by Tyrone | Feb 2, 2023 | Events
Sorami has a strong background in classical ballet, pointe work, contemporary, neo classical and character dance. Born in Nagoya, Japan, she began her ballet training at age three at Yukiko Torii Ballet School. In 2008, she moved to Canada where she continued her training at the Goh Ballet Academy in Vancouver.
While a member of the Goh Ballet Youth Company, she toured throughout BC and China, performing at various community events, charity fundraisers and educational outreach programs.
Over the course of her training, Sorami has studied with world-renowned ballet masters and choreographers including Chan Hon Goh, Ben Huys, Frank Anderson, Sasha Sagan and Anna-Marie Holmes. She has performed many different classical ballets including Anna Marie Holmes’ Nutcracker, George Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht, Frederick Ashton’s La Fille Mal Gardee, and August Bournonville’s Napoli.
Sorami is in the process of adding the Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus to her qualifications. She is very excited to be a member of NSAD and to share her performance experiences and her love of dance with young students.
Kiana trained as a full-time student in the Professional Training Program at Ballet Bloch 2015 to 2017. Her work ethic and commitment was impeccable and together with her natural ability for classical ballet she gained international recognition within a year. She earned herself many top awards in local, provincial and international competitions. Kiana was selected as a Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) Finalist in New York City and performed a Variation from Raymonda for the YAGP Final Round on the David Koch Theatre stage, Lincoln Centre. Here, in 2017, she was awarded a three year full scholarship to Zurich Dance Academy in Switzerland.
“I have trained with Ms. Tracy since I was 8 years old. I followed her from Pro Arte Dance School when she opened Ballet Bloch Canada in 2012. I continued to train diligently under her tutelage, always trying to retain the wealth of knowledge she gives. Ms. Tracy was instrumental in helping me grow as a dancer both technically and artistically encouraging and inspiring a growing passion for dance. Her belief in me helped achieve milestones such as winning BC Arts Provincials Ballet II and III and getting accepted into the highly acclaimed San Francisco Ballet School in 2015. It was a huge accomplishment for me to be able to attend this international school and it would not have been possible without the foundation work Ms. Tracy helped me build.”
Emily loves to dance and perform. Her passion has fueled her hard work and dedication and made it possible to overcome injuries and the physical challenges ballet inflicts on your body. Emily’s journey in dance covers numerous dance seminars, competitions, and summer intensives since 2009. She has a fond memory of taking a Vancouver Ballet Society Spring Seminar where she received the Jean Orr Celebration scholarship, the Ruth McLoughlin Memorial Scholarship and the BBS scholarship. This helped spark a belief in herself that she can be a dancer and be able to move and touch the emotions of an audience doing something she truly enjoys doing.
She’s been participating in various local dance competitions and international competitions winning numerous awards and scholarships including best soloist at the Festival du Ballet 2015. Her accomplishments at the Performing Arts BC Festival started as runner-up in Ballet I (junior) in 2013 and winning Ballet II (intermediate) in 2014 despite being the youngest in this category and more recently has won Level III (senior) in 2019 receiving the Marilyn Wiwcharuk Memorial Scholarship for the most outstanding dance performance at the Dance Finals Concert chosen collectively by all dance adjudicators of the festival.
Since 2013, she has spent most of her summers dedicated to dance intensive programs including the American Ballet Theatre, New York, San Francisco Ballet School (twice), Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Boston Ballet School and Ballet Bloch Canada, North Vancouver. Her success in dance gave her acceptance as a full-time student at the San Francisco Ballet School from the fall of 2015 to the spring of 2017. During this period she was challenged with living on her own, taking high school online and dancing all day. While this experience advanced her dance enormously it also had taken its toll on her physical and emotional health. Since returning home she continues to renew her passion and love of dance.
Emily’s dance credentials include completion of all ISTD Ballet exams from Gr.2 ballet to the Advance 2 ballet level all with Distinction.
