Meiko Perkins RAD RTS - Studio Director - Ballet, PBT, Silver Swans
Meiko Perkins is a registered teacher with the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), and founder of her own dance studio in 2006, Ms Meiko’s Ballet, later to become Raincity Dance.
Meiko studied and prepared for RAD ballet vocational examinations under teachers Avril Johns and Sharon Boswell, attaining the award of distinction. She has also studied under and worked closely with Lynette Kelley (RAD examiner), Clare Guss-West - The Energy Source, and continues to study in supportive practices for dance: PBT, The Ballet Blog, Feldenkrais Method, and others.
She completed the RAD Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies and has studied the RAD syllabus at the Royal Academy of Dance headquarters in London England. Holds a certificate with the Progressive Ballet Technique, is a Silver Swans Licencee, and continues to update her knowledge in ballet training methodology through ongoing courses, which have included workshops at the Prix De Lausanne in Switzerland.
For the youngest of dancers, Meiko focuses on the building of coordination, musicality and a love of movement through imaginative adventures, having created a junior school syllabus while at the Pacific Dance Arts, Vancouver. She continues to build on this for the adolescent ballet dancer providing students with a solid base of classical ballet vocabulary, posture, and technique. To this strong base, personal expression is encouraged in the more advanced dancer with an emphasis on clean technique, performance and communication.
She is dedicated to providing students with education that will not only help them in their dance but in every aspect of their life.
Julia Bose - Hip Hop
Julia Bose is a passionate dancer, choreographer, and teacher, born and raised in Victoria, BC, Canada. Throughout her childhoood, she explored many different dance disciplines such as Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Tap. However, Hip Hop quickly took hold, and has since taken her to new heights both locally and internationally.
In 2015, Julia represented Canada on the world stage at the IDO World Championship in Rimini Italy, as a member of Team Canada. She has since performed in Las Vegas, New York, San Diego, Los Angeles, Mexico, New Zealand and Montreal, at world renowned Street Dance events such as Hip Hop International, Urban Alchemy, Artist Emerge, Dancers Paradise, Vibe, and World of Dance. After making the move to Vancouver, Julia competed at BodyRock 2017 with TwoFourSeven Company, where their emotional win caught the attention of “America’s Got Talent”’s producers. By March 2018, Julia and the rest of TwoFourSeven had been flown out to LA, to perform in front of Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Mel B, and Heidi Klum. Most recently, Julia had the opportunity to travel as a guest performer of all female crew “Diamonds in the Rough”, to New York for the 15th anniversary of esteemed street dance celebration, Ladies Of Hip Hop.
These accomplishments laid the base for her reputation, and today she is focusing on TV/Film work (credits include Riverdale, Motherland and Another Life) and sharing her passion with students of all ages and levels. Julia’s magnetic and nurturing teaching style, coupled with her knowledge of Street Dance foundation / history, musicality and performance, has made her a sought after instructor and choreographer.
Daylan Braude BFA - Tap
Daylan has been involved in the dance world since the tender age of 5. Tap dance was the first style of dance she was exposed to and after that she never looked back. In her youth she also studied Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet and Contemporary. Daylan performed and competed with various local studios and, upon graduation from high school, continued her studies at SFU in the Contemporary Arts Program. After receiving her BFA in Modern dance, Daylan continued her dance journey through choreographing and performing in various dance shows in BC and Alberta.
After taking a break from performing, Daylan discovered that her true passion is teaching dance. For over 20 years she has been sharing her love of dance in various schools throughout the lower mainland. Daylan’s love of music and passion for rhythm are what motivate her to teach and choreograph.
Oyku Mensan Merzeci RAD RTS - Ballet
Oyku Mensan Merzeci was born in Istanbul and has had a passion for dance since she was very young. She has been teaching for 14 years and has been with Raincity Dance since 2019 as a Ballet Teacher.
Oyku began her Classical Ballet training at the age of 3, trained and graduated from Performing Arts Department of Istanbul University Conservatory with distinction (2002). She pursued further training and graduated from Yıldız Alpar Ballet Academy in 2009.
She was a student of Ms. Alpar, the founder of the first private ballet school in Istanbul, who was awarded a lifelong achievement for her contribution to Ballet from the Royal Academy of Dance. During Oyku’s education, she worked with Oya Barbara Karanis, Aylin Kalem, Seda Altuğ, Deniz Kılınç, Emre Sökmen and Theresa Jane Brown.
