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Artistic Staff

Shaun Amyot

The 2013-14 School year is Shaun's eighth at NBS where he teaches Contemporary Repertoire and Improvisation Technique as well as co-managing the Post-Secondary Program and the Career Planning Program.

A native of Ottawa, Ontario, Shaun Amyot completed his early training at The School of Dance before entering the Post-Secondary Program at Canada's National Ballet School. In his final year, he was awarded a Canada Council Grant to travel in Europe. This led to an exciting dance career with the Nederlands Dans Theater under the direction of Jiri Kylian and Ballett Frankfurt with William Forsythe. During this time he was a part of countless world premieres originating roles in ballets by not only Kylian and Forsythe but also Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, Hans Van Manen, Amanda Miller, Ed Wubbe and many others.

Shaun then switched gears to Musical Theatre where he further developed his craft. His diversity of talents allowed him to be cast as an ensemble member, dance captain, assistant choreographer, and principal artist. Favourite musical theatre roles include Amos in Chicago on Broadway and Tobias Ragg in Sweeney Todd for Canstage. He can also be seen in the Oscar winning movie musical Chicago!

During his time at NBS, Shaun has staged works by master choreographers Nacho Duato, Jiri Kylian, John Neumeier and William Forsythe and assisted Aszure Barton, Matjash Mrozewski and Demis Volpi on their successful new creations for the School.

As a choreographer, Shaun has produced works for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, the San Francisco Ballet School and NBS; most notably STREAM, a live streamed dance work created in collaboration with Michael Schumacher that saw dancers from the National Ballet Academy in Amsterdam join the international cast present in Toronto for the Assemblée Internationale 2013.

Peggy Baker

Peggy Baker is acclaimed as one of the most outstanding and influential contemporary dancers of her generation. A founding member of Dancemakers (Toronto 1974), she toured internationally as a prominent member of Lar Lubovitch's celebrated New York company throughout the eighties and joined Mikhail Baryshnikov and Mark Morris for the inaugural season of their White Oak Dance Project in 1990.

Baker made her debut as a solo artist in 1990, her work distinguished from the outset by collaborations with extraordinary creators and performers including choreographers Molissa Fenley, Paul-André Fortier, James Kudelka, Tere O'Connor, and Doug Varone, pianist Andrew Burashko, cellist Shuana Rolston, director Daniel Brooks, lighting designer Marc Parent, and costumer Caroline O'Brien. Since 2010, her choreography has focused on works for small ensemble. Over its 22-year history her company, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, has been presented at major festivals and dance centres across Canada, the U.S., Europe, and South East Asia.

Peggy Baker has been honoured with the Governor General's Award for Lifetime Achievement (2009), the 2006 Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, five Dora Mavor Moore Awards, a 2002 Cadillac-Fairview Salute to the City Award, the Toronto Arts Council's 2002 Margo Bindhardt Award, an Honourary Doctorate from the University of Calgary, and the 2010 Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts.

A master teacher, Baker teaches regularly at universities and professional training programs throughout Canada and the U.S. including the Juilliard School, the School at Jacob's Pillow, American Dance Festival, NYU, UC Santa Barbara, Philadelphia's Dance Advance, York University, the University of Calgary, the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, and the Contemporary Arts Summer Institute at Simon Fraser University where she was director of dance from 1991-1994. She is the first ever Artist-in-Residence at Canada's National Ballet School, appointed in 1992, responsible for contemporary dance training for students in grades 10 through 12.

Johanna Bergfelt

Johanna Bergfelt, a native of Sweden, graduated from The Royal Swedish Ballet School in 1989. She has an extensive performance background beginning with Östgötabaletten, where she worked for six years, and later joined Norrdans, and the Barents Dance Ensemble.  Since coming to Canada in 2000, Johanna has worked with The Chimera Project, Kaeja d'Dance, Kathleen Rea, Santee Smith, Darcey Callison, Louis Laberge Cote, Kate Alton, Holly Small, William Yong, and the Toronto Dance Theatre, where she was a company dancer for six years.  Johanna has been nominated three times for a Dora Mavor Moore Award.  

Johanna's teaching career started while working with the Barents Dance Ensemble where she taught the company classes. In Toronto, Johanna teaches at Dance-Teq, the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Toronto Dance Theatre, and GMD.  In 2011, Johanna joined Canada's National Ballet School where she teaches Modern Dance in the Professional Ballet Program as well as the Teacher Training Program. She is also a Pilates Instructor at Riverdale Pilates.

Carina Bomers

A graduate of the Professional Ballet/Academic Program at NBS, Carina Bomers went on to dance with the National Ballet of Canada and the Ballet Y's. Over the course of her performance career, she has toured across Canada, Europe and the United States, working with numerous astounding dancers such as Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Veronica Tennant, Karen Kain, Erik Bruhn and Celia Franca.

