TO KELOWNA'S FINEST DANCE STUDIO
TO KELOWNA'S FINEST DANCE STUDIO
Mission Dance provides a wide assortment of dance training and classes. All ages and skill levels are welcome to take part in our Recreational Programs.
Enjoy dance classes in Creative Dance, Pre-Ballet, Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Flamenco
This is a program specially designed for the student who loves to perform, has a good work ethic and attitude!
Students are assessed by Tanya Bakala, artistic director, to ensure that placement into the appropriate classis in the best interest of the student’s development. Maturity and level of ability will also be a factor in the selection process into the right level for each student. Students wishing to enter the Academy try out in a group or privately to show their ability and level of dance. Positive attitude, style and presentation, musicality, physicality and ability to accept corrections will be considered before a student is accepted into the performing program. The assessment class is conducted in a positive and friendly manner so students feel at ease to do their personal best.
The next step after the initial assessment dance class to being accepted into the Mission Dance Academy is the attendance and further improvement in Mission Dance’s August Intensive summer school. If taking part in the August Intensive is not possible, sometimes it is crucial that private lessons are taken to catch up to the level of the appropriate group in the fall.
Performing in the community will begin almost immediately after the start of the school year, so, it is important that all students attend the August Intensive so repertoire can be learned and rehearsed for the upcoming shows in the fall.
All students accepted into the Academy will have the opportunity to perform year-round in the community in various cultural events and performances in many different venues including the theatres for larger productions at Christmas (Season’s Inspirations) and spring (Dance Artistico). Some shows/events appear on the calendar in the fall and many of them will appear in the calendar at a later date.
Once accepted into the Academy, any student may also audition to be a part of the Competition Team. Acceptance onto the Competition Team will be determined by the performance in the audition, past display of commitment and strong technique and style, strong desire to succeed and perseverant attitude. Students on the competition team will meet for an extra hour weekly to learn and train their choreography (some choreography will be taught during the August Intensive). Successful students will compete in various competitions (TBA) to represent Mission Dance! Acceptance onto the Competition Team is not guaranteed by acceptance into the Performing Program.
Whatever the result, however, students already accepted into the Performing Program will perform at most planned shows throughout the year. Some dancers on the competition team may perform their choreography at Dance Artistico at the Kelowna Community Theatre in the spring.
See CLASSES at the top for more information on individual classes and times
Founder & Artistic Director
Tanya Bakala, as a young girl, received a bursary to train at the National Ballet School in Toronto. Some years later, after her University studies, she returned to the prestigious dance school to train as a teacher. Tanya continued her studies in Spain and other European countries to further her training and knowledge in ballet, flamenco and modern dance. Tanya Bakala has taught dance in Germany, the Czech Republic, and in major Canadian cities such as Toronto and Vancouver.
As a professional dancer and soloist in Europe, Tanya danced a variety of styles, ranging from classical to musical theatre. In 1997, while living back in Toronto, she was featured in the documentary film Fringe Bound that aired on the CBC & CHUM TV/BRAVO!
Now residing in Kelowna, Tanya Bakala successfully coaches young dancers at her school, the Mission Dance Centre, in hopes of assisting the next generations of dancers to achieve their goals. Since she founded Mission Dance Centre in 2003, Tanya has produced a myriad of events and shows for the Okanagan and its residents.
Passionate about the magic that dancing to live music can inspire, in 2005 and 2006 Tanya Bakala was featured as a solo dance artist with internationally renowned performing artists, jazz pianist and Hollywood composer Stu Goldberg and violinist and concert master Denis Letourneau. The trio toured the Okanagan with performances in Vernon, Penticton and Kelowna. In 2007 Tanya’s dancers joined the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Rosemary Thomson in a concert entitled Carnival. Later that year, in the Symphony’s Fairytales and Fables, Tanya danced a solo role of Scheherazade in a world premiere of her new choreography to the music of Rimsky-Korsakov. Before coming to Kelowna, Tanya’s choreographic works have been seen at the Montreal Fringe Festival, the Music Hall in Toronto, the Vancouver Kiss Project, the Hamilton Place with the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, McMaster University, and at the Mayor’s Gala ’97 at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga
In February of 2008, Tanya received the Okanagan Arts award for dance and her company was asked to perform the finale. In 2010, Tanya was once again honoured with the Okanagan Arts award.