Simultaneously, she attended the Royal Academy of Dance Major Examinations and successfully completed her exams as a young dancer. In 2017, Oyku completed the RAD Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies and she has been a Registered Teacher with RAD since.
Oyku believes in continuous improvement and constantly keeps herself up-to-date on Classical Ballet and Dance education. She has been attending workshops and courses of Classical Ballet and teacher training in the United Kingdom and Canada. She nurtures her students’ talents, inspiring them to not only improve their skills but also kindle a deep love for the art of dance.
Sibel Rivera - Ballet
Started dancing at the age of 3 under the direction of Karemia del Rey in her home town in Sinaloa, Mexico.
She first started competing internationally at the age of 11 at The Vignale Ragazzi Contest in Italy where she was awarded with the Grand Prix, followed by other competitions in Cuba and Mexico where she won Gold and bronze medals.
She complemented her training with Summer intensives at Boston Ballet and City Ballet of San Diego. (Master classes with Ramona de Saa, Aurora Bosch, Nelson Madrigal, Lorna Feijoo, Ashley Bouder, Daniel Ulricht, Megan Fairchild etc.)
At the age of 16 she moved to la Habana Cuba to complete a three year certification at The Cuban National Ballet School as a ballerina and professor which consisted in a diverse training including ballet, physical preparation, educational methodology, psychology, contemporary, choreography creation, kinesiology, folklore among others.
At her time there, she was featured twice on Cuban National Television dancing for the Cuban President Miguel Díaz Canel and other recognized members of the government.
After her graduation she became an apprentice with the Profesional Company of The City Ballet of San Diego in the US and was casted to dance principal roles such as Clara in the Nutcracker and Alice in Alice in Wonderland.
She also taught ballet and repertoire classes at two different schools in San Diego.
Because of the pandemic she moved back to Mexico. That year she got a contract as Principal Dancer at "Compañía de ballet Clásico de Puebla, México". Where she danced contemporary, neoclassical and classical repertoire. She was selected to be part of the Company National Tour and private events for the Mexican government.
She never stoped teaching ballet, latin rhythms and physical preparation classes to all levels and got a certification in Positive Psychiatry and Mental health with the University of Sydney.
In 2021 she moved to Vancouver to complement her ballerina-professor career with a kinesiology Diploma.
Cassia Slager - Ballet, Acro, Jazz, Modern
Cassia Slager began dancing at a pre-professional level at the young age of 10. At the pinnacle of her career, she achieved the distinction of being the sole North American dancer selected for a coveted trainee position in the National Ballet of Canada's post-secondary program. Her abilities also earned her other prestigious offers including: a modelling position with Ainslie wear (official dancewear for Canada), a full scholarship to Portugal ballet summer school, an apprenticeship with Ballet Kelowna, an invitation to tour Mexico, and acceptance into Ballet Jorgen's split Junior company.
Throughout her dance career, Cassia earned recognition as a finalist in various renowned international competitions, such as the Youth American Grand Prix (Seattle) and Ballet Beyond Borders (finalist for Ballet Solo, and 2nd place winner for Ballet Duo). Cassia's dedication to dance was further highlighted by her participation in provincials for four consecutive years.
Cassia's time with Catching Art, a once local graduate company, was marked by a rigorous performance schedule, averaging over 30 performances annually for organizations including the Lionsgate Orchestra, Education without Borders, and various community and fundraiser events. Within the company, she was featured in pieces like Pas de trois from Swan Lake, Schindler's List, and the famous pas de deux from La Corsaire, which was featured by "The Peak," a prominent Lower Mainland news platform.
As a student, Cassia had the privilege of learning from distinguished and high-profile teachers, including Stephanie Saland (Ex-NYCB principal and YAGP Judge), Charla Genn (Juilliard NY), Aram Manukyan (Alberta Ballet), and Alex Ossadnik (Ballet Idaho), alongside Candice Franklin (Joffrey Ballet school), among others. Cassia's extensive training, totaling over 10,000 hours, was under the guidance of notable instructors, such as Beverly Bagg (Alberta Ballet, PACT ballet company, Ballet BC), Tania Brossoit (graduate RAD Academy, England; RAD Ambassador), Stephana Arnold (National Ballet School, soloist Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and Ballet BC), and Astrid Sherman (ISTD North American Representative and board member of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science, IADMS).
