Alana Collins (AIDT Honours)
Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Musical Theater, Adult Classes.
Alana began dancing in the Comox Valley before furthering her training in all styles at The Parksville Ballet School, training under the direction of masters like Bev Aitchison & Joe Laughlin. She was also a member of Dancestreams. Miss Collins was an original member of Rainbow Youth Theater, learning all aspects of production from Carol Coulson & Sid Williams. Alana received the bulk of her teacher training from the National Ballet School of Canada, where she studied various styles of dance. She was fortunate enough to be able to work with many amazing dancers including Peggy Baker, Frank Augustyn, and Margie Gillis. She then moved on to become VISD’s rehearsal mistress for their production of The Nutcracker, working with youth and dancers from Ballet BC. Alana spent 11 years as CYMC’s resident choreographer for several musical theatre productions, including Cabaret, Chicago, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Guys & Dolls. She is the current owner/operator of Portside Academy of Performing Arts. Alana believes that nurturing our love of art through encouragement, artistry, & hard work creates success.
Mary-Louise Albert: Modern/Contemporary Performing Arts Levels 7
MARY-LOUISE ALBERT was the Artistic Managing Director of the Norman Rothstein Theatre and the Chutzpah! Festival from 2005-2020. She worked for 20 years nationally and internationally as a solo dance artist and as a company member with the Judith Marcuse Dance Company, Anna Wyman Dance Theatre, and Karen Jamieson Dance Company, as well as apprenticing with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Albert has performed work by choreographers such as Mark Morris, Crystal Pite, Lar Lubovitch, Robert North, Serge Bennathan, Allen Kaeja, Judith Marcuse, Grant Strate, Peter Bingham, Tedd Robinson, Judith Garay and Christopher House. She’s been on staff as a contemporary dance teacher at Arts Umbrella, Harbour Dance Centre, Goh Ballet, sessional instructor at Simon Fraser University and has adjudicated dance throughout Western Canada. Transitioning from professional dance at the age of 46, she won the nationally-awarded Eric Bruhn Memorial Award from the Dancer Transition Resource Centre to attend the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s School of Business and Capilano University, graduating with a Post Diploma of Technology in Business Administration and an Advanced Arts and Entertainment Management Diploma. She is the recipient of the 2011 Canada Council for the Arts John Hobday Award for Excellence in Arts Management, BCIT School of Business Dean’s Award and has received numerous creation and production grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the BC Arts Council. Now based in Sointula, on the unceded Kwakwaka’wakw territories of the ‘Namgis, Kwakiutl, and Mamalilikala Nations, Albert has established a dance organization, BC Movement Arts Society (BCMAS), to develop professional dance presentations and artists residencies for rural BC. BCMAS’s first annual contemporary dance series featuring Canadian and international dance artists starts in January 2022.
Estella Collins: Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Hip-Hop, Adult Classes
Estella's first performance was at the age of 2 1/2 years, at Vancouver Island School of Dance, and began Musical Theater at the age of 4, with Rainbow Youth Theatre and Co-Val Choristers. Her early years were spent at Valley Dance Center, Gemini Dance Studios, and Pat Pantuso Dancers. The bulk of her Ballet training has been at Portside Academy of Performing Arts in Port McNeill. Estella has worked with several professionals over the years, and was a member of True Colours Youth Dance Company in 2013. She is experienced in several styles of dance. Estella is excited to be on board again this year, where she will be teaching most of the studio's Jazz program.