• MEET THE STAFF

  • Miss Marilyn

    Owner/Artistic Director

    Marilyn, began her training at the age of 4 ½, at private dance schools in Edmonton. At the age of 20 she attended the Foley's Academy in Toronto for a year of concentrated training. Marilyn has studied and taught dance for 30 plus years. Over the years she has worked hard to keep current and expand her teaching and choreography skills through countless workshops, conferences and teachers' meetings throughout the Province, across Canada in Toronto, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Hawaii. Marilyn has taught at various schools in Edmonton, Fort Saskatchewan and Sherwood Park before forming Riverbend Dance Academy in 1994. Marilyn was an active member of the ADAPT for many years, and is committed to the ADAPT Syllabus. Has received her Elementary RAD Ballet, along with numerous Advanced level examinations both with Al Gilbert and ADAPT Syllabus. Marilyn's natural ease with children makes her a sought after adjudicator and teacher. She has been a guest instructor, choreographer, and adjudicator. Marilyn's students have entered into competitions and exams, many of whom have received high standings and scholarships in competitions and festivals. She is a recognized instructor for ADAPT - an acronym for Associated Dance Arts for Professional Teachers.

  • Miss Hannah

    Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Hip-Hop

    Hannah began her dance education at Riverbend Dance Academy at age 4 in jazz, tap and ballet and has loved it ever since.  She trained for 15 years at Riverbend in a Variety of styles including Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Modern, Hip-Hop, Musical Theatre and Contemporary.  She has taken classes with a multitue of talented instructors in Edmonton and Toronto.  Hannah has attended countless workshops, examinations, competitions and shows winning awards and schlarships throughout her training.  She is currently studying for her Undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degress in physchology at the University of Alberta with plans to pursue a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy, and excited to be dancing with Orchesis Dance Group at the U of A beginning this fall.

    Hannah is looking forward to the upcoming dance season, teaching for Riverbend Dance Academy and sharing her Love Of Dance with her students!

     

  • Miss Courtney

    Tap, Jazz, Lyrical/Contemporary, Hip-Hop & Musical Theatre

    After being involved in the Alberta dance community for over 20 years, Courtney Woods has had the amazing opportunity to not only train under some of the most influential individuals in the diverse dance industry, but also all over Canada and the United States in numerous styles; Jazz, Tap, Ballet, HipHop, Funk Styles, Modern, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, African, and Latin, to name merely a few. With over 15 years of experience in the competition circuit, finishing Advanced exams in both A.D.A.P.T Jazz and Tap, and training with a specialization in Tap, Musical Theatre, and Hip Hop, she has developed a passion for the art and a desire to ensure that the Alberta dance scene is not only a great place to learn and grow as an artist, but also a cultural hub for the Performing Arts. 

    Over the past fifteen years, Courtney has had the amazing opportunity to be a part of numerous shows and events in Calgary including the Special OlympicsRhythm in the Garden, the Lilac Festival, multiple seasons of Dance ExplosionsWest Side Story, and most recently, a month-long tour of Hip Hop Saved My Life in mainland China. She has also danced in numerous Tap, Hip Hop, and Contemporary shows in Los Angeles, St. Louis and Chicago, was a founding member of two Tap companies: “MADD Rhythms Canada”, and “Fab Feet”, has volunteered her time with numerous Jr. and Sr. High schools and MoMo Dance Theatre across the province.

     While ensuring her students learn and master the steps is the principal goal, Courtney hopes to also clarify the roots and history behind the art form so as to have them begin to fully appreciate how dance has evolved and where it is undoubtedly headed.

     We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

  • Adriana

    Pre-School/Kinder, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theatre

    Adriana has grown up competing in Tap, Contemporary, Ukrainian, Jazz, Lyrical and Musical Theatre in various studios around Edmonton. She has specialized in Tap, taking workshops, exams, and winning various awards. She has studied jazz music and other genres to support her Tap background. She has produced an album with Edmonton Youth Jazz Ensemble, and has won awards with other groups. Adriana has performed tap and improvisation with live jazz bands. She has studied contemporary, taking workshops from various artists from around the world; her favourite experience was studying modern briefly at Laban Trinity Dance Centre in London, England. 

    This year, Adriana is teaching kinder dance, and is choreographing the Tap for Avalon’s annual musical “Thoroughly  Modern Millie”. She is also going to be a guest choreographer for Scona’s  Pathways Show. Adriana has a passion for music, choreography, and working with students! She is extremely excited to join the Riverbend Dance Academy team for her first year! 

     

  • Miss Kyla

    Acro, Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Musical Theatre

    Miss Kyla started to dance at the young age of three in her home town of Stettler and has loved every moment since. Learning the art form soon became her life as she started taking formal training in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Hip hop, Contemporary/modern, Lyrical, Tap, and Musical Theatre.  This sparked an interest in sharing her passion with other and resulted into her first student teaching positions, and later into having her own classes.  She has trained under the watchful eye of Rhonda Gillrie for the past 16 years, along with workshops taught by the likes of Brandon Bryant, Matt Marr, the professional staff at the Edmonton School of Ballet, and others. Currently she is working on her Acrobatique JR certification and is excited to keep learning. She has Previously taught at Danceology in Stettler Ab, The Alix Dance Club in Alix Ab, Dawn's School of Dance in Carstairs Ab, and Caroline Dance West in Caroline Ab.
     
    Miss Kyla moved to Edmonton in order to continue her education at the University of Alberta in the Bachelor of the Arts program majoring in Psychology and to be closer to more dance learning opportunities. 


    Miss Kyla loves teaching and working with dancers of all ages.  She aspires to encourage every student to be the best dancer he or she can possibly be, and strives to help every student reach that level while also keeping their love for the art alive.