ABOUT US

FACULTY

The Canadian School of Ballet takes pride in our faculty being the best in their field. They all have the training, experience, and dedication to train excellent dancers.

Regeanna Stubel

Co-Owner, Director, RAD RTS – Ballet

Regeanna Stubel is the proud co-owner of The Canadian School of Ballet and has been teaching at CSB for 25 years! Regeanna started dancing at the age of 5 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and has completed all of her RAD exams from Primary to Intermediate ballet. In 1991, Regeanna moved to Kelowna and studied ballet under the instruction of Melville Brown at The Canadian School of Ballet. She performed in many roles of The Nutcracker and in her graduating year, Regeanna was accepted into The Banff Center of Fine Arts for their 5-week summer dance program. Regeanna is a registered ballet teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance and in 2011, became the co-owner of CSB with Ms. Carley.

Carley Bailey

Co-Owner, Director – Company B, Jazz, Tap

Taylor Gnam

Contemporary, Ballet

Ms. Taylor began her dance training at The Canadian School of Ballet in Kelowna before she moved away from home at the age of 13 to attend the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Professional Division for five years. She then moved to Vancouver where she completed the Arts Umbrella Graduate Program with a Dance Diploma. Ms. Taylor was then hired as an apprentice with the professional ballet company Ballet BC before becoming a full company member and directors assistant for Vancouver based dance company Project20. Ms. Taylor and her husband Connor (Mr. Connor also teaches at CSB, they met while dancing for Ballet BC) moved to Kelowna in 2015 and has taught at CSB ever since. She has won many awards for her choreography including people’s choice awards, top choreography in individual age groups and top choreography overall. Many of these awards were given to dances she choreographed for our Company and Junior B groups. Ms. Taylor is a certified Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) Teacher as well as a certified Barre Instructor. Ms. Taylor teaches Kinder to Grade 1 Ballet and Grade IV to Advanced Contemporary.

Emma Donley

ARAD, RAD RTS – Ballet

Emma trained in the R.A.D. Ballet method, and with coaching from Mel Brown, Loretta Lachner, and Penny Hudson, Emma achieved the highest level examination (Advanced 2) in 2002.  Emma received scholarships to train at dance programs with Alberta Ballet School and the Banff Centre for the Arts. Emma has worked with many great instructors such as David LaHay (Ballet Kelowna), Susan Toumine (Banff Centre for the Arts), Annette Av Paul (Banff Centre for the Arts), and Lisette Salgado and David Lucas (Royal Winnipeg Ballet). Emma performed with Velocity Dance Company, Josh Beamish, a demi-soloist role with Ballet Kelowna in “La Sylphide”, and the role of Sugar Plum Fairy at the Canadian School of Ballet’s Nutcracker, coached by David LaHay and Susan Toumine. Emma has been teaching at The Canadian School of Ballet since 2000 under the mentorship of Mel Brown, attaining her R.A.D Teaching Certificate in 2001. Emma is part of the artistic staff for CSB’s Nutcracker and along with Chris Larsen, created CSB’s Pre-Professional Program and Dance Training Okanagan.

Barbara Fay

Ballet

Jen Harden

B.A. – Jazz, Tap

Ms. Jen is an experienced dancer, choreographer and instructor who danced for 16 years at the Canadian School of Ballet. She trained in R.A.D. Ballet under Mel Brown, Emma Donley, Regeanna Stubel and Chris Larsen, and has completed her Advanced 1 Ballet Exam. She has also trained extensively in Tap and Jazz with Carley Bailey and Lori Larson, competing in multiple competitions in the Okanagan with CSB’s Company B. Ms. Jen is also our studio photographer/videographer and creates our annual video for Kaleidoscope. Jen has always had a passion for teaching and is honoured to get to share her love for dance with the next generation of dancers! She holds a Bachelor of Arts from The University of British Columbia – Okanagan and graduates with her Bachelor of Education in December 2021. This is Ms. Jen’s 5th year as a CSB instructor and currently teachers Tap and Jazz.

Mackenzie Denis

ARAD RAD RTS – Ballet, Jazz, Tap

Mackenzie began dancing at the age of 3, training in RAD Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Contemporary. Since joining The Canadian School of Ballet in 2015, she has completed her Royal Academy of Dance Advanced 2 examination with Distinction and had numerous roles in The Nutcracker including the Rat King and Clara. Furthermore, Mackenzie was invited to dance alongside professional dancers in Ballet Kelowna’s Canadiana Suite and even had the opportunity to be a part of Disneyland’s Dance the Magic Parade. She was fortunate enough to compete in many local and out-of-province competitions while in CSB’s Company B, placing very well. In 2018, Mackenzie travelled to San Diego, California, participating in DancerPalooza’s very own Travis Wall Experience where she took classes from Travis Wall, Mark Meismer, Teddy Forance, and various others. During that same year, she became a faculty member of CSB, where she found her love for teaching Ballet, Tap and Jazz specifically. Mackenzie is a Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) certified teacher and a Royal Academy of Dance Registered Teacher.

