Meet our Teachers
Owner / Artistic Director
Karen Mallinson ARAD TC
Karen has been dancing for over 35 years. Her training began at Pamela Gray Dance Academy, Hull UK, where she became a RAD York scholar, and achieved high results in exams for ISTD Modern and Tap as well as RAD ballet-up to Advanced 2 level.
Starting her professional teachers and performing training as a scholarship student at Northern Ballet School, Manchester, England and Preston College, England. Karen finished her RAD Ballet training and also studied all forms of dance including Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, Modern and Musical Theatre. Karen graduated in 2005 with a Higher National Diploma in Performing Arts and her RAD Teaching Certificate. After working with, and learning from highly regarded choreographers, teachers and RAD/ISTD Examiners including Patricia McDonald, David Needham and Jacqueline Gray, Karen had the opportunity to perform professionally for various companies including Royal Caribbean cruise lines, working with highly accomplished choreographers from around the world.
After performing in America and Europe, Karen received her Royal Academy of Dance Registered Teacher Status and went back into teaching in the North East of England before moving to B.C. in 2008. Recently Karen has successfully mentored on the student teacher training program for the Royal Academy of Dance, and she has continued her work in the lower mainland of B.C., teaching different forms of dance (including Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Pointe, Lyrical) in local dance schools.
Over recent years Karen has choreographed and directed 3 successful Ballets to raise money for various charities. Prepared students for RAD exams with 100% pass rate. Choreographed group/solo performances and trained dancers for highly recognized competitions throughout B.C. and the U.S. with many awards for Karen’s dancers and for her choreography. Further work includes choreographing for school shows and community performances. Before moving to the interior Karen worked with F.V.A.D. students on the Pre-professional program, with many of these students receiving invitations to train professionally with scholarships to Royal Winnipeg Ballet school, Canada’s National Ballet School, and Alberta Ballet School.
Karen is looking forward to carrying on this exciting adventure in Sun Peaks B.C. bringing the inspiring world of dance to this wonderful community in a year round community dance program.
The quirky Alexia Smith began dancing at the young age of three. She trained in a wide range of styles, including ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern, contemporary, musical theatre, stage, and tap. Alexia grew up in Kamloops, BC, attending classes at The Dance Gallery, under the direction of Maureen Duggan, owner, and Laura Bishop, tap specialist. During the time of attending The Dance Gallery, Alexia also trained through summer/fall programs such as, Arts Umbrella (Vancouver), World Of Dance (Italy), Dancerpalooza (L.A.), Triple Threat (Vancouver), and Groove Street (Vancouver). Alexia has received many awards, including a Hoofer award, in her solos, taking her to provincials multiple times. She is a technical dancer with a smooth, artistic style to her movement.
After graduation, Alexia packed her bags and moved to Vancouver, BC, where she was accepted at The Source Dance Company, under the direction of Joanne Pesusich. During the two years Alexia danced with The Source, she trained with many top professionals in the industry, including Stacey Tookey, Liz Tookey, Moses Asher Christen, Sarah Brinson, Christie Lee Manning and Shay Kuebler, as well as many others. Alexia had numerous opportunities to perform while in Vancouver, including Urban Alchemy and VanCity Project. She demonstrated her dance and performance versatility as an “incognito character” in a flash-mob for The Great Britain Campaign and the opening numbers for the Swollen Members at the World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler.
In 2013,to continue training and advancing in her dance career, Alexia once again packed her bags and moved to Toronto, Ontario, where she attended The Conteur Academy, directed by Eryn Waltman. In her two years at the Academy, Alexia was privileged to have been able to work with some of the most elite dance professionals on the East Coast. Her mentors include Eryn Waltman, Dani Matte, Sheona Bell, Kelly Shaw, Ryan Lee, Julia Cratchley and Vanessa Compton to name a few.
Graduating from the Conteur Academy in June of 2015, Alexia moved back to Vancouver for a teaching opportunity with Dance Co. She educated ages 3-18 in contemporary, tap, jazz, musical theatre, baby ballet, stage, and lyrical. Both recreational and competitive students. Alexia was also training under full scholarship with Dance Co’s post-secondary program, GTP. She worked with highly respected tap guru, Dayna Szyndrowski, New York ballet teacher, Chris Hale, top Ballet teacher in the Lower-Mainland, Terri-Lynne Banfield, and the very popular, successful contemporary queen, Sarah Dolan. After moving back home to Kamloops, to start her family, she is always looking forward to expanding on her career in dance and choreography. Over the last six years, she has received accolades for her choreography at the Community and Provincial Dance Festival levels and her reputation has resulted in a growing list of requests for solo, duet and group choreography.
Alexia’s dedication to, and her passion for, dance is evident in both her choreography and performance. Her humble personality makes Alexia easy to work with and she is known to stand out, captivate her audience, and truly shine on stage.