Laura Elliott – Modern, Acro, Tap (Artistic Director)
Laura Elliott has been studying dance at Creator’s Arts Centre since 1999 and in her 16 years here has trained as a teacher, served on the Board of Directors and functioned as the Executive Director. From 2006-2010, Laura also expanded her training under many amazing dance professionals including Steven Wynn at Dance Ad Deum in Texas, Bill Wade at Inlet Dance Theatre in Ohio, and Rob Kitsos, Megan Walker-Straight, Marla Eist and Judith Gary at the Simon Fraser University Contemporary Dance Program in Vancouver.
With a passion to see dance and the arts used as a vehicle for communication, connection and personal growth, Laura has spent the last 10 years teaching dance workshops throughout Canada, leading dance-mentorship groups for teens and collaborating with community programs such as the “Cool Arts” program, Sunshine Farms and the Parkinson Rec Centre to bring dance and art opportunities to adults living with disabilities. A member of the Arts Council of the Central Okanagan, Laura is actively involved in promoting the growth and sustainability of the local arts community.
A strong believer in the vision and mission of Creator’s Arts Centre, Laura seeks to assist CAC in continuing to be a place of excellence, community and creativity.
Chris Larsen – R.A.D R.T.S – R.A.D. Ballet
Chris is a graduate of the National Ballet School of Canada and a highly qualified professional with over 15 years of experience in international ballet companies around the world. Working for the National Ballet of Canada, Ballett-Art François Klaus, Hong Kong Ballet, and the Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) in a variety of contexts and climbing the ladder from apprentice to soloist dancer. Dancing a large range of roles spanning from corps de ballet through to principle parts, was given a multitude of opportunities to dance many of the great classics as well as being a part of the choreographic process of many new works. Through extensive work with BRB’s Education Department and working on a number of projects in the role of leader, became motivated to further develop skills and knowledge in teaching dance. Chris was also a leader in Ballet Changed My Life: Ballet Hoo!, a collaboration between BRB, Youth At Risk, Channel 4 and four local authorities in the West Midlands, UK. Responsibilities included teaching dance, rehearsing and general support for the individuals involved in the project. Chris has his Professional Dancers Teaching Diploma from the Royal Academy of Dance in London.
Joanna Lige – R.A.D. Ballet, Modern Contemporary, Jazz ~ Assistant Ballet Director
Joanna Lige is a native of Kelowna and began her dance training at age six with the Canadian School of Ballet where she studied ballet, jazz, and modern attaining her Royal Academy of Dancing Advanced 2 level. After numerous summer intensive studies with The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, The Banff Centre for the Arts, and performances at The B.C. Festival of the Arts; she decided to further her training at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s professional training program. As a scholarship student, she was exposed to many modern dance styles. After graduation in 2002 she moved back to Kelowna and performed with the Velocity Dance Company for 2 seasons in conjunction with teaching at the Canadian School of Ballet. After taking a year off in 2005 to travel through New Zealand, Australia, China, Taiwan, and Thailand Joanna returned to Kelowna and was married in 2006. She began teaching at Creator’s Art Centre that fall and is thrilled to dance and to see the spirit of God through her students. Joanna’s goal is to inspire each person to dance their true self, how God views them, and for each dancer to feel blessed in the gift of sharing spirit through movement. Joanna continues to attend workshops and programs, loves the outdoors and being active. It is a love of nature that keeps Joanna inspired, connected, and growing in her movement vocabulary.
Naomi Bothe – Tap, Modern, Jazz (Founder/Former Dance Director/Artistic Mentor/Lifetime Honorary Board Member)
Naomi began studying dance in 1982 with a foundation of jazz and tap; in more recent years she has added modern dance and creative movement to her own training. Naomi began teaching in 1988 and teaches all age levels from children to adults, teaching jazz, tap, creative movement, and creative/modern classes. With a passion to see increased creativity, personal expression, and integrity in the arts Naomi has led and performed with dance teams that have a worship, teaching and evangelistic ministry. She continues to work with dance teams developed out of Creator’s Arts Centre to help shape tomorrow’s generation of artist and ambassadors for the Art Centre. She especially likes to work with people from all different backgrounds and walks of life and loves to see those that have always wanted to dance start doing so no matter what their age, and finding freedom in it.
