Meet your instructors for Summer Dance 2021 at Goh Main in Vancouver.
Patrick Howell Former Lead Artist, Milwaukee Ballet
William Patrick Howell was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He started his dance training at age 15 at the Giacobbe Academy of Dance. At age 18, he was offered a full scholarship to train at Pennsylvania Ballet’s Rock School for Dance Education. After two years there, he trained at the School of American Ballet in New York City on full scholarship, where he also appeared in the feature film "Center Stage." Howell started his professional career at BalletMet Columbus, where he danced many leading roles including Laertes in Hamlet, Benvolio in Romeo & Juliet, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jonathan Harker and Renfield in Dracula, among others.
From 2004-07, Howell danced as a soloist with the United Kingdom's Northern Ballet Theatre, where he performed roles including the title role in Peter Pan, Gypsy pas de deux in La Traviata and the final role before his departure, D’Artagnan in the critically-acclaimed Three Musketeers, a role Artistic Director David Nixon created on him. While dancing in England, Howell was named dancer of the month in Dancing Times magazine. He also traveled throughout Germany and France dancing in Don Quixote and served as a staff member to the Blue Lakes Fine Arts Camp.
In 2008, Howell joined Milwaukee Ballet as a Leading Artist, where he performed numerous principal and soloist roles. His personal favorites were the title role in Stephen Mills’ Hamlet, Frolo in Michael Pink’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Captain Hook in Michael Pink’s Peter Pan.
In 2011, Howell took a three-year leave from Milwaukee Ballet to work with Theatre Augsburg in Germany, where he worked under some of the great choreographic masters of the 21st Century, including William Forseyth, Christian Spuck, Itzik Gilili, Edward Clug, Demis Volpi, Douglas Lee, Maurice Causey, Annabelle Lopez ocha, Young Soon Hue and Kevin O’Day. He had many works created for him including The Prince in Cinderella choreographed by previous Genesis winner Mauro De Candia. In 2012, Howell won the prestigious Theatre prize for this role in William Forseyth’s Herman Scherman. Howell also performed alongside some of Europe’s greatest dancers in galas and dance festivals throughout Germany, Turkey and Serbia. Milwaukee Ballet’s Michael Pink joined Howell in Augsburg to create the title role in his celebrated new production of Dorian Gray on him.
In 2014, he returned to Milwaukee Ballet, where he reprised his role of Dorian Gray in 2016. Howell has also danced in Mark Godden’s Angels in the Architecture, Michael Pink’s Mirror Mirror, the Sheikh in Scheherazade, Beast in Beauty and the Beast, the title role in Dracula, the pas de deux of Val Caniparoli's Lambarena and as Rodolfo in La Bohème, where he performed alongside his wife Nicole Teague-Howell.
In 2017 Patrick expanded his career to include teaching. He became a faculty member with the Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy as well as a teacher in the internationally attended Milwaukee Ballet Summer Training Program. He was a part of the national audition tour for this program. His teaching experience includes students as you as twelve years old through to pre-professionals. He has also taught company class with both Milwaukee Ballet and Theatre Augsburg.
Offstage, Patrick served as emcee for the annual Milwaukee Ballet Ball which has had great success in raising money for the company. In 2019 Patrick became a father to baby Ivy.
Jessica Edgley Instructor, PDTD R.A.D, RTS, ARAD
Jessica Edgley was born in British Columbia, Canada and started dancing from a young age under the direction of Gwen Grant. Jessica began her full time vocational training at the Vancouver Goh Ballet Academy and by the age of sixteen received the Royal Academy of Dance Solo Seal Award. She was awarded the British Columbia Arts Council Senior Scholarship and Vancouver Ballet Society Senior Scholarship then went on to earn a prestigious scholarship at America’s Pacific Northwest Ballet School. Where she also danced with Pacific Northwest Ballet Company before embarking on an international career. In her 12 years as a professional dancer, she danced leading, soloist roles such as Sugar Plum Fairy (Nutcracker), Aurora, Lilac Fairy (Sleeping Beauty), Polyhymnia (Apollo), Waltz couple (Serenade). As well as performed in all the companies repertoire at English National Ballet, National Ballet of Ireland and the Norwegian National Ballet where she also choreographed for their Ballet Lab. During this time she worked with many leading figures in the ballet world, performed extensively in UK, across Europe, Australia and Asia.