It is because of Tanya Bakala’s own professional training and experiences that she can teach and encourage others to follow their dream. Her years of hard work and too often, struggling to make a living with becoming a professional dancer has taught her how to lead and help others to overcome their own hurdles on their journey. Tanya Bakala provides leadership, understanding, compassion and inspiration to students and professionals alike who seek her out.
Presently, the Mission Dance Centre student dancers are asked throughout the year to perform in various openings, events, and fundraisers. As Mission Dance Centre offers a pre-professional program, our dancers have developed a repertoire and are always ready for a show. The pre-professional program accepts students who find a passion in dance and would like to pursue this art. Mission Dance Centre has sent students to study at professional ballet schools, such as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and the National Ballet, to name a few schools. Above all, Tanya still finds time to see students privately to help them develop their skills further. Students will find that not only does Tanya guide them through dance; she also uses dance to guide them through life and to help them develop a strong character to prepare them for their future goals and dreams.
Jane Youngberg, originally from Edmonton, Alberta, is a graduate of the National Ballet School in Toronto, Ontario (class of ‘86), alumna of the Juilliard Dance Program in New York City, and former lead dancer with Ballet Jorgen Canada, of Toronto. Jane has extensive training in modern, classical, contemporary and flamenco, and enjoyed working with many choreographers, performing classical and contemporary pieces throughout North America for many years.
Jane has been a certified Pilates Instructor for 14 years, and completed the Dance Teacher Training Program in 2006, at Mission Dance Centre led by Catherine Buffie, formerly with the NBS Teacher Training Program in Toronto.
She also has many years of musical training, and continues to study and enjoy music and feels it is a very integral component to the study of movement.
Jane and her husband, residents of Kelowna since 1999, are raising two boys, living the acreage life with many horses, dogs and cats, and enjoy the Okanagan lifestyle and all the activities available such as downhill and cross country skiing, mountain biking, tennis and gardening.
She is happy to return to teaching at the Mission Dance Centre and be involved in the development of young artists in the valley.
Lana Caputi has done it all. From teaching jazz and tap dance, musical comedy, to choreographing shows, acting, writing, directing and producing. Lana has spent the past 30 years on both sides of the footlights, studying and performing with artists from all over the world. She has developed her own characteristic teaching style in tap, jazz, musical theatre, comedy, drama, melodrama and clown
Lana trained abroad in London with Philippe Gaulier of Paris in a program that has it’s roots in clown. She focuses on the physical interpretation of the characters of a diversity of playwrights, Shakespeare’s works, melodrama and physical theatre.
She is the founder of the Vancouver Tap Dance Society. Now expanding to the world of film, Lana has recently completed writing a screenplay. The Bubble Gum Tree is an animation musical about Autism and wishing. Lana is thrilled to bring her talents and join Tanya’s team at Mission Dance here in Kelowna.
Tarina Paquin is from originally from Winnipeg, and is very grateful to be in warm Kelowna! Her love for dance came from her mother, and grandmother who were also professional dancers, choreographers and teachers.
Tarina’s journey started at age eleven when she entered the Professional Dance Division at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Along with school performances she also danced with the Company in Romeo & Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, and Swan Lake and most recently took part in the film, Moulin Rouge~The ballet, shown in Cineplex Theatres throughout the world. While completing both academic studies and intensive dance training at the RWB, Tarina also attended prestigious summer intensives like Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and Springboard Danse Montreal.
