1868 Spall Rd. Kelowna B.C.

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OUR FACULTY

Sam Crossley

Studio Director and Teacher

Specializing in Hip Hop, Jazz, Lyrical, Technique & Contemporary

Sam Crossley is a well-rounded and versatile dancer, teacher and choreographer who began her training here in Kelowna, British Columbia, over 15 years ago. Sam was the Artistic Director of Reflections Dance Studio, but has spent over a decade as a dedicated teacher and choreographer to the studio. As of summer 2018, she became the proud new owner of the studio and has rebranded it into "The Village Dance Academy". Her goal is to create a studio that values love, kindness, respect, diversity and community.

 

Upon graduating, Sam moved to Portland, OR to further her training and open herself up to new and challenging experiences. She studied under Lorena Aranda and was invited to be a part of her Company, “Moveo”. She studied ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap and hip hop 6 days a week and would perform around thePacific Northwest in various showcases with other

professionals.

After her days in Portland came to an end, she went to pursue her dream of dancing with the world-renowned Hip Hop Company, GRV. During her time with the company, they placed 2nd in the World at Hip Hop International in 2012 and came out with two 1st place wins at World of Dance LA. The international exposure became greater and they eventually traveled as a team to Sweden to perform at the Hip Drop in summer of 2013. Her experience in L.A. ranged from community hip hop competitions to industry

work, performing for Nike NBA events and dancing in T.V. pilots and music videos.

When Sam made her move back to her hometown, she began to broaden her horizons and became a CrossFit Trainer. With this new-found love and passion for health and fitness, developed a greater and more in depth understanding of the human body, as well as proper human movement. She is a big fan of quality over quantity and making sure that dancers are always taking the proper steps before trying to dive into something their bodies are potentially not ready for. With 10+ years of

teaching experience, both recreational to professional, she understands the importance of developing a strong foundation and that passion, determination and attitude are everything.

 

Some of her most recent successes include choreographing for Team Canada Hip Hop, as well as creating and leading her own hip hop team “Sockeye” to be internationally recognized. Sam will continue to travel around to share her passion and love for dance whenever the opportunity arises.

Kayla Hanson  

Teacher

Specializing in Ballet - NBS TTP (DIP), RAD RTS

Kayla began her dance training in her home town of Grande Prairie, Alberta where she studied Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern and Lyrical.  After teaching for several years in Grande Prairie, Kayla was accepted into the Teacher Training Program at Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto, Ontario where she continued her dance education.  Kayla graduated from the Teacher Training Program in June 2014 with distinction and was the recipient of the Carole Chadwick award.  Throughout her studies, Kayla has gained a vast knowledge in RAD, Cecchetti, pedagogy, modern ISTD National character, anatomy, early childhood development, dance history and music theory.  Upon graduation Kayla taught Ballet for 2 years on beautiful Vancouver Island before her two passions of travel and teaching took her abroad for two years to Beijing, China.  Kayla is a passionate teacher who enjoys sharing her love of dance with students of all abilities and ages.  She holds her registered teachers status with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), as well as her teaching qualification with the Imperia Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), National Branch. 

Julia Mitchell

Teacher 

Specializing in Jazz & Tap

Julia Mitchell began her dance training at Steps Dance Centre in Trail, British Columbia. She studied intensively in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, Modern, Hip-Hop and Musical Theatre. With Steps Dance Company she performed and competed in cities across Canada, the United States and Mexico. During these years she also qualified for the BC Provincial Festival of the Arts in both modern and stage and participated in the Modern III category in 2011. After high school and during her post-secondary studies Julia gained experience teaching dance and performing with EnCorps Dance Collective and Trip the Light Dance Company. This past June Julia received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a concentration in choreography and performance through the University of Calgary. There she furthered her dance education learning from guest artists and professors from across the globe, including performing a contemporary piece by Peggy Baker. Julia is excited to make the move from Calgary and share her newfound knowledge and appreciation for dance in the Okanagan.

