Our list of Faculty members may be found below.

Julie Izad

Julie Izad

Studio Owner

Julie Izad has owned the Coast Academy of Dance since 2001. She is a qualified dance instructor in the ISTD & IDTA syllabi and holds four Associate teaching certificates.

Prior to moving to Sechelt in 2000, Julie enjoyed twenty-five years of working in show business. She was a professional dancer, choreographer, actress, and model working in the UK, France, Italy, Japan, China & Monte-Carlo.

Julie has enjoyed teaching students of all ages at CAD but has now taken a step back to allow the amazing talent that is in “The CAD Faculty” to continue to evolve and take the studio to the next level. Many of our teachers are CAD alumni which is a testament to the studio’s Pre-Professional Program that has been in place since 2006. Julie is particularly proud to have been able to witness all of the joy and positive influence that dance has brought to our community.

Christina Darwin - Coast Academy of Dance

Christina Darwin

Managing Director & ISTD Instructor

Christina Darwin trained at the Coast Academy of Dance, on the Sunshine Coast Peninsula, where she studied ISTD Modern, Tap, Ballet and Jazz as well as Contemporary and Hip Hop. She participated in the Pre-Professional and Competition Programs within the school. She graduated with her Associate in ISTD Tap and moved to Vancouver to join Harbour Dance Centre’s Intensive Training Program. Christina’s subsequent exposure to many choreographers, training opportunities and performances helped her realize her passion is truly for teaching.

Since that time, she has taught at various schools and summer camps throughout the Lower Mainland. She has also achieved her Associate Accreditation and Associate Diploma in ISTD Modern after studying at the ISTD Chichester Summer Schools in London. She continuously educates herself and updates her qualifications in both dance and fitness, most recently pursuing Barre Fitness through the International Ballet Barre Fitness Association, as well as many CPD courses through the ISTD. Christina has been acknowledged by many ISTD examiners for her strong examination results in both ISTD Modern and Tap. Christina enjoys teaching all ages and genres and looks forward to sharing her knowledge and passion for dance. Christina has also explored many administrative roles within the dance and fitness industry and is looking forward to continuing her role of Studio Manager for the Coast Academy.

Jeremy Izad

Jeremy Izad

Building Manager & Administration Assistant

Jeremy Izad has worked in the entertainment and event industry in Monte-Carlo for five years and Vancouver for eight years. He is now helping with the family business and taking on the roles of Administrative Assistant and building manager while also running his own entertainment rental company Dazi Creative.

Terra Dannes

Terra Dannes

Acrobatics & Tumbling Instructor

Terra grew up in the Lower Mainland, professionally training in gymnastics and dance, and became a professional cheerleader. Her gymnastics instructors included two Russian coaches, one of whom was an Olympic gymnast.  After graduating from high school Terra undertook the Dance Performance Diploma Program at Grant MacEwan College in Alberta.  She learned an immense amount about dance performance from her dance teachers including Bonnie Jean Anderson, who was a Radio City Rockette as well as her private classes with Lois Smith, O.C.

Terra’s performance experience is extensive, including the International Stage throughout Expo ’86, BC Lions Football Club Dance Team, as well as modeling, radio and television commercials. Terra has taught dance throughout the Lower Mainland and upon moving to the Sunshine Coast has appeared with the Coast Dance Society, Movement Arts Contemporary Dance Company, DSdanse Company, Figure Athletes, and conducted strength and flexibility training for competitive figure skaters. Terra had the amazing opportunity to train off and on the water in Hawaii with a World Champion Tandem Surfer. Terra has earned the highest certification as an acro teacher through Acrobatics Arts and is very excited to be teaching another year of Acrobatics and tumbling classes!

Astrid Eckerle

Astrid Eckerle

Competitive Jazz, Contemporary & Broadway Instructor

Raised in her home town of Canmore, AB, Astrid first started training in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary and Hip Hop at Terpsichore Dance Inc with Marisa Dario. Upon acceptance into the Edge School for Athletes dance program, Astrid quickly progressed and was eager to move to Vancouver, BC. After graduation, she seized the opportunity of joining Harbour Dance Centre’s Intensive Training Program under the direction of Moe Brody and has since trained with the Source Dance Company, TwoFourSeven Company and KTL Hip Hop Company. As a versatile performer she has transferred these skills to working with a variety of productions on and off screen. Recent credits include: Grease! Rise of the Pink Ladies (Paramount +), Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas (NBC), Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC), The Tunnel (Contemporary Dance Theatre), competing internationally with TwoFourSeven Co, and performing with artists such as Warren Dean Flandez. 

