Salt Spring Arts Academy Teachers

Lisa Hall received her ballet training at Pacific Dance Centre working her way through the Royal Academy of Dance exams, London England. She later graduated from Victoria Arts Collaborative Professional Division as a scholarship student and later joined the company. She continued her Ukrainian and character dance training with Veselka Ukrainian Dance School, and with the Volya Ukrainian Dance Ensemble, Edmonton Alberta. Lisa has had the opportunity to work with some of North America's foremost choreographers and teachers. She has performed through out Canada and the U.S. In 1990 she became Dance Director of Veselka school and co-director of Veselka Ukrainian Dance Ensemble. She was appointed Artistic Director of Veselka in 1994.

Sue Newman has taught performing arts classes in Vancouver, Victoria and Salt Spring for 35 years. Trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, contact improv and other forms of improvisation, music, voice and theatre, she also has a solid performing background that enriches her teaching process.

She has produced, directed and choreographed extensively and sings regularly with her jazz combo. Sue’s classes nurture the students’ individual artistic growth within a respectful and collaborative group.

Wendy Soares has always been a "mover" and figure skated as a young child until 14 years old when she started studying ballet and jazz in West Vancouver, and still to this day attends classes at Harbour Dance Centre in Vancouver where she is proud to be one of the oldest members.  As a young teenager she got involved in community theatre in North Vancouver and has performed, been backstage and taught dance ever since in Kelowna, Pender Island and now happily SSI.  Her wish came true when she attended the dance program at the Banff Centre at the ripe old age of 33.  Wendy can sing, dance and act and has always juggled full-time office work.  Her passion is ballet, and she is honoured to have been a mentor and now a teacher with the Arts Academy.  She has seen many ballet companies perform over the past 45 years and plans to bring that exposure and her own dance and stage experience to the island's budding dancers.

Rosita Larrain began to dance in early childhood and dance has always remained an integral part of her life.  She received her first formal training at the age of 4 in ballet and then jazz dance until she was 12.  In Victoria, she studied with Spectrum Dance Theatre and danced with Kidco Co. directed by Kerry Krich.  Rosita started sharing her skills and passion teaching dance to children at the age of 15 and choreographed competitively for her highschool peers year after year.  After graduating, Rosita went to study contemporary dance at Simon Fraser University.  While attending SFU she taught dance to children and adults in several dance and fitness studios in Vancouver.  At 20 years of age she moved to Chile where she continued studying and performing with the dance company Abraxas on a weekly national television show.  Later she went on to study and perform dance theatre.
Since her return to Canada in 2006, she has taught modern jazz, salsa and studied hip hop at Urban Dance Centre in Campbell River.
Arriving on Salt Spring in 2012 with her husband and three hip hop dancing sons, Rosita has brought her love for dance with her and continues to train and perform with the local dance community, including Andrea Rabinovitch and Naomi Jason. 


Student Teacher Amber Tuttle was born and raised on Salt Spring Island,. Amber was a little bit cut off from the dance world, but that didn’t stop her from trying. She began dancing in a small studio on Salt Spring at the age of 4, and hasn’t stopped since. She dances many styles including, jazz, ballet, swing, lyrical, contemporary, stage, popping and of course hip hop. She started training at Carlson’s at 16 and most recently attended Urban Dance Camp in Germany, learning from some of the best dancers in the world.

Amber dances approximately 20 hours a week, constantly trying to improve and grow as a dancer, a choreographer and a teacher.


Student Teacher Brendan Hardisty, loves to uniquely express himself through creative movement and enjoys teaching Hip Hop.  He practices daily and has achieved an advanced level in his chosen style. He is a member of the Raw Robots crew, undefeated in 2014 Vancouver Island dance competitions. Advanced group of Raw Robots at Core Dance Nanaimo 2014

Student Teacher Sophie Rouger has been dancing since she was four years old and has developed a passion for it. She trains in all forms of dance and has a particular affinity for ballet and contemporary genres. Sophie currently dances trains in studios in Nanaimo, Duncan and Victoria. She has experience working with young children as she worked as a teacher's aide at the Wild Roses learning support center. She has taught workshops in contemporary dance and has choreographed for a variety stage plays including this summer's offering PETER ON THE BRINK.