Carolé Martyn ARAD, RTS

Artistic Director & Owner Kirkwood Academy
Director Academy Pre-Professional Program
Director KYDC

Carolé Martyn was a member of CAPAB and PACT Ballet Companies in South Africa where she performed corps de ballet and solo roles in many of the classical ballets. Some of her favourite roles were Poll in Pineapple Poll, an Ugly Sister in Cinderella and one of the four Cygnets in Swan Lake.

Miss Carolé has been teaching for the past 33 years, entering thousands of students for exams, mentoring young dance teachers and being well respected in the dance world as a professional, talented and generous person.

She is thrilled to have the chance to one day pass on her legacy to her daughter and her granddaughters.

Bev Martyn

Bev Martyn BSc, BEd, RAD RTS

Director Academy Pre-Professional Program Academics Coordinator
Senior Faculty Early Beginnings
Senior Faculty Open Division Junior Ballet & Tap
Director KYDC

Being Carolé and Lindsay’s daughter, dance has always been a part of Bev’s life. As a young child she played around the dance studio, just as her own daughters do now. She helped in class, was always at the round table for production discussions, was a peer helper and then began teaching at the studio at an early age. Not only has she danced in every production by Kirkwood but she has also been involved in the planning, design and painting of scenery, costume design, creation of posters, T shirts and programs, stage management, scheduling and administration as well as the rehearsal process and the performances.

As Director of KYDC she has successfully taken dancers to perform in Disneyland and New York and is planning a trip to Disneyworld in December. She also encourages dancers to give back to the community by taking them to dance at Senior Citizen’s Homes, and has decorated floats and rehearsed our dancers for Parades, Empire Day Teas, Bathtub Days, Musical Evenings and other Fundraisers.

Bev attended Wellington School in Nanaimo where she was the school Valedictorian, the winner of the Premier’s Award, Governor General’s Award, Shad Valley Enrichment Program, Heart and Stroke Foundation Research Award, and was awarded scholarships to UBC. She earned a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Education from UBC. She spent a year travelling in Asia where she worked with refugee children (in India) and taught ESL (in Nepal and South Korea). She is a qualified member of the Royal Academy of Dance. She is passionate about teaching children, both in school and dance. At Kirkwood she loves to have the opportunity to help children understand dance and find ways to express themselves through it. As well as working with the Day Program Students on Academics, she also works with the General Program on the preparation for dance examinations and festivals. Bev is excited to work with Pre School and Primary students on our program called Early Beginnings.

Chantelle Norris ARAD, RTS, AISTD Dip., PBT

Artistic Director Kirkwood Academy Pre-Professional Program (KAPP)

Chantelle completed her formative ballet training in Calgary, Alberta, under the guidance of respected classical educators such as, Tara Silvaggio ( Alberta Ballet School & RWB ), Elaine Werner Hutchison ( former teacher with the RWB ), and ballet master Brian MacDonald ( former Artistic Director, Royal Swedish Ballet). As a dancer, she was awarded various scholarships, such as, the ‘Most Promising Artist’ scholarship from the Wild Rose Dance Arts Association, ‘ Outstanding Classical Dancer’ from Expressions the Dance Gallery, and ‘Recognition of Excellence’ from the Mayor of Calgary.

Before locating to Vancouver Island in 2006, Ms. Norris was ballet Director of “Expressions the Dance Gallery” in Strathmore, AB. There she began her CBTS with the Royal Academy of Dance under the detailed guidance of Umran Sumen, former leading soloist with The National Ballet Company of Turkey. In 2006 she was awarded Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance, then continuing on to obtain her Associate Diploma of the Imperial Society of Teacher’s of Dancing under Lorraine Blake ( FISTD/Examiner). Chantelle had the privilege of travelling to Chichester, England in 2009, 2011, and 2019 to obtain direct mentorship from ISTD syllabi creators Lyn Richardson( ISTD Senior Examiner ) and Teresa Theodoulou ( Vice Chair of the ISTD Modern Committe). She has recently obtained her Intermediate and Advanced 1 Cecchetti examinations, as well as her Progressing Ballet Technique certification(2017), and completed the ISTD Contemporary syllabus course(2019).

