Alumni images through the years.

Alumni Together in Spirit: Celebrating NBS’ First 60 Years

A Virtual Gathering on May 14-15

Six decades of NBS Alumni have pursued numerous and varied paths across a broad spectrum of careers and life choices. What binds us together is our shared NBS experience.
 
On May 14-15, NBS hosted an online event to reconnect Alumni with the School, one another, and our shared experiences. The event included panel discussions on where a ballet education can lead, as well as explorations of our lived experiences and opportunities to learn about the power, the joy and the opportunities that come from connecting with the NBS network.

Alumni Reflections


60th Anniversary Celebration

 


Event Schedule 

Friday, May 14

4:45pm - Social time
5:00pm - Official welcome
5:20pm - Social time
 

Saturday, May 15 

1:00pm - Welcome 
1:20pm - Panel #1 - Lifelong Transferrable Skills: The Distinctiveness of an NBS Education
2:40pm - Dance Break
3:00pm - Panel #2 - The Next Generation: Future NBS Alumni Take the Virtual Podium
4:00pm - Wrap up and Goodbye


Panel #1

Lifelong Transferrable Skills: The Distinctiveness of an NBS Education

Panelists: Milo Elkington, Lisbet Hanson, Ashleigh Powell, Alexi Skinner, and Demis Volpi
Moderator: Jaimie Tapper
 
This panel discussion will explore the distinct qualities of an NBS education which have enabled the School’s Alumni to pursue a wide variety of paths in ballet and beyond. Representing graduating classes from across the decades, panelists will share their personal stories of passion, resilience, and courage which illustrate the versatility and adaptability of their NBS experience.


Moderator

Jaimie is an Organisational and CoachingJaimie.jpeg Psychologist who draws on contextual behavioural approaches, including Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). She works with individuals and groups to improve their performance and enhance their health and wellbeing. Prior to retraining as an Organisational Psychologist (MSc, City, University of London), Jaimie had a 13-year career as a professional ballet dancer with the National Ballet of Canada and the Royal Ballet Company (UK). She retired as Principal dancer with the Royal Ballet in 2006. In addition to her work as a Psychologist, Jaimie’s portfolio career includes an executive role leading the strategic development of community interventions and staff health and performance at Shoreditch Trust as Deputy Chief Executive Officer. She is also a Research Associate at the Centre for Psychological Wellbeing and Neuroscience, City, University of London. Jaimie has a special interest in working with professional artists and athletes, helping them (re)discover meaning and purpose in their careers and lives, and navigate through different career and life stages. She currently works with a number of professional dance companies in the UK, including The Royal Ballet, Rambert, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Northern Ballet, Richard Alston Dance Company and Scottish Ballet. In addition, She works as a consultant with Dancers Career Development and the National Ballet School of Canada and is a Trustee of Studio Wayne McGregor.

 

Panelists

Miles headshot

Since graduating NBS in 1987 Milo has had a varied career performing with ballet & contemporary dance companies, on cruise ships, in musicals & cabaret and has taught & choreographed all over the world. Milo Miles credits include: The Oslo Danse Ensemble, Secret Cinema, Crystal Cruise Lines, both stage & film productions of ‘The Phantom of The Opera’ and worked with such noted choreographers as Mia Michaels, Doug Elkins and Christopher Huggins. Milo Miles has competed in Latin & ballroom competitions in Canada, the USA, the UK and Sweden. He has coached & choreographed for figure skaters, actors, drag queens, burlesque artists, an all-male exotic review, L’Oréal Professional and even a high school football team!

After leaving NBS Milo took a short detour to Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario to study Musical Theatre. He then set out for Vancouver and at the age of only 18 taught for esteemed modern dance choreographer Anna Wyman, working at her school and went on to take classes with her company. Milo then joined Goh Ballet Academy as a ballet & jazz teacher while also dancing with the Goh Ballet Youth Company; with which he toured extensively including a trip to mainland China. Next Milo danced, taught, rehearsed and choreographed for The Royal City Youth Ballet Company in British Columbia, Canada under director Dolores Kirkwood. This was a relationship that would last over a decade, even after Milo left for the UK. Milo Miles then toured world- wide with FISM Champion Magician Juliana Chen as her first assistant.

Based in London since 1999 Milo has worked as the ballet master with Tavaziva Dance and was a regular guest teacher for Disney’s ‘Lion King’ company warm-up. In 2005 he created his own small semi-professional dance company and ‘Milo Miles Entertainment’; a small production company which creates various sized shows ranging from 2 dancers for small private venues to larger elaborate corporate events at over 100 performers. His credits include Harvey Nichols, Soho House LTD the Crown Prince HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar and resident choreographer for ITV studios.

In 2001 Milo started to develop a new Jazz-ballet syllabus, which is meant to bridge the gap between classical ballet training and contemporary-jazz dance, creating technically strong and versatile dancers. It has led to him teaching master classes in London for visiting teachers from France, Japan, Holland and Malta with Milo travelling to Singapore, Prague, Naples, Sicily, Malta and even back to Canada. He has also developed his own method of teaching children at nursery & kindergarten levels. Adding to his credentials Milo Miles taught for 8 years at Danceworks, 15 years at The London School of Dramatic Arts and for 16 years at Pineapple Dance Studios until he moved to Hong Kong at the end of 2019.

