Reflections Alumni

Kaitlyn Johnston
I have been a part of the Reflections Dance Family since 2005. Over the past 12 years I have considered Reflections my second home. Dance has always been a passion of mine and Reflections’ has always been there for me.  Throughout my schooling years I had the privilege to be a student teacher at Reflections and it is through this love of teaching and working with children, that I pursued a secondary education to become a teacher. During these years of student teaching I was also able to be a part of the inaugural company program at the studio. This resulted in a busy timetable, but it taught me so many life lessons. It gave me the drive to do well at anything I set my mind to, it taught me the importance of working as a team towards a common goal and it taught me to believe in myself no matter what. Once I graduated from high school I was able to start teaching on my own and my passion for dance and teaching grew even more. Throughout my five years of University I was able to continue teaching and be a big part of the Reflections family. Some of my greatest memories are from those at the dance studio. Whether it was going out of town for competitions to cheer on the dancers or spending my spring break rehearsing solos and duets, I wouldn’t change it for the world. My experience with teaching dance and all the lessons I learned throughout the year as both a dancer and an instructor, have made me become the successful Elementary School teacher I am today. The support from the studio throughout my five years of University has allowed me to pursue my true passion of being a teacher. I am so lucky to be able to share my passion of dance with the Kindergarten students I now teach full time. While I am no longer at the studio on a full time basis, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to still be able to teach and share my passion of dance with all who enter my classes. Reflections will always be my second family and I cannot imagine where I would be without it.
Spencer Grady

I have been part of the Reflections family since 2005 and have loved my time there. My teachers were always supportive of my own personal goals and would push me out of my comfort zone to broaden my range of abilities. Throughout the years I took jazz, lyrical, ballet, hip-hop, and contemporary classes. In 2009 Jodie and her faculty invited four groups of dancers who showed express interest in competing more frequently to train at a higher level. I was part of this Elite Company Program until 2015, re-auditioning each year, training up to 8 hours a week and travelling internationally to participate in conventions and competitions.

In my last year of high school I decided to give my attention to graduating and did not dance in the Company at Reflections, but I still had goals of pursuing a dance career after graduation. I had heard of a contemporary school in Vancouver called Modus Operandi through Manuel and Melissa Sorge, who both completed this program. That year I took private lessons with Manuel to broaden my contemporary knowledge as well as classes with Marissa to better my ballet technique. I was accepted into Modus Operandi after auditioning at both the spring and the summer intensives. I am really enjoying the program and am looking forward to the rest of my time there.

The faculty at Reflections and the friends I made in class are now family to me and I am so grateful for the opportunities this studio lead me to and helped me to achieve. I learned more than dance skills there, I learned how to be a part of a supportive community and what healthy relationships look like, that is what makes Reflections Dance Studio and the people there so valuable to me. I am so grateful to Jodie, Sam, Manuel, Melissa, and Kaitlyn for all they’ve done to hold me up and lead me on my way.

Mickala Withers
 

Reflections Dance Studio has been my home away from home since 2009, I began by taking classes in ballet and lyrical. The following year I auditioned for the Elite Company Program and added contemporary, classical ballet, hip-hop, and technique classes to my after school schedule. I danced with the Company for 5 years, and made life-long friends along the way. My instructors, who I now consider family, valued a wide range of training in many styles bringing in guest choreographers to broaden our knowledge of the dance world.

In the months after I graduated in 2015 I taught hip-hop, jazz, and ballet at Reflections as well as for the City of Kelowna. I also continued to train with Reflections Elite Hip-Hop Company, Sockeye, which I was a part of for 3 years. Near the end of the year I was introduced to the Intensive Training Program, or ITP, based at Harbour Dance Centre in Vancouver. I auditioned the following spring and began packing my bags in August after being accepted into the program. I love it. We take classes in a wide variety of styles and perform at community events, showcasing pieces by some of the most well known choreographers in Western Canada.

I am grateful to the amazing faculty at Reflections for playing such a huge part in helping me pursue my love for dance. When I chose to take the next step in my training they were very supportive and they continue to do so. My roots will always lead back to Reflections Dance Studio, that is where I gained the skills and the courage to expand my training beyond what I thought I could.

Miranda D’Orazio
 
I fell in love with the arts at a very early age but it wasn’t until my early teens that I ventured into competitive dance. My late start motivated me to work hard and excel as a dancer and this is where Reflections Dance became my home away from home. I came to the studio in 2009 and the following year became a part of the Senior Elite Company, competing across the West Coast for the next 2 years.
In 2013 I moved to Vancouver to work for a new contemporary dance company Lux under the direction of Moses Asher Christen. I was with the company for 2 years, performing in original productions and events in both Canada and the United States, where I grew as a dancer and artist.
During my time in Vancouver I was able to meet and work with some of the best in the industry, including Liz Tookey, Juliette Irons, Heather Laura Gray, Carlo Atienza, Sabrina Phillips and Scott Forsyth to name a few. I was fortunate enough to teach at award winning studios such as OneDance Creative Art Centre and Vitality Dance. My greatest accomplishments were the awards I received for my choreography as this had been a long time dream of mine. Always wanting to evolve within the arts, I pursued my dream of learning aerial arts with the Vancouver Circus School specializing in aerial hoop and contortion. Along this amazing journey I obtained my 200hr Yoga Certification.
I auditioned and was offered a position with Conteur Dance Company in Toronto directed by Eryn Waltman. Unfortunately, due to a severe hip injury I turned down this opportunity instead choosing to move back to Kelowna where I am currently completing my education to be a Medical Lab Assistant.
To this day I credit my success with the incredible family that is Reflections Dance. I am forever grateful to the guidance and inspiration I received from the faculty and my peers. Dance is still a part of my being as I continue to teach workshops in Vancouver and frequent Harbour Dance Centre. I am so proud to be forever a Reflections Dance Alumni.