Calla is 14 years old and has been dancing her way through life since she put on her first pair of ballet shoes and attended her first ballet class at the age of 4. Calla dances at Studio North Dance Academy in Campbell River, where she trains in many different styles of dance, her favourite being ballet. Calla was previously a member of Eclat Youth Dance Company in Courtenay for 5 seasons. She attended Victoria Academy of Ballet’s professional summer intensive for 2 years. She has also been a part of Riverport Danceworks’ annual Nutcracker production every year, and was selected to dance the lead role, Clara, in last years production.
When she is not dancing or at school, Calla is busy chasing farm animals around her family’s farm in Courtenay. Calla is so excited to back with NCB for her second year. She loves the opportunity to get to work with different guest choreographers throughout the year, and especially loves working with Miss Chantelle and all the other amazing NCB dancers!
modern stage, and has also practiced modern, jazz, musical theatre, &
commercial jazz over the last 13 years. She is both a dancer and emerging
choreographer who has been a part of NCB for 5 years. Neisha has primarily
trained at Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts for most of her dance career
and was a part of the KAPP program for 6 years.
She has been in various productions such as the following: Royal Winnipeg
Ballet’s “Canadian Nutcracker” (2013 and 2018), “Dance the Magic” in
Disneyland (2015), Kirkwood Academy’s “Nutcracker” (2015, 2019, 2022), and
Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet’s “Close/Apart” (2019), “Joy” (2021), & “Clock/
Neisha’s favourite pastimes outside of dance include watching movie and tv
show reviews on YouTube, playing Minecraft with her friends and snuggling
with her two cats.
Avari has taken part in several professional summer intensive programs including Complexions NYC (2022), Arts Umbrella (2021), Martha Graham Teen (2021), Joffrey NYC (2021), and Victoria Academy of Ballet (2020). She was a part of Team Canada in 2019, travelling to Portugal to take place in the Dance World Cup. She has represented the Powell River Festival of Arts (2019), North Island Festival of Performing Arts (2021), and Mid Island Performing Arts Festival (2022) at the Provincial Festival in the stage discipline, and was also an alternate for Modern in 2022.
Avari appreciates all of the opportunities provided by NCB, including the opportunity to work on music videos and collaborate with musicians and designers and is looking forward to the season ahead. She plans to major in dance with a BFA, pursuing a degree in New York City upon her graduation in 2024.
Ella began her dance career 13 years ago and has trained at Studio North Dance Academy for the past 6 seasons. Ella was a member of Eclat Dance Youth Company for two years and this will be Ella’s third season with Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet as an advanced member soloist. Ella was honoured to be the recipient of the Outstanding Advanced Award for NCB 2022. In 2020, Ella was distinguished as the Level II intermediate NIFPA Provincial Ballet Representative and in 2022, was a Level II NIFPA Provincial Modern merited participant.
Ella has received multiple scholarships to summer dance intensive programs and for the past two summers has attended the Arts Umbrella International Summer Dance Intensive program in Vancouver. During Ella’s time dancing, she has participated in a multitude of performances, festivals and workshops all over Vancouver Island and the Greater Vancouver area including the Joy. 21 and Clockwork performances with NCB and 4 productions of Riverport Danceworks’ annual Nutcracker in various roles from Clara to Dewdrop and Snow Queen.
Ella’s love of movement coupled with her passion for performance help her to stay focused on developing her strength, technique and musicality. This year at NCB she looks forward to the experience of working with the amazing guest choreographers and being a contributing part of creating the 2023 NCB show.
Naiah Kulla, 15, is an Advanced Member Soloist with Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet. Her favourite styles include ballet, contemporary ballet and pointe. Naiah also dances in the Kirkwood Academy Pre-Professional Program. Naiah attended summer intensives at The School of American Ballet (2022), Kaatsbaan (2022) and American Ballet Theatre (2021).
Naiah has also attended multiple festivals for YAGP and Performing Arts B.C. Provincial’s, as well as played Clara in Kirkwood’s 2019 Nutcracker and is excited to be the Sugar Plum Fairy in the 2022 Nutcracker production.
