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Instructors

Instructors


Jiaying You (Yoyo)

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Dr. You is the principal of Yoyo School of Dancing, teaching Chinese dance and adult classes. She obtained her master’s degree in dance studies from the Chinese National Academy of Arts in 2008, and recently completed her PhD in dance studies at the University of Alberta in 2016. She previously taught dance at the People’s Liberation Army Arts College in China and participated in organizing various competitions held by the Chinese Dancers Association, such as the ethnic Chinese dance competition “Lotus Cup” and the national children’s dance recital “Xiao He Feng Cai”.

 

Tongtong Zhang (Ella)

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Ms. Zhang teaches Chinese dance, ballet, and adult classes. She graduated from the Guangdong Dance Academy in 2003, and the renowned Beijing Dance Academy in 2012, majoring in dance performance and education. Ella has rich teaching and performing experiences; she received gold in the 2008 International Dance and Music Competition in Singapore, first place in the 12th Beijing Dance Competition in 2011, and second places in the 2010 Chinese HuaBei Five Province Dance Competition and the 2011 Beijing Dance Academy Dance Competition. From 2012-2014, Ella held the position of art troupe director at Qu Rou Ren University.

 

Xuwei Tian

Mr. Tian is a Chinese dance instructor who graduated from Shanxi Academy of Arts and Chinese National Academy of Arts with a degree in Dance Choreography. He worked with famous directors Patti Colmbo and Shanda Sawyer for the musical theatre and acrobatic production “China Goes POP”, and served as the director himself for numerous productions in China including “Zu Guo Bu Hui Wang Ji”, “Da Dao Ji Yi” and more. He has also performed at CCTV and Hunan TV’s Chinese New Year Gala Concerts. He has received many awards such as first place in the Chinese University Music and Dance Competition and the Chinese Northern Provincial Dance Competition, the Edinburgh International Festival Best Production Award, and the Third Annual Chinese Acrobatic Festival Best Performance Gold Medalist Award.

 

Michelle Mitchell

Ms. Michelle is a dance instructor with 41 years of training in ballet, tap, jazz, Latin dance, and a wide variety of other dance styles. She has 28 years of teaching experience and is a certified National Ballet School of Canada instructor and Cecchetti ballet instructor. She also has certification for the Al Gilbert Tap Syllabus, Bronze and Silver American Smooth & Rhythm Ballroom and Latin, as well as first aid and CPR. Michelle is one of the first six instructors in Canada to certify fully in 4 levels as a Paula Morgan Technique Master Technician in Dance, which is a new technique from the guru Paula Morgan that teaches dance with a focus on injury prevention in today’s society of “forced” dance training. She has trained with numerous talented choreographers including Melissa Williams, Brian Friedman, Twitch,  Kujo, Jeannie Hill, Joe Tremaine, Doug Caldwell, and Jean Marc Genereaux. Michelle has also taught for the Oshawa Seniors Conant Branch Ballroom and Latin Programs since 2009 as well as Line Dance, Caberet and Latin Groove classes and Ballroom in Alberta since 2014.

 

Catherine Sampaga

Ms. Sampaga is a K-POP instructor here at Yoyo School of Dancing. She founded the active K-POP dance group Apricity in 2015 and continues to lead them in their activities.

 

Sarah Jones

Jazz and Zumba instructor Sarah graduated from the Mersey Side Dance and Drama Centre. She specialises in teaching Ballet, Tap, Modern dance, Jazz, and Zumba. Previously, she danced professionally for P&O Cruise Ships, and following that, began teaching dance in 2004.

 

Danni

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Danni, the adult Yoga instructor, studied under Indian and Canadian Yoga masters, and is a member of the Yoga Union Association. She has been teaching Yoga since 2011 with a mixture of Eastern and Western Yoga ideals. She teaches the traditional Yoga breathing techniques, positions, and meditation.

 

Manying He

何曼楹

Ms. He has accumulated 15 years of yoga experience and over 8 years of yoga instruction experience. She is excellent in educating students in areas such as deep breathing, basic yoga techniques, and meditation. She helps guide students to develop toned bodies, increase balance abilities and gain core strength through basic yoga techniques.

Areas of speciality: Hatha Yoga, Rhythmic Yoga and Flow Yoga

 

Yiting Jin (Yolanda)

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M. Jin graduated in 2014 from the University of Alberta with a major in Nutrition and Food Science and a minor in Human Ecology. She is currently employed as a level 3 Personal trainer at Goodlife Fitness and is certified as a personal trainer and healthy eating weight loss coach. She specializes in body weight training and high intensity interval training.

 

Levi Borejko

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Ms. Borejko is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s drama program. She has experience and training in a variety of theatrical disciplines including classical acting, musical theatre, clown, and improvisation. She is also an award-winning director and playwright.

 

Teaching Assistants: 


Lanie Lou

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Ms. Lanie Lou is currently a second year undergraduate student at the University of Alberta. She has had over 15 years of dancing experience. Lanie has performed at numerous local events such as “Heritage festival”, U of A’s annual “Chinese New Year Gala” and more obtaining valuable onstage and performance experiences. In 2015, Lanie attended the “International Youth Talent Competition” in Houston, USA placing Gold. Ms. Lanie Lou has been a teacher’s assistant at Yoyo School of Dancing for two years and helps with customer service and finances.

 

Rachel Liu

Ms. Liu is a current undergraduate student at the University of Alberta. She has two years of experience as Yoyo’s TA for Chinese dance classes; her other responsibilities include assisting with finances, managing contacts and communication via email, as well as overseeing the Yoyo School of Dancing official website. She has been a Chinese dance student for 10 years, and has accumulated a rich performing experience.