Faculty

Dance Teachers

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Shani Wendell
Studio Director
Shani has been teaching dance in the Okanagan Valley since 1993, and she opened LCSD in 2000. She is an award-winning instructor & choreographer, an adjudicator, a member of the Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association, and also a certified Stott Pilates instructor. She has choreographed and produced dozens of stage shows including “Cats”, “Grease” and ” Chicago ” with the Full Moon Theatre Company.

Shani was awarded the ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ twice from the Lake Country Chamber of Commerce and the YM/YWCA’s ‘Young Woman of Distinction Award’ in 2004. In 2015, she was honored by the Okanagan Arts Awards for Excellence in Dance. Shani was also a 2007/2008 ambassador and model for the clothing store, Lululemon. She is active in the community and can often be found sharing her love of dance at local schools.

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Salena Lamb
Director of Acro, Tumbling and owner/operator Lake Country Gymnastics
Salena Lamb has been coaching gymnastics since 1994 and has been teaching acro and early dance with LCSD since 2003. In 2014, Salena launched Lake Country Gymnastics and is excited to bring her years of experience and passion for coaching to a new full service gymnastic program right here on the same campus as LCSD. She is certified through Gymnastics B.C. What Salena enjoys most about teaching and coaching is building the students’ social and motor skills and, most importantly, their confidence through gymnastics and dance.

Salena has also been actively involved with Pilates for more than 10 years and is certified to teach mat, reformer and chair. She continues to instruct Pilates at a number of Central Okanagan centers, including Rutland Physiotherapy, Bodyz In Motion fitness center, and here at the LCSDG campus.

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Loretta Beamish-Lachner
LRAD, ARAD, RAD Examiner
Director/ Ballet
Loretta comes with more than 40 years teaching experience. Loretta received her teacher’s training in London, England at the College of the Royal Academy of Dance, where she graduated with a Diploma in Teaching of Dance as well as becoming a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Dance: an honour given only to those who have graduated from the Academy. Upon graduation, she taught in London for a year then moved home to Canada to teach in Edmonton as Ballet Director of Castle Downs School of Dance. She staged many ballet productions including Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Hansel and Gretel, The Pied Piper, Beauty and the Beast and many others. Her production of Beauty and the Beast was invited to Romania for a Canadian-Romanian student exchange performance in Bucharest. Loretta has had the opportunity to travel twice to St. Petersburg, Russia to study in the Russian Vaganova ballet technique with some of the best instructors of the Kirov Ballet. She now incorporates this style into her open ballet classes.

Loretta moved to Kelowna in 1995, where she became co-owner of The Pacific Interior School of Dance. During this time she also staged several productions including the full-length ballets of La Sylphide, The Tin Soldier and Coppelia.

In 2003, Loretta took over Stage Door Dance Studios, which she ran for three years. She now teaches exclusively in the Okanagan at LCSD, but continues to guest teach and adjudicate throughout BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the USA. She recently became an RAD Examiner and is now examining at numerous international locations as well as here in Canada.

Many of Loretta’s students are dancing professionally or teaching, but she is most proud of her own two children: Chelsea as a dance teacher and Josh as a world renowned dancer/choreographer.

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Vicki View
Director/ Jazz and tap
Vicki was born and raised in Saskatchewan. She specializes in a wide range of genres including Jazz, Lyrical, Tap (C.D.T.A.), Hip Hop, Ballet (R.A.D.), Contemporary, and Musical Theatre. She expanded her training while studying at the Edge and Millennium Dance Complex in L.A., the Source Dance Company, Goh Ballet Academy, and Ruckus Dance Productions in Vancouver as well as the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts in Toronto. She has worked with Groove Street Productions and Triple Threat Dance Convention as a demonstrator and assistant for their Canadian Tour.

Vicki has worked extensively in film and television. Some of her credits include: Rivella, Lil’ Romeo, Kyle XY, and Disney Productions. She travelled throughout Europe, Asia, and South America performing with notable companies such as the Canadian Forces Afghanistan Show Tour, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and Lamondance.

