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 with companies such as 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 2017 she celebrates her 27th 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 moved to Calgary, Alberta to study with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ and the University of Calgary with jazz greats Hanna Stilwell, Michelle Moss, Vicki Adams Willis, and Kimberly Cooper. In Calgary she performed in Decidedly Jazz Danceworks’ productions, local dance dance shows, and taught at the school of Decidedly Jazz. From 2006-2012 Kendra resided in Nova Scotia teaching at the Leica Hardy School of Dance and the Maritime Dance Academy, and choreographing and dancing with local dance groups. Back in Alberta from 2012-2015 Kendra 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. Kendra has returned to Nova Scotia once again and is looking forward to being involved in the Halifax dance scene.
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
Ruth-Ellen Kroll Jackson is originally from Nova Scotia. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from The North Carolina School of the Arts under the Anthony Bliss Scholarship. Ms. Jackson’s professional dance career began in New York where she danced for The Martha Graham Dance Ensemble, New York City Opera, the Parsons Dance Company and in Nova Scotia dancing with Veronique Mackenzie, Henry Jackson, Lisa Phinney and Mocean Dance. Ruth-Ellen works as an independent choreographer whose work can be seen on Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, Kinetic Studio’s Mainstage, KiDanCo, Coastal Dance Theatre, and The Young Company. She is a Board Member of Dance Nova Scotia and Kinetic Studio.
Falling is sometimes seen as a mistake. In dance it is a movement. – Ruth-Ellen
Michelle Lehman is a fourth-year psychology honours student at Dalhousie University and has danced since the age of three. Throughout her training, she has studied at Halifax Dance, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts, London Studio Centre (London, England), and since 2008 at the Leica Hardy School of Dance where she currently teaches KiDance, Ballet Primary and children’s jazz and modern classes. She is a founding member of KiDanCo and performed in Symphony Nova Scotia’s The Nutcracker for six seasons. Michelle received the Taking Steps to Fly 2011 Young Choreographers Award for her piece Hello Goodbye, which was also performed in KiDanCo’s premiere season. In 2015 she completed her Advanced Dancer exam with the Society of Russian Ballet and was awarded her Associate Teacher credentials in March 2016. Along with teaching dance, Michelle is a Run Jump Throw trained coach with Halifast Athletics and enjoys coaching athletes of all ages.
Dance class is a special place. It makes every day a better day! – Michelle
Teaching 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