Jodie Vandekerkhove is a professional artist with extensive training and education in the field of dance, holding a BFA, and a MA all with focuses on dance. She has danced professionally for various choreographers and has performed for the Jen Mesch Dance Conspiracy, KO Dance project, and Mile Zero Dance. Jodie has most recently been a presenter for the TEDx Garneau Women event. Jodie has a passion for teaching dance and presently is a dance instructor at Concordia University College and University of Alberta.
Kathleen Hughes, originally from Edmonton, Alberta, she began with ballet training at a very early age, and was later introduced to Modern while attending the dance program at Grant McEwan College. Ms. Hughes then completed her studies at The School of the Toronto Dance Theatre. In 1999, Ms. Hughes co-founded a dance collective called The Aurora Dance Community under the mentorship of Patricia Beatty (Co-founder Toronto Dance Theatre, Member of the Order of Canada). During this time she had extensively produced, choreographed, and performed for this professional collective for five years. In 2005 Kathleen co-founded and became the co-artistic director of Niagara Dance Company, at which point had an eventful career teaching professional level classes, choreographing and co–producing bi-annual performances. Since 2010, Kathleen is working out of her home town as the Founder and Artistic Director Kathleen Hughes Dance Association, producing annual productions of dance and teaching continual graham-based dance classes.
Maggie Bennett is an independent dance artist and a recent transplant from NYC. Her dance studies began at a young age, with a range of experience in classical ballet, modern technique, contact improvisation and somatic based forms. As a performer, teacher and ongoing student, she enjoys collaborating on projects in the field. She obtained her BA in Dance Studies from Columbia College of Chicago, and continues to investigate contemporary dance both here and abroad.
Tony was born in Managua, Nicaragua. His first experience as an independent improvisational choreographer and performer occurred at the age of seven at a Nicaraguan National Dance youth competition, where he won first place. He studied folk dance with Irene Lopez and contemporary with Heriberto Mercado.
His official dance training began in Edmonton, when he attended the dance program at Grant McEwen College (1991-92), he studied with Brian Webb, Debra Shantz, Andrea Rabinovitch, Charlene Tarver and David Adams.
In 1993 he founded “Dirty Feet Productions”, an Edmonton dance collective. Tony holds a Forestry Technician, Massage Therapist, Dance Pedagogy diplomas, and Theater and Dance bachelor with Sculpture minor in metal. Tony has performed and trained in Solo Improvisation, Contact Improvisation Ballet, Somatic, Butoh and Post-Modern Dance at Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Vermont, Boston, Northampton and Connecticut.
Tony has work with various dance companies in Canada and USA and helped to create summer dance intensives as: OSDI (Orchesis Summer Dance Intensive) at U of A and dancEnlight, a modern dance company in Hartford, which he was the assisting director.
At present time he works at the Art Gallery of Alberta with the Educational Department and creating his Dance Company – “TONY OLIVARES DANCE”.
Jeannie Vandekerkhove is a choreographer, dancer and teacher in contemporary and classical dance. She was classically trained in her youth, studying at Arts Umbrella and Ballet British Columbia’s Mentor Program. Jeannie has danced professionally in Edmonton, Montreal and Vancouver and has performed both nationally and internationally, including China, Columbia, Belgium, and all over Canada, for a variety of renowned choreographers such as Beniot Lachambre (Par B. Leux), Deborah Dunn (Trials and Eros), Paula de Vasconcelos (Pigeons International), Nicole Mion (Springboard), Eryn Flynn, Gerry Morita (Mile Zero Dance), Joe Laughlin (Joe Ink), Josh Beamish (MOVE), Jennifer Mascall Dance and Wen Wei Wang Dance. Jeannie has had Artist in Residencies at the Banff Centre of the Arts, Djerassi Resident Arts Program and Mile Zero Dance. She has taught across Canada and abroad through the years as a guest instructor at a number of workshops and summer schools, as well as being on faculty for Arts Umbrella, Montessori, the YWCA, J’adore Dance, Orchesis – University of Alberta, Marrmac Dance, and BalletDivertimento. Her work has been presented in Banff, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and Vancouver.
Bill Yong is a Theatre Artist based in Edmonton, Alberta. He is a recent graduate of Drama and Secondary Education at the University of Alberta. Bill is a co-founder of Fool Spectrum Theatre, a member of an Intergenerational Theatre Company called the GeriActors Friends and has worked with various socially engaged theatre groups such as Rising Sun Theatre. Bill was a member of the creative team in Dance Exchange’s racial equity project in Dallas in 2014. His recent credits include Red Leather Yellow Leather-A Clown Show about Race (Fool Spectrum Theatre), The Lobbyists (Expanse Festival), and We Decide When (GeriActors & Friends).