Shannon Bachynski (Wilson) A.R.A.D. R.T.S. has over 45 years experience in performing, teaching, choreographing and administration in professional dance. She has owned and operated the McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for over 30 years.
Shannon was trained as a classical ballet dancer and has studied and danced at such institutions as The National Ballet of Canada, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Ryerson Polytechnical Institute and the Banff School of Fine Arts. She has also studied Dance History, Dance Anatomy and Benesh Notation through the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
As a teacher, choreographer and administrator, Shannon has continued studying all forms of dance training and movement through various avenues such as Royal Academy of Dance (London) and The Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She is recognized as a certified and registered teacher with an A.R.A.D. (associate) certification from the Royal Academy of Dance and is also an accredited teacher of the A.D.A.P.T. (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers) syllabus. Shannon has also travelled to study in New York to become qualified in pointe shoe fittings.
In 2005, Shannon was appointed by the head office of the Royal Academy of Dance in London to supervise the Mentor of the students who are enrolled in the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies.
Shannon has recently written and published a book entitled "Life is a Dance", which deals with a non-competitive philosophy in dance and the arts.
Shana (Bachynski) Eriksen A.R.A.D. R.T.S. has been dancing for over 28 years. She is well-experienced in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, Hip-Hop African and Flamenco and has completed Royal Academy of Dance Examinations up to and including Advanced 2 and Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers (ADAPT) Jazz Exams. Shana is a full member of the Royal Academy of Dance and has been teaching for the last 12 years. She has graduated from the Royal Academy of Dance in the Teaching Certificate Program. Shana has performed with Alberta Dance Theatre (formally Children in Dance), the Calgary Opera, Dancer's Studio West and Wild Rose Dance Arts. She has studied throughout North America at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Alberta Ballet, National Ballet of Canada, Steps on Broadway (New York) and Harbour Dance Centre (Vancouver). Shana has also travelled to study in New York to become qualified in pointe shoe fittings. She has won several awards, among them the "Most Dedicated Dancer", "Best Performer" and "Dancing Heart" with McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy.
Apart from her extensive dance and teacher training, Shana has received her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Calgary, majoring in English.
Tarina Emshey, R.A.D. R.T.S. with the Royal Academy, has been dancing for over 30 years with McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy. Her dance experience includes Ballet, Jazz and Hip Hop. She has completed Royal Academy of Dance Examinations up to and including Advanced 1 and various A.D.A.P.T. Jazz Examinations. Tarina has also attended the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Teacher’s Summer School a number of times, and has won the "Most Dedicated Dancer" award with McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy. Tarina is a teacher member of the Royal Academy of Dance and has been teaching dance for more than 15 years with McDonald Wilson.
She graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Education as a French Major, and has taken a variety of courses in Child Development, Child Psychology, Special Education, Dance History and Dance Theory. Tarina is currently teaching in the French Immersion and Fine Arts programs at the high school level in Airdrie, where she has been for over 10 years. The past few years, she has been exposed to and participated in various dance experiences and workshops, including African, Musical Theater for Broadway while in New York, and most recently a trip to Cuba with MWDA to study Latin cultural/folkloric dances and salsa.
Mark Eriksen is a well-experienced performer, dance educator, adjudicator, choreographer, and director. He is originally and currently based out of Calgary, Canada. Mr. Eriksen has trained intensely with the American Tap Dance Institute to become a certified graduate of the National Tap Ensembles’ Diploma program. Mr. Eriksen has trained and instructed in New York, San Diego, Los Angeles, Wisconsin, and Vancouver. Mr. Eriksen is highly skilled in Tap, Jazz, Lyric, Ballet, Musical Theater, and Partnering. He continued his professional teachers training to include the ADAPT syllabus. By age 22 he had entertained professionally aboard Princess Cruise Lines for over five years performing in 14 full productions shows. These shows included premier casts directed by Gene Castle as well as Gene Anthony Ray of the original movie “Fame”. He was able to travel to over 80 countries before beginning his teaching career in Calgary over 12 years ago.
As past Co-Artistic Director of the Young Canadians School of Performing Arts, Mr. Eriksen is currently working with the internationally known Grandstand Show of the Calgary Stampede. In addition, he has worked with the Calgary performance for HRH Queen of England, during the Centennial of Alberta. Mr. Eriksen has also worked with performances for Will and Kate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during the Royal Tour in Calgary 2011. During the World Skills competition in Calgary, Mr. Eriksen was one of the Director and Choreographers of the opening ceremonies, the closing award ceremonies, and the half time Labour Day classic show, which included the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper. Mr. Eriksen co-choreographed the flash mob effect with over 300 people at the 2009 Gemini awards. As a Director and Choreographer Mr. Eriksen presented downtown Calgary’s first Christmas spectacular during the holiday season. Mr. Eriksen has won choreography awards from the American Dance Awards, and Can Dance competitions. Mr. Eriksen is also a Resident Artist for the Calgary Board of Education where he is an instructor of dance education workshops and performances. He has choreographed for Altadore Gym Club, home of many Olympic Gymnasts, as well as Co-directed and choreographed the 2006 season of the NLL Roughneck drill crew and stunt team.
