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)
Director Open Division Senior Ballet
Senior Faculty Open Division Ballet
Senior Faculty Open Division Modern

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.

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.

Bryony Blake

Bryony Blake RAD, AISTD

Open Division Jazz
Open Division Tap
Open Division Modern Stage

Bryony’s bio coming soon.

Talia Langtry

Talia Langtry

Open Division Contemporary
Open Division Ballet
Open Division Jazz

Talia is a graduate of Modus Operandi, Post-Secondary Contemporary Dance program based in Vancouver, under the artistic direction of Tiffany Tregarthen, David Raymond and Kate Franklin. She was awarded B.C. Arts Council scholarships for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 Modus Operandi seasons. During her time in the program, Talia had the privilege of performing works by David Raymond, Karissa Barry, Company 605, Kate Franklin, Paraskevas Terezakis, Shay Kuebler, Out Innerspace Dance Theatre, Alanna Kraaijeveld, as well as working with many other incredible guest teachers and choreographers. In 2019, Talia was also given the opportunity to apprentice for Out Innerspace Dance Theatre, on their most recent creation, ‘Bygones’.

Talia began dancing at the age of 3, and the majority of her training was completed at Flora Pigeau Dance Academy in Surrey. There she trained primarily in classical Ballet, but also competed in Jazz, Modern, and Lyrical. Talia has completed all of her vocational R.A.D. exams up to Advanced 2 with distinction. At the age of 18, Talia was a recipient of the Darcey Bussell Bursary award, to compete in the 2016 Genée International Ballet Competition in Sydney Australia, under the mentorship of Nicki Hobbis. Talia has also taught at a variety of community centres, and in 2018 began instructing for PŪR Movement Dance and Fitness studio, teaching both youth and adult classes. Teaching has always been a passion for Talia, and it means so much to her to play a role in supporting students’ development, and to watch them grow to love the art form as she does.

Amara Sparks, PBT

Open Division PBT
Open Division Jazz

Coming soon

Emma Dewar

Emma Dewar ARAD, 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, ARAD, PBT

Junior Faculty modern/jazz Kirkwood Academy Pre-Professional Program (KAPP)
Early Beginnings Tap
Open Division Modern
Open Division Jazz
Open Division PBT

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) and is working on her ISTD teaching qualifications in modern and tap. Jessica is also pursuing a BFA (Dance major) at Simon Fraser University where she received an elite entrance scholarship with distinction.

Along with continuing studies in dance and anatomy, Jessica is elated to be teaching at Kirkwood Academy and to be a company rehearsal assistant with Nanaimo Contemporary Ballet.