As Astrid’s love of performing continued to expand, she began to explore the musical theatre industry and now trains in both acting and singing. Theatre credits include Dance Captain/Ensemble in Crazy For You (RCMT/Upcoming), Dance Captain/Ensemble in American Idiot (URP Productions), Lil B/Ensemble in Newsies (TUTS), and Ensemble in Singin in the Rain (RCMT).

In addition to her training and performing Astrid has a love for teaching and choreographing. She has had the privilege of teaching students across Western Canada, assistant choreographing for multiple projects, and choreographing for companies such as The Source Dance Company and UVic Dance Team.

Brontë Hansen

Brontë Hansen

ISTD Classical Ballet, Modern, Tap, Lyrical & Contemporary Instructor

Born and raised on the Sunshine Coast, Brontë has danced classical ballet from the age of four. Since joining the Coast Academy of Dance in 2006, she has trained in a variety of dance genres, including classical ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, contemporary, and modern. In 2018, Brontë graduated from the Coast Academy’s three-year Pre-Professional Program, receiving her ISTD Associates in Modern Theatre, as well as Imperial Classical Ballet, and completing her advanced 2 exams in modern, ballet, and tap.

Brontë has been fortunate enough to experience a variety of performing opportunities over the years. Since playing Clara in the inaugural year of Coasting Along Theatre Society’s The Nutcracker, Brontë performed each season in a number of roles, including a snowflake, flower, Chinese, Mirliton, Spanish, Ballerina Doll, Arabian Lead and the Dew Drop Fairy. In 2019, she took on the role of Ballet Mistress, and had the opportunity to choreograph for several roles in The Nutcracker. She has danced for many years in the Festival of the Performing Arts and has performed with Coast Academy’s Pre-Professionals in the Source Dance Company’s preview performances in Sechelt. Brontë has competed in various dance competitions with Coast Academy’s competition team, and in 2018 performed a lyrical solo at Star Talent in Burnaby, choreographed by Christina Fitchett, which received diamond and first place, as well as the highest lyrical score in the competition, earning her an invitation to represent Canada at World of Dance 2019 in Europe. Since then, she has been grateful for the opportunity to bring her own choreography to competitions, teaching several competition level classes over the years and coaching solos and duos. She looks forward to continuing to share her passion for dance with students of all ages and abilities!

Helen Dang

Helen Dang

Hip Hop Instructor

Born and raised in Beijing, China, Helen developed a solid understanding of Hip Hop, Popping, and other Street Dance styles in both choreography and freestyle forms after moving to Canada in 2012.

Helen has performed and competed internationally with both TwoFourSeven Company, and Diamond In The Rough Crew. She is currently the captain of TwoFourSeven Company. As part of TwoFourSeven Company, Helen has competed in Canada in competitions such as VIBE, Bodyrock, and World Of Dance.

Helen has also worked extensively within the film and television industry. Working on projects such as Riverdale, Christmas Chronicles II, and Julie and the Phantoms. She has worked with Kinjaz dance crew on the KDA “More” motion capture performance at the 2020 League of Legends World Championship Finals opening ceremony. Additionally, Helen has always supported local artists, performing in music videos such as Missy D FT. Kimmortal “XX”, Brooklyn “Imagine”, and Jon Bryant “Candied Tangerines”.

Always excited to share her knowledge, passion, and experience, Helen hopes to inspire her students in finding their true selves through dance.

Bryn R

ISTD, Recreational/Competitive Jazz Technique, Tap & Mental Health for Dancers Workshops Instructor

An I.S.T.D. certified teacher of eight years with twenty plus years of dance experience, Bryn is looking forward to working with CAD dancers this upcoming season!

Bryn completed Harbour Dance Centre’s Intensive Training Program (ITP) and danced full-time in Vancouver for two years where she worked with many of the city’s top choreographers.  Upon realization that dance was not the only path she wanted to pursue, Bryn began her post-secondary education majoring in Psychology.  When Bryn is not teaching dance, she utilizes her Psychology Degree in her work as a Crisis Responder where she has helped hundreds of individuals in distress to date. Bryn thrives in creating welcoming and warm environments with all individuals she works with and her patient and calm demeanour assists her in providing a necessary feeling of safety and security for all participants within all of her classes. Bryn’s extensive experience working with children and adults living with varying mental and physical needs in both mental health and dance settings allows her to confidently welcome individuals of all backgrounds and abilities into her classes with open arms.

