Faculty

“Driftwood is a safe place where students can carve their own dance path, gain strong technique, create lifelong friendships, and strive to improve their personal best and artistry.”

Miss Laura Killeen, ADAPT

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Originally hailing from Ontario, Laura grew up dancing at the Burlington Dance Academy where she trained intensively in ballet, jazz, musical theatre and tap with considerable experience in acro, modern, hip hop and lyrical styles as well. Studying the Cecchetti ballet syllabus her whole life from esteemed teachers Patricia Bradshaw, Paula Ramsay and Tania Infante, Laura completed her Advanced 1 Exam in 2003.
Through her teens, Laura was passionate about working with the younger dancers of BDA as an assistant teacher and camp counselor. She had the privilege of doing both under the direction of her teaching mentor, Sarah Dempsey. Between 2006-2008, Laura served as the director of Stagelight Musical Theatre Summer Camp, a comprehensive performing arts program for kids; a position she has excitedly resumed during summers at Driftwood, directing productions of Frozen (2014) & Mary Poppins (2015).
A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University, Laura studied Psychology, while serving as a Residence Life Don to three diverse communities of first-year students. She was also a founding executive member of the Laurier Musical Theatre Club. Holding the volunteer position of Choreographer for four consecutive years, Laura worked on full-scale musical productions of Hair, Fame, Urinetown and Batboy, creating unique stage movement for each cast.
Laura received her teaching certificate from the Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers in 2011 and has over ten years of experience as a respected dance educator. Over the years, Laura has assisted several students with ballet exam preparation, choreographed for numerous competitive teams, and has realized her particular love of working with preschool-aged dancers.

Most recently, Laura furthered her studies at the Creative Dance Center in Seattle, successfully completing the two-week intensive Summer Dance Institute for Teachers. Under the brilliant guidance of Anne Green Gilbert and Dionne Kamara, Laura’s professional development was focused on Brain-Compatible Dance Education and Teaching Methods.

Before DDA was born, Laura spent two wonderful seasons working as the assistant studio manager for Marlowe Windsor at Dance Co in Vancouver. In July 2013, her life-long dream of being a studio owner was fulfilled by opening Driftwood Dance Academy with dear friend and fellow dance artist and educator, Jen Cole.
Miss Laura is beyond proud of the beautiful and growing Driftwood community and looks forward to sharing the gift of dance and all its benefits with her students this season!

Miss Jen Cole R.T. R.A.D, C.B.T.S, BFA (Dance)

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Registered Acrobatique AcroDance Instructor

Originally from Ontario, and graduating from York University BFA with honours in dance (2007), Miss Jen has called Vancouver home since 2009.
Miss Jen is a Registered Teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance, having completed the Certificate in Ballet Studies in 2014.
Thrilled to be partnered with Miss Laura Killeen at Driftwood Dance Academy, Miss Jen is so proud to watch DDA grow and develop.   Driftwood Dance Academy is truly a place where the values of positive and healthy training are upheld to the highest degree, and where the joy of dance can be shared amongst the many families of the North Shore.
Miss Jen understands the importance of quality training and the influence a good teacher can have on emerging and passionate movers – and strives to live that role every day!
Before her Driftwood home, Miss Jen’s studies circled primarily around ballet and modern dance, beginning with Dianne Long at the Cambridge Theatre Dance School, and then with David Earle in Guelph, Ontario.  Her involvement with the Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts and The Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble, under the direction of Vitek Winzca, took Jen to Kiev as a dancer in the classical ballet, Snow White.
Jen has practiced and performed the aerial arts at the Toronto Circus School and Cirque Sublime, led by Decker LaDouceur, with focus on dance trapeze and long silks.  She is currently studying to become a Registered Acrobatique AcroDance Instructor. She has been a student of Skinner Release Technique, facilitated by Julia Sasso in Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver.
As a member of York University’s Ensemble, Jen performed choreography by Holly Small, Susan Cash, and Darcey Callison, among others, winning her recognition with the Faculty of Fine Arts Opportunity Award, Juan Antonio Performance Award, Imasco Performing Arts Award, Grant Strate Award in Dance, the JP Bickell Foundation Award, and the Kondor Fine Arts Scholarship.  She was also an original member of CollectiveHEAT, an all-female collective guided by Heather Saum.  Jen has completed her Intermediate Exam with the Royal Academy of Dance, and her Advanced II with the International School of Teachers of Dancing, in both Modern and Jazz syllabi.
In 2011, Jen became Artistic Director of Give Me Brilliance, allowing her interest in ’emotive movement’ to inspire the creation of work that speaks to and about the glorious ‘every day’.  Give Me Brilliance has performed at On The Boards in Seattle, The Scotiabank Dance Centre, Arts Umbrella, and at private functions all over the lower mainland.  The company is in the midst of completing The Playlist Project, and has produced a short film entitled Rumpus.