Vicki has been teaching and choreographing for 16 years within Canada and internationally where her choreography has received award recognition. She has also received the Okanagan Arts Council Award for her achievements in dance. Many of Vicki’s students have received the opportunity to train and perform with companies such as ITP, The Source, Lux Dance Company, and Mosaica as well as to represent Canada at the World Tap Championships. Alongside her teaching endeavours, she is also a choreographer and adjudicator for the International Dance Seminar of Brasilia and the National Dance Championships of Canada.

Vicki continues to expand her knowledge and to grow as an artist by consistently studying and exploring the most current styles of dance. She is absolutely thrilled to be able share her knowledge and passion for dance with all of her students.

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Jaicee Payette
Lyrical * Tap * Jazz * Ballet * Contemporary * Preschool Dance
Jaicee is a multi-faceted instructor and choreographer from the Okanagan, with extensive training in a variety of genres of dance including; Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical and Contemporary. She began her dance career at a young age, competing locally before joining a tour group that would take her to perform shows in Mexico, and Los Angeles. She is very passionate about spreading her love of dance to her students, and thoroughly enjoys teaching others to perform through such a wonderful art form.

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Mackenzie Moore
Hip Hop
Mackenzie danced competitively with Lake Country School of Dance for ten years, winning numerous awards in the genres of hip hop, tap, contemporary, jazz, ballet, and musical theatre. Since graduating from high school, she has made a successful transition from student to teacher. She has taught at summer camps, choreographed for the George Elliot Dance Program, and was a member of Team Canada Hip Hop 2015. In the future, Mackenzie hopes to continue teaching dance while expanding her own repertoire and choreography skills. She is thrilled to have been given the opportunity to teach at Lake Country School of Dance, which has always been her home.

Guest Choreographers

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Paul Otterbein
One of the most sought-after Hip Hop choreographers in Canada, and now in the USA, Paul has led his teams to five National Hip Hop Championships since 2006 and also four National Canadian Street Dance Championship. Paul has choreographed music videos and Fitness USA, internationally and throughout the country.

His motto of “Believe” is what he shares with his students religiously through training all year long. Paul is one of the few “theme based” Hip Hop choreographers in the Lower Mainland, and has earned over 60 Top and Overall Choreography awards since 2006. Paul has choreographed eight teams to represent Canada and the USA at the World Hip Hop Championships, held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Paul has been a Guest Choreographer/Teacher for Master Classes in California, Seattle, Montreal, Niagara Region, Drive Dance Centre, Harbour Dance Centre and many more.

One of the highlights in Paul’s teaching career was being asked in 2009 by Hip Hop Legend “Kelly Konno” (lead dancer for Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake) to choreograph her team for the 2010 Winter Olympics Celebration Stage.

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Heather Dotto
Heather Dotto is a diverse performer trained in many forms of dance and theatre. Having been a member of Move: The Company since its’ inception in 2005, she has been privileged to perform, tour, and be artistically involved in many new creations by Artistic Director Josh Beamish. Heather has also performed for Simone Orlando, Amber Funk-Barton, Coriograph Theatre, Heather Laura Gray, Cardiff Stage Productions, The New Pornographers, and more recently with mmHop. Her acting credits include various plays, musicals, and the lead role in the short dance film “Perceptions”. She is also a local and provincial level award-winning teacher and choreographer for various training programs in the Lower Mainland. In 2009, Heather made her professional choreographic debut as one of the invited collaborators involved in the creation of MOVE: The Company’s “The Cell”. More recently she premiered her first creation on the talented group; “ActualPlay”.

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Chelsea Beamish
Chelsea has been dancing since 1992 and teaching since 2003. She has competed in numerous festivals and dance competitions throughout B.C. as well as being accepted three times to The BC Provincials of the Performing Arts in Stage, Ballet, and Modern. At the age of 15, she became director of MOVE Youth Dance Company as well as being a performer, managing shows and competitions throughout B.C. At 17, Chelsea was accepted into The Source Dance Company based in Vancouver , where she performed in B.C. and the U.S. as well as undertaking various promotional work including Lululemon’s World Yoga Day. Chelsea has taught and choreographed for schools in Vancouver, Coquitlam, Trail, Port Moody, Victoria, Kelowna, and of course, Lake Country. Chelsea recently graduated from the Canadian College of Performing Arts and continues to lend her talents to Lake Country School of Dance.

