Instructors

Michelle McMillan
Ballet, Jazz, Pilates, Explore Dance

Red leaf

Michelle has been a part of the Youth Ballet family since 2008, as an instructor and now as Artistic Director. She is happy to be able to share her knowledge with the students of Youth Ballet, for dance has always been her deep passion. Michelle trained in numerous dance forms with a primary focus on the Vaganova style of classical ballet. She studied near her hometown in Southern California, with several instructors including Tania Lichine, one of George Balanchine’s original “baby ballerinas”.  At the age of 18, Michelle was awarded an apprenticeship at the prestigious Kirov Ballet Academy. After dancing in a few regional ballet companies in California, Michelle began a career in Musical Theatre, utilizing her studies in Jazz, Tap and Vocal Music.

Michelle spent the next 10 years dancing throughout the United States and Europe. Some of her favorite credits include: 5 years as one of the famous Radio City Rockettes; Equity productions of The Will Rogers’ Follies, Annie Get Your Gun; fire-eater with Penn & Teller in Las Vegas; and an adage specialty act that combined pas de deux and acrobatics. Michelle’s favorite role was her last, for it was where she met her husband. More recently, Michelle has become a certified Stott Pilates method instructor, for she whole-heartedly believes that the conditioning creates stronger dancers and helps prevent the reoccurrence of injuries. Michelle looks forward to broadening her knowledge, helping others find the joy in dance, and supporting our youth to follow their dreams.

Glen Curtis
Ballet

Glen Curtis was born in Saskatoon Red leaf and took his first Ballet Classes at the University School of Ballet under the direction of Sonja Barton. After attending the National Ballet School in Toronto, Mr. Curtis had a long and successful in career in Germany first as a dancer and then as a teacher.

In 2014, Glen became a Royal Academy of Dance Certified Instructor. Mr. Curtis was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to work with many different choreographers and in a wide spectrum of various styles of dance. This has led him to a great appreciation of dance in all its forms and a firm belief in the importance of a strong Classical Ballet foundation.

 

Caitlin Coflin
Modern, Conditioning

Caitlin Coflin has been involved with dance Red leaf in Regina for many years, and began teaching at Youth Ballet and Contemporary Dance of Saskatchewan in 2010. Caitlin completed her Post-Secondary training in Winnipeg, Manitoba and received her BA Honours in Dance from the University of Winnipeg in affiliation with the Professional Program of the School of Contemporary Dancers. Since returning to Regina, Caitlin has worked as a professional dancer with Robin Poitras’ company Rouge-Gorge and has been giving the opportunity to present her own work through New Dance Horizon’s Blueprint Series. Most recently, Caitlin has started to collaborate with fellow dancers Michelle Korpan, Roxanne Korpan, Katrina Currie and Connie Moker Wernikowski. Caitlin has studied the Bartenieff Fundamentals with Bill Evans to develop her teaching skills, dance technique and choreographic style.

Armando Bottaro
Boys Program, Modern
Red leaf

Armando started his dance studies in his home city, Siracusa, Italy studying under Neva Dimova, former first dancer for The Opera Theatre in Sofia, Bulgary. After winning a scholarship to the prestigious A.I.D (Italian Dance Association) he moved to Rome to continue his studies in the disciplines of Vaganova Ballet, Pas De Deux, Louis Falco Modern, Alvin Ailey Modern and Horton Modern. He proceeded to work with the OFF JAZZ Company in Nice, France studying Matt Maddox Jazz, Limon Modern, Tap and choreography training. Following France, Armando worked and completed his studies in classical ballet, pas de deux, repertoire and character work, receiving his ballet diploma with The Company Classical Ballet Association of Reggio Emilia under the direction of Liliana Cosi and Marinel Stefanescu. Armando has worked for many companies and theatres in Italy including: National Ballet Company, New Euroballet Company, Renato Greco Dance Company, Mvula Sungani Italian Dance Theatre, Ballet of Naples, Rome Opera Theatre, Greek Theatre of Siracusa, In Scena Opera Company, and Spazio Dance Company; as well as teaching and choreographing around Sicily and Italy. For five years he performed for Royal Caribbean International, having the opportunity to travel the world learning other cultures and styles of dance. This is where he met his wife, Chrissy, a dancer from Regina. Armando and Chrissy retired from the professional life and chose to settle down here in Saskatchewan where they have since choreographed for the Olympic Torch Relay, Hillberg & Berk, and their greatest accomplishment – their daughter Lola.

