Christina Penney is a native Newfoundlander who fell in love with the passion of flamenco in 1998. She has since studied with some of the top flamenco dancers in Canada and the UK, and has also traveled to Spain for intensive training and to immerse herself in the Spanish culture.
Christina is dedicated to keeping up-to-date on the latest flamenco trends and artists, and travels regularly for training. She has recently returned from the Academy of Spanish Dance’s 2012 summer intensive with Adela Campallo. In the fall of 2011, she was thrilled to attend a Bulerías de Jerez workshop with Ana María López, one of the maestras of the art of bulerías. In 2010, she had the privilege of studying with Manuela Carrasco, Concha Jareño and Marisol Encinias at the Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque. In 2010 and 2009, she attended the Toronto International Flamenco Festival, where she took advanced flamenco dance workshops with dancers Rafael Campallo and Maribel Ramos “La Zambra” and a flamenco communication course with Marija Temo.
Christina’s approach to teaching is to ensure her students build a solid foundation in technique, while gaining an understanding of flamenco music and how it relates to the dance. The beauty of flamenco is that it allows for a certain freedom of expression, and she likes to encourage her students to express their own individuality and emotions when dancing and to just have fun with it!
I was once employed by the Federal Government to train reservist soldiers in construction, weapons and explosives, at the same time I enjoyed playing rugby and jumping from airplanes. Upon meeting a young university girl in a downtown bar that could turn very nicely on the dance floor, I was then introduced to the world of Ballroom and Latin Dancing. I then quickly learned the steps involved, and forever after, have regularly compared ballroom dance class to a combination of Tae Kwon Do and Army Drill. Throughout the years, I consistently demonstrated my ability to walk and talk in combination with yelling louder than generally most, and I was continually thrust into the position of instructing physical movement along to music while holding another human, commonly known as Social Ballroom Dancing.
Since 2002, I have taught workshops and classes throughout the St. John’s area. In addition to teaching at the MUN Ballroom and Latin Dance Club, where I have developed a 3 level curriculum based on ISTD Ballroom and Latin Dance syllabus, I also continuously improve my skills by taking classes each week.
Grab a partner and come me at WLDC!
While not new to the Wild Lily family, Karen is new to the instructor roster. She has been bellydancing for 4 years (is a member of The Neighbourhood Stray Belly Dance Troupe), and in her third year of flamenco with Wild Lily Instructor, Christina Penney. (She has pretty much have tried every dance style that Wild Lily has to offer, and plans to do more!) Her bellydance training has included classes and workshops with Wild Lily and The Neighbourhood Strays, as well as workshops with Audra Simmons, Heather Labonte and Heather Stants. A regular at a gym since 1997, and has worked with a personal trainer for 4 years. Her fitness attitude is that exercise should be challenging while still being fun. After all, her favourite question is: “How many people do you see smiling on a treadmill?” What better way to exercise than to throw belly dancing into the mix!!
Lori discovered bellydance the year she turned 40. Looking for a fun new way to exercise, she took a beginners bellydance class with a member of the Neighbourhood Strays, and her passion for bellydance was ignited. She continued her training with the Neighbourhood Strays, learning gypsy-style bellydance from Andrea Kitta, Kristine Nolte and Jennifer Miles, and was invited to join the troupe in 2007. Since then she has performed with the troupe at numerous events, shows and fundraisers and has choreographed numbers for the Neighbourhood Strays, and is currently their artistic director
In addition to continuing her training with the troupe, Lori has trained with Audra Simmons of the Dark Side Studio in Toronto, Ontario. She has taken tribal fusion workshops from Mira Betz of San Francisco and Monique Ryan of Halifax and ATS from Diane MacDonald of Vancouver. In October, 2010, she will be taking workshops in ATS from Carolene Nerriccio of Fat Chance Bellydance of San Francisco.
