Gemma Stefan, Owner and ARTISTIC director
BA jazz theatre studies, RAD ballet, Acrobatic arts
Gemma Stefan was born in Southampton UK and trained as a professional dancer in ballet, jazz, contemporary and musical theatre at London Studio Centre UK, graduating with a BA Honours. After graduating she pursued a performing career in a variety of production shows on board European and American cruise lines. In 2007, Gemma worked in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Buffalo, New York in a spectacular called Le Grande Cirque. She has also had extensive experience working as a backing dancer in music videos, a casino showgirl, and face model for printed commercials in Australia. Gemma returned to the UK in 2009 to teach award winning numbers in ballet, jazz, and contemporary for National Inter-University Dance Competitions along with becoming a certified ballet teacher for the Royal Academy of Dance. Since moving to British Columbia in 2013 Gemma has adjudicated and completed her certification for the Professional Curriculum for Acrobatic Arts. Now the owner and director of Studio G Dance Academy, Gemma strives to train dancers to reach their full potential and continues to share her passion and love for dance.
Kirsten is an accomplished performer, teacher and choreographer who beleives in the individual artistry of each dancer. Professionally, Kirsten toured Canada and Russia with the companies Le Juene Ballet du Quebec and Ballet North of Edmonton. Kirsten began her dance training at Kirkwood Academy in Nanaimo and attended the Pacific Northwest Ballet School in Seattle and Banff School of Fine Arts. At the age of 15, Kirsten was awarded the Solo Seal and competed internationally at the Adeline Genee awards in London, England. Kirsten later graduated from L’Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec in Montreal. Kirsten’s career also includes, work in Canadian film with Judith Marcuse in Vancouver and summer performances at the Butchart Gardens. After her daughter was born, Kirsten turned her attention to teaching dance full time. She has since enjoyed being a guest instructor at various summer schools and adjudicating festival in B.C.
BA, CERTIFIED AROMATHERAPIST
Courtney has been a professional performer, award winning choreographer and instructor for 17 years since 2001. She has been a guest dancer with: Science Friction Productions, Dancing Cello, Ballet Victoria and a Vancouver semi-finalist in So You Think You Can Dance Canada from 2800 dancers. She has been a guest instructor/choreographer for: Valley Dance Centre, North Island Regional Drama Festival, Rainbow Youth Theatre, Three Legged Dog Productions, Theatre Works Centre for Performing Arts, CR DanceXtreme, Qualicum Beach School of Dance, Danettes Dance Inc, Ilha Ballet Academy, Flying Fox Circus Arts, Eclat Youth Dance, Parksville Ballet School, City of Courtenay, School District No.71 & 68 and many others. Courtney is a multifaceted artist and DJ. She has completed her BA at Vancouver Island University; educated at a Level 1 & 2 in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics with Gymnastics Canada; a graduate of the West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy; completed body conditioning and injury prevention teachers training course with the renowned Donna Krasnow (PhD); and has completed a leadership and group facilitation training in the USA with The Heart of Facilitation presented by The Power of Hope and Inside Out Development. Courtney has recently gained certification in teaching Progressive Ballet Technique and continues ongoing professional development in arts based facilitation techniques, expressive play therapy and authentic movement while using a holistic approach to dance choreography.
DIploma music theatre & voice, ISTD TAP
Laura grew up in the North East of Scotland in the UK and studied dance from the age of three. She soon became involved in dance competitions and medalled regularly in the Scottish Tap, Ballet and Musical Theatre championships. As a teenager, her interest in dance and theatre performance grew and she successfully auditioned and performed with National Youth Music Theatre in their summer intensives, was a founder member of Elevate Contemporary Dance Company, as well as participating in the world renowned Aberdeen International Youth Festival. On leaving school, Laura went on to study at Stella Mann College in England where she qualified with a Diploma in Music Theatre and DDE teaching qualifications with the ISTD to complement her Diploma in Voice from the London College of Music . Upon graduating Laura landed a role as Maisie in the Boyfriend and continued her professional career in the ensemble of A Chorus Line, 42nd Street and Footloose. Laura moved to Vancouver Island in 2012, where she now teaches and choreographs for various studios at a competitive level .