Carina Bomers returned to NBS for the Teacher Training Program in 1980, and then taught dance at the George Brown College School of Dance where she was also Artistic Director for the Youth Ensemble. Bomers has been on staff at NBS since 1983, teaching ballet and creative dance, and is presently the coordinator of the Dancers' Clinic, helping dancers to refine strategies to prevent and overcome injuries. She is also involved in outreach classes, both in Canada and abroad, and she has been a guest teacher at several professional ballet schools including the National Ballet Academy of Amsterdam and the Institut del Teatre in Barcelona, Spain.  Each year, Bomers teaches at the Nordic Seminar, which involves professional ballet students from the Norwegian Opera Ballet, the Royal Swedish Ballet and the Finnish National Opera Ballet School. Carina is a Fellow of and examiner for the Cecchetti Branch of the ISTD.

Deborah Bowes

Deborah Bowes is a graduate of the Professional Ballet/Academic Program at Canada's National Ballet School. She holds a BA in English from the University of Victoria, and, during her studies, was awarded a Canada Council grant to study in Europe. Deborah trained as a teacher under Betty Oliphant, NBS's founding principal, and has taught boys and girls training at NBS for over 25 years. She currently manages both the junior school and auditions at NBS, and has most recently guest-taught at the Royal Danish Ballet School. Deborah is a Fellow of and examiner for the Cecchetti Branch of the ISTD.

Jeffrey Chan

Jeffrey Chan is the founder of the Wu Ming Dance Project whose goal is to express Asian philosophies and contemporary social identities through modern dance. Chan started dance training in Hong Kong with Chinese classical and folk dance. He first encountered Graham techniques in England at the London Contemporary Dance School and studied with Jane Dudley.

After immigrating to Canada, he expanded his dance training to include other modern techniques such as Cunningham, Limon, and Horton. He has also studied Chen and Yang styles of Tai Chi with teachers in Toronto. In recent years he has turned his focus back to Chinese folk dances. Chan has received supporting grants from the Canada Council and a Chalmers Professional Development Grant from the Ontario Arts Council to go to different regions of China in order to further his knowledge of Chinese folk dances. His aim is to develop a dance training technique based on Chinese folk dances.

Chan is actively involved in Toronto's Asian dance communities through teaching, mentoring, choreographing and staging dance productions. He has produced four full-evening dance productions to critical acclaim. His works have been presented at various dance festivals in Toronto and China.

Since the summer of 2008 he has been a faculty member in the summer program of Canada's National Ballet School.

Cheryl Corbett

Cheryl Corbett graduated from Canada's National Ballet School Teacher Training Program with Distinction and is a recent graduate from York University's Master of Arts (Dance) program. As well, she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours in Dance from York University. During her training at the NBS she obtained her Associate teaching Certificate in the Cecchetti Method of Classical Ballet. She is also proficient in National Dance, R.A.D ballet and has studied virtually all forms of dance technique from modern to jazz, highland and tap.

Ms. Corbett has taught in Thunder Bay, Oakville and in Toronto including Claude Watson School for the Arts. Her experience as a teacher includes preparing children for examinations and choreography for performances. She incorporates her skills in Body Conditioning into her imaginative classes to supplement her students' artistic development. Ms. Corbett is now currently working in the Associates Program and the Teacher Training Program at Canada's National Ballet School.

Rosalie Deligioridis

Rosalie Deligioridis trained at NBS under Betty Oliphant, graduating in 1969. She joined the School's Artistic Staff in 1975, having danced with the Prologue to the Performing Arts as well as in various productions with the Canadian Opera Company and the CBC. A choreographer and coach, Rosalie is also a certified Cecchetti examiner and has guest-taught at the Royal Danish Ballet and L'École de Danse de Quebec. She continues to teach at NBS in both the Professional Ballet and Teacher Training Programs.;

Irene Dowd

Irene Dowd is on the dance faculty of the Juilliard School, Canada's National Ballet School, the Hollins University/ADF MFA program in dance, and Movement Research. Author of Taking Root to Fly, now in the tenth printing of the third edition, she is also choreographer, director and editor of a video-film series produced by Canada's National Ballet School entitled: Spirals, Volutes, Warming Up the Hip Joints: Turnout Dance & Orbits, Preparation for Jumping, Preparation for Performance.

Irene has maintained a practice in kinesthetic anatomy and neuromuscular reeducation for over 40 years in NYC, and has choreographed for Peggy Baker, Margie Gillis and other solo dancers. Her work has been taught in schools and dance companies across the US, Canada and Europe.

