Meet the Dream Team at The Kore. Bringing you only the best in certified, qualified, and fun instructors! We believe quality dance education can also be fun; as such we are always training and upgrading our teachers in new techniques. We have a heavy focus on different learning styles so every student has an equal opportunity to learn in their own unique way!
Michelle Koricina – BBA Hons, ADTA, ADAPT, TADA, Alixa Flexibility, Aerial Arts (Aerial Hoop)
Owner / Studio Director / Instructor
Michelle is proud to be the owner/director of The Kore Dance Project. She studied Acrobatics, along with Tap, Jazz, and Hip Hop at Andrea’s Dance Studio in South Western Ontario, while performing at a competitive level. In order to expand on her training, she moved to Toronto, where she was accepted into the Commercial Dance Program at George Brown College, which focused on jazz, ballet, hip-hop, and musical theatre. In 2014 Michelle moved to Kelowna to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting at Okanagan College. She fell in love with the city and has been here ever since!
Michelle is a certified instructor with The Acro Dance Teachers Association, ADAPT, TADA Hand Balancing, and Alixa Flexibility, is the director of Level up Entertainment, Co-Owner of The Movement Boutique, and has over 15 years of teaching experience and award winning choreography to offer! Michelle has trained students that have gone on to perform professionally and train at institutions such as Ecole Nationale de Cirque. She has a deep love for acrobatics and circus arts, and a passion for creating and pushing the limits in her unique acro dance choreography.
Allison Widdis – BFA Hons. In Dance, PBT
Competitive Coordinator / Instructor
Dance has been a passion of Allison’s from a very young age. Throughout her youth Allison competed all throughout Canada and the US bringing home many titles and scholarships along her way. From the young age of 15 Allison began self choreographing and competing solos and being recognized for her innovated and impactful choreography. Allison went on to further her dance education at York University and earned herself a B.F.A honors in Dance degree. She studied for 4 years intensely in the styles and concepts of Ballet, Modern, Jazz, African, Choreography, Improvisation, Pedagogy, and Performance under some of Canada’s most reputable teachers such as Susan Lee, Helen Jones, Julia Sasso, and Candice Helm. All while continuing her training at York, Allison performed in many showcases throughout Toronto including Toronto Dance Bizarre, Smile for a Cause, and Arts for Healing. After graduating York University, Allison has went on to teach and choreograph at many studios throughout Ontario and British Columbia and continues to be recognized for her unique and powerful choreography. Students of hers have won many scholarships and workshops and have been invited to prestigious dance education facilities throughout Canada including National Ballet of Canada, Ballet Jorgen, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, National Circus School, and Harbour Dance. Allison is currently residing in Lake Country BC and is the Competitive Director for The Kore Dance Project in Kelowna BC, as well as the Co-Director of Level Up Entertainment in Kelowna BC which offers a pre-professional performance program for aspiring professional performers in the Okanagan. Allison has recently been certified under Progressive Ballet Training levels 1-3 and is a member of Professional Adjudicators Alliance. Allison is incredibly grateful for her experiences in the dance industry and would love to continue to encourage young dancers to follow their goals and dreams.
Samara Tocher – BKin(ATTH), CAT(c), PBT, Registered Acro Dance Teachers Association (ADTA) Instructor
Events Coordinator / Team AT / Instructor
Samara began dancing at the age of three in Hinton, Alberta and grew up in the competitive dance world. At the age of 15 her family relocated to Edmonton, Alberta where she enrolled at Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts. Here she auditioned and was accepted into the Dance IB Program where she learned about world dance, choreography, and composition, as well as being part of the contemporary program and the invitational Dance Team. In 2005, her family relocated once again to Golden, BC and along with her mother and sister opened a competitive dance studio, Impulse Dance. The school ran successfully for seven years and Samara collected many group awards for her routines as well as multiple choreography awards. During this time, she also began her post-secondary education at the University of Calgary. In 2011 she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology with a Major in Athletic Therapy. She now practices as a Certified Athletic Therapist [CAT(C)], specializing in dancers, acrobats and performing artists as well as other athletes. Samara uses her degree and knowledge in her teaching as well and has learned how to strengthen and condition dancers to decrease injuries and prevent long term strain on the body while teaching essential dance technique in all disciplines. Recently, Sam has opened her own Athletic Therapy Clinic – En Avant Performance & Sports Therapy. The clinic conveniently operates right inside The Kore Dance Project, and all members of The Kore will receive a 5% discount for any assessments or treatments needed!
Office Manager / Instructor
Anita’s passion for sport is evident as her vision to provide the community with quality programming in an exciting, dynamic, healthy and positive environment is priority. She has coached gymnastics since 2001 and is Certified Level 2 in Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, Level 1 Trampoline and Activestart (preschool) through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). She was the Preschool and Recreational Program Coordinator for many years prior to taking on a manager’s position for 12 years at a local gymnastics centre.