“I can’t remember a time in my life with out ballet, and I certainly would not be the person I am today with out it. Over the past thirteen years it’s taught me lessons that have, and will continue to shape my life. I can hardly believe that we’ve reached the end of this chapter, and I have to say good bye to Ballet Bloch. It’s truly become my family and I can’t imagine not seeing everyone everyday. I’m so grateful for each and every teacher. Words can not express how much their support and encouragement has meant to me over the years. Although it may be sad I couldn’t be more excited for what’s yet to come. I hope to pursue a career in Ballet, and will be spending my summer training at Miami City Ballet. Thank you Miss Tracy for being there for me through it all! This is not goodbye, as I know I will always have a home to come back to.”
“I took my first storybook ballet class at the age of 4. Through the next few years I enjoyed jazz, modern, tap, etc but once I added ballet back at the age of 8, I never stopped. At age 12 I learned my first variation from Coppélia and from that moment on I knew that ballet was the style of dance I loved the most. The studio has always been a second home to me. It has been a place I have always looked forward to going after school, a place I can be myself, and a place where I can express all my thoughts and emotions through movement. One of my favourite things about ballet is how it makes me feel most like myself. When I walk into the studio I can’t help but have a smile on my face. Throughout the years I was fortunate enough to participate in the Disneyland Music Days, The Edge Performing Arts, YAGP and countless local competitions. I have also been very lucky to spend the last 5 summers away improving my ballet and striving towards my goals at Alberta Ballet, The Rock School, Alvin Ailey, Northwest Dance Intensive, and Ballet West. It is really hard for me to say goodbye to my Ballet Bloch family. During my three years at the studio I have made so many amazing memories with these girls that I will cherish forever. In the fall I will be attending the School of Alberta Ballet in their post graduate program. I am very excited to have the opportunity to follow my dreams. I cannot express how thankful I am to all my teachers Ms. Lesley, Ms. Janet, Ms. Katie, Mariana, Monica, Tom, Muriel, and Ms. Tracy who have not only shaped me into the dancer I am today but also the person I have become.”
“I can hardly remember a time I wasn’t dancing. From preschool creative dance with Miss Lindy to my first real ballet class with Miss Tracy to my graduating performance— over the past 11 years hardly a day has gone by without ballet. Some of my fondest memories have been in ballet, whether it be performing my first duo (the milk maid and the cow!), participating in competitions with my teachers and friends, or simply working on technique in the studio day after day. I have received so many amazing opportunities through dance, and am thankful to have had experiences such as spending the summer in San Francisco at Alonzo King LINES Ballet or dancing onstage at Lincoln Centre. There isn’t a part of my life that hasn’t been shaped by ballet. While I am excited to move on to my next adventure, I am infinitely grateful that I have spent more than a decade of my life completely immersed in dance. In the fall, I will be attending the University of Western Ontario pursuing a dual degree in Political Science and Business at the Ivey School of Business. Thank you so much to Monica, Mariana, Tom, Muriel, and most of all Miss Tracy.”
“Ballet has been the biggest part of my life for as long as I can remember. Since I was seven years old, hardly a day has gone by where I wasn’t dancing, whether it was performing in my kitchen, or rehearsing at the studio. Ballet has shaped who I am today through the lifelong skills I’ve learned, the amazing memories I’ve created and the friends I’ve made from all over the world. My 11 years of dedication to ballet have created too many memories to name. My first ballet solo where I was Bambi; numerous summer intensives such as Canada’s National Ballet (Toronto), École Supérieure de Ballet du Quebec (Montreal), The Rock School (Philadelphia) and Ballet West (Salt Lake City); international competitions across North America (Vancouver, Seattle, Las Vegas, California, Florida); taking on the role of Lady Capulet last year; my last bow after performing the Nutcracker Pas de Deux; my first professional company audition for Ballet West; and finally ending with my graduating performance today. While I am excited to move on to my next adventure, I will always carry my love for ballet in my heart and hope to continue with my passion next year. This summer, I will be heading back to Montreal to do what I love at ESBQ. In the fall, I will be starting a new chapter of my life at the University of Victoria to pursue a degree in Engineering. To my amazing teachers, I thank you all for the support you have given me in my ballet career and for the impact you have had in my life.”