Evelina Krasnova-Ganina

Evelina Krasnova-Granina began her career as a professional dancer in 1976, after graduating with honours from the Academy of Classical and Character Dance in Voronez, Russia. Her impeccable technique, grace and artistic expression have been recognized on the most prestigious stages around the world in such countries as Russia, Germany, Cuba, Spain, Korea, India and more. In 1993, she was awarded a certificate of recognition from the Asociacio de Artistas Latinoamericanos de Toronto for success in artistic endeavours.

Evelina attended Canada's National Ballet School as a special student in the Professional Development Program and gained her teaching qualifications with the ISTD. In 1996, she joined the full-time staff at NBS. Evelina is an inspired choreographer with a fresh, innovative vision of musical material. She has been praised for her creations of exuberant dance patterns and captivating character interactions.

Aimee Geldard

Distinguished by her energetic and creative approach, Aimee Geldard is credited for being highly musical with a knack for detail. A graduate of the National Ballet School's Teacher Training Program, Aimee graduated with distinction and received the Betty Oliphant Award honouring the most promising graduate in the field of teaching. While at NBS, she certified with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), the Cecchetti Society of Ballet, as well as National Dance.

Also an accomplished dancer, Aimee was a member of the Toronto-based contemporary dance company, OMO Dance Company, where she had the pleasure to tour Macedonia with the National Theatre of Macedonia in a joint production. She has also worked with acclaimed choreographers Menaka Thakkar of Menaka Thakkar Dance Company, Marshall Pynkoski and Jeannette Zingg of Opera Atelier, as well as various other Toronto choreographers. In combination with her professional experience, she has successfully achieved high levels in RAD (Advanced II), Cecchetti (Advanced I) and National Dance (Advanced II).

Aimee currently teaches in both the Adult and Associates Programs, and is involved with YouDance.

Alexander Gorbatsevich

Alexander Gorbatsevich received his ballet training at the Novosibirsk State School of Ballet.

In 1973, having completed his study with distinction, Gorbatsevich joined the Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre as a soloist and subsequently joined the Moscow Classical Ballet Company as a Principle Dancer in 1977.  In his performance career, his repertoire included most of the major classical roles in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, The Nutcracker and Cinderella.

A key part of Gorbatsevich's repertoire were the principle roles he played in Nathalie, ou La Laitiere Suisse in a production by Pierre Lacotte after Filippo Taglioni; El Guije by Alberto Alonso (both created for the Moscow Classical Ballet); L'Arlsienne by Roland Petit; and Opus #5 by Maurice Bejart.

A dancer with 27 years of experience, Gorbatsevich has had an astounding performance career. He has received numerous prestigious dance awards including first prize and a gold medal at the 11th International Ballet Competition at Varna in 1983, the Rene Blum Prize from the Paris Academy of Dance in 1984 and the title of Distinguished Artist of Russia, which he received in 1983. He has also performed internationally as a guest artist and has partnered with some of the greatest ballerinas of our time including E. Maximova, N. Sorokina, L. Kunakova and N. Pavlova.

In 1992, Gorbatsevich completed his studies at the Russian State Academy of Theatre Art (teachers included Eugene Valukin, Marina Semyonova), which qualified him as a teacher-choreographer.

Gorbatsevich's teaching career began at the Moscow Classical Ballet Company. He continued to dance and teach with various companies throughout his career.

A graduate of Canada's National Ballet School's Teacher Training Program, Gorbatsevich joined the artistic staff at NBS in 2002. In his current role as National Audition Tour Manager and as a teacher in the Professional Ballet Program, Gorbatsevich continues to draw from his experiences as a professional dancer. In addition to his work at NBS, he takes great joy in teaching ballet to students in dance studios across the province.

Deborah Hess

Deborah Hess trained in New York at the American Ballet Theater School with Valentina Pereyaslavec and subsequently with Kathleen Crofton before dancing with American Classical Ballet, Ballet de Wallonie in Belgium, Ballet Gulbenkian in Portugal and the New London Ballet in England. In her performance career she danced a wide range of roles from the classical, such as Odette in Swan Lake to soloist roles in contemporary works by such renowned choreographers as Lar Lubovitch. She worked directly with Bronislava Nijinska, Rudolf Nureyev, Hans Brenna, Asaf Messerer and Anna Marie Holmes, to name just a few.

Upon her return to North America, Hess turned her focus to teaching and became the Assistant to the Director at the San Francisco Ballet School. On the recommendation of Erik Bruhn she was invited by Betty Oliphant to join the artistic faculty at Canada's National Ballet School in 1981.

