The Dance Theatre is proud of our highly qualified teachers. Each of our senior faculty holds a post-secondary diploma or degree in their specialized discipline and all have extensive professional and semi-professional performing and teaching experience.
LEE DEVLIN PORTA:
As owner and director of the Dance Theatre, Miss Lee has an extensive background in the performing arts and education. A graduate of the original Performing Arts program at Victoria school, Lee has studied and trained in dance, acting, and voice as well stagecraft and radio and television both as a performer and as a technician. Her credentials include Dance Teacher certification in the Al Gilbert method (Tap, Ballet, Jazz) a diploma in Early Childhood development and a Bachelor’s degree in education. Miss Lee has been active as a dancer, teacher, choreographer, adjudicator, examiner, producer and director over the past 49 years. Lee trained under some of Edmonton’s finest dance teachers including Edythe Heavener, Shirley Schroffel, Alberta Ballet founder Ruth Carse and more. Ongoing participation in workshops, conventions and seminars in all areas of dance and theatre have further enhanced her knowledge. Lee danced professionally representing the City of Edmonton as a member of the Klondike Kuties and later the Shirley Adams Dancers. During that time she was privileged to perform with such artists as Tommy Banks, Jeri Cox, Della Como, Bobby Curtola, Bob McGrath, Joanne Worley, Lenard Nimoy and Big Bird! Choreographic credits include The Bluebird for Edmonton Children’s Theatre, Canadian premiere of the musical Celebration, numerous community variety shows and of course the year end musicals for the Dance Theatre such as Annie, The King and I, Hans Christian Andersen, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, Alice In Wonderland, Babes in Toyland, Bye Bye Birdie, Cinderella, The Scarecrow and The Wizard of Oz.
Being raised in a dance family it is no wonder that Miss Brandy started dancing as soon as she could walk. She became active is all aspects of dance training in tap, ballet, jazz and modern under the direction of Lee Porta, Gail Ledger, Eve Noonan, Stephan Findley, Loretta Beamish, Vicky St. Denys, Al Gilbert, Heidi Bunting and Brian Webb. She continues her education by attending many workshops and conventions where she has worked with many exceptional instructors such as Joe Tremaine, Peggy Baker, Tyce Diorio, Sho-Tyme, Lil’ C, Jason Janas , Nappy Tabs and so many more. Brandy graduated from the dance program at Grant MacEwan University where she focused on modern dance, ballet and choreography. As well as winning many medals, scholarships and Most Promising Awards, Brandy was the first recipient of the Ramsankar scholarship from Grant MacEwan, for her efforts in supporting families and promoting education through the Dance Theatre. Brandy is the co-director of the Dance Theatre. Choreography credits include The Wizard of Oz, Hans Christian Andersen, Alice in Wonderland, Mary Poppins, The Scarecrow, Annie, Babes in Toyland, and Cinderella.
Miss Suzanne wears two hats at the Dance Theatre. She teaches our Musical Theatre program (vocal training) and is also our tumbling coach. Suzanne studied voice at Grant MacEwan under Sam Lancaster and Jocelyn Rasmasson. She sang in a number of choirs including The Columbian Girls’ Choir and the Cosmopolitan Music Society Choir. She started tumbling while attending McNally High School, and was a member of their gold medal winning team for three years. At the U of A she trained under Francis Callie. Suzanne holds her certification (Level 1) in Artistic Gymnastics and is looking forward to completing Level 2.
Miss Katie is an Edmonton based theatre artist with a BA degree in Drama (Honors) from the University of Alberta. She is the co-artistic director of Blue Sky Theatre Emporium whose focus has been producing new work. Recent directing credits include Horace Porridge Goes to Work (Blue Skye Theatre Emporium, 2012) The Juvyline Cubangbang Show (Punctuate! Performance series 2012.) Katie’s favorite projects include performing in Found Space Shakespeare with Thou Art Here Theatre, Murder Mysteries with the Clown Cartel and improvised musicals with Grindstone Theatre and the 11 O’Clock Number. Katie recently graduated from the Television Arts program at NAIT and currently writes for the news department at CFRN TV.. Katie’s cleaver scripts and staging of our drama students has resulted in numerous accolades and high mark awards at Festivals and performances.
Recently, Katie has started up her own video company, Katie Elizabeth Studio. Her work was recently seen in our 2016 production of Annie, where she and the drama class created a movie as part of the show.
Miss Doreen started training in ballet at the age of 6 in the Royal Academy of Dancing (RAD) method in London England, adding National, Character and tap a few years later. She received honours in examinations and won many medals and scholarships while entering national and international competitions travelling throughout Britain. As a teenager she trained in International Style Ballroom and Latin American dance, while continuing classes in ballet, musical theatre and performance as well as completing her three year teacher training. She started performing professionally at the age of 17. After completing training program in London England, teaching children and adults became her passion. After immigrating to Canada with her husband and daughter, Doreen continued to take classes in ballet, jazz and musical theatre and following the advice of Dr. Ruth Carse (founder of the Alberta Ballet Company and School) opened her own studio. Her continued training with Dr. Carse and Deborah Morgan resulted in Doreen being accepted as a registered RAD teacher and was able to enter students in RAD children’s and major exams. Doreen enjoys adjudicating festivals and competitions and has directed and choreographed numerous shows including dramas, musical reviews, full length musicals and fashion shows involving both adults and children and teens. Strong technical ballet training sets the groundwork for all forms of dance and has helped hundreds of Miss Doreen’s students have successful professional careers in the arts as performers and teachers.
I’ve been dancing swing for more than 25 years and teaching it for more than 15. I was lucky enough to be trained by the lindy hop world reference Ryan Francois who eventually hired me for two TV shows in the UK. I also performed in about 60 TV shows in France and in Canada. I’ve been given the role of the leader and choreographer of the swing musical comedy “Zazou” that was performed daily for 6 months in Paris, before going on a 18 month European tour. Oh, and I once competed… and became swing vice champion of Canada 2016 as a member of the Ricard’s Quebec City team. Add to this a large background as an artistic gymnastics athlete (then coach), as a jazz drummer, and as a certified teacher…
Yes, you just found your next swing teacher!