Instructors

Michelle McMillan
Ballet, Jazz, Explore Dance

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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, Royal Academy of Dance Program

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, Ballet

Caitlin Coflin has been involved with dance Red leaf in Regina for many years, and began teaching at Youth Ballet 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
Modern
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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. And their greatest accomplishments – their daughters Lola and Stella.

Paula Skotnitsky
Adult Modern

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

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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 a teacher with Regina Public Schools.

 

Jessica Anderson
Pre-School Dance, Pre-Ballet

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Jessica Anderson is from Melville, Saskatchewan. While she was growing up she trained in ballet, tap and modern jazz. While dancing she participated in Royal Academy of Dance ballet exams. Dance is her passion and she finds joy within movement. At the age of 12 she became an assistant dance teacher. Her passion for dance and teaching led her to further her interests in the Art Education Program at University of Regina. She has successfully received her education degree with a major in dance and a minor in elementary literature. Currently she is a teacher at Youth Ballet of Saskatchewan and Regina Public School Division. Dance is a great passion of hers, and she wishes to be able to share the joy of dance with others!

 

Barb Cameron
Ballet and Adult Ballet

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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.

Hannah Castle
Jazz

Hannah Castle started her training in Regina, SK at the age of seven. The majority of her dance training was done at Applause Dance Academy where she completed her CDTA examinations in Jazz and Tap and her ballet examinations with The Royal Academy of Dance. Hannah trained in Musical Theatre and Voice with The Mini Express and Expressions and Saskatchewan Express. Following her love of Musical Theatre, Hannah attended The Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, BC and graduated in 2010. She then proceeded to Vancouver to train at Harbour Dance Centre in the Intensive Training Program. Finishing her studies on the west coast, Hannah has been back teaching in Saskatchewan since May of 2013. Hannah love for teaching includes styles such as ballet, tap, jazz and musical theatre. She has also worked as a choreographer with Regina Summer Stage, Regina Little Theatre, Saskatchewan Express and local studios from around the province. She has had the privilege to dance with The Great Russian Moscow Ballet, Johnny Reed, The Victoria Symphony Orchestra and was a member of Dance Team Saskatchewan and was awarded “Best Overall Dancer” at the CDTA Diamond Jubilee. Hannah also enjoys adjudicating dance competitions around the province and volunteering in her community and can’t wait to watch her students shine this year.

 

Alice Gabriel
Pre-School Dance, Explore Dance

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.

 

Jacqui Dumont
Yoga

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Jacqui has joined the staff at Youth Ballet of Saskatchewan in the fall of 2018 and is teaching Yoga. Yoga practice has been a part of Jacqui’s life over most of her adult life and she began instructing in 2004. The Asana (poses) practice and body awareness led by the breath invite your mind to settle into your body. Yoga is a lifestyle that calms our mind, strengthens our body and brings stillness to our world.
Jacqui is a certified Yoga Instructor, A Certified Group Fitness Leader (SPRA), Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Wellness Specialist with Canadian Fitness Professionals. Fitness and Wellness are a passion for Jacqui, and her goal is to deliver safe and effective classes in a user friendly environment.

 

Tanisha Sarty
Ballet

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I began dancing at Youth Ballet when I was three years old, training in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern and voice work. During my time as a student, I completed my RAD exams up to Advanced 2. I was a member of the Youth Ballet Company for 5 years, where I had opportunities to perform around Saskatchewan at many events such as Telemiracle and the daCi Canada Conference. At 16 years old I became an assistant dance teacher and discovered my love for teaching.

I have been able to participate in several dance workshops across Canada, including summer programs at the School of Alberta Ballet and Ballet Jörgen. In 2017, I studied dance at Ryerson University in Toronto. Returning home to Regina, I also returned to Youth Ballet to continue my dance career as a teacher.

I am currently a Kinesiology student at the University of Regina, majoring in human kinetics.

 

Vanessa Borges
Hip Hop

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Vanessa is looking forward to joining the Youth Ballet family this season to continue to develop our dancers in Hip Hop! She began her dance training at the age of three in Edmonton, Alberta where she studied all styles of dance. When her studio began offering hip hop classes, she immediately fell in love and the style has been her focus for over 15 years. The bulk of Vanessa’s training took place at 3rd Street Beat studios, where she was educated in all styles of foundational hip hop. She has also had the opportunity to travel on numerous occasions to learn from some of the industry’s top choreographers across Canada and the United States.

Vanessa formerly trained and performed with Edmonton based hip hop crew “YegrBombs” alongside some of the city’s most experienced dancers and instructors. She spent 4 seasons on the Edmonton Eskimo Cheer Team and also directed the new Edmonton Eskimos “Esks Force Hype Team” in 2018. She has recently relocated to Regina and will be the Head Coach of the Riders Cheer Team this season.

Vanessa is a passionate dancer and dance instructor who strives to bring the best out of her students in every way. She believes that dance class teaches lessons that expand far beyond the steps learned. Her goal is to create not only great dancers, but students who are empowered, confident team players who benefit in all areas of their lives from the lessons they learn in dance.

 

Kelsi Kerestesh
Pre-School Dance, Pre-Ballet
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Kelsi Kerestesh studied dance from the age of three at the Melville Dance association. There she trained in ballet, pointe, lyrical, and jazz. She completed a week long teaching seminar at the Royal Winnipeg ballet school, and an assistant teacher in Melville. After graduation teaching for two years at Kids Can Dance in Regina. She continued to include her love of dance and performing while at school at Into His Harvest Bible school, dancing and singing for church events and school programs in England and Ireland.

Kelsi also has a passion for painting and music and has enjoyed being a member of the Halcyon chamber choir in Regina.

After having two beautiful children and enjoying life as a stay at home mom, Kelsi is excited to begin teaching again with Youth Ballet of Saskatchewan.

 

Emma Driedger

Ballet

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Emma started her ballet classes at the Youth Ballet when she was three years old. During her time as a young student, she participated in performances with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the Alberta Ballet when they were on tour across Canada. She also had the opportunity to dance in the daCi international conference as well as work with New Dance Horizons.

At age nine Emma went for her first summer program at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. After spending three full summers at the RWB, Emma was accepted for a full year with a scholarship at age twelve.

After her time at the RWB, Emma came back to Regina to finish her RAD examinations up to Advanced 2 with distinction. During this time she competed in many ballet competitions across Saskatchewan for group variations as well as solos. For four summers, Emma also trained at the Banff Centre where she was awarded a Youth Excellence Scholarship with RBC.

Having the opportunity to share her love of dance and music with others is very rewarding. Being able to help and inspire the young students is one of Emma’s passions. Continuing this passion with where she first started as a child will be a beautiful experience.