Instructors at Tempo Dance Academy are sensitive to the needs of each dance student, regardless of ability or innate talent, we work to find the best way to encourage each pupil. Not every dancer will turn their love of the art form into a career, but every one of them will take the lessons they have
learned in their training, choreography and their performances to improve the quality of their life. A great dance teacher believes in you,
encourages you, cheers your successes, and helps you understand and correct your mistakes.
Director, Choreographer, Dancer, Instructor - RAD Mentor, CDTA Examiner Ballet, Stage & Modern
Irene is a passionate dance instructor and has danced since the young age of three. As a student, she trained on Vancouver Island and in 1991 pursued a post secondary education, in Edmonton, Alberta at the Grant Mac Ewan University. Irene received an honorarium scholarship, a degree in Dance Teacher Training, a Diploma in Dance and graduated with Distinction. Her training included classical Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap, Musical Theatre, Character Dance and Pointe.
Irene is a fully registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance, Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association and Performing Arts Educators of Canada. With over 30 years of teaching experience she has trained dancers with much success, towards examinations, competitions and performances that has lead them to professional careers as dancers, performers, teachers and studio owners. As a certified mentor with the Royal Academy of Dance CBTS program, Irene has been successful in working with young teachers to obtain their certification in teaching.
In 1993, Irene established Tempo Dance Academy in Nanaimo BC, and continues to run the school as the Owner/Founder and Artistic Director. Incorporating a second studio in 2010, known as Rhythm Dance Academy in Ladysmith BC, Irene later sold to one of her mentored students, in 2015. Last year, Irene and a former pupil and studio owner to Bella Dance Academy announced the opening of their new studio in Langford, BC “Elevate Dance Centre”.
Each year, Irene continues to pursue her dance training and knowledge of new teaching techniques through various workshops, courses and seminars. Her goal is to establish a strong foundation of ballet technique for her students, developing a passion for the love of dance in all its forms and an appreciation of each student's uniqueness and abilities. She focuses her dance teaching in a technique-based class, emphasizing correct posture and placement with creative and fun touches.
Currently, Irene serves as a certified Ballet and Modern examiner with the Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association BC Branch, and is an active member on the Executive Board of the Canadian Dance Teacher’s Association, BC Branch as the BC CDTA Modern Chairperson.
Irene is a sought after adjudicator for many local, provincial and private festivals across Canada. She enjoys sharing her love of dance through her unique and dynamic approach to the teaching of dance, through dance education, mentoring and creating productions. This past year Irene also ventured into something completely different, filming commercials with Chek Six News and working on her second season as a background extra for Chesapeake Shores.
In her spare time, she spends all her time with her family and travelling to unique places.
Jazz, Lyrical Jazz, Modern Instructor
Geneviève moved to Nanaimo in December 2005 from Montreal, Québec. She started dancing at 4 years old and never stopped. She graduated from the Université du Québec à Montreal in 1999 with a Bachelor’s degree in modern dance, creation and interpretation. Since then, she has danced for different corporate shows, sports events, video clips, show bands and more. She has travelled to the Middle East as part of the Canadian Armed Forces Show tour and danced at the Montreal and Hull Casinos. Geneviève was also a proud cheerleader for the Canadian Football League’s Montreal Alouettes for 7 seasons. She has trained in many dance styles: modern, contemporary, Simonson Jazz, jazz and hip-hop; attending classes inMontreal as well as dance conferences inToronto,Vancouver andLas Vegas. During the summer of 2012, she also attended a Dance Teacher Conference and trained with many inspiring dance teachers and choreographers from all over the world.
Geneviève started teaching jazz ballet at 15 years old; she now teaches students from 5 years old to adults… from jazz to contemporary, modern to cheerleading, creative dance to hip-hop! Back in Montreal, Geneviève was the choreographer and trainer for a College dance troupe while leading dance workshops in different dance schools and high schools throughout Québec. She also worked as an events and entertainment coordinator, as well as choreographer for different corporate dance teams and companies.
Since moving to Nanaimo, Geneviève has worked as choreographer for the Nanaimo Ambassador Program, the VI Raiders’ dance team and DecaDance Entertainment. She also teaches 1st dances for Brides & Grooms as well as Wedding Parties’ choreography. She has been at Tempo since September 2006 and truly enjoys teaching the students and sharing her passion of dance. Genevieve is married to Darren Moss and has a young daughter, Lily.
Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical Jazz, Modern Instructor
Born (to dance!), and raised in England, Nicola has over 30 years of Dance experience. She trained extensively in RAD Ballet, ISTD Ballet, Modern & Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, and Musical Theatre. From a young age Nicola enjoyed performing & choreographing for local production shows. Her strong passion and dedication for the Arts led to 3 years full time vocational training at Stella Mann College of Performing Arts in London, UK - Nicola graduated with a Diploma in Dance & Musical Theatre, and a Diploma in Dance Teaching. Following graduation Nicola spent almost a decade performing professionally; she established herself as a successful Dancer & Dance Captain for contracts aboard Royal Caribbean, and Princess Cruise Lines, as well as several land-based Production Companies across the U.K. & Europe. Nicola's proudest performance credits include Royal Caribbean's incredible Production shows "Oceanaria", and "Blue Planet", these exhilarating shows were inspired by Cirque Du Soleil, and saw her dancing through the air, & underwater water as an Aerialist/Dancer.
