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McDonald Wilson Dance Academy
#00 Address Location, Calgary, Aberta (403) 286-8119



Our History

The McDonald Wilson Dance Academy has continually served the dance community in Calgary for over 30 years.

Shannon Ley Bachynski (Wilson) A.R.A.D. R.T.S. has over 40 years experience in performing, teaching, choreographing and administration in professional dance.

As the Principal and Founder of the current Academy, Shannon has owned and operated the McDonald Wilson dance Academy, a non-competitive dance school, located in Calgary, Canada for over 30 years.

McDonald Wilson Dance Academy offers all forms of dance from classical ballet, jazz, tap and modern.

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 cumulating in achieving her Advanced 2 Certificate with the Royal Academy of Dance. She has also studied Dance History, Dance Anatomy and Benesh Notation through the University of Waterloo.

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 and is recognized as a certified and registered teacher with an A.R.A.D. (associate) certification from the Royal Academy of Dance. Ms.Bachynski is also an accredited teacher of the A.D.A.P.T. (Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers) syllabus. Recently Shannon has also been appointed by the Head Office of Royal Academy of Dance in London to mentor students who are enrolled in the “Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies”.

Shannon has recently published a book entitled “Life is a Dance” which deals with a “non-competitive philosophy” in the arts.

The McDonald Wilson Dance Academy prides itself with offering a "non-competitive" environment. Our strength of purpose is not in competing with one another but with competing with oneself. Allowing each dance student to ask the question "What will improve my technique, my artistic skill, my performance and most important my attitude?".

The McDonald Wilson Dance Academy strengthens each student's belief in themselves, that they can aspire to becoming greater dancers and greater people. This is demonstrated and platformed through traditional dance examinations and performing. The McDonald Wilson Dance Academy Teachers lead the students to not only learn dance steps to build a dance, but encourage them to execute steps correctly, to achieve, embrace and appreciate the art of dance.

The McDonald Wilson Dance Academy's emphasis is on the student and their ability to become greater individuals utilizing the technique and discipline attained through the art and appreciation of dance. Emphasizing "non-competition" therefore highlights the individual value of each and every student, not just a chosen few, which then contributes to the ultimate success as a whole.

Our Staff
Our highly qualified dance educators live the philosophy of the McDonald Wilson Dance Academy. Our Pianists pride themselves in providing inspiration and the appreciation of the blending of music and dance to become one.

Our Program
The McDonald Wilson Dance Academy honours the philosophy of the Academy.

As a medium to reach such an objective we subscribe to the following curriculum:
• Ballet: Royal Academy of Dancing
• Tap: A.D.A.P.T. and various styles
• Jazz: A.D.A.P.T. and various styles
• Modern: Hanya Holm, Eric Hawkins, Jose Limon, and Martha Graham Techniques
• dit.co: Dancer's In Training Company
• Year End Recital*

Our dance program runs from mid-September through mid-June with breaks at Christmas and Easter.
*Every second year (even years) the Academy presents a grand "Year End Recital" in a professional theatre environment.

Program Goals
Our Program Goals are for the student to develop self-discipline, physical well-being and performance quality. The McDonald Wilson Dance Academy encourages dancing from the inside-out and most importantly the passionate fulfillment of dance and music.

All students require our approval before attending any other dance school, workshops and external performing groups.

Our Logo
Our proud, distinctive and classic trademark logo has represented the Academy since its inception. To the McDonald Wilson Dance Academy the stylized dancer represents energy, artistry and replenishment that emerges from a strong technical and graceful foundation.

Our Facilities
Our studios A & B are in Brentwood at 5107-33rd Street in Northwest Calgary. Studio C is located at Northmount Drive and 35th Street N.W. (Brentwood Sportsplex - upstairs). The studios are located adjacent to Sir Winston Churchill High School and the Northland Shoppes. All of our studios have sprung flooring along with state of the art flooring.