Jessica then went on to receive her Professional Dancer Teachers Diploma from the Royal Academy of Dance in 2009. In 2010 Jessica was invited to tutor on the Academy’s BA (Hons) Ballet Education Degree programme in London UK and in 2016 she joined the faculty of the Dance School at RAD. In her time at the Royal Academy she has also taught, coached, intensive vocational courses, exam syllabus, workshops and summer schools.
From 2012 to 2018 she was Ballet Mistress and choreographed for the New English Ballet Theatre in London UK. As Ballet Mistress for NEBT, she has worked closely with a variety of choreographers such as Wayne Eagling, Michael Corder, Ernst Meisner, Kirsty McNally, Andrew McNicol, Daniela Cardim, Jenna Lee, and Valentino Zucchetti amongst others.
Jessica has also taught at the North London Ballet Academy, Central School of Ballet and London Studio Centre. She has also appeared as a guest teacher for workshops, summer schools in Switzerland, Greece, UK and Canada.
Lauren Ritchie Mental Skills Trainer, (MEd, BA, ESFCC)
Lauren Ritchie has been studying, researching, and educating dancers on the physical, emotional and mental intricacies of dance. Lauren has made it her life’s work to support dancers to be their best – mind, body and spirit. Recognizing the lack of mental skills training in dance, Lauren has created programs and exercises dedicated to educating and empowering dancers mental health and fitness to optimize their training. From her MEd in Coaching Studies to a BA in Professional Communications, to multiple Yoga certifications and an accredited Art & Science of Coaching Certification, Lauren has a unique blend of education and resources that offer a holistic training approach for dancers.
Lauren has firsthand knowledge of the attributes required to achieve and sustain peak performance. She was a highly competitive and decorated dancer having classically trained in ballet, jazz, tap and lyrical.
After completing her A.R.A.D, Lauren knew she “wanted to dance” but had little guidance and awareness of the true process of transitioning into a professional dance career. This is why Lauren has created and hosts The Dance Podcast; an invaluable resource dedicated to inspire and educate dancers, teachers, and parents through candid conversations with industry professionals.
Lauren is an established facilitator and speaker, delivering workshops to prestigious schools and training programs like the Alberta Ballet School and Harbour Dance Centre. She is the co-founder of the Dance Teacher reTREAT AND has also facilitated and contributed to the DTRC’s on the Move workshops speaking to aspiring dancers in Calgary. Her career achievements had also been recognized as she was a recipient of the Edmontonian’s Top 20 under 30.
Lauren’s engaging and encouraging teaching style has inspired dance teachers and students across the country to use dance as a practice of high-performance living and an exploration of their unique self.
Fiona Smith Associate Director of the Junior School, Instructor, N.B.S DIP. & A.R.A.D
Fiona Smith has provided guidance and leadership for the Goh Ballet’s Junior Division for over a decade, choreographing award-winning pieces, providing coaching for international competitions, and leading preparations for all levels of RAD examinations in the Academy
A graduate of the National Ballet School’s Teacher Training Program and the London Studio Centre in London, England, Fiona Smith has taught ballet in Japan, Toronto and Vancouver as well as in Missouri, Montana for the VIBE Competition. Her formal training began at Goh Ballet Academy, where she performed and toured throughout B.C., France and China with the Goh Ballet Youth Company. She then toured England with London Studio Centre’s Images of Dance working with choreographers such as Geoffrey Cauley, Michael Corder and Harold King.
