Leica is respected nationally as a master teacher and dance educator. Her enjoyment of dance and movement has been a lifetime activity with over 40 years of teaching experience. In May 2011 she was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from St. Mary’s University Halifax for her contribution to dance and the arts in the region. In 2000 she was also honoured to be included in the Encyclopedia of Canadian Dance. During her teaching career students have gone on to study at such institutions as Canada’s National Ballet School, The School of the Toronto Dance Theatre, École de danse contemporaine de Montréal (EDCMTL), the North Carolina School of the Arts, The Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, Ballet Jörgen Canada, The Bates Dance Festival (Maine), The White Mountain Dance Festival (New York), The Peridance Professional Program (New York), The Stratford Festival, Humber College School of Creative & Performing Arts, The George Brown College School of Performing Arts and the Banff Centre. Former students have enjoyed successful careers as dancers, teachers and choreographers, and with companies such as the Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, the Toronto Dance Theatre, the National Ballet of Canada, Dancemakers (Toronto), Mocean Dance (Halifax), O Vertigo (Montréal) and Parsons Dance (New York).
Leica holds her Advanced Teacher’s Certificate with the Society of Russian Ballet and has been an examiner for the Society since 1997. She trained extensively at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, the School of American Ballet, York University, The Banff Centre and with noted Canadian modern dance instructors Linda Rabin, David Earle, and Carol Anderson. She enjoyed 20 years of performing professionally and since 1982 has choreographed over 40 works. Currently she is on the Board of the Halifax chapter of the Performing Arts Lodges Canada Foundation. In December 2018 she celebrated her 28th year as the director/choreographer of The Nutcracker for Symphony Nova Scotia.
To learn it’s important to listen – to listen to our teachers, to listen to each other and to listen to our minds, bodies and hearts. – Leica
Kendra Armstrong studied dance in Halifax, Nova Scotia where she received her B.A.T.D. teaching certification in jazz and a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Saint Vincent University. She then studied in Calgary, Alberta on scholarship for four years with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks (DJD) and at the University of Calgary with jazz greats Hannah Stilwell, Michelle Moss, Vicki Adams Willis and Kimberly Cooper. In Calgary she performed in DJS’s Footprints, 20th Anniversary Jam and their children’s educational show, and taught at their school. She also performed with Eco Dance Projects, Alberta Dance Explosions and The University of Calgary’s Dance Montage and Mainstage.
From 2006-2012 Kendra resided in Nova Scotia where she choreographed and performed in the Halifax Fringe Festival and the Kinetic Studio Series and created works for KiDanCo, Maritime Dance Performance Group, The Jazz Project and Fusion. Back in Alberta from 2012-2015, she was the owner of the Academy of Groove Dance School in Bon Accord and studied hip hop and funk with Lukas Lock and Edgar Gilbert-Reyes in Edmonton. Since returning to Nova Scotia she teaches at the Leica Hardy School of Dance and Halifax Dance, has choreographed on KiDanCo, Maritime Senior Elite, for Halifax’s Nocturne Festival and was a teacher for The National Ballet School’s outreach program Sharing Dance. In 2017 Kendra launched the Jazz Initiative Scholarship Training Program for pre-professional and professional dancers with Kathleen Doherty. In April 2018 they choreographed and presented The Cultural Community Show and in June 2018 were thrilled to host a jazz intensive with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks.
Fools we may all be.
We might as well dance.
Yukiko was born and raised in Japan where she began dancing at the age of 12. While pursing academic studies, and, later, an academic career, she kept her passion for dancing alive as she moved from Japan to the United States to Canada. Yukiko immigrated to Canada in 2003 and has been dancing at the Leica Hardy School of Dance since 2007. She completed the Society of Russian Ballet’s Intermediate Dancer Examination in 2013 and in 2015 the Student Teacher Examination. Yukiko conducts research and teaches at the Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University and is an avid dog sport lover, competing at the Agility Association of Canada National Championships in 2014 and 2016 with her Labrador Retriever, Goro.
Dancing has made my life rich and balanced. I hope to assist my students to develop their own rich and balanced lives through hard work and imagination. – Yukiko
Student Teachers & Assistant bios may be found on the KiDanCo Dancers & Apprentices page.
She loved the small class size, and the children in the class and really the whole feel of the dance school you run. It is a magical and warm place. Thank you for letting us become part of it. – Wendy MacGregor, parent of Hannah