Instructors

ROSITA LARRAIN

Choreo & Performance

Rosita is the Director of RainWood Dance Studio.  She began to dance in early childhood with ballet at the age of 4 and jazz at the age of 8.  In Victoria, at 12, she studied jazz dance at Spectrum Dance and Kidco Co. directed by Kerry Lynn Krich.  Rosita started sharing her skills and passion teaching dance to children at the age of 15 and choreographed competitively for her peers throughout high school in the Greater Victoria Music Festival.  She continued to study contemporary dance at Simon Fraser University  while she taught dance to children and adults in several dance and fitness studios in Vancouver.  At 20 years of age she moved to Chile where she studied dance and performed with the dance company Abraxas on a weekly national television show.  Later she had the privilege of mentorship from her aunt, choreographer Vicky Larrain, with whom she studied and performed dance theatre for 6 years. 
She arrived to Salt Spring in 2012 with her husband and three hip hop dancing sons.  After many years away from dance, she was inspired to get back to it by Naomi Jason's classes and production of Imaginelle, as well as other workshops and performance opportunities offered on island.   She taught modern, jazz, salsa, beginner flamenco and hip hop to children and adults mainly with the Salt Spring Arts Academy.    Choreography is her passion and she would love to see collaborative creative work on Salt Spring that brings dancers and choreographers together to inspire and support each other.  She is eager to inspire people of all ages who have never danced to take that first step and, for those that have done so,  to develop their technique and enjoy the empowerment of full self expression through dance. 

Sue is our Musical Theatre, Tap and Jazz teacher.  She brings us her skills, talent and experience as a teacher and a performer in Vancouver, Victoria and here on Salt Spring Island where she has inspired  and shared her love of the performing arts with her students through Salt Spring Arts Academy. Her training in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, contact improv and other forms of improvisation combined with an extensive background in music, voice and theatre gives her students the unique opportunity to experience many performing arts genres and the various creative connections between them. She is also an experienced director which enriches her teaching process with practical applications and a high standard of showmanship. Sue nurtures each students’ individual artistic growth while modeling and instilling the joy and responsibility of collaborative classes and company structure.  We are excited that she is with us to mentor beginners as well as more advanced children and adults as they grow into their fullest artistic expression! 

 

SUE NEWMAN

 Tap, Ballet and Musical Theatre

Vani was born in Chile and came to Canada at the age of seven.  He lived with his family on Cortes Island where he quickly became a regular performer, dancing and lip syncing for the Cortes community.  He learned hip hop with no instructor or internet connection at the "school of the family living room" until he grooved his way to Salt Spring Island in Grade 7.  At SIMS he quickly connected with Lee Sigmund in charge of the dance program in 2012, and was an active dance student until the end of Grade 8 when he had the opportunity to co-teach. He continued to take dance at GISS and in grade 10 became a part of GISPA.  Studying under his mentors Jill Smith, Lisa Hall and Sonia Langer,  Vani's dance was infused with contemporary ballet technique, bringing his creativity and showmanship to a new level.  In the GISPA program Vani has shown many of his own choreographies and strong performance skills.  He has participated in the Street Groove Hip Hop convention and placed 2nd  in their Prove your Groove dance off in 2015.  Vani is always looking for opportunities to grow as a dancer and instructor and is eager to inspire others to love hip hop as much as he does.  We are very excited to have him teach and perform with us! ​

VANI ENGEL

 Hop Hop

Amber Tuttle was born and raised on Salt Spring Island.  She began dancing at a local studio at the age of 4, and hasn’t stopped since. Her dance involves various styles including, jazz, ballet, swing, lyrical, contemporary, stage, popping and hip hop. She started training at Carlson’s at 16 and this past summer attended Urban Dance Camp in Germany for the second time.  She has competed successfully in several festivals off-island and performed beautifully many times for our community.  Amber taught with Salt Spring Art Academy with dedication.  She has demonstrated her abilities as a dancer, choreographer and teacher and is eager to share her skills and love of dance to our students of all ages.  We look forward  to her classes and performances.

AMBER TUTTLE

Lyrical Dance & Hip Hop

 Throughout her early years, Veronika trained in ballet, can-can, tap, and highland dancing. While studying at UBC, she took modern and ballet classes on the side. Having rediscovered her love for dance, Veronika went on to train at MainDance in Vancouver, where she studied contemporary dance and ballet and had the opprotunity to study under many different choreographers such as Massimo Agostinelli.  As a youth, she taught dance classes for kids and dance based fitness classes for moms and dads with babies in Vancouver and on Salt Spring Island. Recently she co-created a full length musical, Wild Swans, with Kate Nash, choreographing seven dance scenes with children aged 5-13. Veronika’s love for movement and dance is infectious and is readily shared by her students and her three sons.  We are excited  to have Veronika's creative mentorship this fall!

VERONIKA MCKEE

Creative Movement, Eclectic & Conditioning

Amy Haysom loves to explore creative movement as a way to express ourselves in the world! Amy trained in ballet and modern as a youth, as well as explored music and singing, performing in musicals both in high school and University. She danced with the Troupe Gestuel while studying in Quebec City, and studied at MainDance in Vancouver in 2006. Amy is a trained yoga teacher and is an Artist in the Classroom for yoga and Acro Yoga. She has taught gymnastics and choreographed gymnastic routines to music. In Acro Dance she weaves her love of yoga and acrobatics, as well as performance and creative expression. Her main joy is to bring creative exploration and a sense of play into her teaching. Come play!

AMY HAYSOM

Acro Dance

Isabella Law is in her senior year of high school. She lives on Pender Island, and began her dance training at the age of three and instantly fell in love with it. Since starting out in Ballet, she has trained in Jazz, Contemporary, Modern, and Hip Hop styles. Over the years she has been lucky enough to perform in over five GISS Dance shows, worked with Three on the Tree Productions and she spent a  year training with GISPA in 2015/2016.

She is so excited to finally be able to pass on the creative skills she has learned with her students.

photo by John Cameron

Isabella Law

Street Jazz

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