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 2019 she celebrates her 29th 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 and 2019 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
Mackenzie started dancing with the Leica Hardy School of Dance at age three. She is currently in the Pre-Professional Training Program at the school where she studies ballet, pointe, modern and jazz, and has been a member of KiDanCo since 2015. In December 2019 Mackenzie will perform in her sixth season of The Nutcracker with Symphony Nova Scotia. She has appeared as a Local Participant with Canada’s Ballet Jörgen for four seasons and attended their Summer Intensive in 2016. In July of 2017 she attended the School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s Pre-Professional Summer Intensive Program. In March 2019 Mackenzie completed her Student Teacher-In-Training and Intermediate Dancer examinations with the Society of Russian Ballet. She is a Grade 12 student at L’École du Carrefour, a lifeguard and swimming instructor, and loves biking, cooking and baking.
Anastasia Wiebe is a dancer-choreographer who has set wrks throughout Nova Scotia and Toronto. She began her dance career training at the Leica Hardy School of Dance and the Dartmouth Dance academy. She was a member of KiDanCo from 2011-2013. performed in Symphony Nova Scotia’s The Nutcracker for fours seasons and in Gen-Y for Mocean Dance in 2011. She continued her dance training at the Peridance Capezio Center (NYC), graduation from their Certificate Dance Program for contemporary/ballet and commercial dance in 2015. Performance credits include Sonderlings, Second Hand News, The Great Big Boo (Dance Captain), Post Modern Jukebox (Good Morning America), and was a performing-choreographer on MTV’s Say It With Song. She has performed works by Victor Quijada, Robert Battle, Lar Lubovitch, Hofesh Shechter, Aszure Barton, Igal Perry, Lydia Zimmer, and many more. She is currently the co-artistic director and a dancer with Nostos Collectives Dance and performs with Mocean Dance.
For me, teaching is about sharing my deep-rooted passion and excitement for dance. – Anastasia
Rebecca Wolfe is an Actor-Dancer-Educator who began her performing career training a the Leica Hardy School of Dance and performed in Symphony Nova Scotia’s The Nutcracker for nine seasons. One of the original members of KiDanCo, she was very excited to return to the company as the playwright and movement director for Down the Line, which she co-created with choreographer Anastasia Wiebe. Rebecca is a recent graduate of Humber College’s Theatre Performance Program in physical and devised theatre. She is an emerging director, having directed short films, a physical theatre version of The Little Prince and assisted on a verbatim play, PEACE Project with Transitus Theatre. Rebecca will be pursuing her MA in Theatre Directing at East 15 Acting/University of Essex in the UK in Fall 2020. Her awards include Eastern Front Theatre’s Ten-Minute Playwriting Contest, Nova Scotia Talent Trust, Theatre Nova Scotia Award and the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Artistic Excellence. She is premiering her new self-written work, Penny, at the 2019 Halifax Fringe. Rebecca has appeared on stage acting in PEACE Project (Transitus) and Infinity Machine, Sycorax Brood, U.R.U. (Humber Theatre). She can also be seen on Netflix in the Trailer Park Boys and CBC’s Mr. D.
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