Our Alumni

For years, our program has been developing intelligent and motivated dance students into strong and in-demand dance artists. Arts Umbrella graduates have been hired by critically lauded Canadian companies and by cutting-edge contemporary companies around the world, as far away as the Netherlands, Italy, and Israel.

Arts Umbrella Dance alumni have gone on to dance professionally with companies all around the world, including:

Ballet BC (Canada)
Batsheva Dance Company (Israel)
Nederlands Dans Theatre (Netherlands)
Sidra Bell Dance New York (USA)
Dresden Semperoper Ballet (Germany)
Imperfect Dancers (Italy)
Ballet National Theater Mannheim (Germany)
Bjm Danse (Montreal)
Hofesh Shechter Company (UK)
Kidd Pivot (Canada)
Noord Nederlands Dans (Netherlands)
Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (NYC-USA)
Proarte Danza (Toronto)
Toronto Dance Theater (Canada)
Swedish National Ballet (Sweden)

We are given incredible opportunities beyond ourselves – opportunities other programs and even professionals may not get – and are expected to rise to the challenge. We are taught not just choreography and technique, but respect, community, and perseverance. We are taught to value every experience, to take ownership of our own experience.

—Rachel McNamee, Nederlands Dans Theatre (2014 graduate of the VCC/Graduate Program)

In the dance company, I was challenged and encouraged to see dance in a different light. The limits of physicality and creativity were pushed and expectations of focus and creative ownership were raised. The artistic staff and other dancers offered the support for me to be able to be vulnerable with dance in order to break out of my own boundaries. I discovered so much more during the 2 year graduate dance program at Arts Umbrella than I have in the entirety of my life thus far.

—Shannon Ellis, Melbourne (2009 graduate of the Graduate Program)


More About Our Alumni

  • Daniel Alwell (2013) Les Ballets Jazz (Montreal)
  • Jessica Ames (2012) Noord Nederlands Dans (Netherlands)
  • Amber Funk Barton (1999) Founder of The Response Contemporary Dance Company
  • Alexander Burton (2010) Ballet British Columbia
    Emily Chessa (2012) Ballet British Columbia
  • Michelle Cheung (2005) Ballett National Theater Mannheim (Germany)
  • Kayla Corbin (2013) Imperfect Dancers (Italy)
  • Katherine Cowie (2000) BJM Danse, Hofesh Shechter Company (UK)
  • Julia Cratchley (2008) Helix Dance Company
  • Stephanie Cyr (2013) Imperfect Dancers (Italy)
  • Kimberley De Jong (2000) Itzik Galili Dance Company, Compagnie Marie Chouinard
  • Alison Denham (1999) MOVE: the company, Dance Makers, Wen Wei Dance, Vancouver Independent Artist
  • Jed Duifhuis (2011) Ballet British Columbia (apprentice), Kelowna Ballet
  • Tara Dyberg (2000) BJM Danse, Vancouver Independent Artist
  • Livona Ellis (2010) Ballet British Columbia
  • Shannon Ellis (2006) Melbourne Ballet Company (Australia)
  • Shannon Ferguson (2005) Ballet Kelowna, Ballet British Columbia
  • Alexis Fletcher (2004) Ballet British Columbia
  • Scott Fowler (2012) Ballet British Columbia (apprentice)
  • Alyson Fretz (2009) Ballet British Columbia, ProArteDanza
  • Yeva Glover (2004) Company XIV (New York City)
  • Connor Gnam (2005) Ballet British Columbia, Ballet Kelowna
  • Kiera Hill (2012) Ballet British Columbia (apprentice)
  • Chris Hoyte (2010) Dresden Semperoper Ballet (Germany)
  • Chisato Ide (2011) Ballet British Columbia
  • Amy Josh (2011) Noord Nederlands Dans (Netherlands)
  • Graham Kaplin (2013) Les Ballets Jazz (Montreal)
  • Caroline Kirkpatrick (2009) Sidra Bell Dance (NYC)
  • Maya Klassen (2011) Noord Nederlands Dans (Netherlands)
  • Rebecca Margolick (2009) Sidra Bell Dance (NYC)
  • Katherina Nakui (2012) Noord Nederlands Dans (Netherlands)
  • Rena Narumi (2008) ProArteDanza, Kidd Pivot, Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden (Germany)
  • Rebecca Niziol (2007) DanceWorks Chicago
  • Alex Parrett (2009) Noord Nederlands Dans (Netherlands)
  • Julie Pecard (2005) ProArte Danza, Ballett National Theater Mannheim (Germany)
  • Michel Issa Rubio (2009) VA Entertainment Freelance Dance Artist
  • Acacia Schachte (1998) Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (NYC), Ballet British Columbia
  • Sarah Wasik (2006) Toronto Dance Theater
  • Maddy Wynne-Jones (2002) Founder & resident choreographer of Tempered Body Dance Company (UK)