At the age of 5 Charlene’s parents signed her up for her first dance
class and she hasn’t stopped dancing since! Since that time she has
taken classes in a wide range of disciplines and competed in countless
Festivals. In 1996 Charlene was fortunate enough to be among the first
dancers in the country to complete her Grade 9 Tap exam with Al Gilbert,
the highest level possible. She has also completed the highest level for Al
Gilbert’s Jazz and is the only one in the area to have completed exams in
the Gilbert/Vose ballet and Pointe syllabus. In addition, Charlene has
trained in Cehecetti and RAD ballet and is proud to have received her
ADAPT teacher’s certification. She continues to take courses and attend
workshops to continue to bring new and exciting ideas to her classes.
Charlene has nearly 20 years of experience teaching and
choreographing for dancers of all ages and levels of ability. She has
taught in many rural communities across Manitoba and has also done
classes in a school setting as an “Artist in the School”.
She has been with Dance Images since before it was created and has
participated both on stage and behind the scenes in all of the dance
productions put on by the studio. She is a very loyal person who is
dedication to the studio and the students. Charlene has only missed one
year end recital in her whole dance career, the year she had her
second son just days before the show. She is very pleased that her
boys, Darby and Nicholas, have inherited her love of dance and
Sharon has been involved in teaching and promoting Highland Dance in
the Westman Area for several years, teaching at Dance Images and
through her involvement with the Westman Highland Dance Association.
She is a qualified teacher and Associate Member of the Scottish Dance
Teachers Alliance (SDTA), and teaches according to the SDTA syllabus
and the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dance methods and
regulations. She is also a member of ScotDance Manitoba (Canada). Her
dancers have performed at many shows and festivals, and take part in
competitions and SDTA medals testing. Several have passed their teaching
qualifcations under her leadership.
Sharon studied Highland Dance and competed in Winnipeg, and taught
and danced in Pinawa and Rivers prior to teaching in Brandon. She has
performed in many towns throughout Manitoba and North Dakota as part of
the Heatherbelle Ladies Pipe Band (Winnipeg) and Rivers Pipe Band, as
well as with the Westman Highland Dancers. She also danced in Scotland
while on tour with the Heatherbelle's.
Sharon has been teaching at Dance Images (and formerly Willowdale
Dance Centre) for the past 18 years. Students range from age 3 to adult.
Linda Kearns is the owner/director of Dance Images Studio in Brandon,
Manitoba. Linda has an extensive background in Theatre Dance, Jazz,
Ballet, Tap, Modern and other dance forms.
Linda began dance at the age of 7 under the direction of Amelia
Jackson. It was Amelia who instilled in her not only the love of dance but
the discipline and work ethic needed not only in the world of dance but in
life in general. Amelia encouraged her love of teaching, performing and
choreographing and it was through Amelia and Don McKinnon that she
began a lifetime friendship with Al Gilbert “the Pied Piper of Dance”
As a young woman, Linda became skilled and certified in a wide variety
of dance forms: Jazz under Luigi, Frank Hatchet, Ron Forello and Gus
Giordano of the World Dance Congress: Tap under Al Gilbert, Paul
Draper. Certification and training for Tap and Jazz is in CDTA, ADAPT
and Al Gilbert: Modern under Rachel Browne of the Contemporary
Dancers. Linda studied both the Horton and Martha Graham Technique of
Modern Dance. It was Rachel Browne who encouraged Linda to develop
her Choreographic skills; Ballet - Linda did her training and certifications
in the Cecchetti Ballet Syllabus; Flamenco and Classical Spanish Ballet
under Paula Moreno; Baton – Linda became certified in both the CBTA
and NBTA Syllabii. As well she was selected as one of the Outstanding
Twirlers in North America: Belly Dancing in the Traditional Dance Form
with Elektra; Ballroom Dancing through DEA and Dance Sport: Modeling
through the Canadian Modeling Association. In addition to those
mentioned above Linda studied under the wonderful Arnold Spohr of
RWB and many NBS notables.
She has also been a member of the DEA and the PDTA and is a present
member of Dance Manitoba
Theatre Dance, one of her great loves was developed both as a
performer and as a choreographer. Linda is well known throughout the
community as a chorographer for many High School Productions
including Vincent Massey’s Pirates of Penzance, Anne of Green Gables,
the upcoming Willy Wonka and Crocus Plains productions of Beauty and
the Beast, as well as many others. In addition she shares her great love
of theatre with George Buri of 7 Ages Productions and has
choreographed many wonderful shows for them including Chorus Line,
Rent, West Side Story and the upcoming White Christmas.
She has also had the great honour of directing and choreographing the
Junior Dancers at the Canada Games held in Brandon.
Linda spends part of her summer as an instructor of Jazz and Theatre
Dance at the Wade Dance Camp under the direction of Belva Wade.
As a professional Linda has appeared both onstage and in televison.
Many of Linda’s students have been accepted into Professional Dance
and Theatre programs and have gone on to Professional careers,
auditioning and performing in shows such as Saturday Night Live,
Linda holds an Honours Bachelor of Physical and Health Education from
Lakehead University as well as a Bachelor of Education. She was
employed as teacher with the Brandon School Division and Rolling River
School Division for a number of years. Selected as Coach of the Year,
she also lead the school’s Varsity Volleyball teams to many Provincial
Finals. In addition she has taught dance through Brandon University’s
Phys. Ed program.
Linda is married to Dwight Kearns, who was also an educator and a
Phys. Ed consultant for the Brandon School Division. They have 3
beautiful daughters, Ginger, Lacey and Raine.
Linda’s love of dance carries over to her students. Linda believes every
child should have the opportunity to dance and develop to the best of their
ability. She and her teachers believe in nurturing the child and giving
them opportunities to explore their abilities both as a dancer and as a
young person. It is not about quantity it is about quality. Dance Images is
a very family orientated studio.
Tamara Topsnik Hicks R.A.D.R.T.S. moved to Brandon in 1993 after
teaching for four years in British Columbia at her own school, Marpole
Studio of Dance. She is a graduate of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet
professional Division. Tamara Topsnik Hicks performed with the Royal
Winnipeg in their productions of Swan Lake, Nutcracker and Giselle in
1988. She toured with the R.W.B. to Japan. In 1989 she danced in
Germany in the “Nick Haberstich Ballet Company”. Mrs. Hicks is a
registered Royal Academy of Dance teacher and is qualified to enter
students in R.A.D. exams. She has been an adjudicator with A.M.A.F.
since 1995 and has loved every opportunity of sharing her knowledge