Returning to Canada, Ms. Smith continued her education at the National Ballet School and earned her Advanced R.A.D., Advanced Cecchetti and Advanced National Dance examinations. She also received her teaching certificates in both the R.A.D. Teacher’s Exam and ISTD National Dance exam. Ms. Smith returned to the Goh Ballet Academy in 2001, bringing her international experience and love of ballet as the Associate Director to the Junior School.
Tanya Phelps Associate Director of Special Projects, Instructor, R.A.D., RTS, ABT® PRIMARY – LEVEL 3
Tanya Phelps has an extensive background in classical ballet as well as jazz, tap, modern, hip hop and flamenco. She received her professional training at Kirov Academy of Ballet, Goh Ballet Academy and Les Ballet Jazz de Montreal before joining the Goh Ballet Company in 2001. Having completed examinations with honours in the Royal Academy of Dance and the Ukrainian Academy of Dance, Ms. Phelps has also toured throughout Asia and Canada with Goh Ballet’s Youth Company performing in varied repertoire such as: Giselle, Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Fairy Doll, Balanchine’s Serenade, La Fille Mal Gardee and numerous neo-classical pieces. In 2005 she was part of Guangdong TV’s reality show “Future Stars of Tomorrow”, where she performed as an actress and dancer as well as choreographed pieces for them while touring throughout Asia and Europe.
Ms. Phelps has choreographed award-winning dances in a variety of styles for competitions, performances and musicals. Her many accolades extend to a wide array of genres, including: dance, body conditioning, rhythmic gymnastics, musical theatre and drama.
Ms. Phelps has been a teacher at the Goh Ballet Academy for over 10 years and is Associate Director of Goh Ballet’s Outreach & Special programs. Ms Phelps completed her ballet teacher training with Goh Ballet’s 3-year certificate teacher’s course working closely with Mrs. Lin Yee Goh and Professor Xu Ding Zhong of Beijing Dance Academy, where she studied the Vaganova teaching methods and syllabus. Ms. Phelps is also is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 3 of the American Ballet Theatre® National Training Curriculum. As well she is a certified teacher with England’s Royal Academy of Dance.
Isabel Yuan Instructor, R.A.D Dual Examiner & Solo Seal Examiner
Isabel Yuan was born in China where she studied classical Ballet at the Beijing Dance Academy (the National Ballet of China), and graduated with distinction in all subjects. Ms. Yuan danced professionally as a principal ballet dancer for 15 years with the Tani Ballet Company in Tokyo, Japan and performed internationally in the most famous classical ballets such as Don Quixote, La Sylphide, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, La Fille Mal Gardee, Coppelia, Cinderella and Swan Lake among others. After sustaining dance injuries, Ms. Yuan retired from dancing and came to Canada to study at the National Ballet School of Canada to obtain her professional dance teacher training in Toronto. She has over two decades of teaching experience and this includes guest teaching at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School of Canada, the Beijing National Ballet School, and the National Ballet School of New Zealand.
Ms. Yuan’s teaching credentials include: the National Ballet Professional Dancer Teaching Certification (NBS. P.D.T.C.), Imperial Society Teachers of Dancing, Advanced Certification and Associate Certification (A.I.S.T.D.), Royal Academy of Dance Teaching Certification (R.A.D. TC.). Ms. Yuan was appointed as a Vocational Examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance in 2005, and has been a Dual Examiner since 2011.
Monica Proenca Contemporary Instructor
Monica was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She began her dance training at an early age and went on to graduate from the San Francisco School of the Arts in the United States. As a professional dancer Monica has worked in international dance companies and had the pleasure of working in many independent productions with world class choreographers, both Classical and Contemporary.
She is an accomplished choreographer and teacher that has taught in and choreographed in renowned institutions such as San Francisco, USA for Lines Contemporary Ballet Program, for Germany's - Nordhousen Ballet Company and Schewerin Ballet . Canada 's Arts Umbrella Youth Company, Kayzer Ballet - Portugal , Brazil's Divina Dança and in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Japan, Germany all over Brazil and Canada within her eighteen years of teaching experience. Her choreography has been awarded in Brazil, USA, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland , Austria, France, Spain, Japan, Czech Republic, Australia and Korea.