Apart from his extensive dance training he is a graduate of Business Administration, with a major in Marketing. Mr. Eriksen is a member of the International Tap Association, and is currently President of the Bree Eriksen Memorial Dance Award Society, which annually presents dance awards in Canada. Recently Mr. Eriksen has become involved with the International Dance Council an affiliate of the United Nations Educational scientific and cultural organization.
Currently Mr. Eriksen is the Senior Tap and Jazz educator with McDonald Wilson Dance Academy and Creative Director/Owner of Twenty Eight Enterprises LTD.
A native Calgarian, Tina Guthrie has studied at the University of Calgary, Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, The Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta Ballet, and the National Ballet School of Canada. After graduating from U of C (BA Dance 2000, Distinction), Tina studied with Gregory Hines and Buster Brown in NYC and Jump Rhythm Jazz Project in Chicago. Tina co-created Avatara and has choreographed for Alberta Dance Explosions, Dance Montage (U of C), Alberta Feats Festival in Edmonton, and many of Calgary’s pre-professional dance programs, along with teaching and performing. Most recently, Tina was a dancer for Shaw, works with events companies in Calgary, and has curated Launch (the Dance Series) for Sage Theatre’s Ignite! festival for the past 4 years. Most importantly, Tina spends her days with her kids, Jacqueline and Dylan.
Tyler Ko has been dancing all his life, and began in Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, learning styles such as Jazz and Ballet. Bboying was introduced to him about five years ago, and since its introduction he has been doing it ever since. Tyler has performed in such events as the World Skills Competition held in Calgary last year and has competed all across Canada and the United States. Tyler is passionate about what he does and is always looking for ways to further himself as a dancer.
Barbara Lisek brings over 35 years of experience and dedication to dance as a performer, choreographer and educator. She graduated from Grant MacEwan College and later collaborated to design a children's dual stream dance program and a Dance Teacher Training program. Ms. Lisek danced professionally with the Brian Webb Dance Company for five years, Formolo Dance Association for World Expo '86 and co-directed Thatside Independence. She is Senior Modern Pedagogue in the Professional Division at the School of Alberta Ballet since 1982. For the past ten years Ms. Lisek has provided dance education to Calgary Board of Education students at Monterey Park Elementary School, as part of their mandate to provide students with drama, music and dance as a weekly curriculum. She is dance artist at Pineridge Elementary and the Calgary Waldorf School. Monterey Park is one of Canada's top "40 cool schools". For the past 20 years, Ms. Lisek has provided movement education for 4-5 year olds. She is affectionately known as "Miss Barbara". Barbara recently returned from Edmonton where she taught the 3rd annual teachers course, sponsored by the Edmonton School of Ballet.
Krista McEwen, a Sociology student at the University of Calgary, has been dancing for over eighteen years with McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy. She has studied various techniques, including ballet, jazz, tap, modern and West African. Krista has completed Royal Academy of Dance Examinations up to and including Intermediate, A.D.A.P.T. Jazz Examinations and was recognized as the "Most Dedicated Dancer" by McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy. She has performed in various productions including Dance Montage at the University of Calgary, the Ignite Festival, Avatara, Alberta Dance Theatre (formally Children in Dance), Alberta Dance Explosions, and the Feats Festival in Edmonton.
Janelle Schiffner has been dancing for over 15 years. She has studied various techniques, including ballet, jazz, modern, tap, hip-hop and African. She has completed all Royal Academy of Dance Examinations up to and including Advanced Foundations and A.D.A.P.T. Jazz and Tap examinations. Janelle has performed with Alberta Dance Theatre and in Dancer’s inTraining Company for 10 years. She has also travelled to study dance in New York at Steps on Broadway. She participated in the Dance and Child International Conference in the Netherlands in 2006. Recently, she travelled to Cuba with Hannah Stilwell to study afro Cuban dance and Salsa. She has taken classes at the Banff Centre, Summer Dance Intensive (S.D.I.), Decidedly Jazz Dance Summer Camps, A.D.A.P.T. workshops, and R.A.D. workshops. Janelle was the Dance Captain for the William Aberhart High School Musical Theatre department, choreographing many numbers for the show. She has also choreographed and performed a dance for the Children’s Art Museum. Janelle has participated in the Teacher Aspirant Program at McDonald Wilson for many years. She has received the “Most Improved Dancer” award on various occasions and received the “Best Performer” award in 2006. Janelle is currently studying as a dance major at the University of Calgary.
Jacqueline grew up in Montreal where she began her studies with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. She moved to Toronto at the age of 13 and graduated from the National Ballet School in 1984. Jacqueline began her professional career with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and also danced with Alberta Ballet and Calgary City Ballet. During her career she performed such ballets as The Nutcracker, Cinderella and Coppelia. Jacqueline also taught with the School of Alberta Ballet for over 10 years. As well as teaching at McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy, she also works part time at Fitness Table Calgary.
A passionate dance teacher, performer and educator with over 21 years experience. Brettainy has danced all around Calgary with some of her favorites being the Calgary Opera, Three Left Feet, Dr. Horrible and The Calgary Stampeder Outriders Cheer team. Brettainy is a member of the Canadian Dance Teacher's Association in Classical ballet, and also hold hers BA in Contemporary Dance with distinction from the University of Calgary, with a specialization in dance education. She is the 2008 recipient of the Heather Simpson Memorial Award in Dance for Ballet Teacher and in her first year of completing the Royal Academy of Dance Certification in Ballet Teaching Studies.
All photos courtesy of Helen Scott Photography