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Josh Beamish
Josh Beamish, Artistic Director of MOVE: The Company, began dancing under the direction of his mother Loretta (Beamish) Lachner in Edmonton and then in Kelowna. Upon moving to Vancouver, Josh continued his training at Pacific DanceArts, and began his career as an assistant choreographer, dance captain or dancer on various feature films and television shows including “The Wicker Man” with Nicholas Cage, “The Cleaner” and “Totally Awesome” with choreographer Paul Becker and the Nickelodeon network’s “Spectacular”. Josh was also one of the choreographers involved in the Steve Rosenberg’s film “Divine Waters” for Bravo!FACT. As a performer he has been seen in the works of Vancouver-based choreographers David Raymond, Amber Funk Barton and Simone Orlando. Outside of MOVE: The Company, his works have been performed by Toronto Dance Theatre, Halifax Dance, Ballet Kelowna, Dance Saskatchewan, the Universities of Alberta and Missouri, Ballet Jorgen, the Bellingham Repertory Company and Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance in Kansas City. He is the 2009 recipient of a City of Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Award, a 2008 Globe and Mail Dance Award and of artistic residencies at the Scotiabank Dance Centre, the Shadbolt Centre, the Norman Rothstein and Clarke Theatres, the University of Alberta and the Banff Centre. Josh recently participated in a choreographic session facilitated by the New York Choreographic Institute, involving the students of the School of American Ballet (New York City Ballet).

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Kelsey Chace
Kelsey is one of Vancouver’s most exciting and energetic dancers. She began dancing at the age of three and has not stopped – her passion for teaching, choreographing and performing continues to take her all over the world.

She has lived, trained and worked in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto and of course Vancouver where she currently resides. Some of her T.V. and Film credits include “The L Word”, “Another Cinderella Story”, “Fantastic Four 2”, “Chicago”, “Dudley Do-Right”, “Just Deal”. Although she loves doing film, her heart’s desire is in live theatre performances.

Some of her stage credits include “Cabaret”, “Chicago”, “Oliver”, Paralympics 2010, Fefe Dobson, Gemini Awards Show, Canadian Forces Show Tours with Lisa Brokop, Farmers Daughters and two seasons with Toronto’s “Helix Dance Project”.

When Kelsey is not performing she is sharing her love of dance through teaching. She is a faculty member for Groove Street Productions dance convention and Harbour Dance Center.

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Joey Matt
Joey was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta and has been dancing and performing since the young age of 7.  After competing as a child, his passion led him to audition and make it to the top 16 of the first ever ‘So You Think You Can Dance Canada’.  He then joined a Vancouver based company called Modus Operandi to further explore the technique and foundations of contemporary and modern dance.  He then joined Nico Archambault (Winner of ‘So You Think You Can Dance Canada’ Season 1) and his band “The Pinup Saints” for their North American Tour.  He soon after teamed up with Sean Cheesman to assist on ‘So You Think You Can Dance Canada’ and ‘So You Think You Can Dance America’ for multiple seasons.

While living in Vancouver he worked as a dancer/actor on the CW series ‘Hellcats’.  Joey has performed for Industrial Trade shows and Galas such as Bell Mobility, Telus, CN Railway and Toyota.  Other credits include artists such as Sarah McLachlan, K’naan, Carly Rae Jepsen, These Kids Wear Crowns, Mariana’s Trench, Ciara, Tyga and Nelly.  In 2015 and 2016 Joey toured Switzerland with a show titled ‘Art on Ice’, where he performed alongside Nelly Furtado, Tom Odell, Jessie J and the Jacksons.  He is currently a member of ‘O2 The Dance Company’ and is guest teaching across western Canada.