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We have a core staff of 5 full-time, professional dance instructors, (plus some visiting guest instructors) who are from Canada, the New York City area and the West Coast-- many who have been with us for over 10 years. They have all worked with young girls and make the learning process both challenging as well as fun.
(In addition to the professional dance staff, the camp hires mature counselor staff members who live with the girls in their bunks and provide the necessary supervision while adding to the fun experience of camp.)
Below is a brief summary of our professional instructors' backgrounds and experience.
Derek Sangster - Derek Sangster was the founder and director of Toronto's most progressive dance studio, Urban Studio Theatre, from 1997-2004 before residing as the principle jazz instructor for DanceTeq with Kevin Pugh, at the National Ballet of Canada. Derek is presently a faculty member for many performing arts institutes including the prestigious degree program at Ryerson University, Randolph Academy of Performing Arts, Sheridan College and Brant Lake Dance Camp (New York). Derek has been a guest teacher for B.A.T.D., the University of Michigan, York University, Harbour Dance in Vancouver, studios in Australia and summer programs in Nice, France (Offjazz). Derek continues to be master jazz instructor for numerous dance conventions throughout North America. He is noted as being "one of Canada's most sought after dance instructors". His theatre career began in and includes both Stratford and Charlottetown Festivals. Combining his love for both music and dance, Derek has worked extensively with some of Canada's leading dance artists including Lisa Lougheed, Alanis Morrisette, Camille and YTV's Aashna, as both dancer and video choreographer. He has opened for Jamie Walters, En Vogue, Dizzie Gillespie, CFL half time performances and HMV Grand Openings. As a choreographer, Derek has worked from Halifax to Vancouver, Sydney, Australia and most recently in Hong Kong and South Asia for Sally Yeh - It's My Prime 25th Anniversary World Tour.
Donna PridGeon - Has been a teaching Artist at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Lou Conte Dance Studio. Currently she is Choreographing in Los Angeles and is also teaching at Edge Performing Arts Canter in Hollywood. Her most recent choreography credits in LA have been for the Choreographer's Carnival LA and IDA Dance for Japan '11.
Blake Pearson - Blake has been dancing and singing since he was eight years old. He was a member of the distinguished choral ensemble Maryland Sings, performed leading roles in more than ten musicals as a young actor/dancer, and attended the Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Baltimore, Maryland. Blake holds a BFA in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. While in Virginia, he danced in numerous university works as well as performing with the Richmond-based Starr Foster Dance Project. Upon graduating from VCU, Blake moved to New York to work on his first post-college professional project with Pearson/Widrig Dance Theater. He has also worked for Anita Cheng Dance, Crazy Cuban Productions, and K2 Productions. In 2002, Blake joined the company of Joanna Mendl Shaws' Dancing With Horses/The Equus Projects. Blake's own dance theatre work has been presented in New York at Danspace, St. Mark's Church, and toured in Maryland, Virginia, and New York State. Blake teaches dance at the Dalton School in New York City.
Linda Cholodenko - Presently a Teaching Artist with New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Lincoln Center Institute. Past teaching experiences include the 92nd St Y, The Spence School and The Dalton School. Her training includes, modern dance at the Graham School and the Ailey School. She also studied ballet , jazz and tap in NYC with Carol Rioux, Finis Jhung, Sarah Niece, Douglas Wassell, Kat Wildish., Michael Owens, Lynn Simon, Germaine Salsberg and Eddie Wright. Linda has performed in productions of: Bob Fosse's Dancin' ; Hello Dolly, Sweet Charity, A Chorus Line, Sugar Babies, Cabaret, Guys and Dolls, and Chicago. After many years she started to work as a director and choreographer in the theatre. She was the assistant choreographer on The Life on Broadway, and also served as a director or choreographer on productions of The King and I, Will Roger's Follies, Company, Milk and Honey, Sugar babies, Godspell, Brigadoon, Baby, and The American Girl Theatre in New York City plus others. Member of Women's Project and Productions for two years.
Amber Harvie - Amber's theatre credits include '42nd Street', and the off-Broadway production 'Timesteps'. Amber has danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and The Ottawa Ballet Company; she has also appeared in videos with and performed alongside artists such as Cyndi Lauper, Amanda Marshall, and Tom Green. Some of her television and film credits include: PBS "A Musical Theatre Special", and the NBC film "Dying to Dance". She has also danced abroad with Silversea Cruise lines, and most recently returned from an Asian tour with the Hong Kong pop sensation, Sally Yeh (along with Derek Sangster). Amber has taught and choreographed in Ottawa, Toronto, New York, Moscow, and Puerto Rico as well as being a faculty member at many performing arts facilities, such as Sheridan College, American Theatre Dance Workshop, Dance-Teq, and The Randolph Academy.