HALEY TOAL - OWNER/ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Haley has been dancing and performing since the tender age of 3. She has taken the stage in a variety of forms including dance performances in the community, recitals and competitions, musicals and other theatrical productions, and also as a musician/singer-songwriter. She has trained extensively in many disciplines of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, musical theatre, modern, lyrical, and contemporary, as well as successfully completing ISTD Tap and Modern Theatre examinations. Haley has trained in Ukrainian dance since the age of 3 under the instruction of her mom Carrie Toal, and Artistic Director of the Dolyna Ukrainian Dancers, Janette Martin-Lutzer. She attributes both her passion for dance and her love of performing to her time as a Ukrainian dancer. She is a certified Instructor of the Shumka Dance Syllabus Academy, and enjoys using her knowledge from her time at Summer Intensives and teacher training at the Shumka School in Edmonton, AB in class to help her Ukrainian dance students grow. In other disciplines, Haley is a certified ISTD Full Teacher as well as progressing through her Acrobatique AcroDance certification.
Haley's love of dance and the performing arts led her to begin instructing dance as a Teacher's Assistant at age 11, studying under Brian Kruse. Her teaching experience includes working with dancers of all ages and abilities, from 3 years old to adult, as well as dancers with special needs. Haley's passion lies in her teaching and choreography. She has been described as an encouraging, inspirational, and passionate teacher that knows how to draw the very best out of her students.
In 2015 at the age of 17, Haley opened VIREO School of Performing Arts to share her love of the performing arts and teaching with the Comox Valley. Her studio is known for its family-oriented, inclusive dynamics and strong focus on technique and training dancers to be athletes. Her competitive program takes dancers to the next level with intensive training and opportunities to travel throughout Canada and the United States to attend elite competitions and conventions. In addition to dance convention scholarships, her dancers have won countless overall high score overall scores, trophies and medals, gold, high gold and platinum scores, and special judges awards at competitions in Canada and the United States. Haley’s students can be seen performing in school and community theatre, attending intensive summer dance programs, as well as in college-level dance and theatre programs. Haley’s knowledge, experience and passion creates not only excellent dancers, but helps to raise the leaders of tomorrow.
LACEY BUTLER - INSTRUCTOR
Lacey grew up in Port Alberni, always living an active lifestyle - whether it was sports or enjoying the great outdoors. She was a competitive gymnast for 10 years, and then started dancing at the age of 13. The art of dance quickly became her passion. She completed advanced levels of several dance practices, including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, and Modern. Hip hop/street dance came into her life the year she was graduating high school, and she has been hooked on it ever since! Lacey has been teaching Dance for 14 years, and within that time also completed her pilates certification and attended university to obtain a Physical Education Diploma. Within her dance career she has choreographed the BC Winter Olympic Games opening ceremonies, volunteered for 3 years as the head coach of a high school dance team, ran lunch hour programs for schools, and choreographed countless routines for competitions and shows. Lacey is very excited to continue her career at VIREO School of Performing Arts for the 2019-20 season!
CHAI SULLIVAN - INSTRUCTOR
Born and raised in the Comox Valley, Chai Sullivan uses music, dance and theatre as her creative outlet. Chai began her training taking dance classes with Brian Kruse in 2008. In 2012 Chai took a break from dance to figure skate competitively. Since her return in 2014 she has been a full-time member of the Vireo Stageteam, taking senior classes in every dance style. Chai's specialty is musical theatre. Knowing the cast & musical scores of most broadway shows like the back of her hand, she has been performing (acting, dancing and singing) with Rainbow Youth Theatre since 2009 and recently became the youngest member of Three Legged Dog Productions. A graduate of Vanier Secondary, Chai hopes to make a career of acting in musicals alongside teaching and directing. Her teaching career began 2 years ago instructing hip-hop for ages 3 to 13, and she has continued her career instructing Musical Theatre as well. Her Musical Theatre choreography has won several awards at competitions, and she is excited to continue choreographing. Chai has truly discovered her love to choreograph and is excited to be instructing her favourite style once again this dance season!
JUDY WARDLE - INSTRUCTOR
Growing up in Manitoba, Judy was very fortunate to receive excellent ballet instruction at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. The RWB provided many opportunities to perform, travel and develop a love for ballet to last a lifetime. After moving to Courtenay, Judy began teacher training with the National Ballet School of Canada and the Royal Academy of Dance. Judy has been sharing her love of ballet with students of the Comox Valley for over 20 years.