Over her 12 years on Vancouver Island, Chantelle’s creative, award winning choreography and classical knowledge has gained her respect in the community, classroom and on the stage. Many of her students have gone on to dance full time with prestigious ballet schools such as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada, and have received coveted top placements at international ballet competitions such as, the Youth American Grand Prix. She is currently Artistic Director of the Kirkwood Academy Pre-Professional Program, and owner of Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet.

Terry Grantner

Terry Grantner, LRAD

Senior Faculty Open Division Ballet
Senior Faculty Kirkwood Academy Pre-Professional Program (KAPP)

Terry is a long-time member of the Royal Academy of Dance, completing her teacher training in 1981 and graduating as a Licentiate. She has taught ballet extensively over the past 40 years, combining a positive and encouraging manner with her considerable expertise.

In 2006 she became an Examiner for the Royal Academy of Dance and examines ballet students in Canada and international

Bernice Van Dyken RAD RTS

Senior Faculty Open Division Ballet
Senior Faculty Kirkwood Academy Pre-Professional Program (KAPP)

Bernice van Dyken was born and grew up in South Africa, where she was classically trained in both the Royal Academy of Dance and Cecchetti methods of ballet. She is a registered and certified teacher with the R.A.D., as well as a member of the American Academy of Ballet.

In South Africa she owned a large ballet studio for 15 years, where her students successfully participated in R.A.D exams, American Performance Awards, annual shows and competitive festivals. Bernice also worked as Ballet Mistress for the Johannesburg Youth Ballet for numerous years.

In 2008 Bernice and her daughter moved to Dawson Creek, BC to take up the role as ballet instructor. Here her students also successfully participated in R.A.D Exams, American Performance Awards, Competitions and workshops in BC and Alberta. Numerous ballet students have received scholarships to study at the American Academy of Ballet summer intensives in New York.

Moving to Nanaimo in 2016 and now residing in Parksville, Bernice has continued her teaching career with a strong focus on safety and strength of dancers both adult and youth.

Bernice has instructed adult ballet and Barre Fitness classes throughout her teaching career. Bernice loves to assist dancers, young and mature, grow in their love of dance and in their self esteem and confidence.

Karin Nicholas RAD RTS

Open Division Ballet
Open Division Tap
Open Division Theatre

At the age of 4, Karin began her training at Kirkwood Academy in New Westminster. She trained intensively in RAD Ballet, CDTA Tap, Jazz and Musical Theatre. She performed for many years locally with Royal City Youth Ballet and Royal City Musical Theatre. After Graduation, Karin spent several years dancing on board Royal Caribbean cruise ships and for many different production companies throughout Canada. Karin was brought back to her ballet roots in Chiang Mai, Thailand where she taught RAD ballet and led company rehearsals and classes for the Chiang Mai Ballet Company. In 2008 Karin became a registered RAD ballet teacher and in 2012 a 200hr certified yoga teacher.

Karin is so excited about this new island adventure and to be sharing her love of dance with a different Kirkwood Academy family.

Jennifer Quibell, ARAD, NBS TTP

Open Division Modern
Open Division Ballet

Jennifer Quibell began her dance training at Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts in Nanaimo studying Ballet(RAD), Jazz, Tap(CDTA) & Modern. During these early years she furthered her training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School Summer School sessions and L’Ecole de Superieure de Danse in Montreal.

Jennifer is a graduate from the 3 year Teacher Training Program at the National Ballet School in Toronto. She obtained her teaching qualifications in both the Royal Academy of Dance and Cecchetti syllabi with Distinction and was a recipient of the Carol Chadwick Award. Jennifer celebrates 25 yrs of teaching in 2022 and has had the pleasure to work with students all over Vancouver Island and Mainland in a variety of dance disciplines and companies’. Throughout her career, Jennifer has had the opportunity to be rehearsal mistress for various youth companies and ballet productions locally and with the Alberta Ballet and Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” productions in Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo as the Children’s Rehearsal Mistress and Communications Liaison.

Jennifer’s focus on strong technique accompanied by musicality and performance has enabled many students to follow their passion of dance to study at international schools for Summer Intensives and full-time study in Canada, Europe, USA, Russia and Australia. She encourages students to follow their love for dance in any form while providing nurturing guidance along the way to aspiring performers of the future.

