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.
Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary Instructor
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 Instructor
Nicola began dance at age 3; trained in RAD Ballet, ISTD Ballet, Modern, Tap & Jazz Graded & Vocational syllabi’s. Nicola went on to train professionally with extensive study in numerous styles of Dance, Musical Theatre, & Dance Teaching pedagogy. She graduated Stella Mann College of Performing Arts in London, UK, with a Diploma in Dance, Musical Theatre & Dance Teaching.
Nicola is passionate about the Art of Dance, and dancing with conscious intent; expressing the emotional power of the human body in movement, with the music, to create a beautiful, unique, and genuine performance.
Nicola has performed professionally in Theatres across Europe & North America, aboard Princess, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. After marrying a Canadian, Nicola settled in Nanaimo, her & her husband have 2 young boys. Nicola teaches, choreographs and performs locally with Crimson Coast, and in The Yellowpoint Christmas Spectacular. Nicola been on the faculty at Tempo Dance Academy since 2013.
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.
Contemporary, Modern, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Musical Theatre, Ballet Instructor
Amberlee Allen grew up all over the world, with her later youth residing in the Cowichan Valley. She attended Carlson's School of Dance and Steps Ahead Dance to complete her early 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 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. Contemporary Dance is Amberlee's passion; however, she also holds certificates in RAD Ballet up to Grade 8 Award and Intermediate Vocational levels, along with ISTD Modern Advanced 1. Alongside her degree at SFU she was Captain of the SFU Athletics Dance Team for three years, with whom she performed for the NCAA University games. Amberlee has choreographic works that were showcased in Ascension and Ouroboros. Her passion for dance and the therapeutic value it offers has pushed her to further her training in the Dance for PD program after she participated in a practicum with Dance for PD in Vancouver. Amberlee is now a full-time dance instructor in Contemporary, Modern, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Musical Theatre, and Ballet, holding CDTA Licentiate membership in Modern Dance and Associate membership in Ballet.
Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, Contemporary, Musical Theatre Instructor
Sarah is a dancer choreographer from Nanaimo BC. Being that Sarah is a Tempo Dance Academy alumni, she is so excited to be back sharing her passion and love for dance with the new generation of tempo dancers. Sarah is trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, and Contemporary. Sarah also spends a lot of her time working with the theatre scene on the island . Working on a multitude of shows with different theatre companies Sarah has been able to take on roles on and off the stage. Some of her favourite shows that she has worked on include, Shrek the musical, Mamma Mia, Beauty and the Beast, and Grace and Glory. As well as those shows Sarah has also co-written and choreographed two original shows, “Terezin” and “ It Haunts Me”, both of which have received numerous accolades at theatre festivals across the island. When Sarah isn’t dancing or working on a show she is a full time university student who has just graduated with her social work diploma and is going to be working towards her bachelors of social work. Sarah’s love for dance really shines through in her teaching and she cannot wait to share her passion with everyone.
Erica began gymnastics in Edmonton, AB at age three. She trained and performed in Artistic Gymnastics for six years and then expanded to Rhythmic Gymnastics and classical ballet. She then went on to compete nationally for three years placing in meets such as Alberta Winter Games, Western Championships in Winnipeg, Provincial Gymnastrada, North Zones Alberta, Western Championships in Vancouver and Alberta Provincial Championships in Calgary. She had the opportunity to perform multiple years in the Festival of Trees, Heritage Days and Chinese New Year Festival which aired on CTV News. She was on a competitive cheerleading team for two years, and this last year has branched into teaching competitive acro, pole dancing & circus classes! Erica is certified through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) and is excited to share her passion with her students!
Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Choreography
Geneviève Caron is a modern, contemporary, jazz, lyrical and hip-hop instructor and choreographer. For the last 25 years, she has trained dancers of all ages and levels as well as danced and choreographed for
Professional and Jr sports teams, Canadian Army Tours, corporate shows, video clips and many different events throughout Canada. Originally from Québec, Geneviève started dancing at the young age of 4 and hasn’t stopped since! She studied ballet, jazz, modern and hip-hop styles and proudly graduated from the Université du Québec a Montréal with a Bachelor’s Degree in Modern and Contemporary dance; creation and interpretation. She still takes dance classes every chance she gets and has attended many continuing education conventions and conferences, such as the Dance Teacher Web conference in Las Vegas this past August. She is a member of PAEC and IADA. She moved to BC in 2005 and loves all that the Island has to offer! She currently lives in Nanaimo with her husband and 2 kids and has been teaching at Tempo Dance Academy since 2006. Miss Geneviève believes in the artistic potential of every student but also feels that dance should be fun and accessible to all!