Lucy Hazelwood – Dancer/Artistic Director
Originally from the UK, Lucy has studied to the highest levels of Dance & Performing Arts. She obtained numerous scholarships for internationally acclaimed dance institutions including The Laban Centre, Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, as well as Bird College, where she would go on to gain a BA (HONS) Degree in Dance & Theatre Performance, London, England. After completion of her formal training, Lucy’s professional work has taken her from performances in London’s infamous West End, to locations in and around the United States. Lucy also danced with Jean Ann Ryan Productions, entrusted with the prestigious position of Dance Captain from her very first contract. Since arriving in Canada Lucy has worked as a teacher, choreographer and performer within B.C. She strives to pass on her extensive knowledge and experience of the performance world; making the performing arts accessible for all is one of her biggest goals. Lucy now resides in Kelowna, BC where she began ’LUKI Dance Productions’ in 2011. Luki Dance Productions is a unique and diverse company offering many forms of dance entertainment: from corporate events to theatre productions, wedding dance choreography, masterclasses, dance competitions, workshops/intensives and a pre-professional training program for ages 17+. Lucy was recently fortunate enough to not only be nominated for an Okanagan Arts Award, for her contribution to Dance in the Okanagan, but to also create the opening number of the show [danced by the full company]. You can learn more about our Artistic director from ‘In Focus’ an article featured by the ‘Welcome to Kelowna’ website. Whatever your dance and performance needs, LUKI has you covered! Stay up to date with Lucy on Twitter:@LUKIdancepro or Facebook
Melanie Newell – Dancer/Assistant Director Originally from Kelowna, Melanie’s dance career and love of travel has taken her all over the world. She has danced professionally for Celebrity Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Hummer Productions, Hardrive Dance Productions, FJM Productions, The Shambhala Music Festival, JAM Dance Productions, Prairie Girl Productions and the Mission Dance Company to name a few. Melanie has trained in many of North America’s top Professional Dance Programs including The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, The Banff Centre for Fine Arts, The Alberta Ballet, Jose Limon and Toronto’s Breaking Ground. Melanie has experience as a professional Dance Model and has been seen in Dance Magazine and Dance Europe. Melanie Newell is the former Artistic Assistant of the Mission Dance Company and Administrator of the Mission Dance Centre. She has a Fine Arts Degree from UBC-Okanagan and a Bachelor of Education. Melanie is an established artist and is the recipient of numerous awards for artistic excellence including UBC-Okanaganʼs Vice-Chancellor’s Purchase Award, CanWest Media Award, and KADAC Fine Art Scholarships. She has taught multiple forms of Dance for over 13 years starting at the Canadian School of Ballet, in Kelowna. Melanie currently guest teaches at various schools throughout the Okanagan including the Rotary Centre for the Arts, Creator’s Art Centre, Oranj Dance Fitness and for School District 23. Melanie joined LUKI Dance Productions in 2011.
Alexis Feist – Dancer Alexis began her training in Kamloops, BC, where she explored many dance forms, such as ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, musical theater, and belly dance. She was greatly influenced by Kim Enns, the artistic director of Akimbo Dance Studios, who helped her discover her potential as a dancer. Alexis furthered her dance education at the University of Calgary, where she achieved her Bachelor of Arts in Dance, with Distinction. Her experiences in Calgary not only broadened her view of dance but it allowed her numerous opportunities to work with renowned Canadian choreographers such as, Serge Bennathan, Peggy Baker, Marc Boivin, Wojciech Mochniej, Melissa Monteros and Melanie Kloetzel, to name a few. Alexis has traveled to New York City to attend the Pulse Convention and Broadway Dance Center’s Teacher Workshop where she took classes with Mia Michaels, Wade Robson, Brian Friedman and Dave Scott to name a few. Alexis began instructing in 2001 and is known for her diversity of dance forms. She posses a drive for inventive choreography and continues guest teaching and choreographing today in Kelowna and in Kamloops. Dance has also most recently led her to explore the art of photography. She began capturing photos of dancers a few years ago and has now established Alexis Feist Photography. Dance being her first love, she will always have one toe in the dance community but appreciates collaborating with other art forms. Alexis joined LUKI Dance Productions in 2011.
Chisa Glendenning – Dancer Chisa began her dancing career at the young age of eight. Her years were spent studying RAD Ballet, Modern, Hip Hop, Contemporary, Lyrical, Jazz, Pointe, Musical Theatre, Salsa, Tap, and Ballroom. Chisa’s training includes the Summer Intensive Program at Martha Graham Center in New York, training with Sean Cheesman and most recently spending 2yrs living, training and performing in Los Angeles, CA at The Edge Performing Arts Center, Millennium Dance Center and The Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica. Being influenced and mentored at various Dance Schools Chisa’s zeal for teaching lead her to many Training programs including ADAPT teacher training program and the Royal Academy of Dance Ballet Syllabus. It was there that Chisa was introduced into the professional teaching training programs and has been working at many studios for the past 9 years. Chisa has had the privileged of being a company member in Inspired Dance Company (2008 – 2010) Saskatchewan’s premier dance company who performed across the province with a variety of showcases. Chisa was also accepted as a Full Company Member in Mixology Dance Theatre Company (2010) who performed at the Olympic Torch Relay during the Olympic Winter Games. Chisa had the privilege to be amongst a select group of dancers who joined 45 professional dancers from the Moscow Ballet Company for a performance of Swan Lake, in Saskatoon, in the roll of a Princess Fairy. Chisa also performed with Free Flow Dance Company (2000, 2001, 2005) as a Modern Dancer. After a successful audition process Chisa joined LUKI Dance in 2012.