“Looking back at my journey in dance I’ve found ballet has allowed me to discover who I am as an individual. Ballet has taught me to be resilient, diligent, and independent. As much as dance has enriched my life, it has also presented me with some of my most difficult challenges. In the summer of 2017 I struggled with my confidence which led to burn out with ballet. I then decided to stop dancing all together. However, during that year I realized how much I missed the stage and how I feel when I dance. When I perform it gives me the opportunity to be the outgoing and confident person that I wish I could be in my daily life. During the following summer I worked extremely hard to get back into shape in order to be able to perform again. I’m so very grateful to have the support of all my teachers at Ballet Bloch. Especially to Ms. Tracy, Muriel and Tom for always assuring me that I am good enough. I am going to continue to do my best as I move on to the next chapter of my life, whatever that may be.”
“I love to be on stage and perform. I allow movement to speak for me and Ballet Bloch provided many performance opportunities over the years from festivals to galas. I will have those memories for a lifetime!”
Carissa joined Ballet Bloch Canada in 2015. During those years she was able to continue to develop her technique and performance skills by participating in lead roles from A Midsummer Nights Dream, Giselle, The Nutcracker, and Romeo and Juliet. Carissa completed all of her vocational ISTD ballet exams with Distinction. Her passion for ballet and contemporary also took her to many local and international competitions where she enjoyed great success. Every summer, after successful auditions, Carissa was privileged to attend world renowned summer intensives like: Northwest Dance Intensive, Ballet West, and Alberta Ballet. Upon graduation Carissa was accepted into the Alberta Ballet School Professional Graduate program as well as the Teacher Training Program.
“At Canada’s National Ballet School, I could feel how my time at Ballet Bloch had made a big impact on me. If I had no such professional training on classical ballet, then I wouldn’t be here right now. I thank Ms. Tracy, Ms. Muriel, Mr. Tom, and Ms. Mariana for the best training there could ever be. For 4 years I have learned so much from them.
Thank you so much Ms. Tracy, for everything. From the ballet classes, to the hours of hard-working rehearsals, to the final performance. Every step of the way you had taught me patience, strength and how to handle the pain. During competitions backstage when I would get nervous you would always hug me tell me to just go out there and dance my heart out, even if it means missing a step or two. I now carry that message with me whenever I am performing in front of an audience, and it builds up my confidence since I get nervous all the time.
Thank you, Ms. Muriel and Mr. Tom. Thank you for reminding me that every ballet class counts and that every ballet class helps me to improve my technique and confidence in dance. I love the stories you tell us about your experiences in the company. They tell me more about the ballet world, and how it can be a bit competitive sometimes.
And thank you, Ms. Mariana. You have taught me not just to love ballet, but also the beauty of contemporary dance as well. I love the style you taught me, because the movements are stunning. I thought contemporary was challenging, but I had come to realize that every form of dance is challenging, I just had more experience with ballet. Thank you for teaching me another style, because doing just one dance could be a little boring.
Overall, I think Ballet Bloch was the greatest studio I have ever been to. The people there, the teachers there, everyone was so kind and supportive of me. Ballet Bloch will forever be my home.”
Kai-Chi started ballet at the age of 5, and almost right away her teachers and parents knew that ballet was going to be a perfect fit for her! Kai-Chi’s natural ability to deliver the musicality and artistry of ballet, and dedicated focus on instructions as well as corrections shaped a strong foundation for her. She joined Ballet Bloch Canada in 2015, and has hence enjoyed the passionate and artistic teaching of Miss Tracy-Lea Bloch, among other wonderful residence and guest teachers and choreographers at the school. Kai-Chi represented Ballet Bloch at YAGP 2016 and 2017 semifinals in Las Vegas and Seattle respectively, and was awarded Top 12 for her classical and contemporary variations in both competitions. During Kai-Chi’s attendance at Ballet Bloch, she was also recognized by Vancouver’s regional competitions with high placements and scholarship awards. Kai-Chi attended the National Ballet School of Canada’s summer intensive in 2018, and was accept into the full time program the same year. She is blossoming and enjoying the rigorous studies and ballet classes in Toronto, and is continuously thankful for the guidance, love and friendship she received at Ballet Bloch Canada.
