Jen Loane has been dancing with Halifax Dance from an early age and is a graduate of the Intensive Training Program. In 2007, Jen created a dance program for children with special needs at Halifax Dance. Inclusive Movement has blossomed from a four-week trial to being offered in the weekly schedule with arts camps offered in the summer. Jen hopes for this program to continue to grow and allow people of all abilities to experience the joy of dance.
After obtaining a BA in Dance from Butler University in Indianapolis in 1973, Marel Eager danced with the Butler Ballet and the Evanston Concert Ballet. Marel began her teaching career with the Minnesota Dance Theatre in 1977 and has taught ballet, pointe and character dance at Halifax Dance since 1980. Her love is teaching ballet to beginning students of all ages – sending them on to discover the many joys of all forms of dance with a solid foundation in proper alignment and technique.
A recipient of one of Nova Scotia’s prestigious Established Artist Awards, this eclectic choreographer continues to create collaborative work as well as immerse herself in the exploration of the comedic and traditional genres. Locally, her work with Halifax Dance’s The Young Company and the Maritime Performance Dance Group continues to delight audiences and she has just come from performing for Halifax’s first inaugural Suitcase Festival as well as the Nocturne: Arts at Night festival.
Stephanie Mitro is a young dancer from Toronto, Ontario with a focus in contemporary, jazz, ballet, modern and hip hop dance. She graduated from Ryerson University with a BFA degree in Theatre Performance Dance in 2008. She has had the opportunity to work with a number of professionals, including Tiffany McLean, from Toronto, Vicki Adams Willis from Decidedly Jazz , Calgary, Marty Kudelka, Dee Caspry and Mandy Moore to name a few.
Penelope trained in ballet, jazz and modern dance in Canada, England and the US. She is one of the founding members of Halifax Dance. An active professional choreographer, producer, director, dancer and teacher, Penelope has been head of the Contemporary Jazz Department of Halifax Dance for over 35 years. An avid lover of jazz music, Penelope has a long standing history of collaborating with musicians in her choreography.
Mariella Belleza trained at the school of the National Ballet of Peru, the school of the Municipal Ballet Theater of Lima and at the Federico Villarreal University of Peru. In 1988 Miss Belleza moved to Canada and joined Halifax Dance as an instructor of the recreational and Intensive Training Program. Miss Belleza has been one of the répetiteurs of Halifax Dance production of The Nutcracker since 1998.
Courta is from Guelph, ON and has loved dance since she began at age 5. She has studied and competed in various disciplines and is a Society of Russian Ballet Affiliate. Courta completed a Bachelor of Kinesiology (’05) and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (’09) at Acadia University while creating and coordinating ADCCommunity. She also assisted in creating Dance Acadia’s competitive team and helped develop the Acadia Dance Collective.
I believe that fitness and well-being is a journey and a lifestyle, the destination is not so important, it’s what we discover along the way and how we put that to use. The mind, body & spirit must all be in balance and harmony in order to achieve your goals in life. I have a passion for Balance, Stability & Core training as well as Sport Specific/Athletic training.I believe in constantly striving to learn new things and challenge myself both physically and emotionally.
Ruth-Ellen Kroll Jackson is originally from Nova Scotia. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from The North Carolina School of the Arts under the Anthony Bliss Scholarship. Ms. Jackson’s professional career took place in New York where she danced for The Martha Graham Dance Ensemble, New York City Opera, Cortez and Company, Patricia Kenny Dance Collection, Robert Battle and most extensively with the Parsons Dance Company.
Nick Nguyen had learned about Bboying in 2007, from a local organization, now called, Concrete roots. He would later participate in Concrete Root’s “class is in” program which taught Bboying, also known as break-dancing, in public schools which was fuelled by a grant. Since his completion of the “class is in” program and two years of training in Halifax’s Bboy teens class, Nick has attended workshops from some of the best in the world, and continues to progress in skill and Hiphop knowledge.
Mary Lou Martin is a theatre director, choreographer and arts educator who has worked professionally in both the theatre and dance worlds for more than 25 years. Mary Lou teaches ballet and has been instrumental in developing and implementing programming at Halifax Dance for the last 30 years. She has worked in many capacities administratively for the organization including Artistic Executive, Co-Artistic Director and Creative Coordinator – Special Projects.
Kendra began dancing at a young age and has since studied classical ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, modern, musical theatre, and highland dance. Her career with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet began in 1989 when she was accepted into the RWB’s Professional Division. As a graduate of the school Kendra danced with the RWB Company from 1992 to 1996 performing in Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Les Sylphides, Nutcracker, and The Dream, among other pieces.