Hess's role has expanded during her tenure at NBS and she is now the coordinator of student exchanges between NBS and its international partner schools, including the National Ballet School of Cuba, the Australian Ballet School and the Hamburg Ballet School amongst others. In addition to her work at NBS, she continues to serve on the jury for the Youth America Grand Prix, and as a juror alongside Fernando Alonso for the International Ballet Student Competition in Havana, Cuba. Her work in Japan includes serving on the jury of the Japan Grand Prix while also fulfilling a similar role in the First International Student Competition in Beijing, China. Hess has been a guest teacher for the Boston Ballet Company, Royal Danish Ballet School, the Cincinnati Ballet Company, Jacob's Pillow, the USA International Ballet Competition, as well as returning yearly to Japan.

Johanna Hilchie, RAD RTS, ARAD, AISTD, NBS TTP Dip.

Johanna Hilchie graduated with distinction from the Teacher Training Program at Canada's National Ballet School. She holds teaching qualifications from the Royal Academy of Dance and the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. Upon graduation she joined NBS where she currently teaches ballet and conditioning, alongside her position as Director of Ballet at Creswell Dance Academy. Ms. Hilchie's professional performing experience includes dancing in Canada, the United States and Mexico. She is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts, and the winner of the CDTA National Ballet Competition, 1999.

In 2010, Ms. Hilchie had the opportunity to assist Irene Dowd in teaching her conditioning program to students at the National Ballet School. Johanna's keen interest in conditioning for dancers also led her to work with internationally recognized dance physiotherapist, Ginette Hamel, and dancers from The National Ballet. Johanna teaches throughout Toronto and Northern Ontario with The National Ballet of Canada's You Dance Program and recently created an initiative where she taught movement and dance workshops to children living in impoverished areas of the Dominican Republic.

Ms. Hilchie has trained students successfully for exams through the Royal Academy of Dance up to and including the prestigious Solo Seal Award, and has been a guest teacher and choreographer in the United States, Japan, and Bermuda, as well as throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Johanna Hilchie

Ana Jojic-Begovic

Ana Jojic-Begovic trained in the former Yugoslavia at the National School of Ballet, “Lujo Davico.  Following her graduation in 1982, she danced professionally with the National Ballet Company in Belgrade, as well as with numerous other companies throughout Yugoslavia.

Jojic-Begovic has been teaching ballet for over 24 years, and considers the art of ballet to be her life's passion.  She started her teacher training under Janet Karen OAM in Australia, and subsequently continued her training both at the Laban Centre in London, England, as well as at Canada's National Ballet School, where she graduated with Distinction from the Teacher Training Program for Professional Dancers in 1996. 

Jojic-Begovic remained at NBS and taught as a full-time artistic staff member from 1997 to 2004, at which time she returned to teach ballet in Europe. She worked at the Elmhurst School of Dance (Royal Birmingham Ballet) from 2004 to 2005, and then taught at the John Cranko Ballet School of the Stuttgart Ballet from 2005 to 2011, where she had the privilege of working alongside P.A. Pestov and T. Matacz. 

In 2011, Jojic-Begovic returned to NBS, where she continues to teach as a senior ballet instructor and work with students on the School's annual performances and repertoire. Jojic-Begovic has been a guest teacher in Australia, the United Kingdom, Finland, Japan, Greece, Germany, Serbia, and the former Yugoslavia.

Patrick Kastoff

Patrick Kastoff trained at Canada's National Ballet School from 1991 to 2000. Upon graduation he joined North Carolina Dance Theater under the direction of Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and Patricia McBride.  While part of NCDT, Patrick had the opportunity to perform in such pieces as Falls in Alvin Ailey's The River, Nacho Duato's Na Floresta and Alonzo King's Map. He also had the chance to work with Nicolo Fonte, Dwight Rhoden, Alonzo King and Uri Sands.

In 2009 Patrick moved back to Canada to enrol in Canada's National Ballet School's Teacher Training Program for Professional Dancers. In June of 2010 Patrick received the Carol Chadwick award for demonstrating significant potential as a teacher. While completing his studies in the Teacher Training Program Mr. Kastoff is pleased to have been given the opportunity to teach both in the Professional Program as well as choreographing and teaching in the Associates Program.

Martine Lamy

Born in Trois-Rivières Quebec, Martine Lamy joined Canada's National Ballet School, where she won the Peter Dwyer Award, a Canada Council Grant, and represented Canada in the 1981 Moscow Ballet Competition. She won the third prize, as well as the best partnership award with Serge Lavoie.