Cassia's accomplishments in dance were acknowledged by BC's school district, through the BC District/Authority Scholarship for Physical Activity. Although faced with a tempting career in Ballet she chose to pursue a degree in Biotechnology and Business at Trinity Western University. Despite the career change she remained steadfast in her dedication to dance. Her passion led her to help launch the AGAPE hip hop dance team, a highlight of which was their half-time performance at the Men and Women’s National Volleyball Championships. Today, in addition to her professional role supporting Family Physicians in Vancouver, outside of her 9-5, Cassia continues to share her expertise as a Certified ISTD ballet teacher and fitness trainer to live her lifelong passion for dance.
Lauren Stefani - Ballet, Jazz
Meet Lauren Stefani, a ballet and jazz instructor at Raincity Dance. Lauren has been a student at Raincity Dance since its inception and discovered her passion for teaching in 2018 when she joined the Raincity team. She has experience working with students of all ages and learning styles, guiding them in the foundations of classical technique while encouraging them to express themselves through dance. Lauren has been training in classical ballet since the age of four and has completed all Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) examinations from Grade 1 to Advanced 1. She is currently preparing for the Advanced 2 exam this fall. In addition to ballet, Lauren has experience in various dance styles such as Jazz, Swing, Lyrical, K-pop, and Acro. She has participated in ballet competitions through Dance Power and performed multiple roles in Pacific Dance Arts’ productions, such as Hansel & Gretel and Cinderella.
As a newly registered RAD teacher through the certificate in ballet teaching studies program, Lauren is the student representative for North America. She has also worked with Emily Carr University of Art and Design to develop choreography for short films in jazz, swing, and classical ballet styles.
Currently studying Kinesiology at the University of British Columbia, Lauren is passionate about dance kinetics and physical therapy. She has an associate’s degree in kinesiology from Langara College and applies her knowledge of mobility, flexibility, and rehabilitation to strengthen technique while fostering a love for movement. Lauren strives to create a fun and engaging atmosphere for her students while providing opportunities for growth and development.
Trishana Tuyet-Pham - Acro, Jazz, Lyrical
Trishana began training in competitive gymnastics at the age of 6 and started dancing at the age of 8. She trained in Jazz, Ballet, Acro, and Lyrical and her love of expression began. She adored floor gymnastics, which later became a love for rhythm, passion, and expression through movement and dance. She began coaching competitive gymnastics at the age of 14 and went on to get her NCCP Level 1 Gymnastics certification - she then found her love for teaching at a young age and began teaching piano and dance; Acro, Ballet, Flexibility + Conditioning, Tumbling, Jazz, and Lyrical.
She is now pursuing a Bachelor of Design at the University of British Columbia to continue her streak of creativity and creation. She is thrilled to continue her teaching journey in various aspects of rhythm and musicality. She specializes in Acro & Tumbling and hopes she can inspire her students to push their boundaries and achieve skills that they might not have thought they could do. She puts huge importance on building strong relationships with her dancers in order to be successful in building confidence, drive, and skill in not just dance, but outside of the studio as well.
Naomi Wright - Acro, Contemporary, Jazz, Lyrical
Naomi began her dance training in the heart of small-town Alberta with Miss Joanne's School of dance at the age of 5 training in all styles including acrobatics under the Acrobatic Arts curriculum. Her competitive years were filled with many titles and scholarships allowing her to train all over the country at different conventions and even the opportunity to train at Los Angeles`s The Edge.
After graduation, she moved to Vancouver to train under Harbour Dance Center`s Intensive Training Program, (ITP) where she trained in commercial dance, acting, and circus. Her professional performances included We Day, Vancouver's International Dance Festival, and Small Stage`s Winter Series, along with appearances in multiple music videos.
Naomi specializes in teaching jazz, lyrical, and contemporary, and in 2022 she received her certification in Acrobatics Arts to become a certified Acro teacher. Naomi is passionate about making her classes a safe space for students to push themselves and develop their love for dance. She hopes her students leave feeling inspired and confident in their abilities so they may achieve great things in and out of the studio.