Miranda started dancing at the age of three at Leica Hardy School of Dance in Halifax, Nova Scotia. When she was four, her family moved to England and there she danced at Sally Prout School of Dancing for six and a half years. In late 2017, she returned to Canada, settling in Nanaimo, B.C. Miranda attended Harbour Dance Studios for almost two years and became a student of the day programme at Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts in September 2019. Since coming back to Canada, Miranda has attended summer intensives such as the Victoria Academy of Ballet Summer Intensive in 2019 and the Alberta Ballet School Virtual Summer Intensive in 2020. These courses have made her more passionate about ballet and contemporary which have now become her favorite genres. Miranda is really excited for her second year with the company so she can continue to professionally develop her love of dance.
I have been dancing since I was two and dance has always been a way to express how I’m feeling and it is a different way of communicating for me. Dance is a safe space where I can be myself, work hard, and have lots of fun. I have been dancing with my home studio, Steps Ahead, for eleven years. My teachers push me every day to be the best person I can be and the best dancer I can be. I am so grateful for them. This year I would like to discover who I am as a dancer and how to add more artistry into everything I do. Confidence is something I always want to improve, especially in dance, so I can share my love of dance to the world. I am looking forward to creating relationships with guest artists and my fellow dancers. I am very excited to see how this year goes and to show people how much work goes into creating something amazing.
Neisha deJong-Pedlow is 14 years old. She started dancing when she was 3 in Ladysmith. When she was 7 she auditioned for RWB’s Canadian Nutcracker and got a role as a Polar Bear. At age 12 she auditioned for a second time and landed a role as a Reindeer. In the summer of 2015 she performed with Dance The Magic in Disneyland. When she was 10, she auditioned and was accepted into Kirkwood Academy Pre-professional Program (KAPP) directed by Chantelle Norris. Since then Neisha has practiced the following dance styles: Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Modern Stage, Musical Theatre, Commercial Jazz and Hip-Hop. Through out her dance career she has entered many festivals and competitions with group numbers and Solos and has won various awards.
It is Neisha’s 3rd year of NCB and 1st year as an advanced member. She is very excited to see what NCB has in store this season.
Ella began her dance career 11 years ago with Deas Island Dance. At the age of 9 she moved to Vancouver Island and continued training with Triple Heat Academy of Performing Arts before transitioning to Studio North Dance Academy where she has trained for the past 4 seasons. Over the last 2 years, Ella committed to Eclat Dance Youth Company to complement her core dance training.
In 2020, Ella was distinguished as the Level II intermediate NIFPA Provincial Ballet Representative and was set to compete in this years’ Provincial Festival in Cranbrook.
This summer Ella received the Chan Hon Goh’s Masterclass Series 2020 scholarship and attended Goh Ballet’s International Summer Intensive Program. During Ella’s time dancing, she has participated in a multitude of performances, festivals and workshops including the 2015 Alberta Ballet production of the Nutcracker, community outreach projects with Eclat and 3 productions of Riverport Danceworks’ annual Nutcracker, including the 2019 lead role, Clara.
Ella’s love of movement coupled with her passion for performance help her to stay focused on developing her strength, technique and musicality as she strives to build confidence on pointe. This year at Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet she looks forward to surpassing her goals and expanding her dance community on Vancouver Island.
Naiah Kulla, 13, began dancing at Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts after watching their 2012 production of The Nutcracker, and wanting to dance on stage just like Clara! Naiah’s love for dance grew even more when she joined the Kirkwood Academy’s Pre Professional Program in 2016. She is currently in her fifth year of the program and her favourite styles include ballet, contemporary ballet and pointe.
Naiah attended the 2019 Youth American Grand Prix semi final in Seattle, WA. She placed third in the Pre Competitive Classical Dance Category and Top Twelve in the Contemporary Dance Category. She also had the honour of receiving first place at Performing Arts B.C’s Provincial Festival (Level 1 Ballet) the same year. In 2020, she danced the role of Clara in Kirkwood’s production of The Nutcracker – a dream come true!
Naiah has learned so much from all of the incredible teachers at Kirkwood, including Miss Chantelle Norris (Artistic Director of NCB, Artistic Director KAPP division) and Ms. Carolé Martyn (KAPP Director).
Naiah is looking forward to another amazing season with NCB and working alongside all of the talented dancers, guest artists and choreographers!
My name is Autumn McDonald and I am 17 years old. I started dancing when I was 3 years old at kirkwood Acadamy and was there till I was 13 when I moved to Vancouver to dance full time. Throughout my training in Vancouver my weeks generally consisted of over 37 hours of dance a week which immensely improved my classical technique. I have attended multiple summer schools in my dancing career such as Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Boston Ballet and English national ballet. While living in Vancouver I completed all of my RAD exams up to advanced two getting a distinction while training with Tania Brossoit and Lynette Kelly and competed in 2020 Phoenix YAGP getting into top 12 for my contemporary ballet solo. I have moved back home for my grade 12 year and am now attending kirkwood academy KAPP program and am very excited and honoured to dance with Miss Chantelle and the NCB company!