In her spare time Anita enjoys being active by swimming, biking, and hiking. Spending time with her family is important, and she loves to travel and explore the world!
Kimberly is a well-rounded professional dancer, choreographer and instructor from The Okanagan, who is fully trained in a vast variety of dance styles. Once completing her local training, Kimberly moved to the city of Vancouver, in order to broaden her dance education and career opportunities. Throughout her years in Vancouver, Kimberly auditioned for and was accepted into Harbour Dance Centre’s Intensive Training Program (ITP), The Source Dance Company, La Chaleur female dance ensemble and the Exult Dance Company. As a multi-company member, Kimberly had the privilege of training in all styles of dance, working with world-renowned choreographers, performing on countless stages and touring British Columbia with a full-length show. Along with her diverse and extensive company work, Kimberly is also a self-represented professional dancer, acquiring an abundance of film, television, and industrial experience. Some of her more recent credits include: Jazzy B’s “Nakhro” music video, the CFL’s BC Lions opening ceremony and halftime shows, RELATE: The Documentary and Environment Canada’s Birthday Celebration. In addition to performing, Kimberly has a strong passion for teaching and choreographing. Throughout her many years of instructing dance, Kimberly has found that not only does she love to dance herself, but that she also thrives off of sharing her knowledge and helping other dancers grow to their fullest potential. Currently Kimberly instructs dance, acro, gymnastics, fitness and children’s yoga classes at multiple studios; providing award-winning choreography, impeccable technique instruction and a fun, positive classroom environment.
Rebecca Soil – MSW RSW
Rebecca was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, where she started dancing at the age of three. Rebecca joined the competitive team at her dance studio, Danceology, at the age of six and has been dancing ever since! In high school Rebecca attended Claude Watson School for the Arts where she studied ballet and modern. After high school Rebecca attended Queen’s University in Ontario, where she joined and competed on the Queen’s competitive Pom team for four years.
Rebecca has completed her Masters of Social Work at UBCO, focusing on work with children. Rebecca loves to work and dance with children and is very excited to be back teaching at The Kore Dance Project this year!
Kayla is an experienced dancer, choreographer and instructor who has trained extensively in all areas of dance since the age of 5. She was just 11 years old when she traveled to Las Vegas to compete in the World Hip Hop Dance Championships, where her group represented Canada by placing among the top 11 groups in the world. Her career furthered in high school when she began training in a half-day intensive program, which focused heavily on Jazz, Ballet and Acrobatic training through both the RAD Ballet and Acrobatic Arts syllabuses. She has earned multiple Bursaries and Awards at various competitions, conventions and workshops, as well as Distinction in each of her Ballet exams.
She is in her fourth year of her Bachelor of Human Kinetics and hopes to continue pursuing a career as both a Registered Dietician and Dance Teacher. Having worked closely with kids her whole life, Kayla can’t wait to continue sharing her passion for dance with younger dancers, integrating experience from both her studies in dance, and in kinesiology.
Rochelle Ott – BMgmt
Rochelle has been passionate about dance and performing her entire life. She started out as a competitive gymnast for many years before starting Acro sport and later moving full time into the dance world with a high performance competitive group.
Rochelle started teaching dance while attending university. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with honours with a Bachelor of Management.
Rochelle is excited to share her passion for dance with the students of the Kore Dance Project.
Born and raised in Surrey, British Columbia, Miss Simonne started dancing at a young age, first taking ballet at 3 years old in a small home studio. She continued to dance through her young years but really became competitive at age 10. From that time on Miss Simonne began broadening her interests in other genres but truly fell in love with Hip Hop.
In 2014, after 5 years of teaching up in Whitehorse, Yukon, she decided to take on the biggest training highlight of her life – The 1 Year Education Program held at The Hip Drop Dance Complex in Malmö, Sweden. The program was eye opening to her, as she got to know the ins and outs of the industry by training under some of the most prestige instructors: Sho-Tyme, Keone & Mariel Madrid, Anthony Lee, Kyle Hanagami, Tony Tzar, Andye Jamieson and so many more.
Since then, Miss Simonne has become a certified Health & Life Coach, been featured in music videos, done many live performances and even choreographed music videos in the Vancouver area. As much as she enjoyed being in front of the camera, her real passion is being the mastermind behind the camera and watching her creations come to life.
Cassidy Ashman, BHK
Cassidy grew up in Kelowna where she began dancing at a young age. She was part of the Elite Company Competitive Team at Reflections Dance Studio for four years where she trained extensively in Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz, Contemporary, and Acro. As part of this program, Cassidy competed around the Okanagan, Lower Mainland, and U.S, while being given opportunities to participate in various conventions. Cassidy developed a passion for teaching while volunteering as a teaching assistant in both ballet and jazz classes. Currently, Cassidy is finishing her Bachelor in Human Kinetics and has been accepted into the Bachelor of Education program at UBCO for September. Cassidy is a Level 2 Women’s Artistic Gymnastics coach and has been coaching a mix of recreational and competitive gymnastics for the past six years to a variety of age groups. She is looking forward to combining her dance and gymnastics experience while teaching at The Kore Dance Project!
