Meet the Teachers!

It’s been a while! It was a wonderful summer and a very busy summer school and with the new school year ahead, we want to do better at keeping up with our blog! With that said, we thought we would start by introducing you to the H/W staff. We hope you enjoy getting to know us and we would love to hear from you! If you have any questions for our fantastic teachers please send us a message.

Welcome back and here’s to a great year of training ahead!

Hayna Guttierez

Teaching PD2 and Post Grad

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Photo Credit: PMGimage

Q) Why did you start dancing?

A) My mother was a dancer. She was a soloist with the Cuban National Ballet. From an early age I visited the studios of the company and I was at every show. Tutus and pointe shoes always caught my attention, but beyond the dream of being able to use them one day, I was excited to be able to dance with my mother one day…And I did!

Q)What is a favourite memory or career highlight?

A) When I danced the role of Giselle with the National Ballet of Cuba it was a memorable moment for me. I was only with the company for a short time and I still did not have the rank of Principal Dancer. That was the beginning of a beautiful artistic career.

Q)What is your favourite ballet?

A) Giselle

Q) What advice would you give to young dancers?

A) In order to dance well, with quality, you have to have a lot of discipline and a great attitude. Passion is found when we are able to maintain discipline and attitude. It will be years of hard and exhausting work, but when we achieve our goal, then we feel immense satisfaction.

Q) What drives you crazy in class?

A) As a dancer it always bothered me not to have time to warm up before class. As a teacher… lack of concentration.

Q) What are you most looking forward to for the coming year?

A) First of all returning to work with three of the best dancers who danced with Alberta Ballet. Galien, Tara, and Yukichi were my coworkers and we always had not only a good relationship but we also share the same artistic opinions. I am also very excited to continue helping the growth of the school and the development of each of the students.

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Photo Credit: Tim Johnston

Yukichi Hattori

Teaching Grades 1,2, and 4 as well as Post Grad

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Q) Why did you start dancing?

A) My whole family is in the arts and I grew up in the theatre in my parents’ acting company. For me it was my natural environment and the only road I wanted to follow.

Q) What do you love about teaching?

A) Knowing that my life experience will be passed on to future generations is like being immortal haha! I live on through my students, just like all my teachers and their teachers live through me and beyond. The students also keep me humble and grounded.

Q) What are you most looking forward to for the upcoming year?

A) Our performance with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra of “Peer Gynt”. It is such a great opportunity for young artists to share the stage with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. I love seeing the artists within them awaken through such an experience.

Q) What is your secret talent or something funny we don’t know about you?

A) I can speak three languages fluently and can fake my way/imitate any other language immediately!

Q) What is your favourite ballet score?

A) Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet

Q) What is your favourite memory or career highlight?

A) It is yet to come…

Tara Williamson Campbell

Teaching PD1 and Post Grad

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Photo Credit: PMGimage

Q) Why did you start dancing?

A) I was always full of energy and wanted to be beautiful. After a few years in dance, I would hide my Nutcracker in our Christmas tree and copy Clara’s dance from PNB’s Nutcracker!

Q)What do you love about teaching?

A) I value the importance of carrying on the history of dance and how it can connect community without words, but with feeling. Dance bonds us more than we know and is a universal language. I love to share my knowledge and desire to express this language with students in hopes that they will care as much as I do and inspire others with their craft. I want my students to feel empowered and have the guts and confidence to go out in the world and take it on all while being respectful and mindful to themselves and others in whatever field they go on to.

Q) What drives you crazy in the studio?

A) When someone complains before they even try. Don’t be fearful. Have the courage to try!

Q) What is your secret talent or something funny that we don’t know about you?

A) I can make my face and body language look legit like a turtle!

Q) Favorite Ballet?

A) Swan Lake…I’m a sucker

Q) What advice would you give to a young dancer?

A) Over my career I learned to be patient, veer away from the buzz that disconnects me from my focus, see the bigger picture, be KIND, and always stand up. I mean that last part literally. Stand up. When you are tired fight through the exhaustion, mentally remind yourself what you are capable of and what it takes to deliver that, and keep going. It is so much easier to give in. Stand up and do something to help yourself get better.

Shino Mori Sakurai

Teaching Teen Rec Ballet and Adult Ballet

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Q) Why did you start dancing?

A)  I started dancing because my friend was learning ballet and she was wearing a really cute leotard. I wanted to wear that!

Q) What was your strength as a dancer?

A)  I was very consistent and able to keep challenging my limits everyday.

Q) What do you love about teaching?

A)  I love to teach what I learned and experienced though my professional career to young dancers. In particular, how to express feelings through their bodies. I love to watch dancers to grow as artists and I can learn and grow a lot  from teaching dancers too.

Q) What is your secret talent or something funny we don’t know about you?

A) I can eat an entire pint of ice cream in one sitting.

Q) Favorite Ballet?

A) “The Four Seasons” by James Kudelka

Q) What are you most looking forward to for the coming year?

A) I am looking forward to seeing new and old faces of dancers and I can’t wait to see how they grow as artists.

Galien Johnston Hattori

Teaching Grade 3 and Post Grad

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Photo Credit: Holger Badekow

Q) Why did you start dancing?

A) My mom took me to see the Saddlers Wells perform Swan Lake when they were on tour in Edmonton. I was three years old and it was the most spectacular thing I had ever seen. I was taken on a tour after the show where I got to experience the magical world backstage for the first time and I was hooked. It was love at first sight and I never looked back.

Q) What do you love about performing?

A) I am a very shy person by nature but on stage I feel free to express myself and open up. I have always loved the whole prep for performance. Backstage is one of my favourite places to be. From the moment I step into the theatre, then go through the process of hair, make up, warm up, and costume, I transform into the best version of myself and feel at home.

Q) What are you most looking forward to for the upcoming year?

A) Another year of learning, sharing, progress, performances, travel, and opportunities to grow both personally and professionally.

Q) What is your secret talent or something funny we don’t know about you?

A) I can’t get through a speech without crying… oh wait… no… everyone knows that haha!  I have a “Lucky Frog” that has been at every performance of my life. The last thing I do before I leave the change room to go on stage is kiss it 7 times. Theatre people are weird…

Q) What drives you crazy in the studio?

A) Yawning with your mouth wide open. That and not learning exercises quickly.

Q) What was your strength as a dancer?

A) Jumping! My nickname in one of the companies I danced for was Air Canada!

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Photo Credit: Tim Johnston

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