Head hunted and known for his work as a host/hostess, singer, dancer, choreographer, producer, makeup artist, set & costume designer and female illusionist; it is these last credentials that have brought Milo Miles to Hong Kong as the Entertainment Director/General Manager and ‘Face Of’ of the newly opened Lambda Lounge.

Dr. Lisbet Hanson has been practicing obstetrics and gynecology in Virginia Beach for more than 30 years. Dr. Hanson graduated from Canada’s National Ballet School in 1973 and pursued a career in professional dance, taught ballet and graduated in 1982 from the University of Vermont/College of Medicine where she obtained her BA and her MD. Dance continues to be a vital part of her life as she believes dance has the ability to touch people of all ages and all abilities, helping them develop cognitive, social and emotional skill sets while giving them an understanding and appreciation of the world around them and the importance of community. She is a founding member of the Board of Todd Rosenlieb Dance, a local professional dance company and started a liturgical dance ministry in her church. Dr. Hanson is the recipient of numerous awards, served as the first Medical Director of Women’s Health at Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, started their surgical robotics program and is the Chair of Outreach and also Ambassador to the Caribbean and North America for the International Society of Ultrasound In OBGYN. Dr. Hanson has led more than a dozen medical teams to Haiti and Africa over the past 17 years to teach and provide care.
Ashleigh-6.jpegAshleigh is a  member of the Professional Program Artistic Faculty at Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS). In her role as NBS’ Head of Community Dance Programs, Ashleigh works with partners across the education, community programming and sport sectors to bring the widespread benefits of dance to all Canadians. A graduate with distinction from NBS’ Teacher Training Program, she is a recipient of the Carole Chadwick and the Betty Oliphant Awards. In addition, Ashleigh has worked extensively as a theatre choreographer and holds an Honours Degree in History and Sociology from the University of Toronto.
Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Alexander Skinner is a dancer with TheAlexi.jpeg National Ballet of Canada and an alumnus of Canada’s National Ballet School. As a student at NBS, Mr. Skinner participated in a variety of events including the annual Spring Showcase, the Stephen Godfrey Choreographic Workshop, the Creative Challenge, the Global Alumni Symposium and Assemblée Internationale 2017. He participated in festivals such as the Holland Dance Festival, Yondering’s Twentieth Anniversary Celebration in Hamburg, Germany, and Diana Vishneva’s Context Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2017, he was awarded the Peter Dwyer Award by Canada’s National Ballet School and the Canada Council for the Arts. Mr. Skinner joined The National Ballet of Canada as a RBC Apprentice in 2017 and is currently a member of the Corps de ballet. He was awarded the RBC Emerging Artist Award in 2018 and the David Tory Award in 2020 by The National Ballet of Canada.
Since the beginning ofVolpiDemis_Presse1_FOTO_AndreasEndermann_WEB.JPG the 2020/21 season, Demis Volpi has been Ballet Director and Principal Choreographer of the Ballett am Rhein. The German-Argentinian artist trained as a dancer in Buenos Aires, at Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto and at the John Cranko School in Stuttgart. He subsequently danced in the corps de ballet at Stuttgart Ballet. He began choreographing for the company in 2006 as part of the Noverre Young Choreographers project and was named Choreographer in Residence in 2013 after the success of his first narrative ballet ‘Krabat’. He is fascinated by stories and continues to explore the possibilities of narrative in ballet. He has created both narrative and abstract works for companies including American Ballet Theatre, Ballet de Santiago de Chile, Ballet Nacional del Sodre in Uruguay, National Ballet of Latvia, Ballett Dortmund, Compañia Nacional de Danza de México and Flanders Ballet. He has also created works for Canada's National Ballet School, where he was Guest Artist in Residence in 2014. Since 2014 Volpi has also been active as an opera director, questioning the boundaries of this theatrical genre of theatre. This was evident, for example, in his 2017 staging of Benjamin Britten’s ‘Death in Venice’ – a co-production between Stuttgart State Opera, Stuttgart Ballet and the John Cranko School. Volpi was the winner of the Erik Bruhn Prize in 2011, the Prize of the Chilean Arts Critics’ Circle in 2012 and the Future Award of the German Dance Prize in 2014. He was subsequently nominated for the Prix Benois de la Danse in 2017 for his evening-length ballet ‘Salome’ and was named Emerging Artist of the Year in the critics’ poll for the professional journal Opernwelt following his successful premiere of ‘Death in Venice’, also in 2017. Demis Volpi was a member of the jury for the 2018 Prix de Lausanne. In September 2019 his work and achievements as a choreographer over the last decade were recognised at the Konex Awards in Buenos Aires with the presentation of the foundation’s Diploma of Merit. 