Lana, age 13, started dancing in North Vancouver when she was 3 and has been dancing ever since. In 2017 she joined the Inception Youth Dance Company which made her fall in love with Contemporary. Lana has been fortunate enough to have Monica Proenca (her choreography has been performed and awarded in more than 15 countries ) as one of her mentors.
The summer of 2018, Lana joined the summer intensive at Ballet Bloch Canada in North Vancouver to improve her Ballet technique. In 2019, Lana had the honour of being a Junior Stage representative at the Performing Arts B.C’s Provincial Festival. This year she joined KAPP, Kirkwood Academy’s Pre-Professional program
Lana’s favourite genres of dance are jazz, modern stage, and contemporary. This is Lana’s second year dancing with NCB. She also dances with Prism Dance Connections and is a member of their Performance Team.
Lana is really excited to be dancing with NCB again this season and being part of Ms. Chantelle vision.
I have been dancing since the young age of 3 at Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts. I have performed in 3 productions of “The Nutcracker”, 1 production of “Coppélia”, and 5 musicals with Kirkwood. I travelled with KYDC to California Disneyland for “Dance the Magic in Disney” in 2013. My love and passion for dance has grown over the 13 years I’ve been dancing at Kirkwood and 3 years at Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet. I’m so excited to perform with this company in my senior year for the last time.
Sydney Poulton, age 16, started dancing when she was 3 years old, and has been unable to stop ever since. Sydney has been lucky enough to get to train with plenty of different studios and companies throughout her life, and an array of amazing teachers. She started her intensive training at the White Rock School of Music and Dance, and trained with them for the majority of her childhood, in ballet, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and tap styles. Sydney first became serious about dance as a career when she moved to her second studio, Pulse Dance Centre, where she was able to train with international teachers and increase her training greatly. There she expanded her knowledge of modern, musical theatre, and even hip hop! In 2016, Sydney made the move over to the Island, and had a wonderful experience training with Triple Heat Dance Academy for two years. Sydney moved to Kirkwood Academy of Performing arts in 2019, and is excited to be apart of two amazing companies as well as to be training under new teachers with plenty to teach her before she graduates.
Sydney has been fortunate enough to attend plenty of competitions, conventions, and intensives throughout her life as a dancer, and is excited for this new and much more professional branch of her future in dance. Sydney is pumped for the projects NCB has planned for this year, and is looking forward to the rest of her first season with NCB.
Tala, aged 15, is excited to be returning to NCB for season 5. She has been training in dance since she was three years old, starting her training up North. Kirkwood Academy in Nanaimo has been her dance family for the past five years. Tala studies Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, Jazz and Musical Theatre. Competing across Vancouver Island as a soloist and as a group member is something that Tala enjoys. She has been recognized by adjudicators and audience members for her passion and energy on stage, and she has become well known for her entertaining, high energy Musical Theatre solos. While Tala finds competitions fun and engaging, she loves the fact that with Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet she has had the opportunity to develop her artistry and performance quality under Artistic Director Chantelle Norris.
My name is Grace Cavanagh and I am 13 years old. This is my first year as an apprentice member of NCB. I have been dancing since the age of 18 months. I began dance at Kirkwood Academy before moving to Tempo Dance Academy. Last year I transitioned into the intensive program at Innovate Dance Arts and Prism Dance Connections. My favorite styles of dance are contemporary ballet and jazz. I am grateful that dance allows me to express my emotions without words. This year I am working towards my intermediate RAD ballet exam. I have made the best of friends through dance, and I know this group will be the same. I am excited for the amazing growth and learning opportunities NCB will present.
Rachel Derkach is 13 years old has been dancing since the age of 4. She is a committed and hard working dancer who loves to perform. Rachel loves all genres of dance and currently trains in ballet, contemporary, jazz/lyrical, modern stage and tap. Her home studio is Tempo Dance Academy and she also trains one night a week at Prism Dance Connections. In 2017 Rachel was the recipient of the Junior Bursary award at Tempo Dance Academy. Rachel also travelled to New York in 2017 where she danced on Broadway at the Amsterdam Theatre. It was an experience she will never forget! Rachel is very honoured to have been selected as an Apprentice Member for a 2nd year at Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet. One of her main goals this year is to really push herself and take her dancing to the next level.
Avari is thrilled to be participating in her second year as an Apprentice Member of the Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet. A dancer trained in the stage disciplines since age 4, Avari has fallen in love with ballet under the guidance of director Chantelle Norris. After spending time this past summer at Victoria Academy of Ballet’s Professional Dance Intensive and the Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet Summer Intensive, she will be continuing her studies this year with Kirkwood Academy’s Pre-Professional Program. Avari is ready to take her enthusiasm for performing on stage, and apply it to the Artists’ creations in this year’s production of “Joy”.