Naomi is one of the original founders of Creator’s Dance Centre and was director of Creator’s Arts Centre from 1994 – 2007. She continues to share her creative talent and love of dance through teaching at the Centre.
Jordan McAlpine – Modern
Jordan trained in RAD Ballet, jazz and modern; in a variety of places spanning from Toronto, to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Adeum in Texas, and at Creator’s Art Centre. In 2007, Jordan left CAC to attend university in Calgary pursuing both her Socila Work and Contemporary dance degree . During that time she also worked with local contemporary company W&M Physical Theatre and Kloetzel & Co. Jordan ‘s work with such companies has fueled her love of choreography and the creative process, and she is constantly searching for a new stimulus or concept. Jordan is excited to be back teaching at Creator’s Art Centre. Jordan ‘s passion and hope for students is that through dancing at Creator’s Art Center , dance will become an avenue of discovery and connection with our Creator, a physical reaction to His resounding presence in our lives, and an outward expression of His strength, beauty and faithfulness.
Bev Colbow – Tap, Jazz (Artistic Mentor/Former Dance Director)
“Miss Bev” began dancing at the age of 5 and was hooked! Her early training consisted of tap and baton studying in the exam and competition stream in Calgary, Alberta. Deciding to pursue dance with more intensity, Bev added the disciplines of: ballet, jazz, tap, modern, musical theatre and character. This training period of her dance education involved exams in RAD, ISTD, Al Gilbert and ADAPT as well as on-going competitions in solo, duo, small and large group work. In her later teen years, Bev studied, performed and competed in Canada and the US in a variety of venues including local and traveling troups, The University of Calgary’s Dance Montage, etc. Bev loves the relationships that come with teaching in addition to watching the students grow – personally and in their talent. She has a passion for encouraging Christians in the performing arts and says, “I am so excited for what God has in store for Creator’s Arts Centre. The possibilities are limitless!” Bev feels privileged to have parented her 4 lovely daughters and has called Kelowna home since 1987.
Desiree Bortolussi – Ballet, Tap, Jazz
Desiree began her training with the Canadian School of Ballet and has also attended numerous prestigious summer programs to further her training including the Boston Ballet School and the National Ballet of Canada. During this time she was a featured dancer for “Company B” and also the first place winner for ballet in the BC Kiwanis Provincial Festival. Desiree apprenticed last year with Ballet Kelowna and performed in many exciting works including “Double Variations” by Joe Laughlin and Simone Orlando and “Journey Out of Darkness” by David LaHay. Desiree has also danced with the Moscow Ballet and Ballet BC.
Janessa McGrath – Acro, Hip Hop
Miss Nessa has been training in Hip Hop and Urban Dance for nine years, eight of which she has been teaching and choreographing. She begun learning the discipline independently, and soon found herself training in Hollywood, immersed in the athleticism and artistry of advanced Hip Hop. She attended the World’s most prestigious Urban Dance intensive in Lorrach, Germany for two consecutive summers; there she danced over 600 hours under the choreographers of Micheal Jackson, Usher, Beyonce, ABDC, Step Up, SYTYCD and Cirque du Soleil. Miss Nessa has taught Hip Hop in the Philippines, Canada, and Spain and has received numerous choreography awards for her work in local competitions. In 2014 she was accepted into a one-on-one choreography and dance mentorship with renowned international choreographers Mariel and Keone Madrid in California. She recently completed her Acrobatique dance teacher certification and founded the Hip Hop Crew, Rthm Ground. Miss Nessa loves the athleticism and artistry of Hip Hop. She is passionate about advancing the technique and innovating the concept of Hip Hop in the Okanagan.
Demi Kouwenhoven – Preschool Dance, Ballet, Jazz
Demi fell in love with dance at the age of 4 and has been dancing ever since. Dancing has been central to her life because she loves the muscle training, the emotional release, playing a character, the discipline, and working together with other artists to make a thing of creativity and beauty. Demi worked last season with Rushing Wild – a pre-professional performing arts company in Vernon – as a dancer and choreographer. She has also been coaching cheerleading at RSS for the past three years and her team has attended numerous international and local competitions performing routines consisting of cheer, jumps, tumbling, dance, and stunts.
Demi believes that teaching is as much about formal instruction as it is about helping people grow as individuals and she loves to encourage confidence in her students and give them tools that will help them beyond the dance studio.
