Integrity, honesty, sincerity
Festival adjudicators are chosen for their skill level, but also their ability to encourage and nurture skills in new performers and yet challenge and affirm the more proficient.
Born and raised in Calgary, Deanne completed her B.A. Dance degree with distinction in 2003 from the University of Calgary. She performed as a full-time company dancer with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks from 2003 to 2011.
Her choreography and performance experience spans over nearly two decades in Alberta and across Canada. Deanne has appeared in and choreographed for Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, the Annual Alberta Dance Festival, Edmonton’s F.E.A.T.S Festival, The Fluid Movement Arts Festival, University of Calgary’s Professional Series, Relocate: The Experiment #1, Springboard’s Front Lawn Dances, Artist In Residence, Form Fusion and Dance Action Lab presented by Dancers’ Studio West. Her choreography has been widely commissioned including Moncton’s DansEncorps, University of Calgary’s Mainstage, Alberta Dance Theatre for Young People, MoMo Dance Theatre, and Central Memorial High School PVA Dance and Drama divisions.
She has been invited as a performer on numerous occasions to the IABD Conference Dance Immersion in Toronto and BravoFact! Since 2011, she has been a Sessional Instructor for both the School of Creative and Performing Arts in Dance and the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary.
Deanne proudly fulfilled three seasons as the Artistic Director of Alberta Dance Theatre for Young People from 2013 to 2016. Deanne is a founding member of Dancers’ Studio West’s Dance Action Group, dedicated to the creation and fulfillment of opportunities for dance community development.
LaDona Ahenda holds a B.Mus. from UBC and an ARCT Diploma in Piano Performance. She studied the piano with Dale Jackson and Kum-Sing Lee and the pipe organ with John Searchfield. She was the recipient of numerous scholarships and medals, most recently the Tom and Miggsie Lawson National Teachers’ Travel & Study Scholarship (Conservatory Canada, 2006).
LaDona moved back to Calgary after her studies in Vancouver and worked as an accompanist in the Academy for Gifted Youth program at Mount Royal Conservatory. Concurrently, she free-lanced as an accompanist for other instrumentalists, choirs, and vocalists, all the while building a private piano teaching studio.
LaDona serves on the Executive of the Alberta Registered Music Teachers’ Association (Calgary), and is active in the Music Coterie, which gives her the opportunity to perform as a collaborative pianist and a soloist. She is an examiner and adjudicator, writes articles on pedagogical topics for local and provincial newsletters, and is a beta reader for advanced theory publications. Her primary focus is her private studio where she teaches piano and theory at all levels to students of all ages.
LaDona is excited to be involved in the Cochrane Festival.
Calgary has facilitated Melissa Dorsey's study of music at Rocky Mountain College and acting at The Company of Rogues Actor's Studio. During her time in Alberta, she's helped start up four new theatre companies, facilitated workshops for new works, composed music for seven of Heritage Park's original musicals, performed internationally, as well as directed, stage managed, tech designed and produced many productions around Calgary.
Dorsey's select performance credits: Neville, Madam P. Horseteeth, Cook Kelly Cowpie and Spike Steelshanks in The Secret Of Castle Alphabet (HeARTbeat Theatre); Sophie in Against The Odds (Theatrically Obsessed); Jenny Lamb in Trainload Of Trouble, Detective Haversham in The Mail Robbery (Heritage Park); Annie in Pirates Of The North Saskatchewan, Dani Zippo in Greased (Jubilations Dinner Theatre); Step-Mother in Cinderella (UCalgary Operetta); Jadis, The White Witch in The Lion the Witch & the Wardrobe (Storybook Theatre).
Melissa is also a music teacher, composer, director, tech designer, producer, and currently a cartoon voice (Gao in BuddyFight X & Kamui in Cardfight!! Vanguard) and touring to schools across Canada alongside her two colleagues with their company HeARTbeat Theatre Productions: www.heartbeattheatre.com.
Currently, she is directing the Christmas show Coal In Your Stocking (Heritage Park running during Once Upon A Christmas Nov 25-Dec 23), and rehearsing to perform in three different shows: All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth (Birnton Theatrical playing at Stage West Nov 25-Dec 24, 2017), The Missing Peace (Foothills Alliance Church Productions playing at Foothills Alliance Dec 14-17, 2017) and Marion Bridge (Fire Exit Theatre playing at Engineered Air Theatre at the Arts Commons Jan 31-Feb 4, 2018).