Heather Robertson

Heather Robertson

Open Division Jazz

After training as a young dancer and actor in Vancouver, Heather trained in Los Angeles at different facilities, including Edge performing Arts Center and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Heather also performed with Nike’s hip hop dance troupe at Universal Studios and numerous movie premieres. In Thailand she performed for Telefilms International. Heather has danced for MAC cosmetics, toured Canada twice with Warner Canada, performed for X ‐Box in Toronto, and choreographed and performed in numerous local music videos, productions, and fashion shows. She also worked as a feature dancer on the feature film “White Chicks”. Her acting career has included roles in “Josie and the Pussycats”, the Touchstone pilot “Just a Phase”, Toyota national commercial, “Jake 2.0″ and “John Doe” as well as independent feature film and commercial work.

Heather’s extensive teaching experience has given her the opportunity to choreograph a wide variety of dance styles. Recently Heather has completed her Master’s degree of Occupational Therapy from UBC and is looking forward to applying her extensive learning experience and knowledge to her role as dance trainer. Her involvement in the world of competitive dance has spanned her entire career and she continues to enjoy the learning experiences that each dancer offers.

Amara Sparks, PBT

Open Division PBT
Open Division Jazz

Coming soon

Emma Dewar

Emma Dewar PBT

Open Division Ballet
Open Division Jazz

Emma began her dance training at the age of four at Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts where she trained in ballet, modern, contemporary and jazz for 12 years under Artistic Director, Carole Martyn. She had the pleasure of attending summer intensives inclusive of Boston Ballet School, Arts Umbrella and Pro Arte Summer programs. During the last two years at Kirkwood, she also traveled to Vancouver on weekends to train. Emma’s love for classical ballet moved her to Vancouver in 2015 to train full time at Pro Arte Centre in the Professional Training Program under Artistic Director, Astrid Sherman and the many talented faculty members Beverley Bagg, Tania Brossoit, Stephana Arnold, Kim Dixon and Alicia Bruce. While at Pro Arte Centre, Emma was a company member of the Catching Art Contemporary Ballet Theatre where she was privileged to work with artists such as Candice Michelle Franklin (Joffrey Ballet), Andrea Pena (Andrea Pena and Artists Company), Rachael Poirier (Poirier Productions Dance Studio) and Andrea Downie.

Emma also had the opportunity to be part of many performances and productions both at Kirkwood and Pro Arte Centre. She danced the role of Clara in Kirkwood’s 2012 production of The Nutcracker, Swanhilda in Kirkwood’s 2014 production of Coppelia, and was soloist in La Jardin Anime from Act Three, La Corsaire with Pro Arte Centre. Emma was the classical ballet winner at Vienna International Ballet Experience Competition 2017. Emma received Distinction in graded and vocational RAD exams and in ISTD Ballet Intermediate and Advanced exams. Emma recently received Progressive Ballet Technique certification.

Jessica Langelier

Jessica Langelier, PBT, PCT, Acrobatic Arts Certified (AAC1)

KAPP Junior I/II Modern and Jazz
Open Division Modern
Open Division Jazz
Adult PBT and PCT

Jessica trained with Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts for over 11 years and loves every genre of dance available to her including ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary, jazz, tap and hiphop. She also was the first graduating dancer from KAPP, Kirkwood Academy’s Pre-Professional half-day program. In addition to her core training, she has been a company member with Helix Dance Theatre, Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet and Prism Dance Connections.

In addition to dance, Jessica trained with Andrea Bertram Vocal Studio and Flipside Gymnastics. She has been fortunate to have performed in many musical theatre productions as well including Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Cinderella, Seussical and Nutcracker.

Jessica has also been fortunate to train with various professional summer schools including the School of Alberta Ballet (2014), Joffrey West LA (2015), Joffrey NYC (2016) the Joffrey San Francisco (2017), Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago, IL (2018), Complexions in LA (2019) and Brea Space (2019). She has also toured to California, New York and Florida with the Kirkwood Youth Dance Company (KYDC) enjoying performances in Disneyland, Time Square and Disneyworld.

