School Principal email Miss Sandi
At present, Sandra successfully juggles a busy schedule as teacher, dance studio owner, choreographer, artistic director, and adjudicator. Sandra is trained in many disciplines of dance: tap, jazz, ballet and musical theatre. She got an early start to her studies in the Edmonton area and continued on to Toronto, New York, Los Angeles and a list of other major dance centres throughout these past 35 years, studying with many of the best teachers available.
Sandra has established herself as a prominent teacher and choreographer in Canada, the U.S.A., Europe and New Zealand. Sandra’s choreography is innovative and has won her recognition around the world.
Besides teaching a fulltime schedule of classes and managing the school business, Sandra also freelances as a choreographer and is much in demand as a dance competition adjudicator and evaluator.
She has had the pleasure of training hundreds of students over the years, many of whom are dance teachers or professional dancers in dance companies around the world.
Sandra believes that along with talent and technique any performer aspiring to make it in this industry, must be able to project from within. “Only until the performance is given from your heart, does it then become the dance”.
Tap, Jazz. Lyrical, Musical Theatre email Miss Sherri
With over 20 years of training in tap, jazz, lyrical and musical theatre, and 15 years of teaching, Sherri has enjoyed much success as a performer, teacher, choreographer and adjudicator. Sherri, who now resides in Calgary, Alberta, has traveled across Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe with her dance career. Sherri has enjoyed watching many of her students grow into outstanding professional dancers who could be found at the National Ballet of Canada, Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company, working at one of the many cruise lines, in professional dance companies, Las Vegas shows and for Disney. Sherri supports all aspiring young dancers and believes that talent is a gift and skill is how you take care of that gift.
Vagonova Ballet and Pointe Technique email Miss Kati
Miss Kati’s is a passionate, dedicated choreographer, educator and evaluator. She graduated from the Hungarian Academy of Dance Arts in Budapest as a professional dance arts performer. She was trained in Vaganova technique, character/folk dance, pointe, pas de dux, acting and choreography. As a member of the Hungarian State Opera her repertoire included Aïda, Giselle, Gypsy Baron, La Traviata, Macbeth, Nutcracker, Onegin, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Sylvia, Tales of Hoffmann and the Walpurgisnacht scene from Faust as well as a range of contemporary work.
After leaving Hungary, Miss Kati taught at the Scuola di Danza Suzanna Egri, Torino, Italy. In addition to technique, she taught classical repertoire and prepared students to compete at the International Ballet Competition in Lausanne. She left Italy to dance and choreograph in her role as Assistant to the Artistic Director in the Theatre of Ulm, Germany.
Since arriving in Canada, Miss Kati has taught, choreographed and run examinations for organizations like the Russian Vaganova Dance Society, the Royal Glenora Club, Sandra Gray School of Dancing, Citie Ballet, Dance Theme, Dance at Brijet’s and others. She has also been in demand as a private instructor and choreographer as well as for audition preparation.
Miss Kati’s primary focus has been as a ballet educator and choreographer, teaching ballet, pointe, modern dance and flexibility technique. Working with several competitive schools, she has had the opportunity to develop a remarkable choreographic repertoire ranging from classical and romantic through neoclassical and contemporary. Her work regularly achieves high scores and awards. Miss Kati has been a Vaganova examiner for the past 15 years, and she is an adjudicator for ballet competitions.
Miss Kati’s instruction helps students improve arm co-ordination, presentation, different styles of dancing, characterization, jumps, turns, lifts, strength, flexibility, and other elements essential to a professional or competitive career. Her philosophy on dance is “you should never stop learning”. In addition to encouraging her students to take advantage of every training opportunity outside of their own studios, Miss Kati offers educational trips to Hungary, Europe during Spring Break.
Tap, Jazz, Technique, Preschool, Adult Tap email Miss Joanne
Joanne started her dancing career at the age of 5, under the direction of Joyce Timlick of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She has studied under Henry LeTang, Gail Ledger, Jennifer Groff and Wendi Danbrook. The lessons learned from these instructors enabled Joanne to not only become a highly motivated and qualified dance instructor herself, but to compete as an adult as well.
Joanne was Assistant Director and Instructor of Danbrook Dance Co. for four years. She has been an Instructor at Sandra Gray’s for many years. The hard work and dedication that Joanne puts forth is seen in the programs she has designed for beginner through junior dancers.
With her programs, Joanne brings and teaches the love, fun and discipline of dance in her classes to young students.
You will notice that Joanne always teaches from the heart. She takes time to ensure that children are not just pupils but part of a dance family. This is apparent from the moment Joanne walks into the studio door to when she completes her classes with a big group hug.
As well as her program with kids, Joanne has also had successful programs with Adults. Programs designed for pure beginners to those who want to re-kindle a past passion with dance.