Panel #2

The Next Generation: Future NBS Alumni Take the Virtual Podium

Panelists: Cara Grant, Luke Scheuer, Charlie Skuy, and Anisa Tejpar
Student Interviewers: Simon Adamson De Luca, Sydney Bowen, Sarah Moreno, and Derek Song
Student Moderator: Maya Smallwood


Panelists

1504-Grant_Cara.jpgCara Grant is a graduate of Canada’s National Ballet School and a former dancer with the National Ballet of Canada. Ms. Grant also trained at the School of Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier, in Germany and also at the Rotterdam Danse Academy, Netherlands. Since retiring from the National Ballet of Canada Ms. Grant pursued a college degree in Interior Design, along with University studies in Architecture and Project Management.

Ms. Grant commenced her second career with WSP Group, a global engineering firm; working with the firm for 10 years. In 2018 Ms. Grant joined EllisDon Corporation, one of Canada’s largest construction services companies.

Over the course of her career, Cara has developed an impressive breadth of experience spanning a diverse variety of industry sectors including the Mission Critical, Commercial, Healthcare, Education, Retail and Municipal sectors.

Her extensive experience in the management of large-scale construction projects, includes working on numerous projects domestically and internationally; from pre-design through construction to the commissioning and yearend reviews. She has represented owners and worked collaboratively with user groups, design teams, construction teams and with all levels of government.

Her most notable projects include the Ryerson Student Learning Centre, Ryerson Theatre School, Stackt Shipping Container project and St. Michael’s Hospital Redevelopment Project.

She continues engaged within the dance community, currently serving on the Board of Directors at Fall for Dance North and previously served as Chair of the Board for Peggy Baker Dance Projects.

Luke.pngA graduate of Boston College Law School, Associate Professor Luke M. Scheuer previously held adjunct positions at Boston College Law School, the University of Massachusetts School of Law, and Boston University School of Law where he taught advanced legal skills courses on contract and corporate drafting. Before teaching, he held a judicial clerkship in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and also worked as a corporate associate at Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston. He teaches and writes in the areas of corporate law, contracts, and cannabis business law.  His recent scholarship has focused on corporate and contract law.

He has served on the board of a number of non-profits including the Delaware chapters of Common Cause and People to People. Prior to his legal career, he was a professional ballet dancer with companies such as Opera Atelier, the Alberta Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. He still occasionally performs, most recently with the First State Ballet Theatre. 

To the right is a picture of me performing the role of Don Quixote for the First State Ballet Theatre in 2019. 

SKUY-CHARLIE-350x525-RAHI-REZVANI-2018.jpgCharlie Skuy graduated from NBS in 2018. From there, he entered Nederlands Dans Theater II where he danced for three years before entering the first company (NDT I) in 2021. 

There he has performed and been in creations by Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, Marco Goecke, Johan Inger, Alexander Ekman, Yoann Bourgeois, Dimo Milev, and Medhi Walerski. 

Charlie remains dedicated to an exploration of film, dance in film, the choreographic process, and the conversational nature of art making. 
AT_Headshot.jpgDora Mavor Moore Award winner, and three time nominee, Anisa Tejpar is originally from Toronto, and is a graduate of Canada’s National Ballet School. She is a dancer, producer, Intimacy Coordinator, and choreographer.
 
As a child, she danced and toured with The National Ballet of Canada, and danced with Toronto Dance Theatre as an intern. She has performed works by Matjash Mrozewski, John Neumeier, Guillaume Côté, Ginette Laurin, Mauro Astolfi, Robert Derosiers, Robert Glumbek, Roberto Campanella, William Yong, D.A. Hoskins, James Kudelka, Christopher House, and Hanna Kiel, amongst others. She has appeared in films such as Steppin’ Up: Save the Last Dance 2, Moze Mossanen’s From Time to Time, has appeared as a vampire on Guillermo del Toro’s show The Strain, as well as print ads and commercials for Bell and Loblaws to name a few.
 
Tejpar is also Co-Artistic Director of the dance entertainment firm Hit & Run Dance Productions Inc.  (www.hitandrun.ca) for which she has choreographed works for The Rolling Stones, MasterCard, Ferrero Rocher, Telus, Warner Bros., Fashion Cares, M.A.C. Cosmetics, CTV, PUMA, Evergreen Brickworks, Casa Loma, Toronto Botanical Garden, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Golden Globe winning feature film Barney’s Version. Tejpar is the co-choreographer and co-director of Casa Loma’s "Legends of Horror''. She is also the pilot choreographer of Steven Spielberg’s “Minority Report” and co-choreographer on Ubisoft’s video game “Far Cry: Primal”.
 
Tejpar has also rehearsal directed and outside eyed for multiple works for Guillaume Côté, Roberto Campanella, and Robert Glumbek, and is a guest ballet and contemporary teacher at York University’s dance program, Ryerson University’s dance program, and George Brown Dance.
 
Tejpar volunteers for Dance Collection Danse, and curates all the live performances for the Encore! Dance Hall of Fame, as well as volunteers and creates works for Dancing with Parkinson’s, and their Intergenerational Dance Project linking seniors with youth in art making, and dance. Tejpar is a current Board Member for Canada’s National Ballet School.

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