Mel Brown ARAD, RAD RTS
After completing her teachers training course at the Hammond School in Chester, England where she became an Associate of the Royal Academy of Dancing Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, Natural Movement and Stage Branch divisions, Mel went on to teach in Chester, Edinburgh and Southport. At the invitation of Gweneth Lloyd and Betty Farrally, Mel emigrated to Canada in 1969 and began teaching at The Canadian School of Ballet. She obtained an Advanced Teachers Certificate in 1973 and in 1976 became a Children’s Examiner for the Royal Academy of Dancing. She examined extensively across Canada, and in England. Mel was the co-owner/director of The Canadian School of Ballet from 1986 to 2011. Mel, along with Lori Larson, are the founding members of Generation II Dance Society, Okanagan Summer Dance Intensive and The Nutcracker. They are also founding members of Ballet Kelowna, a turning point which not only affects the lives of all patrons of the arts but serves as a significant educational key for young students in training here.
Chris Larsen RAD PDTD, RAD RTS
Chris is a graduate of the National Ballet School of Canada and has over 15 years of experience in international ballet companies around the world. Dancing with Ballett-Art François Klaus in Switzerland, the Hong Kong Balletandthe prestigious Birmingham Royal Ballet where he danced for 10 years and retired in the position of Soloist.He danced ina large range of rolesfrom corps de balletthrough to principle parts in many of the great classics as well numerous new works, and also had the opportunity to have roles created on him. Throughout his career he had the opportunity to be on many international tours and dance in international Galas. While being a member of BRB Chris led and was a part of many outreach projects with the companies Education Department, educating audiences and introducing dance to schools and youth groups. Since retiring from professional dance, Chris received The Professional Dancers Teaching Diploma from the Royal Academy of Dance and returned home to British Columbia. For the last 2 years he has taught at the Sundance Summer School in Toronto as well as other summer intensives in Vancouver, Kelowna and Prince George and has just recently adjudicated at the DanceWorks Victoria Festival.
Emma Donley ARAD, RAD RTS
Emma started ballet at a very young age, training in the R.A.D. (Royal Academy of Dance) Ballet method, Emma achieved the highest level examination (Advanced 2) in 2002. She received scholarships to train at summer schools with the Alberta Ballet School, Ballet Magnificat!(Jackson, Mississippi) and the Banff Centre for the Arts. Emma has had the opportunity to work with many great instructors such as Lisette Salgado and David Lucas (Royal Winnipeg Ballet), Susan Toumine (Banff Centre for the Arts), Annette Av Paul (Banff Centre for the Arts), Mel Brown (Canadian School of Ballet), Loretta Lachner, and David LaHay (Ballet Kelowna) and has performed with Velocity Dance Company, Josh Beamish, a demi-soloist role with Ballet Kelowna in "La Sylphide", and the role of Sugar Plum Fairy at the Canadian School of Ballet's Nutcracker. Emma began teaching in 1997, and was inspired to enter the R.A.D. Teaching Certificate Program under the direction of Penny Hudson (Dance Works Academy) and Mel Brown (The Canadian School of Ballet), attaining her R.A.D Teaching Certificate in 2001. Since then, Emma has been successfully entering students for R.A.D. exams from grades 1 through Advanced 2 and entering students for dance competitions. Emma has developed her teaching by attending many workshops taught by R.A.D. examiners as well as a 3 day intensive with R.A.D. Artistic Director Lynn Wallis. Emma has been teaching at CSB since 2000 and recently joined the artistic staff to reconstruct CSB's Nutcracker. Emma has a passion for choreography and for seeing each dancer she teaches to reach their full potential.
Joanna Lige - Modern
Joanna is from Kelowna B.C. She received her early training at the Canadian School of Ballet completing her R.A.D. Advanced 2 Exam and competing at the B.C. Festival of the Arts in Modern. After summer programs at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, and Banff Centre for the Arts, she pursued her diploma in dance from the School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s Professional Training Program. Upon graduation she moved back to Kelowna and began performing with the Velocity Dance Company for 2 seasons. Joanna also participated in two summer programs with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks in 2007 and 2012. Joanna has been teaching dance for over 10 years in various styles. She has received numerous choreography awards for her work as well as having her students achieve highly at festivals around the province.