Kait Strauss

Tap

Ms. Kait is a Pennsylvania native and has called Kelowna home for the last 5 years.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Dance Performance from Oklahoma City University with a focus in ballet, rhythm tap, jazz, and musical theatre.  While at university, she participated in several of the dance companies across campus including Rhythms Hip Hop and Stomp team and the renowned American Spirit Dance Company.  Through participation in these companies, Kait had the opportunity to perform on campus and off at various events throughout Oklahoma City as well as the city’s televised Centennial Celebration in honour of 100 years of statehood.  After her time in Oklahoma, she moved to New York City to audition and train as a dance professional.  Following a few years chasing dreams and a move to Buffalo, NY, Kait discovered her passion for teaching.  She took a job instructing adults in all genres of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, barre, burlesque, and body percussion.

Since landing in the Okanagan in 2016, Kait has been part of the Tap Faculty at The Canadian School of Ballet.  She is excited for the opportunity to dust off her jazz shoes and teach at the Summer Intensive!

In addition to teaching dance, she enjoys travelling, hiking, swimming in the lake, riding her motorcycle, skiing, and spending time with her husband and beloved pup

Chris Larsen

RAD PDTD, RAD RTS Ballet

Chris is a graduate of the National Ballet School of Canada. Dancing with Ballett-Art François Klaus in Switzerland, the Hong Kong Ballet and the prestigious Birmingham Royal Ballet where he danced for 10 years and retired in the position of Soloist. He danced in a large range of roles from corps de ballet through to principle parts in many of the great classics as well numerous new works, and also had the opportunity to have roles created on him. Throughout his career he had the opportunity to be on many international tours and dance in international Galas. Since retiring from professional dance, Chris received The Professional Dancers Teaching Diploma from the Royal Academy of Dance and returned home to British Columbia.

Chris has adjudicated for Danceworks Festival in Victoria, and the Kootenay Festival of the Arts in Trail, B.C. Often called upon by the RAD to guest-coach workshops and seminars, Chris has also guest taught for intensives in Vancouver, Toronto, LA, and Prince George and most recently was invited to guest teach at the Victoria Academy of Ballet.

Chris started teaching at The Canadian School of Ballet in 2014 and is part of the artistic staff for CSB’s Nutcracker and along with Emma Donley, created CSB’s Pre-Professional Program and Dance Training Okanagan.

Sarah Kennedy Watters

R.A.D. RTS, ARAD, BSc – Ballet

In her 25 years of teaching, Mrs. Watters has directed strong, successful ballet programs, while guiding her students to excel in exams and competitions as well as pursue professional dance careers. She holds her certificate in ballet teaching studies (CBTS) from the Royal Academy of Dance and is also an associate of the academy (ARAD). Mrs. Watters trained professionally at respected schools across North America including the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Milwaukee Ballet School, the University of Oklahoma, and the Professional Program at the Richmond Academy of Dance, working with renowned artists from NYCB’s Balanchine Trust, The Joffrey Ballet, Ballet BC and Boston Ballet. As a principal and soloist performer with the Oklahoma Festival Ballet Company, Mrs. Watters toured and performed both classical and contemporary repertoire. Her favourite roles included George Balanchine’s Valse Fantasie, Joffrey Ballet’s Pas de Déesses, and the Flower Festival in Genzano Pas de Deux. As a student, she was the recipient of multiple Richmond Arts Council scholarships and was the BC Festival of the Arts Provincial Ballet Champion.

Taya Stubel

Hip Hop

Taya began dancing at CSB when she was 3 years old and has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and contemporary. Taya has performed in 13 productions of the Nutcracker and has been a part of CSB’s Company B for the past 5 years, where she has danced in the DisneyLand parade and performed at Swinging with the Stars, a fundraise for the Central Okanagan Hospice Association. In 2019, Taya travelled to Long Beach, California and participated in the summer intensive “DancerPalooza” where she took classes from Travis Wall, Twitch, Teddy Forance, Mark Meismer and many others. In 2020, Taya became a member of the CSB faculty, teaching hip hop to 6-11 year olds. Taya will be teaching hip hop in the upcoming 2021/2022 season, along with attending post-secondary school to obtain her Bachelor of Arts degree.

Jen Large

Hip Hop

Connor Gnam

Former Ballet BC Dancer, Nutcracker Choreographer

HISTORY