Monica was commissioned to choreograph pieces for the opening gala of the 60th Anniversary of the Beijing Dance Academy in China (Goh Ballet Youth Company) and a special piece to be presented at the opening of Tanzart Festival in Nordhausen, Germany.
She was a nominee for the 4th Annual Inspirational Latin American Awards for Arts and Culture in Vancouver. Monica was a guest choreographer for the closing gala of Brasilia’s acclaimed International Dance Seminar for 4 years partnering with conductor Claudio Cohen with pieces from Tchaikovsky, Claudio Santoro, Villa Lobos and Piazzola.
In film Ms Proenca produced "Strings for 2" a short dance film for Bravofact Canada. She was the choreographer for "Dance First" a short film produced by Dunbar Underground Productions and Center Stage On Pointe, produced by Sony Pictures for Life network and Directed by Director X.
She has been recognized also in the dance competitions stages receiving best choreographer awards in competitions such as: Global Dance Challenge 2017, World Ballet Art Competition 2017 and 2018. She was the choreographer for the winner of the YAGP Toronto 2018 grand prix. Best Choreographer award for Synergy Vancouver 2019.
As an adjudicator she has set in the Jury of the Brasilia international dance seminar (2004 -2016 - Brazil), CoreDance (2018 - Canada) Global Dance Challenge (2018 and 2020 Canada), Valentina koslova international ballet competition (2019 - Paraguay), View Dance Challenge (2020)
Monica currently attends The Palucca Schule University in Dresden Germany for her Teacher's Masters degree in Modern and Contemporary Dance. In Canada she continues to choreograph, produce, dance, teach, coach and inspire others with passion, strength and elegant technique combined with her own Brazilian flair.
Jen Cole Instructor, BFA, I.S.T.D, & R.A.D, RTS
Miss Cole received numerous performance awards from the York University and has danced professionally with numerous dance companies in Canada. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts (Honours) from York University, a Certificate of Ballet Teaching Studies with the Royal Academy of Dance, and is a Registered RAD Teacher. She is also a Certified Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) Instructor, a Full Teaching Member with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), and an ongoing student with the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO).
Miss Cole is passionate about passing on her love of movement with students of all ages. Currently her focus is on dance education and developing healthy, technically proficient, and artistically expressive dancers.
Shannon Hanbury Professional Performer & Musical Theatre Instructor
Shannon Hanbury is a Vancouverite who has had the privilege of performing on various stages throughout the world. She moved to Los Angeles to attend AMDA, and received her BFA in musical theatre. Post education, Shannon became a lead vocalist on board AIDA Cruise Line and returned to Vancouver to perform in Various RCMT, TUTS and Arts Club productions; a few notables: Anything Goes (Hope), The Drowsy Chaperone (Janet); Winning the Lead Female Ovation Award, Mary Poppins (ensemble), Beauty and the Beast (Babette), Mamma Mia! (Ali). She also found her love of teaching and adjudicating with multiple theatre and dance companies in Vancouver. Most recently, Shannon's dream of becoming a Disney Cast Member came true when she joined the Main Stage company of The Disney Dream Ship with Disney Cruise Line. There she portrayed multiple iconic characters in Broadway style productions, including Cruella De Vil, Plumette and Charlotte. Ms. Hanbury is grateful to return to the Goh Ballet for her fifth summer of educating in theatre.
Katrina Leppanen Pilates Instructor
Katrina grew up dancing in North Vancouver. After an injury took her away from a professional dance career, she discovered and fell in love with other forms of movement. Katrina now teaches Lagree, ballet, barre, and pilates mat/reformer. With a welcoming approach to all styles of teaching, Kat believes that movement is for everyone. Her fulfillment teaching comes from helping her students get to know their unique bodies and what they need and are capable of. Katrina loves teaching dancers and is knowledgeable about how to effectively condition their bodies to support their art.