Emily Wikenheiser

Teacher

Specializing in Contemporary, Jazz & Technique

Emily Wikenheiser began dancing in Kelowna, British Columbia when she was three years old. She really started taking it seriously when she turned nine, taking more classes at the age of twelve, studying in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary and Flamenco. Within the last ten years, she has travelled to Los Angeles, Vancouver, and Toronto to perform and train with professional dancers and choreographers from around the world. Most recently, she traveled to Toronto to perform and receive training from the instructors from The National Ballet of Canada, Centennial College, George Brown College, Toronto Dance Theatre, ProArteDanza, and Randolph Academy. She has also recently had the opportunity to perform in the Lady of the Lake pageant, alongside many amazing artists. She deeply fell in love with choreographing while she was still in high school, as she assisted on choreography and choreographed her own individual pieces. Her passion and love for dance, teaching and movement continues to grow as she continues to learn more about the world of dance and the joys of being able to share it with people that surround her. We are pleased to welcome her to the VDA team.

Noelle Lownsbrough

Teacher

Specializing in Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical & Ballet

Noelle began her dance training in 2003 and continued her training at Reflections Dance Studio until 2018. She has trained is many styles including Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Hip-Hop. From 2011 to 2017 she danced with the Elite Company Competitive Program, competing on award winning teams in many cities across Canada and the United States, . She was also a member of the Elite Company Competitive Hip-Hop Team Sockeye for three years. Because of these programs Noelle has had many opportunities to perform at community events and fundraisers locally. She also began volunteering as an assistant dance teacher in 2012 and has continued through her graduation in 2018. Through this she discovered her passion for teaching and for dance. 

 

Noelle is so grateful for the many opportunities that dance has provided her, including travelling to Las Vegas to train at the Velocity season finale. She is also grateful and touched to have been awarded the Lisa Chrenek Memorial Award in 2015. Noelle is a passionate and positive individual who has loved assistant teaching the past six years and is beyond excited to continue discovering her passion for teaching this year. She looks forward to giving the love that dancing has given her back to her students and to the studio. 

Elena D'Archangelo

Teacher

Specializing in Hip Hop

Elena has loved dance ever since she can remember. She has extensive training in all genres of dance but her passion has always been Hip Hop.

Elena’s Hip Hop experience has given her the opportunity to receive in-depth training in all styles of Hip Hop, including Popping, Old School, New School, Waacking, and Krump, from various highly respected and well-known choreographers in the industry. She was part of Kool Kidz for 4 years under the direction of Paul Otterbein and then joined Street Kings Dance Academy in Vancouver, in 2013, when it first opened its doors learning from Paul Otterbein, Daryll Johnson and Michael Delleva.  At Street Kings she was part of the internationally recognized “Dominuss” Varsity Crew as well as the nationally recognized “Knights” Mega-Crew. With Dominuss she competed at Nationals for 3 consecutive years and at HHI in Las Vegas in 2016. During this time, Elena was also a part of the Canadian National Hip Hop team on 3 different occasions, representing her country at the IDO Championships in Germany, Italy and Denmark winning a Silver Medal in 2015. This past year Elena has been training at A3 District in Vancouver,  owned and operated by Jane Marlinga (Diamonds in the Rough) and Roberta Bierman (Diamonds in the Rough and Director of TwoFourSeven Company).  She also part of the TwoFourSeven varsity group, “Infinity”, training under the direction of internationally celebrated choreographer, Carlo Atienza, director of TwoFourSeven Company. 

Elena has found a love for teaching and has taught Hip Hop to all age groups and ability levels, from beginner to elite. Elena has a passion for learning, leadership, and all styles of dance, and is very excited to be dancing and teaching at The Village.

Vickie Gionet

Teacher

Specializing in Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary and Technique

Vickie began her dance training in Caraquet, New-Brunswick where she was born and raised. At age 9 she started her competitive career specializing in Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Acro and Hip-Hop with École de danse Tempsdem, where they trained, competed and performed in city’s all around Canada, the United States and Europe. 

Vickie started teaching at the young age of 15, where she fell in love with leading a class and being able to share her passion with other dancers. This step lead her to open her own dance studio in 2013 back in New-Brunswick.

The studio was highly recognized and awarded by many competitions around the east coast, year after year.  One of her greatest accomplishments was when she took her students to Nice, France where they studied different techniques with the industries top teachers from around the world. Vikidanza Dance Studio was a great success for four years, before she decided to move to beautiful Kelowna, B.C. to follow her dreams. 

 

After moving, Vickie started teaching various dance programs in northern B.C. before finally settling in Kelowna and having the opportunity to teach and be apart of the VDA team. We are incredibly excited to welcome her to our team.  

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