Upon graduation Tarina moved to sunny Vancouver to further her training in contemporary dance with Arts Umbrella. She toured with the Arts Umbrella Dance Company to Holland and performed jointly with Noord Nederlandse Dans Company in Groningen and Rotterdam. At Arts Umbrella, Tarina has had the privilege to work with many world-renowned choreographers like James Kudelka, (National Ballet of Canada), Emily Molnar, (Artistic Director, Ballet BC) and Giocondo Barbuto (Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Nederlands Dans Theatre).
Once completing the Arts Umbrella Graduate Program, Tarina was invited to join Ballet Kelowna. Amongst the eclectic repertoire, she performed the White Swan Pas De Deux,Pas de Quatre, and a new creation by Simone Orlando and Joe Laughlin, Double Variations. She also performed as the Snow Queen in the Canadian School of Ballet’s Nutcracker.
Tarina has been seen dancing across North America with Koba Entertainment in their production of Max & Ruby’s Nutcracker. She also performed The Swan with the Halifax Symphony Orchestra, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Tarina has choreographed and assisted with Koba Entertainment’s productions, honing her creative craft. Tarina had taken part in a Teacher Training Workshop with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet which is where she had the first great luck of meeting Tanya Bakala! She couldn’t be happier to be teaching at such a wonderful studio like Mission Dance Centre and feels very lucky to have landed in such a positive and uplifting dance space. She is determined to give any knowledge and inspirations that she has garnered on her journey of being a professional dancer!
Annick Le Quellec
Annick has been self-employed dance and drama instructor since 1988. She taught drama at the Grimes Road Theatre school and jazz, hip hop and other dance styles in elementary and high schools in Aylmer, Quebec until her family relocated to Edmonton. There, Annick re-established English and French language drama and dance programs in area schools and community centers and operated private summer arts camps for children. She also served as “Artist in Residence” at Campbeltown School. She held the role of assistant artistic director for the Mayim and Aviv Israeli performing dance groups until her relocation to Kelowna in September 2014. She is passionate about visual and performing arts, music and gardening.
Born in Vancouver and raised in Kelowna, Mylina Marie’s passion for dance started at the early age of 4. She started her training with the Canadian School Of Ballet until the age of 18. She took classes in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Tap, and Musical Theatre. After graduation she was offered a job to dance professionally at a resort in Mexico. She then danced and trained for several years at The Grand Palladium Resort and Spa on the Mayan Riviera. It is there that Mylina trained in salsa and traditional Mexican folklore. After dancing for 7 years in Mexico, she then home to Kelowna due to an injury. After taking some time off she joined Mission Dance Centre and is thrilled to start teaching what she loves.
Kristina Fedorov has been training in classical ballet since she was 8 years old. She studied under former professional dancer David Beales and RAD Diploma holder Kathie Hunwick. In 2013 she moved to Russia and studied under Damir Urazymbetov (Director and Choreographer at the Saint Petersburg State University of Culture and Arts), Moving to Kelowna in 2014, she joined Mission Dance Centre as a student and teacher. She loves teaching dance and is extremely excited to be with MDC!
Recreational classes are held at the Francophone Centre located at the corner of Bernard and Richter which is centrally located with various parking available.
Classes are held at the Evangel Church located at 3261 Gordon Drive in the Mission with a large amount of parking available.
"Finding an inclusive activity for my daughter has been challenging in the past. Our time at mission dance has been positive from day one! The teachers have been kind and patient and really give each child a feeling of being successful and important no matter the skill level. I'm very impressed at how Aevas teacher is able to navigate all of the diverse personalities and needs in the class while still making each class fun and rewarding. I couldn't be happier with our time at mission dance!"
"We are so glad we came across Mission Dance Centre. Our daughter was afraid to go back to dance classes due to a mishap at her previous dance school. She was devastated as she really loved to dance but after having a bad experience was really turned off from continuing with her passion. After meeting Tanya our daughter decided to give it a try and is now in love. Tanya and her team are so patient and skilled. We could not be happier our daughters are being molded by such great women."
Rhonda & Matt Tannahill