Joanne is very happy to be part of the Sandra Gray School of Dancing.
Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical and Technique email Miss Mikki
Mikki Larson was born and raised in Edmonton, and spent 12 years dancing at the Sandra Gray School of Dance, where she also taught and choreographed for 2 years.
Disciplined in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical and modern Mikki traveled extensively with Dance Excel to such places as Austria, Italy, Germany, Thailand, Hong Kong, and San Diego, California. She has won many top awards such as a full scholarship from Dance Power to Triple Threat Dance Convention in 2003, and Dancer of the Year at Sandra Gray in 2000. .
In 2003, Mikki left her hometown roots to fulfill her lifelong dream of dancing professionally. For 3 years Mikki traveled and performed professionally throughout Latin America, and choreographed many large shows and special events. .
She has choreographed and appeared in various commercials, promotional, videos, pamphlets, posters and brochures. She has since returned to Edmonton to further her education and continues to share her love of dance and unique style with all the students at Sandra Gray School of Dance.
|Aletheia Isis Mendes (M.A., I.S.T.D. (dip.))
Ballet and Modern email Miss Aletheia
Ms. Mendes has obtained her Advanced II certificates in both the Imperial ballet and the National work as well as trained in other various styles of dance. She was one of two dancers chosen to perform in a piece by Paul Andre Segal from Paris and has trained in company class with the Limon Company in New York. Ms. Mendes was awarded the Orchesis modern dance scholarship from the University of Alberta and the Mavador scholarship class for excellence in ballet instruction from London England. Ms. Mendes graduated out of University with a Masters of Arts in physical education with a specialization in dance and earned a teaching diploma from the Imperial Society of Teachers Dancing. Ms. Mendes taught for the Vimy Ridge Professional dance program for eight years and instructed a teachers’ modern course in hopes of inspiring teachers to reach their potential both technically as well as creatively. She has adjudicated the World Track and Field auditions in 2000 as well as across Western Canada. Currently Ms. Mendes is a term instructor at Grant MacEwan University, in the area of children’s movement, owner of A.I.M. Works Ltd. and a ballet examiner for the junior grades and international progressions work.
|Gillian Mayhew (Vaganova Master’s Certification)
Preschool, Tap & Jazz Combination, Jazz & technique, Lyrical, & Ballet email Miss Gillian
Gillian attended the Sandra Gray School of Dance since the age of four and has been trained in a multiple of disciplines. She has accomplished grade 8 tap technique as well received her master’s in Vaganova ballet training. She has won numerous top awards and scholarships from competitions around Alberta, British Columbia, and most recently a scholarship from a convention she attended in New York City. With dance she has had opportunities to train outside of the city to places such as New York City, Los Angeles, and Spain, at studios and conventions such as the Edge Performing Arts Center in LA, Steps on Broadway, and New York City Dance Alliance. She has learnt from top Choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, Benji Schwimmer, Bobby Newberry, Sonyah Tayeh, Shannon Mather, Blake McGrath, just to name a few.
|Ruth Chizewski (A.I.S.T.D. Ballet)
Ballet email Miss Ruth
Ruth’s dance training began at an early age when she was accepted at one of the United Kingdom’s leading full-time ballet academies. This was followed by a Performing Arts Diploma course at London’s Doreen Bird College. After graduating with Associate I.S.T.D. teaching qualifications in ballet and modern and Advanced R.A.D ballet, Ruth enjoyed a successful and varied career as a professional dancer spanning over 10 years. The last 5 years were spent performing for Princess Cruise Lines which gave her the opportunity to travel the world extensively. It was during this time that Ruth met her husband who hails from Edmonton, and was her reason for relocating to Canada. Since moving to the country, Ruth feels fortunate to have been able to continue teaching and choreographing and has performed with ‘Citie Ballet’ and ‘Freefall’ dance companies. Ruth is looking forward to another great season at Sandra Gray School of Dancing.
Hip Hop email Mr Richard
Richard Andries has become one of the key driving forces within the Hip Hop dance scene in Edmonton and across Alberta. With his high energy classes and his passion for the art, he continues to share his vision of the positivity of hip hop culture in everyday life. His personal style is heavily influenced by the foundation of hip hop dancing; popping, locking, breaking, house, etc, and newer forms such as Krump, and Street.
Richard acts as Senior Manager of 3rd Street Beat; Edmonton’s only hip hop studios. He is a main choreographer in fundraising shows like Santa’s Kids, and Hip Hop For Hope, he also is a main choreographer of the show “Hip Hop Saved My Life” a 35 person touring group that will be touring and performing all over China this December 2009 and January 2010.
Richard has recently returned from a dance tour across Spain with 3rd Street Beat. He was one of the principal choreographers of the company class that performed at many locations. He continues to sharpen his skills training with North America’s finest and lives with the motto that you are always a student of the dance.
