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 with 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.
Samara Tocher – BKin(ATTH), CAT(c), PBT, Registered Acro Dance Teachers Association (ADTA) Instructor
Competitive 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 the 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 techniques 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!
Allison Widdis – BFA Hons. In Dance, PBT
Costume Coordinator & Rentals / 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 innovative 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 from York University, Allison has gone 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.
Rochelle Ott – BMgmt, PBT
Recreational Coordinator & Instructor
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.
Office Manager / Instructor
Anita’s passion for sports is evident as her vision to provide the community with quality programming in an exciting, dynamic, healthy and positive environment is a 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!
Heather grew up in Kelowna and continues to live here with her two girls, her husband, and their three cats. Right now she is attending Okanagan College for her Bachelor of Business Administration with a specialization in Accounting.
Heather loves camping and exploring BC with her family during the summer. When she’s not busy with school she can be found tending to her many plants, playing board games, or reading fantasy novels.
Rebecca Soil – MSW RSW, Alixa Flexibility
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 teaching at The Kore Dance Project this year!
Kayla Phillips – BHK
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 travelled 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.
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.
Though she started as a trampolinist, Liesl transitioned into aerials in January 2017. Since then, Liesl has trained at many studios in the Lower Mainland, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and London, England, and started coaching in 2019 after being certified through Aerial Physique. Her favourite part of training is the thrill of dropping and being in the air, whether that’s in front of 500 people or just one (safety first). She is excited to share that joy with her students.
Larissa Began her dance and performance career in London, England at the age of 4 and has trained in Jazz, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Heels, Lyrical, Contemporary, Commercial, and Musical Theatre throughout Europe and North America. Larissa received her Commercial Dance Diploma through Pineapple Dance Studio and the London Theatre School, she also holds her 200hr yoga certification. Larissa had the privilege at the young age of 18 to travel to California and dance for Disneyland. She has worked with many different dance companies including the On Pointe Training Program, Luki Dance Productions, Army of Sass, Dipp Dance, Evolve Arts Collective, and New Vintage Theatre. After spending a few years travelling across North America working with some of LA’s top Dancers and Choreographers, Larissa is now settled into the Okanagan and hopes to pass along her passion for movement!
Keza Fakaua has always had a love for dance and performance. Alongside her Polynesian heritage, she has been immersed in cultural dance since she was a toddler. At the age of seven, she started her dance training with the Royal Academy of Ballet. Over the years, she explored the genre of lyrical dance. After eight years of intensive ballet classes and exams, she auditioned and got accepted into the intermediate hip-hop crew, Rthm Ground. She soon fell in love with this style of hip-hop, the creativity and movement of urban dance, and all that hip-hop had to offer. She started to focus more energy on her new passion for hip-hop while still keeping up with ballet and other genres of dance including; contemporary, modern, flamenco, acro, and jazz. During her first two years on this hip hop crew, they competed in the World Of Dance, Edmonton for two years in a row, as well as competing around the Okanagan region. She has continued training and taking additional classes in Vancouver, taught and substituted for hip hop teachers at different studios, choreographed and taught workshops for intermediate and advanced levels, and took classes in Australia; Sydney, Perth and travelled to Germany for Urban Dance Camp training under international, world-class choreographers and dancers. She is passionate about hip-hop and infuses her love for dance and culture into a dynamic fusion of hip-hop.
Jordan began dancing at the age of two and started competing at six. When Jordan was nine she explored other opportunities and tried competitive cheerleading for four years and a year of sport acro before joining the Competitive Dance Force at The Kore. Jordan continues to share her passion for dance competing at The Kore as well as competing with Team Canada at the IDO World Championships in 2023. She is excited to share her passion for dance with younger students at The Kore Dance Project.
Bio coming soon…
Hip Hop Choreographer
Quincy Pipella is a recognized dancer & choreographer from Edmonton, Alberta. She started dancing at Sandra Gray School Of Dance from the age of 4 to 18 and trained in many styles including Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Lyrical, Musical Theatre, Pointe, Modern/Contemporary and last but not least, Hip-Hop. Her love for Hip-Hop started in 2008. She soon after found interest in choreography in 2011 at Victoria School Of The Arts while she was taking their Dance 30 Composition IB program. Since then, Quincy has won many Hip-Hop awards and scholarships and has performed and taught for a variety of different Hip-Hop crews. The most recent crew she has been a part of since 2014 – NXG Company. She has been able to travel and learn from world-renowned choreographers in LA, Seattle, New York, the UK, Vancouver and Toronto to name a few and has trained in numerous street styles from local and international pioneers. Quincy specializes in teaching foundational art forms, such as Dancehall and Vogue. Although, she teaches other styles as well – Even heels. Her dance, choreography, competition and performance credits include: Netflix – Dancer in “Julie And The Phantoms” directed by Kenny Ortega, Dancer/Singer in “Riverdale” Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Nelly, Ace Hood, Kirko Bangz, Hip Hop International 2014, World Of Dance LA 2015 (1st Place) World Of Dance Edmonton 2017 (1st Place) World Of Dance Vegas 2018 (1st place) All with NXG Company directed by Alexander Chung – And is now a Co-Director of NXG Company, Dancer Palooza Los Angeles 2019, Choreographer and dancer for Ford Car Commercials (2017, 2019), “One Championship” Singapore, 1st place Champion at “50 Shades of Colour Kiki Ball (Vogue Femme)– Calgary 2019, Carnival Cruise Lines, “Funktion” Boston, and Performances at “Club Jete” and “Carnival” (Los Angeles) First Place “Artist Emerge” Dance competition solo Champion – 2017. Along with choreographing and performing, Quincy is also a very passionate instructor. Studios she has taught at include – The Kore Dance Studio, Amanda’s Academy of Dance, Shelley’s Dance Company, Ill FX (Calgary) Studio 604 and The Studio North (Vancouver) and The Underground Dance Centre (Toronto). She absolutely loves the personal connection with all of her students and looks for creative and innovative ways to challenge them physically & mentally within every class she teaches. Overall, she wishes to share not only dance steps but also a variety of other amazing benefits dance has to offer such as mental, cultural and social that her students can use in everyday life.
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 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.
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 the 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 in a variety of age groups. She is looking forward to combining her dance and gymnastics experience while teaching at The Kore Dance Project!
Laura began her dance training at Creator’s Arts Centre studying RAD Ballet, Jazz and Modern. Laura furthered her training, post-secondary, with Steven Wynn at Dance Ad Deum in Texas, Bill Wade at Inlet Dance Theatre in Ohio, and Rob Kitsos, Megan Walker-Straight, Marla Eist and Judith Gary at the Simon Fraser University Contemporary Dance Program in Vancouver. Laura is also a certified instructor with the Acro Dance Teachers Association and has certifications in Alixa Flexibility and Sugarfoot Dance Therapy. Laura is a graduate of the Human Service Worker Program and has worked with children and adults with diverse abilities for over 20 years. She is the founder of CAC’s Dance for Diverse Abilities program which creates innovative opportunities for children and adults who need support/modifications for traditional dance training. Laura has also taught dance through the Parkinson Rec Centre’s Adaptive program and Cool Arts Program. Laura’s passion is making dance fun, challenging and accessible to everybody, brain and personality and helping others find their own expression in movement.