The dance faculty at Canterbury come from many diverse, professional backgrounds and recognized dance institutions. The aim of our teachers is to provide a positive and caring atmosphere as a foundation for learning the discipline of dance. Every student not only will feel welcome but is also encouraged to explore the world of dance. The teachers are the heart of the dance program at Canterbury helping the students to fulfill their dreams and build lasting high school memories.
Jessica has been dancing for over twenty years and is a trained instructor through the British Association Teachers of Dancing. She also has an extensive background in gymnastics and is a trained technical and theory coach with Gymnastics Ontario. She competed internationally as a member of Team Canada Dance and was co-captain of the University of Guelph Dance Team. Jessica graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honours in English Language and Literature from the University of Guelph and a Bachelor of Education from Western University.
Connie St. Louis
Allison Blakley earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with distinction from the Contemporary Dance Department at Concordia University in 2004 and continued her training with the Halifax Ballet Theatre in 2008. She has worked as a dancer, choreographer, and artist and has performed in Ottawa, Sherbrooke, Montréal and Halifax, at SappyFest Music Festival in Sackville, NB, Nottingham, England as well as Paris and Maubeuge, France. Allison graduated from York University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Education.
Rebecca Tee joined the Dance Department at Canterbury in 2012. Starting ballet at the age of four, she danced competitively for years in multiple disciplines while training and completing Royal Academy of Dance vocational exams. Eager to pursue Science, she completed an undergraduate degree in Life Science and a Master’s of Science in Molecular Cardiology, both at Queen’s University. It was during this time her ballet training was broadened to include the Russian Vaganova method, a continued inspiration for her. Rebecca later completed her Bachelor of Education at the University of Toronto. While teaching is one of her passions, in equal measure is the puzzle and excitement of choreography.
Rebecca danced competitively for 10 years with Greta Leeming Studio of Dance while completing R.A.D majors’ exams as well as ADAPT tap and jazz exams. She also performed for two years with the Company of Musical Theatre. She then joined the Queen’s University Dance Club pursuing classical ballet, jazz, contemporary and hip hop. During her time at Queen’s, she instructed the advanced technical jazz class and choreographed advanced jazz and ballet performances. She became a member of Impulse Dance Co. at that time and performed and competed locally.
Rebecca joined Denise Smith Dance Studio in 2006 and continues to teach and choreograph classical and contemporary ballet. Rebecca completed her M.Sc. and B.Ed. degrees and is thrilled to have joined Canterbury High School to teach ballet.
Alvaro de M. Yanez
Alvaro Yanez, multi-percussionist, was born in Santiago, Chile and studied percussion at the University of Chile and at the Superior Music Conservatory of Barcelona, Spain. In South America and Canada, Alvaro has performed with numerous symphonic orchestras, ensembles and bands in styles ranging from classical to ethnic and Latin to jazz. He is a member of the Gatineau Symphony Orchestra. He was the accompanist for Le Groupe Dance Lab and is now the percussionist for the Dance Department at Canterbury HS.
Petya Karakoleva graduated magna cum laude from the National School of Music in Bulgaria with an artist diploma in piano performance and music pedagogy. Her acceptance as a piano performance major with a full scholarship brought her to the United States where she received her Bachelor of Music in piano performance from UNLV. She won the Grand Prize in the 2003 James K. Huntzinger Solo Competition and appeared as a soloist with the UNLV Symphony Orchestra. She has received UNLV Piano Department’s Honors Jury Award several times. She was a staff pianist for the music and dance programs at UNLV for six years. She was also the accompanist for the National Conference of the Ballet Masters of America; the accompanist for R.A.D. classes and examinations; an accompanist for the Dance Educators of America’s yearly summer seminars; as well as a faculty member of the Nevada Ballet Company, Opera Las Vegas Company, Cirque du Soleil, and Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theatre, among others. Ms. Karakoleva was on the Nevada School of the Arts faculty for nearly two years prior to her move to Canada. She performs as a respected accompanist for The School of Dance as of 2009 and Canterbury High School as of 2015.