Jade is happy to join us from Red Deer Alberta where she was the owner of her competitive dance school; DanceHouse Studios. Jade was elated earned her dance teaching certificate at a young age through the United Kingdom Alliance of Professional Dance Teachers (U.K.A.). Jade is a successful choreographer, teacher and adjudicator and is trained in contemporary, lyrical, ballet and jazz. She has had the honour of working with some of the industries leading choreographers and has had the pleasure of setting pieces across Alberta and BC. Jade teaches at an advanced level and has former dancers which have continued to work on TV, the fitness industry, and dance teaching. Jade continues to take courses and classes to continue her professional development and to stay up to date with leading training techniques and styles. Courses include flexibility training from Alixa Sutton, UKA Syllabus training, and numerous workshops and seminars across Canada. She believes that technique along with personal drive, you can achieve all your dance goals. Jade is excited to share her love and passion for dance with Studio G Dance Academy.
Catherine Le has always had a huge passion for dance ever since she was little and has trained in Hip Hop for over 10 years at CR Dance Extreme, BC where she embraced an elite level of competitive hip hop, as well as taking on the role as an assistant dance instructor. Over the years, Catherine competed throughout Vancouver Island with her dance team. In competitions, her versatility in dance lead her to performing in not only large groups, but also in small groups, and as a soloist. Catherine has received multiple awards from judges at competitions such as judges choice award, most entertaining award for solo entires, and Hip Hop Dancer of the year leading to her dominating in competitions for her outstanding performances. Catherine also shares her choreography and creativity skills within musical theatre showcases at high schools as well as in dance studios. Along side her teaching and training she has had the opportunity to work with several professional choreographers throughout her dancing career such as, Mark Dogillo, Nicole Yipp and Victor Lau. As a motivational and positive instructor, Catherine looks forward to spreading her passion for dance and connecting with others as a dance educator.
BRIANNE LE GRAND
BA EDUCATION, MASTERS OF SPECIAL EDUCATION
Brianne grew up in the Comox Valley and trained in dance from the time she was three. After leaving dance to pursue a teaching degree, Brianne attended Vancouver Island University to complete her Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Education and Masters of Education in Special Education. Upon returning to the Comox Valley, Brianne and her husband have been raising their three children. As her children began to dance at her former studio, Brianne’s deep passion for dance was reignited. Teaching alongside her dance teacher for the past year, Brianne has enjoyed encouraging the youngest dancers in their journey into dance. She looks forward to teaching in the Star Dance and General Jazz Programs. Brianne believes dance is a beautiful art form that flows from within the dancer. The freedom, strength, feeling, artistry, and entertainment that tells a story through dance is captivating and moving for those who engage and it is an honour to be part of the creation.
Kaylin trained intensively at CR Dance Extreme for 9 years and has competed in elite competitions throughout British Columbia, and across some States of America. In October of 2017 Kaylin travelled to Denmark to compete at the Hip Hop World Championships as part of Hip Hop Team Canada. Kaylin competing not only in the large group but in a duo, battle crew, and soloist as well. His award winning choreography is both unique and visually appealing, and provides a challenging, engaging, and exciting class experience. Kaylins love and passion for dance translates into his teaching and inspires students across BC.
(Guest Teacher/ Choreographer)
Brianna has been a part of the world of dance for 18 years, 16 years dancing and 3 years teaching. She loves to inspire dancers and watch them grow as they achieve their goals in dance. Her goal is to ensure that every dancer has the amazing experience that she did while growing up at Valley Dance Centre. Brianna has completed her Advanced 1 Royal Academy of Ballet exam, two of her CDTA Tap exams and has attended many workshops and conventions throughout her dance career. In addition to performing at many local events, she also had the opportunity to dance as a background dancer in the Disney film “Descendants 2”. Brianna is working towards her Dental Hygiene Diploma at Vancouver Island University, and will continue to be a familiar face at the studio as a guest teacher and choreographer.