Olivia started dancing when she was 3 years old at Beban Recreation Center and has enjoyed dancing ever since. When she was 5 years old she started to dance at Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts and has been dancing there ever since. Her love for dance grew even more when she started to dance in the KAPP, Kirkwood Academy’s Pre-Professional Program for 4 years. She also joined Prism Dance Connections, Technical Training Program for 2 years. She has been a part of Nanaimo Contemporary Ballets summer intensives for four years and had loved it. She is very excited to be a part of NCB this year for their 2020-2021 season.
Lilika Kovacs is very excited to an apprentice with Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet this season. She is 11 years old and attends Nanaimo Christian School in grade 6. She started dancing at Kirkwood at the age of five and by the age of seven, she was dancing full time with the Kirkwood Pre-Professional Program. KAPP has allowed Lilika to grow technically and artistically under the direction of Chantelle Norris and Carolé Martyn. She traveled to Seattle to compete in the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP), dispute being youngest in category, she placed top 12 in the classical category. She was invited to attend the YAGP New York Finals Intensive where she got to train with teachers from the American Ballet Theatre, John Franco Ballet school and Paris Opera House School, among many others. Lilika loves to swim, mountain bike, ski and basically do anything that terrifies her dance teachers. This year in NCB she is excited to learn from the senior dancers and grow artistically as a dancer.
My name Abigail McDonald and I am 13 years old. I started dancing when I was 4 years old and have never looked back! Over the years, I have done many different genres of dance including ballet, modern, contemporary, tap, jazz and modern stage. What I have learned about myself is that I love classical and contemporary ballet and want to continue to pursue it.
My love for dance has led me to pursuing summer schools which focus on ballet. Last year I had the opportunity to attend The Rock School for Dance in Philadelphia. This was a wonderful experience for me and I cannot wait to do more summer intensives when we are able to travel!
My goal for this year is to complete my RAD Intermediate Exam, and to learn how to express myself on a different level with my team at NCB . I believe that by being a part of this amazing team and being taught by fabulous teachers, I will be able to really explore where dance can take me.
Maddie Parfitt is 13 years old and this is her second year with Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet Company as an Apprentice Member. Maddie started dancing at Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts when she was 6 years old. She was very fortunate to start training under the direction of Miss Chantelle in the Kirkwood Academy Pre-Professional Program when she was 9 years old.. She has performed in Kirkwood’s production of The Nutcracker and Coppélia and has travelled to Disneyland with the Kirkwood Youth Dance Company. Her favourite styles of dance are ballet and contemporary. She is looking forward to performing, training and expanding her knowledge with Miss Chantelle and the other company members.
This is my eighth year in dance and my first year in NCB, my favorite style of dance is contemporary and ballet and I also have a strong background in acrobatics. I am twelve years old and I’m excites to be old enough to join NCB this year so I can meet new people, preform in new ways and develop greater dance and life skills. I am excited for the challenges this year will bring.
My name is Seraphine, I have been dancing for seven years, since I was six, and I have been under both ISTD and RAD instruction. Tap was my dance passion for many years until I enrolled in Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts, where it soon changed to ballet due to my love for the artistic training that came with it. My goals this year are to improve my dance technique and to make new friends, and I hope to become more social and open to sharing with others. I’m looking forward to more photoshoots, workshops, and to working with brilliant choreographers and professional dancers to develop my artistic training.
Athena started ballet when she was five, and since then has danced in all of the genres before realizing that ballet was still her first love. One of her goals this year is to gain more expression and softness in her movements. She is so excited to join NCB, as performing is something she really enjoys. She also loves working with lots of different artists, learning their own unique way of dancing.
Moira is an apprentice member with Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet, and a student in the Kirkwood Academy Pre-Professional Division. She started taking dance classes with Gabriola Dance when she was 2, and joined Kirkwood in 2017. As a member of NCB she hopes to develop her artistic expression, and is excited to see what it means to be a part of a youth dance company. Moira is very grateful to be a part of a company that inspires and helps youth dancers find their passion and voice.
Hi my name is Amethyst Barned, I have been dancing for 9 years ever since I was 4 years old and instantly fell in love with it. When I was 10 I was a backup dancer for the mini pop kids. I take ballet, contemporary, pointe, jazz, modern, lyrical, acro, and modern stage. My favourite styles are contemporary and lyrical because I love expressing my emotions when I dance. My goal is to become a professional dancer and tour with a touring company or to become a choreographer. I am so excited to grow and learn so much in NCB this year and get to work with many new guest teachers.
Nina Seggie is a 14 year old dancer who has been dancing for three years. She trains in ballet, pointe, contemporary, jazz, modern stage, and tap. Nina started dancing much later than her peers, and is always working to improve herself and make up for lost time. She aspires to one day have a professional career in dance, and continue to grow from new people and experiences throughout her life. Nina is very excited to be apart of NCB this year and can’t wait to see what she’ll learn and the people she’ll meet!