In 1983, she joined The National Ballet of Canada and quickly went through the ranks to become a Principal Dancer in 1990. Known for her versatility, athleticism and acting acumen, Lamy has danced most of the major classical roles such as Kitri in Don Quixote, Swan Queen/Black Swan in Swan Lake, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, the title role in Giselle, Lise in La Fille mal gardée, Katherine in The Taming of the Shrew, Hanna in The Merry Widow, and Tatiana in Onegin.

Equally admired in the Contemporary canon, Lamy has created roles in William Forsythe's the second detail, Robert Desrosier's Blue Snake, James Kudelka's Pastorale, The Four Seasons and The Contract(The Pied Piper), a full-length ballet especially created for her. Some of her title roles include Glen Tetley's Sphinx, Daphnis and Chloe, Alice, La Ronde, Voluntaries and The Rite of Spring, as well as many Balanchine, Ashton, MacMillan, and Tudor works. Ms Lamy was also a guest artist with various ballet companies such as The Stuttgart Ballet, Danish Ballet, La La La Human Steps, and took part in Debbie Allan's choreography for the 66th Academy Awards.

Throughout her ballet career, Ms. Lamy has taught and adjudicated for many dance competitions, and since her retirement in 2005, went on to teach professionals at The National Ballet of Canada and Ballet B.C., as well as various schools such as Marin Ballet in California, Dance Teq in Toronto, Children's Dance Theater, McMaster University and The Sean Boutillier Academy.

After graduating from Canada's National Ballet School's Teacher's Training Program in 2008, Ms. Lamy was awarded the Betty Oliphant Award, and is currently working full time for Canada's National Ballet School of Canada.

Mary Ann Lee

Mary Ann Lee is the director of the Tanner Creative Dance Program and Children's Dance Theatre in the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah, where she is also an Adjunct Associate Professor the Department of Modern Dance. She trained with Virginia Tanner and was a member of Children's Dance Theatre. She received master's degrees in dance and French from Mills College and the University of Cincinnati, respectively. She performed professionally with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company and Moveable Feast Dance Company in San Francisco and with the Contemporary Dance Theatre in Ohio. Ms. Lee was a dance specialist for the National Endowment for the Arts' Artists-in-Schools program and taught throughout the United States. She has been an invited guest teacher in China, Japan, The Netherlands, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, England, Finland, Canada, and Brazil. Ms. Lee continues to teach at the University of Utah in the Departments of Modern Dance and Education and in the Tanner Dance Program. She teaches throughout Utah, nationally, and internationally.

Young Joo Lee

Young Joo Lee received her early dance training at the Sun Hwa Dance Academy in Seoul, Korea. She has an extensive dance education and holds a BA and M.P.E. in dance, both from Ewha Womans University. From 1995 to 1996, she studied the Vaganova teaching method at the Universal Ballet Academy also in Seoul, and in September 2004, joined the Teacher Training Program for professional dancers at Canada's National Ballet School.

As well as possessing an impressive dance teaching education, Young has performed professionally with the Ballet Blanc from 1989 to 1999. An artistic staff member at NBS since September 2006, she currently teaches in both the Professional Ballet Program as well as in the recreational Associates Program.

Elisabeth Leyds

Elisabeth Leyds-Holmes is a graduate of both our Professional Ballet Program and our Teacher Training Program at Canada's National Ballet School. She has taught dance throughout Ontario with a focus on preparing students for Cecchetti examinations, and has also spent several summers teaching at The School of Dance in Ottawa.

In 1978, Elisabeth was invited to join the staff at George Brown College by Lois Smith, former principal dancer with The National Ballet of Canada. She went on to become coordinator of the junior school and helped to create a syllabus for both the junior and adult division programs. Ms. Leyds assisted in the creation of the George Brown College Youth Ensemble, a group that performed at several venues in Toronto including the Art Gallery of Ontario.

On Lois Smith's retirement, Elisabeth became principal of the school until 1992. After a brief retirement, Elisabeth returned to teaching. She joined our Adult Ballet Program staff at NBS in 2006 and she is also currently teaching dance at York University.

Kristen Mason

Kristen Mason graduated from Canada's National Ballet School's Teacher Training Program in 2006. Soon after graduation Kristen accepted a position in Ayr, Scotland where she taught ballet for three years. Teaching in Europe provided Kristen with invaluable teaching experience, which enhanced what she learned at NBS.  While in Scotland, Kristen was fortunate enough to participate in the piloting process for the new RAD Pre-Primary and Primary in Dance syllabus. Kristen recently returned to Toronto to finish her University Degree and is thrilled to be teaching in Canada's National Ballet School's Associates Program.

