Andrea Allen- School Director
Andrea received her ballet training at the Vancouver Academy of Music under the direction of Soonee Lee. She was also trained at the Banff Centre of Fine Arts and the Pacific Northwest Ballet School. During that time, Andrea had the opportunity to study with a great number of renowned dance artists such as David Earle, Laura Alonso, Marquita Lester and Lambros Lambrou.
As a professional dancer, Andrea has danced with the Theatre Ballet of Canada under the direction of Lawrence Gradus and the Ottawa Ballet under the direction of Frank Augustyn. Andrea has performed in Asia and throughout North America and has worked with many international artists, among them Lynn Seymour, Karen Kain, and Christopher House.
Andrea's repertoire ranges from classical ballet to original choreography. She has performed in many classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Paquita and La Fille Mal Gardee, as well as numerous pieces from renowned choreographers. These pieces include Bella by Danny Grossman, Cecilia by Lawrence Gradus, Glass House by Christopher House, Tin Soldier by Timothy Spain, Inching by Danny Gossman, and Sleep Study by David Parsons.
Ms. Allen began teaching ballet in 1990 in Ottawa, and has since been teaching in Canada and the United States. In July of 1999, Ms. Allen co-founded Pacific DanceArts in Vancouver, Canada alongside Li Yaming. With over 20 years of experience in teaching ballet to young children, Ms. Allen has developed a curriculum to enhance the development of students at each stage of a child’s life in order to reach their full potential. Ms. Allen takes pride in creating a strong and well rounded base for children in their early stages of ballet. She believes that technique and creativity as well as the enjoyment of dance are equally important for a student’s success.
Li began his ballet training at the Beijing Dance Academy at the age of 11 under Mr. Cao Jingrong. Upon graduation in 1979, Li was invited to join the resident ballet company (The company merged with Central Ballet of China in 1984). During that time Li performed numerous leading roles in classical ballets as well as neo-classical and contemporary works, toured across China and to Tailand. In 1988, Li immigrated to Canada and was invited by Lawrence Gradus to join the Theatre Ballet of Canada. Li has since performed extensively across the United States, Canada and parts of Europe.
As a dancer, Li had the opportunity to perform an extensive repertoire of roles and world premiere choreographies. Some of his most notable roles include: Franz in Coppelia, Colas in La Fille Mal Gardee, The Jester in Swan Lake, The Bronze Idol in La Bayadere, Peasant pas de deux in Giselle, Bluebird in Sleeping Beauty, Le Spectre de la Rose and Paquita pas de deux. Li also had the unique opportunity to perform in pieces such as: Anton Dolin's Pas de Quatre for men, L by Ben Stevenson, Cantana by David Earle, Continuo by Anthony Tudor, Ballade by Choo San Goh, A Toast by Lawrence Gradus, and Come Rain, Come Shine by Francis Patrelle.
Li has also studied and worked with international artists such as Ben Stevenson, Lynn Seymour, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Celia Franca, Anne Wolliams, Sulamith Messerer, Karen Kain and Olga Evreinoff.
Li began his teaching at the Beijing Dance Academy while he was enrolled in the Dance Education major under the academy's Ballet Department. He has since taught in Canada, Japan, Mexico, Brazil and the United States. He was the company teacher for the Ottawa Ballet and was invited to teach for the Quinte Ballet School, Simon Fraser University and the National Ballet of Canada, among others.