Ballet email Miss Emily
Emily started her professional career in classical ballet, and in recent years has focused on contemporary ballet and jazz. She’s danced with Citie Ballet, The Russian Vaganova Society, and Mile Zero Dance Company in Canada. Internationally, she worked with several ballet schools in Okinawa, Japan, and taught at Broadway Dance Centre in Tokyo. In New York she performed with Saba Dance Theatre, and LiNK Contemporary Jazz Dance Company, while also dancing for Rebecca Davis Dance Company in Philadelphia. Emily has modeled for the renowned dance photographer Lois Greenfield, and has been sponsored by Bloch dancewear and Sansha. Still exploring all that New York has to offer, Emily has been collaborating with Crunch Gyms in NYC to film dance fitness videos, do TV publicity for the company, and has appeared as a background dancer in art films. In addition to all of this exciting new work in the dance industry, she remains very committed and enthusiastic about teaching dance at all levels, and has recently branched out to training actors in NYC as well. One of her newest endeavors with colleagues in New York is the formation of PAC (Performing Arts Collective), which tours the North-East area conducting performance workshops for pre-professionals. One of Emily’s favorite jobs was working with Zach Galafianakis, star of The Hangover, filming music video parodies. Recently, she has choreographed new work for Alberta’s Feats Festival of Dance, and will be the guest choreographer at the University of Alberta’s Orchesis Dance Group for the 2010-2011 season.
Lukas has been dancing for the past 13 years training in tap, jazz, ballet, musical theatre, hip hop, ballroom and many other styles. He has recently discovered over the past years his passion and talent for teaching and choreographing. As a performer, he has trained across Canada and abroad, attending several international events and competitions and winning numerous overall titles. He has taken part in many dance shows and can also be seen in the new Nickelodeon movie “Rags” coming out this fall. Lukas has had the honour to assist Sean Cheesman on So You Think You Can Dance Canada (Season Two) and So You Think You Can Dance US (Season seven). Lukas also had the pleasure of choreographing and staring in Jenn Beupre’s debut music video as an artist. Lukas has taught at a number of studios, schools and workshops throughout Western Canada. His drive and determination make him a force to recon with in today’s growing dance scene.
Sarah has been dancing for the past 19 years, eventually discovering her passion and talent for teaching and choreographing. As a performer, she has trained across Canada and abroad, attending several international events. She has taken part in numerous dance shows and can also be seen in the film “The Wickerman”. Sarah has had the honour to assist Sean Cheesman on So You Think You Can Dance Canada (Season One and Two), So You Think You Can Dance (Season Six) and So You Think You Can Dance UK (Season One). She has also recently returned from assisting Mr Cheesman on the Peter Andre Revelation Tour in the UK. Sarah has taught at numerous studios, schools, workshops and intensives throughout Western Canada. She is on faculty at the Edge Performing Arts School in Calgary. Many students she has worked with have continued to pursue their dance passion, through performance opportunities such as Cirque du Soleil, So You Think You Can Dance Canada, cruise ships, shows, music videos or training opportunities at distinguished dance companies, institutions or universities across North America. Sarah is the Artistic Director of the O2 Dance Co., a contemporary based dance company located in Calgary.
Diane is from Edmonton and has trained at Sandra Gray School of Dancing since the age of five. She has studied multiple styles including tap, jazz, lyrical, ballet, musical theatre, modern and hip hop. By traveling to Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas for classes and conventions she also had the opportunity to learn from Benji Shwimmer, Bobby Newberry, Sonya Tayeh, Kenny Wormald and Allison Holker. Diane was also awarded a week scholarship to the Harbour Dance Centre in Vancouver and has received numerous recognitions for her stage presence and dedication. She is continuing and advancing her hip hop training at 3rd Street Beat, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue being a part of Miss Sandi’s dance family as an instructor.
|Abby Wong (Vaganova Master’s Certification)
Preschool, Tap and Jazz Combination, Jazz & Technique, Lyrical, Ballet, Tap Technique
Abby has been dancing since the age of three; winning her first scholarship at age 5. Abby has trained in many disciplines including jazz, lyrical, tap, hip hop, modern, contemporary, and ballet. She has spent many years being an assistant to teachers at Sandra Gray School of Dancing. Abby has travelled to places within Alberta and British Columbia; also Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas to compete and further her dance training. She has trained under the direction of choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, Stacey Tookey, Sonya Tayeh, Blake McGrath, Benji Schwimmer, Sarah Dolan, Sabrina Phillip, Kelly Konno and many more.
Abby is well respected in the competition industry and convention dance world. She has won numerous awards, scholarship and choreography awards in all genres of dance. One of the awards that Abby is very proud of receiving is the Lindsay Thomas Memorial Award.
Abby’s passion for dance shows in her classes as she works with students to reach their potential.