Director / Ballet instructor / Choreographer
For over 30 plus years Ms. Lee has been immersed in the performing arts and education. She has trained danced, coached, choreographed, directed and mentored students and dancers for classical and multi-disciplinary dance art forms for British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Arizona and Colorado and globally for individuals, schools and organizations since the 1970 and1980’s. Ms. Lee has now resided as founder and artistic director of Debbie Lee Dance Company since 2006. She received her foundation training in British Columbia under Soonee Lee, Lynnette Kelly, Lin Yee Goh, Cho Chiat Goh and Che Chun. Upon her extensive training and studies in Vaganova and French pedagogy techniques and receiving her Royal Academy of Dancing Teaching Certificate in her early 20’s she continue her pursuit in dance training and professional experience for classical and contemporary dance under numerous independent professional artists across Canada and United States which has helped shape her accomplishments of today. Ms. Lee is passionate about higher dance education and mentorship. Not only has she taught for numerous schools and organization across Canada and the lower mainland of BC, she also was the founder and artistic director of Richmond Hill Academy of Dance, Uxbridge Academy of Dance and DDDance Productions of Ontario, Canada. She was the school director for Telluride Dance Academy – Telluride Society of the Performing Arts (The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, summer residency) and the artistic director for the Yuma Ballet Theatre Company of Arizona. Ms. Lee also had the privilege of accepting a faculty position from Jean-Philippe Malaty and Tom Mossbrucker with The School of Aspen SantaFe Ballet, the official school of Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company, in Colorado where she spent four years as their school director. Upon retiring her position from Aspen, Colorado she continued to pursue her mentorship and coaching in countries and cities all over the globe where she has inspired students and dancers for the love of classical and contemporary arts. She has also served on The Dance Centre – The Vancouver Dance Centre Society board as one of their directors for four years. Upon her return to her hometown Vancouver in winter of 2004, Ms. Lee dedicates her tireless efforts and valuable experiences to Debbie Lee Dance Company where she shares her passion and arts education to inspire people of all ages and stages of their training. In addition to caring for the well being of each individual, she brings a unique awareness approach to the teachings of refined strong technical foundation and clean styles. She guides and illuminates each individual’s natural creative gift in a progressive, focused and safe environment for dancers of today. Many students that have trained with Ms. Lee are now with National Ballet of Canada, Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Toronto Dance Theatre, Alonzo King Lines Ballet School, San Francisco Ballet, Gothenburg Ballet, Alvin Ailey Dance School, North Carolina School of the Arts, Interlochen Arts, Boston Ballet School, Washington Ballet School, Utah Ballet, Australia Ballet School, Royal Ballet School, Aspen SantaFe Ballet Company, Bolshoi Ballet Academy, New Jersey Ballet Company just to name a few. Ms. Lee continues to travel internationally where she makes artistic appearances as a guest artist and educator across the globe and attends annually teaching seminars to bring new and progressive dance education to her teachings and Debbie Lee Dance Academy/Company’s dance curriculum. Ms. Lee is devoted to her evolving school and company with much enthusiasm and fresh energy.
Kee-Juan Han presently the Director of the Washington School of Ballet has also directed the Arizona Ballet School from 1993 to 2003. His dance career began in his native Singapore, where he began his training at age ten with Florrie Sinclair and Goh Soo Khim. Upon graduation from the Australian Ballet School, he was invited to dance with the Sydney Dance Company, then the Goh Ballet in Canada, where he was also trained by Lin Yee Goh to teach the Vaganova method. Additionally, he was Principal Dancer with the Indianapolis Ballet Theatre and was a Soloist with the Boston Ballet. He danced most of the principal roles in the classical repertoire, as well as the ballets by Balanchine and modern works by Jose Limon, Mark Morris, Ralph Lemon. Susan Marshall and Bebe Miller. Mr. Han’s international teaching experiences includes guest teaching at the Singapore Dance Theatre, Edmonton Ballet Academy, Sydney Dance Company, Ballet Austin , Atlanta Ballet, Boston Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Company, Vail International Summer of Dance festival, Jacob’s Pillow, Milwaukee Ballet and the renowned Jackson International Ballet Summer School. He was also named the best teacher/coach at the Youth America Grand Prix (Long Beach) in 2000. Mr. Han was full time faculty at the prestigious North Carolina School of the Arts and was the recipient of The Excellence in Teaching Award at NCSA. He is also the co-founder of the American Ballet Competition and is also featured in the Singapore Encyclopedia. He was awarded the 2008 Dance Teacher Award for best teacher of the year. Under his Directorship, The Washington School of Ballet was awarded the best youth dance performance by Washington DC/Metro Dance and The School also won the Best School Award at the Youth America Grand Prix (Torrington) for 3 consecutive years. Mr. Han has trained many prominent dancers, namely David Hallberg, Principal of Bolshoi Ballet and American Ballet Theater, Ginger Smith Ballerina of Ballet Arizona and many others who are dancing professionally in United States and around the World. He has coached many prize winners in numerous international ballet competitions. He also implemented the Teaching Syllabus for Washington School of Ballet. Mr. Han is an invited judge for numerous Ballet Competitions around the world annually and is a well sought after Master Teacher. We were so delighted to have had Kee-Juan Han join us for workshops in ballet technique for our school in previous seasons while he was touring for The Washington Ballet School’s summer school auditions. We are looking very forward to his return in January 2016.