Miss Sarah Gallos

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Miss Sarah dances for the love of it and all her teaching stems from that love.
Her earliest training was a creative dance class at the YMCA in Montreal. Through practice, commitment and the help of her teachers she continued dancing, studying at many institutions including Halifax Dance, CCPA, Modus Operandi, TDT and EDAM.
Over 10 years ago, she began her professional dancing career, appearing in a Can-can dancing review in historic, Dawson City, YT. She then boarded the Marco Polo, world cruising ship, to perform on their stage. She’s danced for Jen Cole’s GMB and continues to practice and perform in Vancouver, BC.
For the past 8 years she has also taught Pilates and Personal Training. This knowledge fuels her classes, teaching students how to dance safely and in a way that will allow their bodies to carry them through life gracefully and with strength.

Miss Courtney Cholette

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Born and raised in Abbotsford BC, Miss Courtney graduated from Yale Secondary and has been instructing dance for the past 5 years.
Miss Courtney began training at the age of 6 in Hip Hop and Musical Theatre, and absolutely fell in love with dance.  She continued her studies and began competing in Ballet, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Song + Dance, Modern, Contemporary, Tap, Lyrical Jazz and Hip Hop categories.
She has completed Royal Academy of Dance grades 1 – 8, with distinction.  After her student years in the studio, she has furthered her experience by co-directing and performing with a dance crew based out of Abbotsford.   In fact, Miss Courtney will take upon any opportunity to dance and perform.
Miss Courtney has attended multiple dance conventions to keep her skills current and learn from some amazing choreographers, and has recently completed a course held by the International Dance Teaching Standards (IDTS).
Miss Courtney is excited to be able to help, motivate, and inspire young dancers to find their passion through the art of dance.  It helped her tremendously as a young girl, to break through her shy exterior into a confident woman, and she wants to do the same for other dancers. She believes everyone deserves the chance to dance and to express themselves through movement and music.
Miss Courtney is thrilled to be a part of Driftwood Dance Academy, and can’t wait to continue growing and learning as a choreographer and teacher.

Miss Kiera Baryluk, ADAPT

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Born and raised in Estevan, Saskatchewan, Miss Kiera began her love for dance at the young age of 4. She trained extensively at Drewitz School of Dance for 14 years in ballet, jazz, highland, contemporary, lyrical, musical theatre, tap, and hip hop.
Over her years at Drewitz, Kiera successfully completed the Intermediate 3 Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers (ADAPT) examinations in both tap and jazz, the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) Advanced 2 examination, the Canadian Dance Teachers Association (CDTA) Advanced examination, and the Highland (SDTA) Examination.
Miss Kiera has obtained her highland Teacher’s diploma, and the ADAPT Teacher’s diploma in tap, jazz and ballet.
Miss Kiera has spent the last few years sharing her love for dance and dance training teaching and performing in New York, Toronto, Calgary, Regina and Vancouver.
She is so happy to be part of the Driftwood Team for season 2016/2017!

Izabela Lindal

Zumba Fitness®

Izabela holds a BFA in Dance from SFU, and over 15 years of formal dance training and performing experience in classical ballet, contemporary, improvisation, jazz, and flamenco.
Aside from being a fitness instructor, Izabela is a busy mom of two young boys. As a new mom she realized just how important physical exercise is, not only for your body, but also for your mind. She is passionate about living a healthy and active lifestyle, and being a positive influence on her children.
When she discovered Zumba in 2011, she was instantly hooked on the music and amazing energy in every class. Right away, she knew she had to become an instructor and share her love of movement with others.
“Movement brings me joy, and my goal as an instructor is to have you feel that same joy when you are free to move in your body!”

Miss Carolina Bergonzoni

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Yoga for Littles

Miss Carolina is a Vancouver-based, Italian dance artist, yoga teacher, and scholar. She holds an MA in Philosophy, and an MA in Comparative Media Arts, working in between dance and philosophy of the body.
Miss Carolina has been dancing since childhood, and recently started developing her own work. As a choreographer, she has created site-specific works for Vancouver Fringe Festival, Dance in Vancouver, BC Buds, and Vines Art Festival.
She has been teaching dance and philosophy – for children and community – since 2008.
In 2011, Miss Carolina graduated as Dance Educator and Community Engagement Facilitator. Since then, she’s been working for building a community of movers and thinkers, with people from age 0 to 99+.
Miss Carolina would like to say that she practices presence through dance (contact improvisation, somatic based techniques, release, etc.) yoga, and her academic studies. She is a nature lover and body nerd.
www.carolinabergonzoni.org