 

Paula Skotnitsky
Modern, Adapted, Explore Dance

Paula has trained in Yorkton, Red leaf in British Columbia with Victoria Arts Collaborative, in Regina with Youth Ballet, and numerous workshops over the years. She has a degree in Arts Education and has completed a certificate in Special Education from the University of Regina. Paula has presented her own solo work at both the Stream of Dance Festival and the W.I.P Series (Saskatoon). As well as teaching dance for Youth Ballet, she has also choreographed for the Youth Ballet company. Paula teaches full time for Regina Catholic Schools.

 

Claire Castle
Jazz, Hip Hop

Red leaf

Claire was born and raised in Regina and began training in music and dance at the age of eight. She studied piano and voice as well as trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, and hip hop at Applause Dance Academy and Saskatchewan Express Musical Theatre Studio. After performing with Saskatchewan Express for four seasons, she started teaching and has never looked back. Claire’s teaching experiences include choreographing for local theatre, choreographing four musicals for Luther College High School as well as coaching their dance team for seven years, directing the Mini Express and the Expressions, instructing Le Campagnole Italian Dancers, and teaching hip hop, musical theatre, and jazz at both Saskatchewan Express and Youth Ballet. Claire currently holds her coaching and judging certification from the Saskatchewan Cheerleading Association, Zumba Certification, and a BA in Psychology from the University of Regina. Claire is currently a student at the University of Regina completing her degree in Education.

Lauren Palmer
Pre-Ballet

Red leaf

Lauren began dancing at the age of four at Myers Dance Centre and Class Act Performing Arts Studios. She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and contemporary. Lauren has a Degree in Arts Education from the University of Regina and is currently teaching in Regina Public Schools. She also holds an Enriched Performing Arts Diploma from The Canadian College of Performing Arts, in Victoria, where she studied dance, voice, physical theatre, acting, and screen acting. Lauren has performed with The Victoria Symphony, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty, and The Moscow Ballet’s Swan Lake when they came to Regina. Lauren has taught  ballet, pointe, jazz, and lyrical at Saskatchewan Express Musical Theatre Studio and with the Silton Silhouettes. She has also performed with Saskatchewan Express and is currently involved in community theatre. Her latest roles have been in ensemble for Sterling Production’s Rock of Ages and as a dancer in Regina Summer Stage’s production of Footloose.

 

Susan Freitag
Yoga

Red leaf

Susan’s passion for yoga began when she first stepped on a yoga mat 13 years ago. This love led her to become a certified yoga teacher and begin teaching yoga to both adults and children. She has taught throughout Regina, sharing the opportunity for students to explore body, mind and spirit through movement and breath in an accepting, supportive and peaceful environment. It is her desire that her students find yoga to be a tool they can use to bring fullness to everyday living.

A mom to a beautiful boy, Bert (3), Susan has observed how dance enhances self-esteem, self-discipline, artistry, strength, coordination and cooperation in children. With her experience in teaching preschool and yoga for kids, she is excited to teach Rhythm and Movement to young children who are brimming over with joy and wonder.

Susan is very enthusiastic to share her love of Yoga movement and creativity with all ages this year at Youth Ballet

 

Jessica Hickie
Rhythm and Movement, Pre-Ballet, Modern

Red leaf

Jessica Hickie comes from Melville, Saskatchewan.  She has taken dance classes since she was five years old with the Melville Dance Association, and is currently attending the University of Regina. She is in Arts Education and is majoring in dance and minors in literature. She has also taught a spring dance camp at the Conservatory in Regina. Dance is a great passion of hers, and she wishes to be able to share the joy of dance with others.

Jessica wishes for her students to explore their imaginations within her class. With this they will learn basic movements, and understand rhythms within music. Overall she wishes for her student to learn that dance is fun!

Barb Cameron
Primary Ballet, Adult Ballet

Red leaf

Barb Cameron has a long history with Youth Ballet. She has been teaching ballet classes for more than 20 years at the school, and has had the pleasure of seeing many of her former students follow careers in dance and become community leaders in other fields.  In 2010 Barb took on the role of Executive Director of the school, a position she held for two years.  Now retired from the administrative side of the studio, Barb continues to teach adult and children’s ballet classes.   A graduate of the Royal Ballet School in London, England, Barb immigrated to Canada when she was 20 and took her teacher training at the Ottawa Dance Centre. Moving to Regina in 1980 she took further training at summer courses at the National Ballet School and Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Before joining the Youth Ballet, Barb had been Artistic Director of Regina Modern Dance Works School for six years, as well as being ballet instructor at the Conservatory of Music and Dance, University of Regina.  She was a repetiteur for the Alberta Ballet Company’s annual production of the Nutcracker Ballet for several years, as well as for the Moscow Ballet’s production of Swan Lake.  Barb has a long list of positions held on artistic boards of directors, including Saskatchewan Arts Board, Dance Saskatchewan, Sask. Culture, Theatre Regina, Regina Children’s Festival and the Regina Arts Commission among others.