In June 2018, Jessica was honoured to participate as an Intermediate Modern representative at the Performing Arts Festival in Victoria. In 2020, she was also chosen as a Senior Stage representative for the Performing Arts Festival in Cranbrook.

Jessica has received certification in Progressive Ballet Technique (PBT), Progressive Contemporary Technique (PCT), and is Acrobatic Arts Certified (AAC1). Jessica is also pursuing a BFA ( 3rd year dance major) at Simon Fraser University where she received an elite entrance scholarship with distinction. She continues to train at SFU along with the Rhythm Room, Luminesque, and Harbour Dance.

Along with continuing studies in dance and anatomy, Jessica is elated to be teaching at Kirkwood Academy and to contribute to the studio she grew up in.

Fiona Matthews

Open Division Modern/Contemporary
Open Division Jazz/Lyrical

Fiona Matthews is a dance artist and teacher raised on the traditional territories of the Treaty 6 and Treaty 7 Nations (Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta). After graduation, she moved to New York City to continue her training with a focus on Broadway Jazz, Commercial Jazz, Hip Hop and Contemporary. Fiona moved to Vancouver to pursue a BFA Dance from Simon Fraser University, graduating in 2021. Throughout her undergrad and since graduating, she has been delighted to continue training and performing around the Lower Mainland, appearing as an SAE and principle performer on Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and obtaining her Mat Pilates teaching certification from A La Linge. Most recently, Fiona has had the pleasure of writing, directing and choreographing the dual shows Kardia and Khôra for The Lovers Cabaret.

Teaching dance is one of Fiona’s greatest passions. She firmly believes in proper anatomical education, whole-hearted encouragement, and freedom of expression in her classroom.

With gratitude, she lives and works on the unceeded territory or the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Watuth Nations.

Avari Dodd

Open Division Tap

After moving to Nanaimo in 2020, Avari has been training with the KAPP program at Kirkwood Academy of Performing Arts. She has also been a member of Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet since 2019.

In addition to ballet, Avari has been training in tap dance for 12 years. She has completed 6 levels of exams in ADAPT and ISTD. She has trained with many notable rhythm tap instructors including Lindsay Sterk, Riley Skworoda, Demi Remick, Sarah Reich, Danny Nielsen, Max Pollak, Sierra Brewerton, and many more. Throughout the Covid years, Avari had the opportunity to participate in learning Eddie Brown’s historical BS Chorus and Paris routines with Heather Cornell. She also participated in Brenda Bufalino’s virtual Mentorship program in 2020.

Avari has taken part in the Vancouver International Tap Dance Festivals from 2017-2020, the Big Apple Tap Festival (New York) in 2017, and she has travelled to take part in tap classes in Toronto, New York, London, and Portugal. In 2019 Avari was selected to be part of Team Canada and perform at the Dance World Cup in Braga, Portugal where her team placed 5th in the World. She’s trained in many summer intensives including CRXtreme, Triple Heat Dance, Victoria Academy of Ballet, Arts Umbrella, Martha Graham, Joffrey Ballet, and Complexions Academy in NYC.

One of the many scholarships that Avari has received brought her to England where she participated in Menina Fortunato’s London Spring Tour, filming a music video on the streets of London in 2020. In 2021, She was chosen to be one of Nuvo’s Die Hard Dancers by Kelsey McCowan in Vancouver. Other scholarships include Jump Dance Convention, NIFPA and Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet. Avari has proudly represented the Powell River Festival of Performing Arts, NIFPA and MIPAF at the BC Performing Arts Provincial Festival in Stage levels I and II in 2019, 2020 and 2022. She was also selected as NIFPA’s Modern level II alternate in 2022. In 2021, Avari was chosen as Kirkwood’s Top Intermediate Dancer and in 2022, as Kirkwood’s Top Senior Dancer.

In 2020, Avari received her ADAPT ATP teaching program certification and has completed up to her RAD Advanced Foundation Ballet exam, ISTD Intermediate Modern Theatre and Tap exams. In addition, she holds Platform Level I training.

Avari looks forward to expanding her growth as a dancer and teacher in the future and is excited to share her love and experience of tap dance with her students.