Talar Margarosyan

Talar Margarosyan started her ballet training at the Istanbul State Conservatory in Istanbul, Turkey, and then joined the full-time ballet program offered at Istanbul State University. She later went on to complete two years of intensive ballet study at the Istanbul University Ballet Department, where she received a Master's degree. Throughout her education, she had the privilege of working with numerous guest teachers from Russia who, at the time, were introducing the Vaganova technique to the school. Margarosyan performed both classical and contemporary repertoires with the Cagdash Ballet Group until she moved to Canada in 1998.

Talar was accepted into the Teacher Training Program for professional dancers at Canada's National Ballet School, where she graduated with Distinction in 2002. She became an artistic staff member at NBS in 2003, and currently teaches ballet in the Professional Ballet Program, the Associates Program and the Teacher Training Program.

"My ballet training started in Istanbul."
– Talar Margarosyan, Junior School Pointe Shoe Co-ordinator.

Robert McCollum

Robert McCollum (Ballet Bob) trained in New York City and went on to dance professionally in both the US and Canada. Acclaimed for his expertise in teaching adults, Robert holds a Cecchetti Associate teaching qualification (with Distinction) and is a graduate of our Teacher Training Program. Mr. McCollum is currently the coordinator of our Adult Ballet Program and also teaches for the Professional Program at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Teachers' Seminar at NBS, and George Brown Theatre School. In 2006, he was invited by Christopher House to teach company class for the award-winning Toronto Dance Theatre and has most recently been offered the opportunity to teach there on a regular basis.

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Read Ballet Bob in "Improve Your Posture," Best Health Magazine, October 2008

Laura Ovcjak

Laura Ovcjak is a graduate of New York City's American Musical and Dramatic Academy and currently studies Finance and Marketing at the University of Toronto.
Specializing in contemporary dance, but trained in all disciplines, Laura has scores of performance credits throughout the United States and Canada. She is currently a principal dancer for Desiraeda Dance Theatre (Niki Wozniak, Artistic Director). In addition, dancing for New York City's The Next Stage Project (Jana Hicks/Marijke Eliasberg), includes lead performances at the acclaimed Dumbo Dance Festival, City Centre and Theatre Dance New Amsterdam.

Other notable performance credits include: ‘Weight' (Desiraeda), ‘Angels Twice Descending,' (Chelsea Studios NYC, Director Brian Spitulnik, award-winning choreographer Lizzie Leopold), ‘Young Romance,' ‘Hearing Voices' (Siona Jackson/Dr. Draw), ‘Cirque-tacular and the 7 Deadly Sins' (A2D2), the role of Gloria in ‘Joey and Gina's Comedy Wedding,' a featured role in Serena Ryder's music video, ‘Slow' and a feature in Chris Muir's short film ‘Lift' (choreographed by Niki Wozniak).

Laura is also a Singer/Songwriter preparing for her upcoming EP launch with her NYC-based band, Something West.

Jillian Peever

Jillian's enthusiastic, musical and detailed approach has developed through her culmination of studies at the Teacher Training Program at Canada's National Ballet School, and at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre.

Through her studies at NBS she gained teaching qualifications for the Royal Academy of Dance, the I.S.T.D National Dance faculty and the Cecchetti Society of Canada. After graduating with Distinction, she continued her studies at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre where she trained in contemporary dance.
In 2011 she joined the Toronto Dance Theatre performing works by Estelle Clareton, Lina Cruz and Christopher House. She has also worked for Peggy Baker, Danny Grossman and Sharon B. Moore.

Jillian believes her teaching feeds her dancing, and her dancing feeds her teaching. Each new encounter in her dancing inspires her to teach and share as much as she can about how the body moves and expresses with her students.

Jillian Peever

Ashleigh Powell

Ashleigh began her ballet training in Ottawa at the Kanata Ballet School. In 2009, she graduated from Canada's National Ballet School's Teacher Training Program with Distinction. During her training at the NBS she obtained her teaching qualifications with the Cecchetti Society of Canada, the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, and the Royal Academy of Dance – as well as her Advance II dancing qualifications from all three organizations. Ashleigh is the recipient of both the Carole Chadwick Award and the Betty Oliphant Award for teaching and holds an Honours Degree in History and Sociology from the University of Toronto.

In addition to teaching, Ashleigh works as a choreographer. She spent three years as the choreographer-in-residence at the Toronto Youth Theatre and her choreography has also been featured at Hart House Theatre (Hamlet, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Equus, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Great American Trailer Park Musical), The Classical Theatre Project (MacBeth), Canopy Theatre (As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, Lysistrata) and the Next Stage Festival (Fairy Tale Ending).

Teresa Randall

Teresa Randall began her dance training at the RAD in London, England. Over the course of her pedagogical dance studies, she has had the opportunity to travel and study in both Russia and China. An examiner for the RAD both in Canada and internationally, Teresa has successfully run her own dance studio for over 15 years.