She began teaching workshops in February, 2008 and began teaching Beginners Bellydance in September 2008. Her passion for teaching is as strong as her passion for bellydance overall. Her teaching philosophy is that strong technique and artistic expression are the keys to reaching one’s greatest potential as a dancer. Learning to do the movements properly helps students avoid injury, and allows them to better use their bodies to convey their emotions through dance. Opening Wild Lily with Vanessa has allowed her to put this philosophy into practice.
Lori has seen first-hand how self-esteem and confidence blossoms in her students and her teaching is based on a belief that bellydance is accessible to women of all ages and body types. She looks forward to giving her students the gift of bellydance each semester.
Melissa Squarey, RYT
Sanchita was born in Bangladesh and grew up in India – this is the place where she trained in dance the most. Sanchita has been dancing since she was 9 years old, although her mother says she started dancing the day she started walking – our guess is that she just loves to dance. At the age of 9 she enrolled in a dance school to learn Bengali Folk dance, later taking lessons for Indian folk and modern dance. A few years after that Sanchita joined a renowned dance troupe named “Agni” – the fire – as a student to learn Bollywood dance, the multicultural mixed dance we all know and love. After a few months of training with the dance troupe, Sanchita was hired as a professional dancer by the choreographer of the troupe. After 3 and half years she became the assistant Choreographer. At the age of 20 she became a dance instructor and choreographer and has so far performed over 300 stage shows.
Sanchita’s classes start with warm up and stretch. For Indian and Bollywood dancing every part of your body is important to work on because every part of your body, starting from your eyes to finger tips, are involved to create steps; sometimes it may carry a meaning and sometime it’s just for the look – so she breaks it down one body part, one movement, one step at a time. When you’ve got your movements under control, Sanchita puts it all together – concentration and coordination are two key elements.
Sanchita always says that people pray for good health, people meditate for stress relief, but for her it’s dance. She dances, and she will make you dance as well. She’s a devoted dance instructor and a choreographer and she’s exciting and loves to share the culture.
Stephanie began dancing at the age of 4 in Mount Pearl. By age 14 she began apprenticing in Checchetti Method in St John’s. As an original member of CATS and the ETC program from Mount Pearl an opportunity to create was born.
Stephanie did her first professional choreography at 17 and has had many attributes to her portfolio including, Nfld. Summer Games, and Janeway Catching a Dream fundraiser. Moving to Alberta in 1991 she then choreographed for the Alberta Senior Games, Alberta Summer Games, Alberta Winter Games, Alberta Bicentennial Celebrations in Bonnyville and Cold Lake.
Operating her studio “Dancenterprise” in Alberta she taught ages 3 and up, beginner to advanced. Stephanie has successfully had several students continue to programs at the National Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Alberta School of Ballet and Les Quebec du Danse. Within her studio was a select group of 20 students that competed in competitions in Alberta and have successfully went on to Nationals, not to mention the numerous awards received including Most Promising, Best Choreography, Adjudicator’s Choice , Favourite Group, Best Duet, Diamond, High Gold, Gold, and Silver medals.
Stephanie’s philosophy has always been to teach the love of dance and nothing more. “My joy comes from watching the joy of dancing arise from a student. Anyone can dance because it’s an expression of one`s soul. “
Wendy joins the board of directors this Fall 2011 after a year as an instructor at the studio. In addition to teaching classes in bellydance, adult ballet and adult tap, she is the administrative and rental coordinator for the studio.
Wendy comes from a strong classical dance background with over 15 years experience encompassing Cechetti ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and belly dance. She has studied with many well known local dance studios, and was assistant dance teacher in ballet, tap, and jazz at the Wanda Allix dance studio for two years, as well as having her own studio in Labrador City for two years. She holds grades one, two, and three in Cechetti ballet from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, as well as a first class Bachelor of Arts in Education from Memorial University and a Level 5 teaching certificate with the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers Association.
Wendy aims to make ballet and tap accessible to the beginning adult dancer, while maintaining it’s discipline and beauty.