Lorraine Blake

Lorraine Blake

R.A.D. Teaching Certificate, F.I.S.T.D. and Examiner Theatre Branch Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance

Lorraine’s training began at the age of three in England and continued through her teen years in Zimbabwe. A strong R.A.D. training led her to Vocational Examinations and later the teaching certificate with the Academy. At dance college in South Africa, the I.S.T.D. Modern Tap and Jazz were studied and Lorraine achieved her Associate, Licentiate and eventually Fellowship status with this society. It was after eleven successful years of teaching in the Toronto area that Lorraine was invited to train in London, England and join the examining faculty of the Modern Theatre Branch of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (Modern / Jazz and Tap). She and her family have been living in the Cowichan Valley since 1998. Her passion and dedication to young dancers and the art of dance is evident in the success of Steps Ahead Dance.

 

Bryony Blake

Bryony Blake

A.I.S.T.D

With her mother and grandmother ‘in the business’, Bryony ‘grew up’ in a dance studio! Her R.A.D. and I.S.T.D. training allowed for a solid technical background in Ballet, Modern and her first love, Tap. Throughout high school she trained in all genres and also developed a passion for acting. Bryony graduated from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, and soon landed a job dancing at Disneyland, Anaheim. Now back on Canadain soil, Bryony is training in real estate, has her Zumba license and Associate status with the Imperial Society of Teacher of Dance – Tap Faculty. We welcome her to the Steps Ahead teaching staff!

Chantelle Norris – Guest Teacher

Chantelle Norris – Guest Teacher

Choreographer – A.R.A.D., R.T.S. A.I.S.T.D.

Chantelle began her dance career in Calgary, Alberta where she trained locally as a competitive dancer before being noticed and trained by prestigious schools such as the RWB, Alberta Ballet School and Banff Centre for Performing Arts. She later went on to uphold her own successful ballet program at a locally celebrated school where she began her training as a little girl, and there earned her status as an R.A.D certified instructor. Chantelle’s youthful teaching style and choreography have led her to the island where she has been teaching full time and recently been frequenting the ISTD in Chichester, England and has been awarded her Associate status in modern dance.

Jennifer Kosmenko

Jennifer Kosmenko

Jennifer began her training in Whitehorse, Yukon before continuing her studies at Simon Fraser University at the School for the Contemporary Arts where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance as well as a Certificate in Liberal Arts.  She continued working and collaborating with various independent choreographers and companies for many years after graduation.  Jennifer received her RAD certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies and has spent the last 15 years teaching and choreographing ballet and contemporary works in the lower mainland including as Artistic Director for the Reach Student Performance Company.  In addition to preparing hundreds of successful candidates for both graded and vocational ballet examinations Jennifer has won numerous awards for her choreography.  She has only recently moved to Vancouver Island and is excited to be teaching at Steps Ahead!
Hayley Newcombe

Hayley Newcombe

Hayley’s formal dance training began at Steps Ahead in 2003 Spending the rest of her life in the studio as a student, taking her R.A.D ballet exams up to Grade 8, I.S.T.D Intermediate Tap, and Advanced 1 Modern. This lead her to pursue the Associates in Modern Theatre exam through Westcoast Academy of Performing Arts with Arabella Martin in Victoria BC where she passed with Honours. Returning to her home studio of Steps Ahead, she is currently aiming to take Advanced 2 Modern in Spring 2018. Hayley continues to grow and learn as a choreographer and mentor and hopes to teach for a few more years before taking her teaching career to the next level by obtaining the I.S.T.D Associate Diploma in Modern Dance.

Caitlyn Newcombe

Caitlyn Newcombe

Born and raised in the Cowichan Valley, Cat’s dance training began at 4 years old in Shawnigan Lake. Over the next thirteen years, under the teachings of Ms Lorraine Blake, she worked to complete her RAD Grade 8 ballet exam, as well as Intermediate Tap and Advanced 1 Modern from the ISTD. After graduating high school in June 2016, Cat attended West Coast Academy of Performing Arts the following September. She continued to train in jazz and modern, as well as work towards her Associate status in modern dance. In June of 2017, she along with her twin sister, completed and passed her examination. Cat is excited to return to her home studio to continue to grow and learn along with her students, as well as further pursue training with the ISTD Modern faculty.
Samantha Madge – Guest Teacher

Samantha Madge – Guest Teacher

BTM, A.R.A.D, RAD RTS

Samantha began her training at Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts at an early age studying ballet, jazz, modern, tap and musical theatre. She had the pleasure of performing in many productions and has had much success as a competitive performer winning many awards, and scholarships as well as competing at BC dance provincials. Sam furthered her training at The National Ballet School in the Pre-Professional Training Program and at numerous summer dance intensives including, The National Ballet School, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Arts Umbrella, Joffrey Ballet School and Ballet Austin. Samantha then enhanced her jazz and contemporary training by taking classes in New York for 3 summers at schools such as Steps on Broadway, Alvin Ailey and Broadway Dance Center.
In 2013 Samantha obtained her Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies as well as her A.R.A.D. teaching status from The Royal Academy of Dance. She loves both teaching and using her creativity to produce choreography. She has also taught for The City of Nanaimo as dance Teacher for 7 years and this year she has been excited to start her first season with Brentwood College as the new dance teacher and choreographer. Samantha is also very focused on education and is happy to be completing her Bachelor of Tourism Management Degree at V.I.U. in April 2015.