 

Brittany Garrett
Ballet, Jazz

Brittany was bornRed leaf and raised in Regina. She started dancing at the Youth Ballet and Contemporary Dance of Saskatchewan at the age of three. She is trained in ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary and jazz. She was also part of the Performing Company. Brittany has completed up to her Advanced 1 Ballet exam in the Royal Academy of Dance. She started teaching at the Youth Ballet as a class assistant and then continued onto a teaching role. Brittany moved to Trail, BC in 2013 and enjoyed teaching at Steps Dance Centre until 2015. She is pleased to be back to teach at the Youth Ballet Company and is looking forward to seeing her past student, families and to meet many more!

 

 

 

Carleigh Macdonald
Pre-Ballet, Primary Ballet,  Ballet, Modern, Jazz

Carleigh beganRed leaf dancing at Youth Ballet at the age of 5, and continues to dance. Carleigh was a member of the Youth Ballet Company of Saskatchewan for over 7 years, where she toured rural Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, and performed with Cite Ballet in Edmonton. In 2013, Carleigh had the pleasure of attending the Aberdeen International Youth Festival in Scotland, with 12 other Youth Ballet Company dancers. Carleigh has studied ballet, modern, jazz, voice work, and flamenco, while having the opportunity to work with world-renowned teachers and choreographers. After graduating from the school, she has worked professionally with local artists including Connie Moker Wernikowski, in her show entitled Sixty-Forty. In 2014 she was able to perform in the Globe Theatre’s Sandbox Series show, Rael’s Journey, with fellow Youth Ballet Alum. After being an assistant ballet teacher with the Youth Ballet, Carleigh is thrilled to become a member of the faculty. Carleigh is currently an Arts Student at the University of Regina, and continues to work as an independent dance artist.

Michelle Korpan
Ballet

Michelle Korpan is a contemporary dance artist from Regina, Saskatchewan. She studied with Youth Ballet and Contemporary Dance of Saskatchewan (Youth Ballet) for over a decade, was a member of the Youth Ballet Company of Saskatchewan from 2002 to 2012, and was part of the Youth Ballet teaching staff from 2011 to 2014. She has worked with many dance, performance, voice, and visual artists, and has performed in numerous dance festivals, community events, and performances throughout Saskatchewan. In recent years Michelle has performed with Robin Poitras’ Rouge-gorge company, in works by Connie Moker Wernikowski and by Caitlin Coflin, and in a collaborative project with Caitlin Coflin and Roxanne Korpan as part of New Dance Horizons’ House of Dance and Blueprint series. Michelle completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in religious studies at the University of Regina in 2013 and graduated from the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan in the spring of 2017. She has returned to Regina to work as a student at law at the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan and is excited to again be teaching with Youth Ballet.

 

 

Alice Gabriel
Rhythm & Movement

Red Leaf Alice began dance at the age of 3 in small town roots, starting in Ballet.  She attended numerous summer schools for dance and was in the Royal Winnipeg Ballet summer school at the age of 10 and the following year accepted into the Yorkshire Ballet School in England.

From there she was inspired by her instructor to go farther in other areas of dance. Modern/Contemporary became her biggest love. She attended the Youth Ballet Company of Saskatchewan for her senior years and after graduating high school, attended Grant McEwan in Edmonton to take the Contemporary Dance program.

Alice became fascinated with the Human body so continued her studies in Massage Therapy to further educate herself on how the body moves, what it needs to stay healthy and how to prevent and help in the healing process with dance related injuries.

Alice also became heavily involved and completely in Love with Middle Eastern Dance and the local groups. Later she joined the professional  Tribal style dance group, “Beduins of the Red Tent”, to perform at numerous shows and events, and to teach others in this style so as to educate them the true meaning of “Belly Dance” and how the fluidity of the body can move and take shape in another form of Beautiful expression.

Dance has been one of the most pivotal and influential part of her life. It’s Alice’s dream to continue to expose others to the many dance forms and enjoyment of dance at all levels and ages.