A full-time artistic staff member at NBS since 1999, Teresa also finds time to travel internationally both to teach master classes and to create commissioned choreography for various occasions. She has been invited by the Canadian embassy in the Philippines to teach classes for the promotion of Canadian culture. Teresa currently teaches in the Professional Ballet Program, the Associates Program and the Teacher Training Program at NBS.

Anuschka Roes

Anuschka Roes trained in the United States and Canada, dancing with regional companies in San Diego and Toronto. She studied at the U.S. International University in San Diego, California as well as at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, and subsequently completed a Master of Arts degree in Dance from York University in Toronto.  Over the course of her education and career, she has worked at a number of post-secondary institutions including Ryerson University and the University of Waterloo. Roes has been a guest lecturer at The Theatre Academy of Finland, Texas Christian University, York University, and at the University of Toronto.

Anuschka Roes has been teaching dance for over 40 years. She teaches classical ballet, national/character dance, Benesh Movement Notation and pedagogy. Roes has been particularly active in promoting the study and use of the Benesh Movement Notation throughout Canada, and she has produced a series of informational training videos about the concept that can be viewed on YouTube. Anuschka Roes has been a guest teacher across Canada, the United States, Europe, South America, Asia and Australia. She was a consultant for the RAD Dictionary of Classical Ballet Terminology and other RAD publications, and has been on the executive committee for the RAD.  An examiner for both the RAD and the ISTD, she was appointed manager of the NBS Teacher Training Program in 1996 – a position she continues to hold today. Roes is proud of the success the Teacher Training Program, and its graduates, have seen over the years, with NBS graduates continuing to go on to hold positions in schools and companies in Canada and around the world. Anuschka is an integral part of NBS' Canada-wide outreach initiatives, leading movement and dance workshops with public school children in cities across the country including Nanaimo, St. John's, Drummondville and Toronto.

“I didn't really like dancing...”
– Anuschka Roes, Manager, Teacher Training Program

Robyn Hughes Ryman

Robyn Hughes Ryman completed her Master's Degree in Dance at York University in December 2010. She teaches Benesh Movement Notation in the Teacher Training Program at Canada's National Ballet School. Robyn trained at the Australian Ballet School and the Benesh Institute of Choreology in London, England, where she received an Advanced Teacher's Diploma in Benesh Movement Notation, as well as AIChor and FIChor qualifications. She has worked with companies including Ballet Victoria (Australia), Sadler's Wells Royal Ballet (England), the Bayerische Staatsoper Ballet (Germany), Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company, and the National Ballet of Canada; choreographers such as Lynne Seymour, David Earle, Danny Grossman, and Brian Macdonald; and institutes including the Banff School of Fine Arts, Ontario Science Centre, University of Waterloo, and York University. Her areas of dance research interest are preservation, computerization of notation, animation, and education.

Robyn Hughes Ryman

Raymond Smith

Born in Scotland, Raymond Smith began his dance training at the age of 11 in London, Ontario. He was admitted to Canada's National Ballet School two years later, where he completed the rest of his training. In 1975, Raymond joined the National Ballet of Canada and was promoted to principal dancer in 1980. Across his 20-year career with the National Ballet of Canada, Raymond danced the lead roles in such ballets as Giselle, La Sylphide and Napoli, and was a guest artist with the English National Ballet, the Scottish Ballet, the London Festival Ballet, and other companies throughout Canada and the United States. In 2004, Raymond joined the artistic staff at NBS, where he currently teaches ballet and is a senior student advisor.

Sergiu Stefanschi

A graduate of St. Petersburg's Vaganova Academy, Sergiu Stefanschi won the silver medal at the first International Ballet Competition at Varna, Bulgaria, in 1964. He was a principal dancer with the Bucharest Opera House, le Théâtre Français de la Danse, and the National Ballet of Canada. Sergiu has been a full-time teacher at NBS since 1979, and has been a major influence in the development of the School's approach to classical ballet training.

In addition to his pedagogical talents, Sergiu is world-renowned for his capacity to bring the traditional classical ballets to life, and is responsible each year for coaching NBS students in their presentation of an excerpt from one of the great classics. Sergiu is a regular guest teacher at professional ballet academies and companies around the world, including the Royal Danish Ballet School, the Swedish Ballet School, the Hamburg Ballet School, the School of American Ballet Theatre, the American Ballet Theatre and the National Ballet of Canada.