An advocate for youth mental health and psychological wellbeing, in addition to teaching Technique & Jazz/Tap classes, Bryn is excited to continue connecting and collaborating with dancers by facilitating Mental Health & Wellbeing workshops with Company Dancers.

Alyssa Rive - Coast Academy of Dance, Sechelt

Alyssa Rive

ISTD Modern, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop & Acrobatics Instructor

Alyssa began her dance training at The Coast Academy of Dance in 2004 starting with preschool ballet. Throughout the years, she then ventured into other dance styles such as Modern, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Tap, Ballet, and Pointe. Alyssa has also been a part of the Competition team since 2014. Alyssa has successfully completed her Intermediate, Advanced 1, and Advanced 2 Modern Exams, as well as her Grade 6 Ballet Exam. In 2016 Alyssa joined the Coast Academy’s three year Pre-Professional Program and has now successfully completed her ISTD Modern Associate Exam, earning her ISTD Teaching Diploma. Alyssa had the amazing opportunity to enter a duet she choreographed into Star Talent 2018 competition where the duet placed 2nd Overall and was awarded a very high mark. This small victory with the support of her teachers and peers has pushed and inspired Alyssa and she is extremely excited to begin teaching all of her classes in the coming year.

Alyssa has recently completed acrobatics training with the Acrobatics Arts program to become a certified instructor. Having grown up enjoying acrobatics classes herself, this is a great addition to her wealth of knowledge.

Alyssa will be teaching Modern, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop & Acrobatics. With a new found love of Choreographing and Teaching, Alyssa is thrilled to share her love for dance and begin her teaching journey at the Coast Academy of Dance.

Danielle Jeal

Ballet Technique

Danielle Jeal has been a dance educator in the Vancouver Lower Mainland for the past twelve years. Her early training took place at world renowned institutes such as The National Ballet School of Canada and Arts Umbrella’s Apprentice Company, then under the direction of Artemis Gordon and Emily Molnar. Danielle expanded her training with Harbour Dance Centre’s ITP and The SOURCE Dance Company. Following her training Danielle pursued a passion for commercial dance, dancing for artists such as Nelly Furtado, Usher, and Michael Buble before spending a few years at sea dancing for Princess Cruises grand ships. Since transitioning to full time educating Danielle has received her BA with Distinction from Simon Fraser University, her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training from Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage, and is Progressing Ballet Technique certified. Along side instruction, Danielle is a Programmer for Cascadia and Capitol Dance and Cinema Festivals and the Founder of Exult Dance Resources for Dance Professionals. When she’s not dancing, you can catch Danielle writing, reading, and exploring with three kids in tow and a cat! 

Ivana Cappelletto

Ivana Cappelletto

Cardio & Dance Fitness Instructor

With background in the RAD ballet training, culminating in the pre-professional program for the Alberta Ballet Company, and her speedy history as multinational track cycling sprint champion, that brought her not only to compete at multiple World Championships and Universiade, but also to meet her husband. Ivana Cappelletto brings to the Academy not only the love of dance, but also the passion of fitness. BCRPA-certified and leader of the multiple Award Winning Cardio Cabaret Competitive Crew, her energy and stamina inspires all the dance moms to ‘Dance like there is SOMEBODY watching!’ She shares her time with her graphic design business, daughter, son, husband, three dogs, multiple prop and costume inventions and focaccia.

Mackenzie Carlson

Guest Contemporary Choreographer

Mackenzie Carlson is a Vancouver based dance artist and choreographer. Before finding her home in Vancouver, Mackenzie worked across the World including Canada, The Middle East, China and Singapore. She moved to Toronto to become a graduate of The Conteur DanceAcademy and worked with The Conteur Company on their full length show Re(ACT) as well as choreographed in the premier show “Fill in theBlanks”. She has worked with prominent companies and artists such as Cirque Du Soleil, Creativiva, Jeff Dimitriou, Transcendance, Christina Diguiseppe, Hannah Keil, Release Dance Project, Steph Rutherford, Kylie Thompson and Raymond Dance Company. Working throughout industries such as live stage works all the way to film and television. 

