An Edmonton, Alberta native Rowan Koop began her dance training at Shelley’s Dance Company. She trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, and musical theatre. She competed in multiple festivals and competitions and trained in various conventions across Canada and The United States. After turning 18, Rowan moved to California to join The Young Americans Performing Arts Company. She spent a year studying music, dance, and acting as well as performing in multiple shows and teaching in outreach programs. She then went on to tour Europe with The Young Americans the following year. Her cast toured through 7 countries, teaching at a new school every 3 days and performing in every city. Since then she has been choreographing musicals and guest teaching at various studios and schools. Most recently Rowan spent a year in Toronto, studying film.
Originally from Edmonton, Rebecca began her dance training at Victoria School of the Arts. She is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Performance Dance Program, where she obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and received training in ballet, jazz, modern, hip hop, and musical theatre. Upon graduation, she performed with Solar Stage Children’s Theatre, The Lower Ossington Theatre, Creativiva Inc, and the Toronto Fringe Festival. Since moving back to Edmonton, her choreography has been featured in the Edmonton Fringe Festival, the Nextfest Festival, Alberta Culture Days and Mile Zero Dance. Rebecca is excited to begin this new journey of teaching with dancED, leading residencies in Edmonton schools.
Versatile dancer and educator, Barbara Vargas, perused a Diploma in Music, using her shoes as her major instrument at Vancouver Community College. Her wide variety of musical knowledge and performance experience locally and internationally allows her to jump into many different types of projects. Most recently her credits include: Young Frankenstein, For the arms that have held me, Swing Showcase, and playing a sold out show with Generations at Edmonton’s Jazz fest. Barbara holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Alberta as well as training through International Internships in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Barbara was for years a leader in the Edmonton-area and Vancouver Tap dance community. She has recently relocated to Edmonton as an Instructor at McEwan University. She looks forward to another year with the DancEd team and sharing her love for dance.
“It is about your love for music, your love for dance, and how much you enjoy doing it, and inspiring others to enjoy life" - Jason Samuels Smith
Katherine Semchuk discovered her passion for movement at the age of five. After participating in the dance program at Victoria School of the Arts and developing a love for contemporary dance, she graduated from The School School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Semchuk is currently pursuing her interests in performance and creation with Good Women Dance Collective and Toy Guns Dance Theatre in Edmonton. While she continues to actively learn from others, she strives to share her enthusiasm for movement and dance with students and peers all over the city.
A graduate from the Canadian Dance Company, West End Studio Theatre and Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, becoming a performing artist/choreographer/teacher has been a life long journey. Nine years into the business, she has choreographed musical theatre (Shrek, Dora the Explorer, Hair, Seussical the Musical, The Little Mermaid, Fame, Little Women) and children's touring theatre (Little Red Theatre). She has choreographed music videos for Juno awarding winning Splash n' Boots and with production company Yeah! Films for Canadian bands Seaway and Pin Up. Her work has been shown at festivals such as Fever After Dark with Jerome Bobb and Bazaar. She has taught dance, drama and music with several different Toronto based companies including York University and Ryerson School of Performance Summer Intensives where she taught Scene Study and Musical Theatre. Her work with the bold indie theatre company, Echo Productions, has given her the chance to choreograph stories like, Bonnie and Clyde, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dog Sees God and Charles Manson: Son of Man. She has performed in Newfoundland, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Yukon Territory and has toured across the United States. In 2016 she was the only Canadian on tour with the European production of HAIR as Dance Captain and Understudy to Sheila/Jeanie. In 2017, she spent the year working with Norwegian Cruise Lines as a Singer/Dancer sailing Central and South America. This past fall she toured the Maritimes as Wendella the Witch in the Great Big Boo! While on the road (or at sea) performing and traveling, Emma under #travelingdancer; choreographs and occasionally writes music for her dance videos around the world. With lots of experience in dance and a great foundation in music and story telling, she believes that this is her formula for creation. Fusing story, movement and music together.
Hannah began dancing in Edmonton at the age of 4 and has trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, tap, musical theatre, contemporary and modern. She has been teaching at various Edmonton studios for the past 6 years and also runs recreational programs out of the Derrick Golf Club and the Royal Glenora Club. Hannah is a recent graduate of the University of Alberta, completing her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Psychology and focusing on dance-related research. She performed with Orchesis Dance Group throughout her degree and currently holds a seat their Board of Directors. Hannah's training reaches beyond Edmonton. She has competed and attended workshops across North America and currently performs with various dance troupes including Movementality and The Pinheruppers. In addition to her dance career, Hannah is also heavily involved in the theatre and visual art communities and has received several awards for her contributions to the arts. Hannah hopes to continue her exploration of dance and art for the rest of her life and is excited to be sharing her knowledge and expertise through dancED's programming!
Brett trained in Vancouver, BC where she began dancing at the age of 6. At15, Brett attended the SOCAPA Arts Summer program in New York City where she got her first experience working on film. In the fall of 2010, she trained both in her home studio and at Harbour Dance Centre, where she was later accepted into their Intensive Training Company at the age of 17. A year later, Brett took part in the innaugral year of “Lux Dance Co.” Brett has performed on stage and in videos, including performances in California, New York, and Seattle. Brett's last work was in "Felix Check's Out" as a performer and co-choreographer with Synthesis Dance Theatre in the 2017 Fringe Festival. Brett has been teaching since the age of 17 and is now the owner and founder of Motives Dance and Fitness Company based in Edmonton. Brett teaches her students not only technique, but also the importance of confidence and encourages her students to go beyond their comfort zone to experience dance from within. Brett is excited to be part of the dancEd team as she loves to see the growth in each student during their residency.
Ali has been dancing since the age of 4 in multiple dance disciplines. As a young dancer, she competed all over Canada and the U.S and attended many conventions allowing her to have exposure to numerous choreographers. After graduating from an arts focused high school as a dance major, Ali went on to attend and graduate from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance Dance. Since graduating in 2014, Ali has had many professional performance opportunities from spending three seasons dancing for the Toronto Blue Jays to performing at Toronto’s BIA Illuminate festival in Yonge and Dundas Square. Ali is now an award winning competitive dance teacher and choreographer travelling across Ontario each spring watching her students compete. In 2016 she started Adagio Performance Training, a sport specific cross training company designed to develop strength in dancers. In addition, Ali is also a trainer at Barreworks, Toronto’s premier barre studio, teaching weekly fitness classes. Ali is excited to be apart of the dancED team and cannot wait to share her passions for the arts, health and fitness at each residency!