She is also a second-year student at Mount Royal University pursuing a degree in health and physical education with a speciality in physical literacy.This is Heather’s first full season teaching with Alberta Dance Academy. She is excited to get to know and work with the studio’s talented group of dancers.
Darlene Schmidt is a recognized teacher and musician. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Honours Music (Voice), Bachelor of Education from University of Western Ontario, and has Royal Conservatory of Music certificates in both Voice and Piano. She is a member of Alberta Registered Music Teachers Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Darlene has been publicly performing since the age of 5, bringing her smooth clear vocals and lyrical piano playing to churches, weddings, music festivals and recital halls. She has over 10 years of experience teaching voice and piano in music studios and her home studio. Her musical talent is complemented by 5 years as an elementary school teacher, teaching homeroom classes along with leading choirs, school concerts and ensembles. Darlene has extensive knowledge of music education philosophies and approaches including Orff and Kodaly methods. Darlene’s passion for music and movement is inspiring!
Chantelle graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in dance. She has traveled to New York, Las Vegas & Los Angeles to train and preform. Chantelle continues to take classes at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, Calgary, and Harbour Dance Centre, Vancouver. Chantelle is excited or her fourth year at ADA and looking forward to working with you!
Challen first started dancing in Calgary at the age of 5. By the time she was 8, she transitioned to a competitive gymnast. Some of her gymnastic accolades include P3 Novice Provincial Champion, 3rd Place on Beam, and 3rd place Team both in the Alberta Winter Games.
By age 14 she missed preforming on stage and decided to enroll into dance again. At age 16 Challen retired from gymnastics and took up competitive dancing at The Alberta Dance Academy at the recommendation of a friend. Since then she has trained in Hip Hop, Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Contemporary, and Acro. Additionally, Challen completed her Grade 5 Tap Exam through Al Gilbert and obtained her Level 1 Coaching certificate.
Challen recently ventured to Los Angeles to train at Millennium Dance Complex in their 6 month Certificate Program. There she took classes in Hip Hop, Jazz, Funk, Contemporary, Ballet, Tap, Grooves, Jazz, Turns, Popping an Locking. There she had the pleasure of working with many well-knows choreographers in the dance industry such as G Madison and Brinn Nicole, and performed at an NBA Clippers game in December along with various dance events in the Hollywood area.
Welcome back Miss Challen!
Bailey has spent fourteen years studying ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, contemporary and lyrical at Alberta Dance Academy. She has completed several RAD ballet and Al Gilbert tap exams. Currently Bailey is working to further her knowledge of the Al Gilbert Tap syllabus, working closely with Miss Charli, completing the teacher workshop, and becoming certified in the syllabus. Additionally, Bailey was a competitive dancer representing ADA for many years. Highlights include being invited to Dance world Cup and competing her tap solo at Nationals in Whistler BC. She has assisted a variety of classes over the past five years and is excited to be able to create a fun, active learning environment for her students this season!