Erica Trivett received her foundation training with Lynnette Kelly, Lin Yee Goh, Cho Chiat Goh back in the 1980’s along with Ms. Debbie Lee. She was the finalist at the 1991 Prix de Lausanne. She was awarded by Critics Choice Tanz International most promising young dancer in Switzerland (1999) and best female performer (2002) in the role Martha in Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolfe in Denmark. Erica danced as a soloist with Oregon Ballet Theatre, The Grand Theatre de Geneve and Gulbenkian Ballet (Portugal). She began free-lancing in 2000 in Switzerland, France, Greece, Denmark and eventually based herself in Brussels for seven years. She continued to travel and free-lance in and outside of Belgium and studied to become a Feldenkrais Practitioner in Paris, France. Erica has been teaching workshops in the Feldenkrais Method as well as ballet and contemporary for schools and companies internationally. She began creating her own work in 2003 and choreographed the Astor Piazzolla Opera Maria de Buenos Aires in Copenhagen with the Royal Danish Opera (2005) and also Hansel and Gretel in the Semperoper of Dresden (2006). She has recently returned to Canada to continue her interests in dance and movement and has been a guest instructor for our programs this past Spring. She is currently into her 3rd year student of Ostepathy in Vancouver. With her vast experience and variety of styles in her dance career, her choreography and style of teaching is a great workshop addition to our dance educational programs here at Debbie Lee Dance Company.
Flamenco and Spanish Classico Dance instructor / Choreographer
Another great collaboration this season and addition to our programs, Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy’s instructor, Andrea Williams is the force and the madness behind Raíces y Alas an innovative production exploring the traditional and contemporary sides of flamenco. She made her flamenco debut with Vancouver’s Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Theatre in the 2004 production Espiritu sin Nombre and has since performed with the ensemble in the Vancouver International Dance Festival (2005, 2007, 2009), with the VSO, AMFDT’s 2005 production of Poemas de Alegria and the 2006, 2007, and 2010 productions of Café de Chinitas. Andrea’s credits also extend to over a 300 performances in Vancouver & the Lower Mainland, Sechelt, 100 Mile House, and St. John’s, Newfoundland in collaboration with various groups, including Peña Bulería, Los Canasteros, Azafrán, Miembre Flamenco, Flamenco Alcala, Flores y Lunares & Winter Harp. She is also a frequent contributor to the flamenco community as the Francophone media spokesperson. Andrea has been teaching for our Senior and Junior Intensive Training Division along with the collaborative the adult cultural dance programs. She has been a fantastic compliment to our programs and to our faculty. We are so proud to have the opportunity to collaborate with Al Mozaico Flamenco Dance Academy and their company along with Andrea Williams as our instructor for our Cultural Spanish Flamenco and Classico Dance Program.
Jazz Instructor/ Ballet Instructor/ Choreographer
Chelsea has been dancing since the young age of 9 years old. Growing up in Calgary, Alberta she trained at the studios of Dynamic Dance Studio and Dance Inspirations where she has successfully completed with Distinction her A.D.A.P.T. Advanced Jazz and Tap Examinations under Mr. and Mrs. Foley and has also successfully completed her Royal Academy of Dance (R.A.D.) Advanced Ballet Exam. Chelsea participated in various festivals throughout western Canada and has won several scholarships. In 2004 she held the title of ‘Dancer of The Year’ in an Alberta Wide Competition. Chelsea’s professional dancing career began at the age of 16 when she started dancing for a company called Tricks which travelled throughout Alberta. Chelsea’s teaching career began at a young age of 16 where she taught lyrical and jazz at Dynamic Dance Studio before her dancing career lead her to dance in Las Vegas and with Carnival Cruise Lines that cruised all over the world. Chelsea continued her career and lived in Australia for a few years and has now returned back to Canada to be in Vancouver. One of her previous dance accomplishment was in front of billions of viewers dancing in the Opening Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. Chelsea has been taking classes with Debbie Lee in past 10 years and have been instructing some of the ballet programs along with the lyrical jazz programs whenever she has the time away from her new family.
