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McDonald Wilson Dance Academy
#00 Address Location, Calgary, Aberta (403) 286-8119
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Shannon Bachynski, A.R.A.D. R.T.S.

Shannon Bachynski (Wilson) A.R.A.D. / R.T.S. has over 50 years experience in professional dance ranging from performing, teaching, choreographing and administration.


Shannon founded and operated the McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for over 35 years. She is 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 University and the Banff School of Fine Arts. She has also studied Dance History, Dance Anatomy and Benesh Notation through the University of Waterloo and has traveled extensively to study dance in such locales as Winnipeg, Toronto, Boston, New York and Cuba.


As a teacher, choreographer and administrator, Shannon has studied all forms of dance training and movement through various institutions. She is recognized as a certified and registered teacher with an A.R.A.D. (associate) certification from the Royal Academy of Dance and has been appointed by the Royal Academy of Dance in London as a Supervisor and Mentor of students who are enrolled in the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies.


In the fall of 2012 Shannon was awarded a “Lifetime Membership” from the Royal Academy of Dance in London for “40 years of unwavering loyalty and dedication” to her craft. There are a mere 1,000 Life Members in 36 countries in the world.


Shannon is a qualified professional in pointe shoes fitting.


Shannon is the co-founder and Artistic Director of “Dancer’s In Training” and is an honorary board member for Alberta Dance Theatre.


In 2005, Shannon wrote and published a book entitled "Life is a Dance", which deals with the non-competitive philosophy in dance and the arts.






Shana (Bachynski) Eriksen, A.R.A.D. R.T.S.

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.


Jacqueline Allart

Jacqueline Allart has been dancing and performing for 22 years with McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy. Jacqueline has studied and been primarily trained in tap, jazz and ballet at McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy. She has also studied with the University of Calgary dance program. Jacqueline has completed various A.D.A.P.T jazz and tap examinations up to and including the pre-advanced level. She performed with dit.co Company for 5 years and has won the “Most Improved Dancer” award on many occasions for different dance styles at McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy. In 2010, Jacqueline was the recipient of the Dancing Heart Award with McDonald Wilson Dance Academy, for excellence, dedication, performance and love of dance. Jacqueline was in the teacher aspirant program for 3 years with McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy, and is now currently in her 6th year of teaching jazz and tap classes with the Academy. Jacqueline has avidly attended various A.D.A.P.T. dance workshops held yearly during her studies. She has worked with renowned choreographer Sean Cheesman at his summer intensive camp and has attended the D.A.X dance convention in Calgary. In 2009 she travelled to Matanzas and Havana, Cuba alongside other students and teacher’s for a week of intensive workshops in a variety of afro-cuban, salsa, folkloric and rumba styles of dance and music. In 2012 she participated in Studio Bollywood iDance’s professional dance-team and performed at the ONE Rhythm of World Dance Show at the Jubilee. She is continually looking to expand her knowledge of various styles of dance and exploring new techniques through teaching.   

Jacqueline has completed her Bachelor of Sciences Degree at the University of Calgary, majoring in Biological Sciences with a minor in French Language Arts. She is currently working full time at the C.A.R.E Centre Animal Hospital in Calgary. She is excited to be teaching again for another season with McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy!

Brittany Elves
Brittany Elves has been dancing and performing for 20 years with
McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy! Brittany has studied various forms of dance
at McDonald Wilson including modern dance, African and hip hop but has
focused on ballet and jazz. She has also participated in several of
McDonald Wilson’s Summer Dance Intensives. Brittany has completed
A.D.A.P.T jazz examinations and workshops as well as Royal Academy of
Dance graded and vocational examinations and workshops up to and including
Advanced 2 ballet.  She performed with dit.co for 7 years and is proud to
have been a part of the founding year of the company. Brittany
participated in McDonald Wilson’s Teacher Aspirant Program for 7 years
where she gained experience in teaching the earlier levels of dance as
well as substituted many grade levels on several occasions. Brittany has
received the “Most Improved Dancer” award numerous times throughout her
training at McDonald Wilson as well as “Most Dedicated Dancer” for the
2005-2006 dance season. Brittany recently received the 2011 Bree Eriksen
Memorial Award in Dance and applied the scholarship towards her education
at the University of Calgary.

In July of 2009 Brittany travelled, along with other academy members and
teachers, to Matanzas and Havana Cuba to study salsa dancing , folkloric
Afro Cuban Rhumba and drumming, and experience an entirely unique musical
and dance culture.

Brittany is in her final year at the University of Calgary majoring in the
Energy Management program within the Haskayne School of Business. She will
receive her Bachelor of Commerce degree in Energy Project Management in
June of 2012.
Tarina Emshey, R.A.D. R.T.S

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

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.


Tannis Boisjolie
Tannis Gulayets has been dancing with McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy for over 20 years.  She has studied various techniques, including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern and Hip Hop.  She has completed A.D.A.P.T. Tap and Jazz Examinations, as well as Royal Academy of Dance Examinations.  In past dance seasons, Tannis has been a member of the dit.co Company at McDonald-Wilson Dance Academy.  She graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Education with a double major in French and Elementary Education.  Tannis is currently teaching for the Calgary Separate School District in a French Immersion Elementary School. 


Adrian Iovan

Bio coming soon


Barbara Lisek

Barbara Lisek brings over 40 years of experience and dedication to dance as a performer, choreographer and educator. She graduated from Grant MacEwan University and later collaborated to design a children's dual stream (modern and ballet) dance program and a Dance Teacher Training program. Ms. Lisek danced professionally with the Brian Webb Dance Company, Formolo Dance Association for World Expo '86 and co-directed Thatside Independance. She was head of Modern Dance in the Professional Division at the School of Alberta Ballet from 1982-2012. She is dance artist in residence for the CBE at Monterey Park Elementary School and Pineridge Elementary School for the past 13 years. Barbara works at the Waldorf School on a seasonal basis and is a highly sought educator teaching pedagogy of movement. Ms Lisek teaches the “young to the young at heart” and is affectionately known as "Miss Barbara". She continually strives to share with and motivate her students as much as they motivate her! She is the head of Modern Dance at MWDA and the co-founder of dit.co.


Krista McEwen

Krista, a native Calgarian, has been dancing and performing in the area for over 20 years.  She has studied various techniques including ballet, jazz, tap, modern and West-African, and she has also completed Royal Academy of Dance examinations and A.D.A.P.T. Jazz examinations.  Krista has had the privilege of performing with Dance Montage, Alberta Dance Explosions, the Feats Festival, Alberta Dance Theatre (formerly Children in Dance), Dancers in Training Company, the Calgary Opera, Ignite Festival, and Avatara.  She is also the recipient of the “Most Dedicated Dancer” award from McDonald Wilson Dance Academy.

Over the past eight years Krista has been sharing her love for movement with children.  Through her apprenticeship with Barbara Lisek, she has been able to nurture and grow her passion both as a dancer and as an educator.  In 2012 and 2013, Krista attended the Summer Dance Institute for Teachers at the Creative Dance Center in Seattle, Washington to become an expert in Anne Green Gilbert’s BrainDance and now takes the philosophy of brain-compatible learning and the power of BrainDance with her into the classroom.

Academically, Krista completed a Master of Arts degree in Sociology with a focus in the Sociology of Dance, Sport, and Health from the University of Calgary.



Jacqueline Boon

Melissa Tuplin

Bio coming soon

Jackie Stewart

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.


Brettainy Sutherland

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.

Michael Funk
Capri Wiebe

 All photos courtesy of Helen Scott Photography