Tatiana Tchernova

Tatiana Tchernova began her dance training in Uzbekistan at the National Ballet College and the Tashkent Institute of Dramatic & Fine Arts. In 1997, she attended the Paris Opera Ballet School at New York University to further her teaching techniques. Tatiana has taught at ballet schools and companies throughout Canada and around the world, including the National Company of Korea, Ontario Ballet Theatre, Desrosiers Dance Theatre and Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. She has also had the opportunity to guest-teach extensively throughout the United States.

Vera Timashova

Born in Russia, Vera Timashova received her ballet training at the Novosibirsk State School of Ballet.

Having completed her studies with distinction, Timashova joined the Ballet Company of Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre as a soloist in 1974. She danced with the company for 3 years and had her first debut as the leading role in Carmen Suite, which was created especially for her.

In 1977, Timashova was invited to join the Moscow Classical Ballet Company (today the State Academic Theatre of Classical Ballet led by Natalia Kasatkina and Vladimir Vasiliyov) where she quickly became a Principle Dancer. Her repertoire included most of the major classical roles in Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, The Nutcracker, and Cinderella. She also played the leading roles in numerous contemporary ballets. Timashova also partnered young V. Malakhov in his several debuts with this company.

A key part of Timashova repertoire were the principle roles she played in Nathalie, ou La Laitiere Suisse in production by Pierre Lacotte after Filippo Taglioni, El Guije by Alberto Alonso (both created for the Moscow Classical Ballet,); L'Arlsienne by Roland Petit; and Les Vainqueurs by Maurice Bejart.

In her celebrated 26-year career, Vera Timashova has been a guest performer with various concert groups traveling throughout the world and Russia, and has danced on many prestigious stages including the Bolshoi and Mariinsky Theatres. Timashova is the recipient of several prestigious government awards that include the honorary title of “Distinguished Artist of Russia,” which she received in 1983.

In 1992, Timashova completed her studies at the Russian State University of Theatre Art (teachers included Marina Kondratyeva and Marina Semyonova), which qualified her as a teacher-choreographer.  While still dancing, she began her teaching career at the Moscow Classical Ballet Company. Timashova also served on the jury for The International Ballet Seminar in Brasilia (Brazil) between 1998 and 2001. Her work there included both coaching and staging for the Grand Pas from Raymonda, The Kingdom of The Shades from La Bayadère, the 2nd Act from Swan Lake and the full production of Don Quixote.

A graduate of the Teacher Training Program for professional dancers at Canada's National Ballet School, Timashova joined the artistic faculty at NBS in 2002, where she teaches in the Professional Ballet Program.

Ilze Titova

Ilze Titova has been a member of the artistic staff at Canada's National Ballet School since 2007. A graduate of the Teacher Training Program for Professional Dancers, Ilze was a member of the Latvian National Opera & Ballet Company prior to moving to Canada. She teaches classical ballet in both the Professional Ballet Program and the Associates Program.

Ilze was born in Riga the capital city of Latvia. She received her professional ballet training at the Riga School of Choreography, an institution renowned for world class performers and graduates such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Vladimir Gelvan and Alexander Godunov. She began her career at the Latvian National Opera & Ballet Company in 1994 and was promoted to Soloist in 1997. With the company Ilze toured extensively throughout Europe, performing for audiences in such countries as France, Germany, Russia, Belgium, Finland, The Netherlands, Scotland, Austria, Switzerland and Israel.

Ilze graduated with distinction from NBS' Teacher Training Program and is the recipient of the 2007 Betty Oliphant Award. She is a Registered Teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance.

Laurel Toto

Laurel Toto began studying dance with Anna and Igor Youskevitch in New York City.  She continued her dance training at the High School of the Performing Arts and the Joffrey School of Ballet. In her early career, she performed with the New Orleans Ballet, where she had the opportunity to work closely with Harvey Hysell and Ivan Nagy. Throughout her professional career, Toto has enjoyed working on both classical and contemporary repertoires.

A graduate of the Teacher Training Program at Canada's National Ballet School, Toto joined the NBS staff in 1983, where she continues to work today. She is currently the Junior School Manager and Community Engagement Co-Manager at NBS, and in the past she has also held the position of Manager of the Junior Associates Program. Exceptionally gifted in her work with younger children, Toto teaches ballet, pointe, historical and character dance to students in the Professional Ballet Academic Program at NBS.

In addition to her teaching roles at NBS, Toto is also in charge of rehearsing NBS students for National Ballet of Canada Productions such as The Nutcracker, The Contract and Pastorale. She has accompanied the Company's Nutcracker tour to Japan, the Pastorale tour to Germany and The Contract tour to New York.

Working at NBS for thirty years has allowed Toto to form significant relationships with her colleagues, parents and students, from who she gains inspiration each and every day.

“I fell in love... with ballet.”
– Laurel Toto, Junior School Manager & Community Engagement Co-Manager

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