Jazz instructor & choreographer / Ballet Instructor
Chantel began her love for dance with her very first ballet steps with Ms. Debbie Lee. Chantel has a vast background in all forms of dance. Her classical training in ballet had lead her with the ease of exploration of other disciplines such as jazz, hip hop, tap and contemporary dance. She continued her dance studies and further her training with Spotlight Dance Centre, under the direction of Jane Wace. Chantel has participated in many dance festivals provincially which lead her the acceptance to become join the Source Dance Company, where she performed as a company member for three years. Her performance credits include numerous industrial dance showcases, such as the BC Summer Games Opening Ceremonies, an event For the Luv of It and The Chutzpah Dance Festival. Chantel has joined our faculty as our ballet teacher assistant and our Contemporary Jazz instructor for our children’s recreational division plus our Junior Intensive Training Program divisions. We are so happy to have Chantel share her diversity of training and performing experience for our Intensive Training Program (ITP) of Division 1&2 students along with assisting our Adult Beginner Ballet. She is such a great addition to our faculty with fresh ideas and dance styles.
Meredith is a Vancouver based dancer and choreographer. She has performed works by Noam Gagnon, Farley Johansson, Movent, The Karen Jamieson Dance Company, Judith Marcuse Projects, Cori Caulfield and Joshua Beamish. She has also understudied with Dancers Dancing and collaborated with Sophie Yendole. Meredith’s own choreography has been presented at DOTE 2009, 2010, 2012, the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival 2008 & 2009, BC Buds 2008, 2010 & 2011, Dances for Small Stage 14 & 20, Winterfest, 12 Minutes Max in Vancouver and Seattle and the In the House Festival. With her experience Meredith brings a lot of creativity and knowledge to her teaching and creative choreography in her classes. It will sure give you a good technical workout along with a variety of contemporary styles to explore over the course of the upcoming year.
Past Guest Choreographer
Artistic Director of MOVE: the company, founded the company in 2005. Throughout its eight years, the company has extensively toured Beamish’s works including recent engagements in Seattle, Montreal, New York, San Francisco, Miami, Portugal, Singapore, India and at Toronto’s Dance: Made in Canada Festival, curated by James Kudelka. Outside of MOVE: the company, his works have been performed by Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Toronto Dance Theatre, Sylvain Brochu, White Birch Ballet, Ballet Kelowna, the Universities of Alberta and Missouri, Ballet Jorgen, le Prisme Culturel, the Coriolus Collective, the Bellingham Repertory Company and Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance in Kansas City, among others. Joshua was a choreographer on the CBC Radio Canada reality series Ils Dansent with Quebecois dance star Nico Archambault. Other film and TV choreographic and/or performance credits include Life As We Know It with Kelly Osbourne, Nickelodeon’s Spectacular, The Wicker Man with Nicolas Cage, Totally Awesome with Chris Kattan, The CW’s HELLCATS and Code Name: The Cleaner with Lucy Liu. Joshua choreographed the Opening Ceremonies of the 2011 International Children’s Winter Games and the Francophone Cultural Olympiad of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He is the recipient of numerous artistic residencies throughout North America, including the Banff Centre, a Jacob’s Pillow CDR and a term as the National Incubator Artist for the American Dance Institute in Greater Washington, DC. Beamish has also participated in a choreographic session at the New York Choreographic Institute, an affiliate of New York City Ballet, collaborating with the students of the School of American Ballet.
In 2010, MOVE: the company was selected by curators Cirque du Soleil for presentation at WORLD EXPO 2010 in Shanghai, China, performing the Closing Gala of the Canada Pavillion. In October 2011, the company premiered a full-evening of Beamish’s works at the Bangkok Opera House. This program for 24 dancers was commissioned to celebrate 50 years of Canadian and Thai political relations.
Now based in New York, Joshua recently received a Jerome Robbins Foundation Creation Award, which is facilitating the current creation of a new full-length work that will join principal dancers from Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet and New York City Ballet. Joshua most recently performed in the 80th Anniversary project From the Horses Mouth: The Men Dancers at Jacob’s Pillow, alongside Arthur Mitchell, Lar Lubovitch, Gus Solomons Jr and Robert Swinston, among others. He recently represented Canada at the first ever World Event Young Artists Conference held in Nottingham, UK in September 2012 and choreographed Team Canada’s gold medal winning ballet pieces for the 2012 World Dance Cup in Frankfurt, Germany.
In August 2013 he has premiered a choreographic and performance collaboration with New York City Ballet principal dancer Wendy Whelan for her upcoming solo program Restless Creature at Jacob’s Pillow.
Joshua Beamish has been setting choreographic solo works on our students in a past couple of years.