Dance is fun, expressive, creative, and evolving; through teaching and choreography, Nicola loves sharing her knowledge, experiences, and love of dance, whilst also, always, gratefully learning and improving herself! Nicola moved 'over the pond' to Canada's West Coast to be with her husband, and they now have two beautiful little boys. Nicola has taught at Tempo since 2013, and is delighted to have such a wonderful dance family!
Chiara Ackerman was raised in Port Alberni and trained at The Pat Cumming School of Dance for 14 years. Chiara's passion for Choreography and love of children motivated her to pursue Dance Education. She moved to Toronto at age 19 to attend the National Ballet School's Teacher Training Program. She graduated with a Teaching Diploma and obtained an Associate Diploma in Ballet (Cecchetti) and National Ethnic Dance (ISTD).
Chiara gained most of her experience overseas, living and teaching in Norway, Australia, and Bermuda. She was able to perform, teach, and choreograph for all ages and levels. She received a teaching certificate with the Royal Academy of Dance. Chiara missed the island and happily settled in Nanaimo in 2008. She's married with 2 daughters and is really enjoying being part of the Tempo Dance Academy Family!
Ballet, Tap Instructor
Robyn has over 30 years dance experience and her love for dance continues to grow. Robyn received her student dance training at many studios across Vancouver Island before heading to Vancouver to complete the Graduate Program at Arts Umbrella. From there, Robyn continued her training in Calgary with the pre-professional dance program at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks while gaining professional experience performing in such projects as Dance Montage, the DJD Children’s Show and Calgary Cares amongst many others. Robyn then took a dancer position with Carnival Cruise Lines, soon becoming lead dancer, and was thrilled to travel the world for the next 5 years while performing over 20 full-length production shows.
Now living in Nanaimo with her loving husband and two adventurous boys, Robyn is excited to begin her teaching career at Tempo Dance Academy.
Candice Fraser has been passionate about dance since the age of two. Having been one of the first students at Tempo Dance Academy she spent her childhood embracing her love of all disciplines of dance. Candice danced competitively as part of the Tempo family until she graduated in 2005. It was then that she decided to turn her passion into a career, and to help inspire future generations of dancers. Candice attended the Royal Academy of Dance and graduated in 2007, and completed her PACE jazz certification in 2009.
After taking a few years away from teaching when she had her two children, Candice returned to Tempo in 2017-2018 and is excited to be teaching in 2018-2019 while also taking on an expanded role helping Miss Irene manage the office. Candice lives in Nanaimo with her husband Adam and her two children Addison (4) and Hudson (2).
Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical Jazz, Modern, Tap Instructor
Amberlee Allen grew up all over the world and Canada, with her later youth residing in the Cowichan Valley. She attended Carlson's School of Dance and Steps Ahead Dance to complete her early dance training in RAD Ballet, ISTD Modern and Tap, Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz, and Musical Theatre. After Graduation from High School, she ventured to Vancouver to further her dance training at Simon Fraser's School of Contemporary Arts. She successfully completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Dance. During her time at SFU she trained in Graham, Cunningham, Improvisation, Limón, and Ballet. While completing her degree, she performed in repertory work choreographed by Company 605, Rob Kitsos, and Justin A. Chambers. Well Contemporary is her passion; she also holds certificates in RAD Ballet up to Grade 8 Award and Intermediate Vocational levels, along with ISTD Modern Advanced 1. Well at SFU she was Captain of the SFU Athletics Dance Team for three years, who performed for the NCAA University games. She has choreographic works that were showcased in Ascension and Ouroboros. Her passion in dance and the therapeutic value it offers has pushed her to further her training in the Dance for PD training program in the coming months, after she participated in a practicum with Dance for PD in Vancouver.
Jazz, Modern, Musical Theatre Instructor
Miranda Atkinson is a graduate of the Sheridan College Music Theatre Performance program where she studied theatre dance technique, jazz, tap and ballet, as well as vocal and acting performance. She was one of 40 applicants, chosen from over 400 to attend the program.
She has also studied Vocal with Margaret Smith, Marie Baron, Lousia Burgess, David Adams and Adele Clark, and has studied theatre with Dennis Simpson, Denise Norman, Greg Peterson, Robbie Gontier and Marcia Jonson. As a performer, Miranda has enjoyed numerous projects within Toronto and locally including Anne of Green Gables, Oklahoma, Colours in the Storm, Chicago, Merrily We Roll Along and La Cage Aux Folles....to name a few. Miranda can also be heard on the cast recording of Colours in the Storm.
Miranda is looking forward to teaching at Tempo Dance Academy and she hopes to impart some of her passion for theatre and dance on to her students. Welcome Miranda!
Shaileena (Ms Sigh) Mohit has been involved in the gymnastics world since she was 7 years old. Quickly moving up in the competitive stream, Shai discovered her love for dance when she got her first floor routine at age 8. She became a recreational gymnastics coach at the age of thirteen, and fell in love with teaching others. At the age of 16 she became a competitive gymnastics instructor and learned much about kinesiology, how to strengthen the body while maintaining flexibility as well as safety. With more than 20 years experience under her belt, she is often sought out all over the island for her choreography skills, and is in the process of taking an Acro team to Austria for worlds.