Ashley Kendel - Dancer/Office Manager Ashley began dancing at the age of five in Lloydminster, SK. She trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Modern and Hip Hop. Ashley trained with Fame Dance Studios, Shelley’s Dance Company and attended various workshops including the Goh Ballet, Harbour Dance, Sean Cheesman, Triple Threat and Dance Educators of America in Las Vegas. Ashley competed heavily in the festival circuit for 11 years and received numerous scholarships and outstanding performance awards. From 2002-2006, Ashley taught recreational and competitive dance to kids ages 3 to adult. In 2005, Ashley auditioned and had the opportunity to work with artistic director Danny Austin and 22 other dancers from across the province in Dance Saskatchewan’s annual production “Dare to Dance”. In July 2006, she also had an amazing experience traveling with Dance Saskatchewan to perform at Trafalgar Square in London, the Eisteddfod Festival in Wales and the D.A.C.I Conference in The Netherlands. Ashley recently worked for Carnival Cruise Lines as a professional dancer for 3 years. She recently moved to Kelowna and is very excited to be able to continue performing with Luki Dance Productions. Ashley joined LUKI Dance Productions in 2011.
Winston has been dancing since his high school years in Toronto. Self taught and self trained, he devoted most of his time studying different styles and techniques of Hip Hop. Winston moved to Kelowna BC after graduation and has since then excelled specifically at Popping. While attending the University of British Columbia Okanagan, he started dancing as a street artist under Festival Kelowna’s busking program. He has since then been hired repeatedly to perform for various Park’s Alive concerts and holiday events by the City of Kelowna. He was offered teaching positions by local dance studios whilst busking, and is now a guest instructor for Creator’s Arts Studio and Oranj Dance Fitness. Winston joined LUKI Dance Productions in 2011.
Yaw Obrenu Yamoah – Dancer Yaw Obrenu Yamoah started dancing at the age of five. He was strongly influenced by the musical talents of Michael Jackson and it was that which led him to the dance floor. After moving to Canada Yaw performed in various dance battles and subsequently winning a Calgary based battle at the young age of 17. It was this win that would provide Yaw with the opportunity of teaching at Calgary’s prestigious ‘Dance with France’ Studio. Yaw completed 2yrs with Dance with France before moving to Chicago to further his dance career. Whilst in living in the States Yaw shared his time between Chicago and New York, taking classes whenever possible. After 2 years in Vancouver, studying and teaching, Yaw finally made it to Kelowna, where he has continued to grow both as an artist, instructor and choreographer. Since his arrival in the Okanagan, Yaw has worked with Creator’s Dance Studio, Kelowna Dance & Performing Arts and Oranj Dance & Fitness Centre as well as many schools within SD23. Yaw joined LUKI Dance Productions in 2011.
Amie Roussel – Dancer Amie grew up training in ballet, lyrical, modern, jazz, and Ukrainian dance in Northern Alberta, after completing her major RAD and Cecchitti examinations she had the opportunity to train with the International School of Ballet in Paris, France. Since then she has travelled to Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, LA, New York, throughout South America, and parts of Asia to study culture and dance. She has been teaching professionally for the last 10 years and now calls the Okanagan home. Recently adding modeling to her resume, Amie also works as a professional photographer specializing in Dance Photography. Amie also works as a the host/emcee for Showtime Promotions dance competition series, and can soon be seen on their upcoming TV series broadcasting on Shaw this fall. Amie’s greatest passion lies in working with people and revealing the great potential that lies within all of us. Amie joined LUKI Dance productions in 2011.
Francisco “Frisco” Urgarte. Originally from Medicine Hat A.B. has been dancing for 14yrs & teaching for 6yrs. His style of choice is Break dancing a.k.a. B-boying. Having a strong Spanish background Frisco has always been dancing for as long as he can remember, starting out with salsa and gradually progressing into the world of hip hop and break dance [a natural progression]. Dancing has helped Frisco throughout his life keeping him out of trouble, so his goal is to give back & encourage other youngsters through the Hip Hop culture. Break-dancing has taken Frisco across Canada and throughout California for many competitions. Since arriving in Kelowna he has been not only teaching but holding Hip Hop Jams Like ‘Knosomatic’ and many B-Boy battles throughout the years. Highlights of Frisco’s career today include performing opening acts for Snoop Dog, Mobb Deep, K-OS and DL Incognito to name but a few. Frisco is striving everyday to impact the community and show that through Hip Hop comes Love and Unity. Currently Frisco can be found in 2 other b-boy/b-girl crews: ‘SoulSikk Krew’ [founder/creator] and a Kelowna Super Crew called ‘L.U.X.’. Frisco joined the LUKI dance family in 2011 and is continuing to broaden his dance training and knowledge.