Francina was born and raised here in Kelowna with a healthy appetite for the outdoors, fitness, and adventure. Francina has been training with The Kore Dance Project for five years; She dove right in and started competing and performing all throughout BC! She has also spent a few years participating in the acro community, training in the art of Acro Yoga.
Besides fitness, Francina loves her community and works as a health care assistant doing end of life care with Interior Health. Her goal is to teach all stages and walks of life to reach their full potential, no matter their age or skill level!
Demi Kouwenhoven, RAD
Demi fell in love with dance at the age of 4 and has been dancing ever since. Dancing has been central to her life because she loves the muscle training, the emotional release, playing a character, the discipline, and working together with other artists to make a thing of creativity and beauty. Demi spent one year as a dancer and choreographer in a pre-professional company before starting and obtaining a certificate in Dance Teaching through the Royal Academy of Dance. She also coaches competitive cheerleading at RSS and in all-star for the past ten years and her team has attended numerous international and local competitions performing routines consisting of cheer, jumps, tumbling, dance, and stunts. Now Demi currently has her Registered Teaching Status with the RAD and enjoys helping dancers achieve success in RAD class awards and exams. Demi believes that teaching is as much about formal instruction as it is about helping people grow as individuals and she loves to encourage confidence in her students and give them tools that will help them beyond the dance studio.
Guest Instructor / Ballet Choreographer
Kurt Werner is a graduate of Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s Professional Division and has travelled abroad to Austria, England, Italy, New Zealand and the US in order to further his development in classical, contemporary and modern dance. In the summer of 2012, he made the move to Kelowna to dance with Ballet Kelowna and has fallen in love with the Okanagan region.
When not found in the studio, you can find him teaching a variety of classes locally including yoga, dance and barre fitness. In the off season, Mr. Werner works with the Kelowna Actors Studio’s summer productions as a cast member or back stage personnel; most recently, he performed in their production of The Little Mermaid.
In his endeavor to share his choreographic works, Mr. Werner founded the Evolve Arts Collective (EAC). EAC is an emerging performance and creative hub that strives to provide a capacity for artists across the Okanagan to promote and perform works that push the boundaries between art disciplines to help act as a platform in that pursuit and to continue expanding his network with artists across all disciplines. The creative processes are aimed to create authentic and raw content in hopes that we can offer our audience members a new perspective on matters and ideas.
Guest Instructor / Hip Hop Choreographer
Zac Vran is a Canadian actor and dancer born in Vancouver, British Columbia. He began performing at the age of 4 when he was inspired by the dynamics of dance. He has since trained and competed in all styles of dance including hip hop, contemporary, jazz, tap, modern, and ballet. With an affinity for urban movement and lifestyle, his focus naturally turned to the broad range of styles of hip hop.
In 2013, Zac auditioned for Family Channel Television’s Hit TV series The Next Step and was cast as, Actor / Dancer series lead “Hunter”, Where he would Continue thrive on seasons 2 & 3. This Propelled him to tour across Canada with “Big Ticket Summer Concert”, “Pure Dance Convention”, “Idance”, “Liberum Dance Projects” and “Raw Motion Workshops”.
Zac has opened for Carley Rae Jepsen, Mariana’s Trench, Hedley, and Victoria Duffield for We Day at Rogers Arena. Zac was also a lead dancer in the closing ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, performing alongside Canadian rapper K-OS. Since then has competed internationally with house hold names FRESHH ( Canadas Got Talent / Hip-Hop International) & PRAISE TEAM ( Vibe / Body Rock). He also is an industry dancer featured on shows such as “izombie” “The Flash” “11/22/63” with James Franco, 2017 revamp of “Freaky Friday” “Riverdale” and upcoming releases (2019) “Disney’s Descendants 3” & Apple’s “See”.
When not on set, Zac choreographs internationally for music videos and studios, and performs at private and corporate events. A lower mainland native he has Coached Team Canada B.C. for the IDO Hip-Hop World Competition in 2015 & 2017 to podium finishes. His goal is to inspire people to dance!
Guest Instructor / Acrobatics, Aerial Hoop & Silks
Tasha started dancing at the age of six in Southwestern Ontario. She initially trained and competed in acro, tap, jazz, and hip hop. Over the years Tasha broadened her horizons to include circus arts such as aerial hoop and aerial silks.
She holds an associate’s certificate from the British Association of Teachers of Dancing in the Acrobatic/Gymnastics categories and is currently teaching and training in Ottawa. Tasha specializes in Acro Dance, Aerial Silks, and Aerial Hoop and has worked with many well known aerial artists to expand and learn more in the aerial art forms.