Mackenzie has expanded into creation and choreography as her passion flourished, her recent short film “TEETER” has been featured in over ten film festivals throughout North America. Mackenzie is also choreographer and movement director in Marie Clo music videos “A Fleur De Pot” and “Animals”  as well as debuting her choreographing in the New Blue Festival “The A” and onstage performance of Hoodlems “Teenager Premiere” and “Room to Grow”. Her choreography can also be seen on Slice’s show “Real Housewives of Vancouver”. 

Mackenzie will be showing her passion for choreography and contemporary through her guest choreography for our competitive team.

Cassandra Naud

On-Camera Acting Instructor

Cassandra Naud (SHE/HER), a queer Canadian actor, dancer and entrepreneur known for her role of Cappuccino in Loudermilk (Audience Network). She left her hometown of Fort McMurray, Alberta at the age of 19 and headed straight to Hollywood where she tackled her endeavours head on. After receiving her Bachelors of Fine Arts and a couple solid dance credits she decided to relocate to Vancouver where she began acting. She made her television debut as Fiona in Snowpiercer (TBS/Netfilx), followed by recurring roles in “See” (Apple TV) and “The Good Doctor” (ABC). Recently Cassandra starred in award-winning feature film “Influencer ” available on Shudder/AMC.

Cassandra looks forward to sharing her passion for on-camera acting with our students!

Alison Girard

Contemporary, Ballet, Acrobatics & Hip Hop Instructor

Alison has also completed all of her ISTD dance examinations successfully in modern, jazz, as well as ballet. In 2022, Alison graduated from the Coast Academy of Dance’s three-year pre-professional program, receiving her ISTD teaching diploma. In 2018, Alison traveled to Germany representing Team Canada West Dance Team to compete for the world title in the International Dance Organization world championships.

After graduating from the Coast Academy of Dance, Alison moved to Los Angeles, California to further her dance education. She has been taking classes with respected choreographers and teachers around the Los Angeles area. Alison was fortunate enough to be a part of the Mather Dance Company Bridge program, which is an eleven-month training program directed by Shannon Mather. The program created many opportunities for Alison to train with top dance industry professionals. After being in Los Angeles for a year, Alison feels inclined to share her knowledge with her students. Her expertise with talent agencies and dance auditions will excite and inspire her students to become well-rounded individuals. 

Andrea Villanueva

Hip Hop Instructor

Andrea has been training at the Coast Academy of Dance since she was 6 years old. She initially trained in Ballet at 4 years old for figure skating, in Kitimat, BC. She is currently studying for her ISTD Modern Associate Diploma to further her knowledge in teaching dance. She is trained in various styles such as Jazz, Lyrical, Ballet, Contemporary, Tap, Broadway, Modern, and Hiphop.

At age 10, she started competing at local competitions and has been recognized with many awards and scholarships. She was recently travelled to LA for a scholarship with Liberate Artists, attending the Focus LA 2023 Dance Experience, learning from various celebrity choreographers, and was even featured in a music video! Andrea is not only passionate about dancing, but as well as singing, playing the piano, and acting. She is a part of Platform On Camera’s Collective Program, which has exposed her to learning more skills in the TV/Film Industry, giving her more connections and new opportunities. Andrea is very excited to teach hip hop this year, and is looking forward for the exciting year to come!

Mya Perry

Hip Hop Instructor

Mya started her training at the Coast Academy of Dance when she was 5 years old in her very first hip hop class. She quickly discovered a love for dance and decided to expand her knowledge in other genres including acrobatics, ballet, contemporary, jazz, modern and more.

Mya has successfully completed many ISTD Examinations in both Modern & Ballet. Mya has been a part of the Coast Academy Competitive Team since 2018, as well as the Company Program since 2021. Mya is also a member of our Associate Program and is working towards her teachers diploma for ISTD modern. She loves all genres of dance, however hip hop will always be her first love, and she is excited to share her knowledge and passion with her students!

Amy Perry

Administration

Amy was born and raised in Maple Ridge where she danced from the ages of 11-18 taking Jazz, Ballet, Modern, Stage, and her favourite Tap. She moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2000 and her love of dance drew her to the Adult classes at Coast Academy in 2015. After the sale of their restaurant Amy became a Deep Tissue Massage Professional in 2019 and started behind the desk at Coast Academy.

Amy loves meeting and helping all the student and parents that come through the doors!