“When I first came to Ballet Bloch, I never thought I could pursue a professional career in ballet. Now, I have no doubt in my mind that this is the only career I want and I have learned the foundational skills that allow me to pursue my dream. Ballet Bloch gave me the experience of dancing in full-length ballets including Romeo & Juliet, The Nutcracker, and Alice in Wonderland. I now understand the complexity and the hard work it takes to be a part of these productions and what it means to truly work together as a company to make these performances a success.”
Logan Hall started at Ballet Bloch in 2017. He was looking for a ballet-focused, professional environment and wanted to take his Classical Ballet training to the next level. In his two years of training at Ballet Bloch, he not only matured as a dancer but was also taught important skills necessary to function in a ballet company, both physical and mental. Some of his favourite memories of Ballet Bloch are the quality and diversity of teachers and choreographers, both as full-time Ballet Bloch faculty and guest teachers from around the world; and the dancing in full-length ballets. Ballet Bloch’s focus on technique, development of mental strength, and high standards of performance have given him the foundational skills and confidence to pursue his dream to be a professional Classical Ballet dancer. Logan has successfully auditioned for the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and the Alberta Ballet School, and is starting full-time studies at the Alberta Ballet School in September 2019.
Beginning at age 4, Ms. Legaspi has been trained in various styles of dance including classical ballet, contemporary, modern, and lyrical jazz. Having completed her ISTD Imperial Classical Ballet and major RAD Classical Ballet examinations, she went on to university, where she received her High Five® Principles of Healthy Child Development Certification and her Human Kinetics Diploma from Capilano University. In 2013, she began teaching at Ballet Bloch Canada as a junior ballet teacher, eventually becoming the junior ballet assistant director.
Thomas Teague, originally from San Diego, has achieved principal status in each of the companies his career has taken him. He performed leading roles in contemporary works by such internationally acclaimed choreographers as George Balanchine, Glen Tetley, Val Caniparoli, Bruce Marks, Loyce Houlton, and award winning Canadian choreographer Renald Rabu. He also performed principal roles in many of the traditional classics such as The Nutcracker, Giselle and Les Sylphides as well as the title roles in Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde and Eugene Loring’s Billy the Kid. Thomas’s career started at Minnesota Dance Theatre, moved on to Pacific Ballet Theatre (now Ballet British Columbia), and then to Oregon Ballet Theatre. Thomas has choreographed for Ballet Oregon and Milwaukee Ballet II and has been a guest performer throughout the country. Mr. Teague also teaches Pilates, is a licensed Massage Therapist and studied Oriental Medicine for 2 years.
After retiring from his professional career, Thomas and his wife Muriel Teague co-founded and directed two ballet schools in the San Diego area where they developed a comprehensive training syllabus and produced/choreographed and directed an annual Nutcracker, Spring Repertory Concert and many educational outreach programs. Drawing from his rich background in contemporary dance, Thomas also developed a unique contemporary ballet syllabus which has been widely acclaimed and so relevant in the professional dance world of today. In 2004 they accepted the positions as Directors and Principal Teachers for the Academy of Colorado Ballet where they successfully opened a second location for the Academy.
Back in Canada, Thomas is happy to be teaching for Ballet Bloch Canada.