Naiah is looking forward to another amazing season with Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet, working with Chantelle Norris and all of the talented dancers, guest artists and choreographers.
This will be Athena’s third year with Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet, and she has found the experience very rewarding. Having started dance at the age of 5, she moved through the years slowly taking more and more classes before settling on ballet as her favorite genre. Performing has been her favorite part of the experience, being part of a team and creating art in a variety of locations both for her own enjoyment and in support of her community. NCB has helped enable her to be able to work with artists from all over Canada which has helped her to grow as a dancer and a person. This year she hopes to develop more depth and confidence to her movements and to bring fullness of expression to all her performances with NCB.
Moira loves the creative process of NCB and working with new choreographers throughout the year. She enjoys the experience of making a production in a professional setting.
Lia Martinez Shaw began her dance training at the age of 6, at Carlson’s School of Dance in the Cowichan Valley. From a young age Lia has enjoyed taking both Royal Academy of Dance and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing dance exams in classical ballet and modern technique. Lia also regularly participates in local music festivals and community dance competitions with both solo and group numbers and has been the recipient of festival bursary’s and adjudicator’s choice awards in classical ballet. For the last 3 years Lia has continued her dance education at Adage Studio. She is very excited to be a first year member with Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet and feels returning members have given her a warm welcome and positive start to the season. She can’t wait to grow with this new experience.
Breanna Baerg has been with Kirkwood Academy for nine years and is in her fourth year of their Pre-professional Program. For her, dance is a way to escape everyday life and push her mind and body to its limits. Breanna’s favourite styles of dance are ballet, any form of contemporary, and modern. She hopes to expand her knowledge of technique and work to be more precise with her movements. Breanna had loads of fun performing in NCB’s “JOY”. and “Clock/Work” and is excited to be part see the Season 7 production come to life.
India is 14 years old and started dancing at the age of four. At the age of ten she joined Kirkwood Academy’s Pre-professional program (KAPP). India has done various styles of dance including Ballet, Contemporary Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, Jazz, Modern Stage, Lyrical, and Pointe. She has also trained in Acrobatics. Her Favorite style of dance is Ballet/Pointe. This is India’s third year dancing with NCB. She was in NCB’s 2021 production “JOY.” and 2022 production of “Clock/Work.” Ever since she joined NCB India has loved being a part of the company.
India is currently training for her Intermediate and Advanced Foundation Royal Academy of Dance exams. She is also working on her Repertoire Sleeping Beauty exam.
Makayla is excited to return to Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet (NCB) as an Apprentice Soloist this season. Entering her first dance class at Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts at the age of 2, Makayla has trained in ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, modern stage, and tap. As a retired gymnast, most recently competing in the 2021 Canadian National Gymnastics Championships, Makayla has also trained extensively in artistic gymnastics with Nanaimo Gymnastics School and loves to incorporate her acrobatic training into her dancing.
Over the years, Makayla has performed in various festivals, year-end shows, and productions, including NCB’s Clock/Work production in the spring of 2022. She was awarded the Performance Award for NCB in 2022, the Top Contemporary Award for Kirkwood Academy in 2022, and Honourable Mention for Modern Level I at the 2022 BC Performing Arts Festival.
Makayla can’t wait to continue her dance journey with Miss Chantelle, the amazing guest choreographers, and all the lovely and talented dancers at NCB. When she’s not dancing, Makayla enjoys working on various crochet projects, playing volleyball, hanging out with friends, and singing.
Hannah is a 15 year old dancer who dances at Kirkwood Academy of Dance in the Pre-Professional Program. Hannah started dancing at the age of 3 and soon fell in love with ballet and tap which she still continues to do. Hannah auditioned for the RWB Nutcracker two times and was accepted in one time as a mouse, and one time as a party child. She is very excited to be with NCB for her 2nd year as an apprentice dancer.
Cadance Smith is in her second season with Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet. She has been dancing for 4 years at Harbour Dance Centre and has grown to fall in love with her favourite dance genre, lyrical. She is working on her grade 7 and Intermediate Royal Academy of Dance examinations this year. Cadance is looking forward to NCB Season 7 and can’t wait to perform in the production in April 2023.