Kimberly Harrison – Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Hip Hop. Competitive Program Director
Kimberly is a well-rounded professional dancer, choreographer and instructor from The Okanagan, who is fully trained in a vast variety of dance styles. Once completing her local training, Kimberly moved to the city of Vancouver, in order to broaden her dance education and career opportunities. Throughout her years in Vancouver, Kimberly auditioned for and was accepted into Harbour Dance Centre’s Intensive Training Program (ITP), The Source Dance Company, La Chaleur female dance ensemble and the Exult Dance Company. As a multi-company member, Kimberly had the privilege of training in all styles of dance, working with world-renowned choreographers, performing on countless stages and touring British Columbia with a full-length show. Along with her diverse and extensive company work, Kimberly is also a self-represented professional dancer, acquiring an abundance of film, television, and industrial experience. Some of her more recent credits include: Jazzy B’s “Nakhro” music video, the CFL’s BC Lions opening ceremony and halftime shows, RELATE: The Documentary and Environment Canada’s Birthday Celebration. In addition to performing, Kimberly has a strong passion for teaching and choreographing. Throughout her many years of instructing dance, Kimberly has found that not only does she love to dance herself, but that she also thrives off of sharing her knowledge and helping other dancers grow to their fullest potential. Currently Kimberly instructs dance, fitness and children’s yoga classes at multiple studios; providing award-winning choreography, impeccable technique instruction and a fun, positive classroom environment.
Marlyce Poirier – Preschool Dance, Modern, Tap, Ballet, Jazz
Marlyce started dancing at the age of five, on the recommendation of her doctor to help with the inverted arches on her feet. Marlyce soon fell in love with it and has been dancing ever since!
Marlyce studied Ballet, Tap and Jazz at the Schubert Dance Studio in Kamloops, B.C. At age thirteen she became a Teacher Assistant and enjoyed sharing her love for dance with the younger children. She attended Grant MacEwan Community College in Edmonton, Alberta for three years and graduated with a Dance Teacher Training Diploma. In addition to training Ballet, Jazz and Modern she also studied Dance History, Child Psychology, Anatomy and Kinesiology, Pedagogy and Theatre Production. She worked for two years in the area teaching dance at a chain of Day Care Facilities and then moved to Kelowna, B.C. to be near family.
Marlyce has taught dance at the Parkinson Recreation Centre, Robb Card Dance Studio and Act I Dance Works as well as owning her own studio for four years called The Kelowna Dance Academy. Like CAC, her studio presented year end recitals and visited Senior’s Homes at Christmas to spread some holiday cheer.
Marlyce took some time away from teaching dance to have a family and be a stay-at-home mom but has since returned to teaching and is enjoying sharing her love for dance with others once again.
Siobhan Barker – Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical
Siobhan grew up in Kelowna training in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, and Musical Theatre at the Canadian School of Ballet. She has danced professionally with Ballet Kelowna and Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Siobhan has now graduated from the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Victoria, where she has focused on dance, singing, acting, and choreography. She is thrilled to be teaching and choreographing back in her home town!
Jen Harden – Jazz, Tap, Ballet
Jen began dancing at the young age of 4 and hasn’t stopped since! She has trained at the Canadian School of Ballet in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and modern. Jen was a dancer in their “Company B” for 4 years, and has also performed in the “The Nutcracker” for 11 years, which has included the role of the Arabian Queen. Besides dancing, Jen has a love for choreography, and was the head choreographer for OKM’s performances of “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Currently, Jen is studying to obtain her Bachelor of Arts degree and eventually the Bachelor of Education.
Chelsey Murdock – Ballet, Jazz
Chelsey fell in love with dancing at an early age and spent her child and teen years training in ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern, hip hop, and tap. She began teaching dance when only fourteen, and found immense joy and fulfillment in sharing her passion with younger dancers. While Chelsey has had countless opportunities to perform in a variety of shows and venues both in her child and adult years, it is through worship dance that she finds the most purpose, power and meaning in her dancing. It is her desire to share this passion for worship with her students. Chelsey had the opportunity to further explore this aspect of her dancing at a weeklong faith-based dance intensive with Paradosi – a Christian dance company in Tacoma, Washington. With a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and most recently a Masters in Occupational Therapy, Chelsey believes children of all abilities should have the opportunity to experience the joy of movement and express themselves through dance.
Sam Tocher – Lyrical, Jazz, Ballet
Kim Denis – Studio Director
Bio coming soon