Muriel Teague is originally from Vancouver, British Columbia where she trained under Mara McBirney and Soonee Lee. She achieved her Advanced II Certificate from the Royal Academy of Dance when she was 16 years old. Ms. Teague danced professionally with Pacific Ballet Theatre (now Ballet British Columbia), Minnesota Dance Theatre and Oregon Ballet Theatre. She danced principal roles in Giselle, Cinderella, Coppelia, Beauty and the Beast, The Nutcracker and Les Sylphides. She also performed leading roles in contemporary works by George Balanchine, Sir Frederick Ashton, Loyce Houlton, Val Caniparoli, Margot Sappington, and award winning Canadian choreographers Renald Rabu, Ferdinand Nault and Judith Marcuse. She was in the original cast of Rabu’s Pierrot 1980 which won the esteemed Clifford E. Lee Canadian choreographic award for that year. As a performer, Ms. Teague made numerous guest appearances both in Canada and the USA. She is also a certified Gyrotonic® trainer.
After retiring from her professional career, Muriel and her husband Thomas Teague co-founded and directed two ballet schools in the San Diego area where they developed a comprehensive training syllabus and produced/choreographed and directed an annual Nutcracker, Spring Repertory Concert and many educational outreach programs. In 2004 they accepted the positions as Directors and Principal Teachers for the Academy of Colorado Ballet where they successfully opened a second location for the Academy.
Muriel is now happy to be back in Canada, closer to family and teaching for Ballet Bloch Canada.
Nika Merrick-Statham studied ballet with many Vancouver teachers, including Danielle Clifford, Grant Strate, Lin Yee Goh and Choo Chiat Goh. She holds a bachelors degree in Theatre from UBC, with a concentration in costume design, as well as a Diploma in Fashion Design and Construction. Nika teaches Gyrotonic and Pilates to our Professional Division students in her studio on the 2nd floor, and spends Saturday mornings teaching beginner ballet to our littlest ballerinas!
Monica was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She began her dance training at an early age and went on to graduate from the San Francisco School of the Arts in the United States.
As a professional dancer Monica has worked in international dance companies and had the pleasure of working in many independent productions with world class choreographers, both Classical and Contemporary.
She is an accomplished choreographer and teacher that has taught in and choreographed in renowned institutions such as San Francisco, USA for Lines Contemporary Ballet Program, for Germany’s – Nordhousen Ballet Company, Arts Umbrella Youth Company, Kayzer Ballet – Portugal and in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Japan, Germany all over Brazil and Canada withing her eighteen years of teaching experience.Her choreography has been awarded in Brazil, USA, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland , Austria, France, Spain, Japan, Czech Republic, Australia and Korea.
In 2009, Monica co-founded an International post secondary contemporary dance training and performance company for aspiring professional dancers Lamondance.
Monica was commissioned to choreograph pieces for the opening gala of the 60th Anniversary of the Beijing Dance Academy in China (Goh Ballet Youth Company) and a special piece to be presented at the opening of Tanzart Festival in Nordhausen, Germany.
She was a nominee for the 4th Annual Inspirational Latin American Awards for Arts and Culture in Vancouver.
Monica was a guest choreographer for the closing gala of Brasilia’s acclaimed International Dance Seminar for 4 years partnering with conductor Claudio Cohen with pieces from Tchaikovsky, Claudio Santoro, Villa Lobos and Piazzola.
In film Ms Proenca produced “Strings for 2” a short dance film for Bravofact Canada. She was the choreographer for “Dance First” a short film produced by Dunbar Underground Productions and Center Stage On Pointe, produced by Sony Pictures for Life network and Directed by Director X.
She has been recognized also in the dance competitions stages receiving best choreographer awards in competitions such as: Global Dance Challenge 2017, World Ballet Art Competition 2017 and 2018. And choreographer and winner of the YAGP Toronto 2018 grand prix.
Today she directs her company Contemporary Division attached with a youth educational programme in contemporary dance that has the same name.
Monica currently calls Vancouver, Canada her home where she continues to choreograph, produce, dance, teach, coach and inspire others with passion, strength and elegant technique combined with her own Brazilian flair.