Rachael Poirier has been a renowned dance instructor and award-winning choreographer since 1991. Originally from the Sunshine Coast, Rachael has trained in a myriad of styles with some of the best and brightest instructors including Bonnie Lee Haus, Kay Armstrong and Anna Wyman among many others in Los Angeles, New York City, Toronto and Vancouver. Rachael's choreography has captivated audiences across the world and has won numerous awards for their innovative style and originality. She has choreographed for many industrial shows such as the opening acts for the B.C. Country Music Awards, Michael Bublé, and the world-renowned magician, Juliana Chen. Rachael founded Danzmode Productions in 1994, which quickly established itself as one of Vancouver's elite dance institutions where she remained as Artistic Director until 2017. Many of her students have had a dominant presence at local and international competitions including the B.C. Provincials. Many of her dancers moved on to professional careers in world tours and music videos with artists such as Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, Chris Brown, Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams, Mia Michaels and Jennifer Lopez. Several of her students have been seen in the Top 40 of So You Think You Can Dance, The Emmy Awards, The Grammy Awards, and the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Many have gone on to train at world-renowned institutions such as The Julliard School, Point Park University, Jacob's Pillow and The Ailey School. Others have moved on to dance for prestigious companies including San Francisco Ballet, BODYTRAFFIC (Los Angeles), Ballet BC, Alberta Ballet, Cirque du Soleil, Washington D.C. Ballet Company, Houston Ballet, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and the National Ballet of Canada, In 2004, Alex Wong became the first Canadian winner of the international dance competition Prix de Lausanne in Switzerland with Rachael's groundbreaking choreography for the solo "Capture of the Tiger". This piece has also been performed with ABT Studio Company, Miami City Ballet and on So You Think You Can Dance. Rachael's inventive pas de deux "Innocence" set on Fei Fei Ye and Kostya Keshyshev helped lead to a Bronze Medal for Fei Fei in the Varna International Ballet Competition in Russia. This piece was later restaged and performed by Shanghai Ballet Company in China. Rachael has been awarded several Choreographer Awards at Youth American Grand Prix including for Melissa Ong's performance of "Attitude with Strings" in North Carolina and Alyssa Steven's performance of "Womb" in Los Angeles, both in 2007. In 2011, nine-year old Martina Prefontaine received The Hope Award at YAGP in Seattle, WA where she performed Rachael's piece "Humming Bird". Her students have won runner-up several times at New York City Dance Alliance. In 2006, Kirsten Wicklund won the National Teen Outstanding Dancer title at NYCDA and in 2007, Bynh Ho was awarded second runner-up National Senior Outstanding Dancer at NYCDA. In 2008, Miguel Nguyen and Rina Watanabe won the Gold Medal at the World Championships (International Dance Organization) in Norway for modern dance. One of Rachael's most successful commercial dancers, Stephanie Moseley was known for her works in the TV series Hellcats and Hit the Floor. In 2017, at the insistence of her dancers, Rachael created Poirier Productions. Inspired by the loyalty of her students, she is excited to be continuing her legacy under a new name.
Jason is the founder and director of Blink Acro, a professional circus and entertainment company based in Vancouver, Canada. His company caters to some of the West Coast’s most sought after establishments as well as international clients. Jason is also the co-founder and co-director of The Circus Lab, Canadian circus school and professional training space. As a professional acrobat, Jason specializes in hand to hand, Cradle and Russian Bar. His career in circus has taken him onto cruise lines, live television events, commercials, TEDx events, corporate events, and theatrical shows. Asides from his performing career, Jason has nearly two decades of experience coaching competitive gymnasts, dancers, cheerleaders and acrobats. His work has been recognized through numerous choreography awards and has received high rankings on national and international stages. Jason is also a professional rigger, and strives to make sure the most up to date rigging techniques and tools are brought into the facilities he works with. Jason has attended numerous dance and circus festivals as a guest artist, rigger or workshop instructor. He is always excited to exchange knowledge with other professionals and share it with his students.
Miss Irina Lavrova, a prima ballerina for 18 years, was born in Kiev, Ukraine. She started dancing recreationally at the age of four. It quickly became apparent that she had a gift for ballet and at the age of ten, Irina auditioned for Kiev State Choreographic School. Her talent allowed her an immediate acceptance into the professional ballet school. Out of 300 applicants she was one of 30 to be chosen. During her eight years of study, she received professional training in character dance and ballroom dance, with the main focus in ballet. While being a full time student, she also graduated from an academic and music school. By the time she reached the age of eighteen, Irina graduated from Kiev Choreographic Academy with honors. After graduating, she left her hometown and moved to Odessa, Ukraine where she was invited to dance with the Odessa Opera and Ballet Theatre. She began dancing as a soloist, and shortly became a principal dancer where she performed the most famous classical ballets known today. Some of the ballets include: Nut Cracker, Don Quixote, Sleeping Beauty, and many more. In 1995, Irina and her family immigrated to Vancouver, Canada. In 2004, Irina successfully completed the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) program and received her teaching certificate. Today, Irina is not only an award-winning choreographer, but she is also a certified Rhythm Works Integrative Dance instructor (a program for children with special needs). Irina’s vast knowledge and passion for ballet allows her to welcome and teach students of all ages. She will continue to teach and to inspire her students as long as the love for ballet stays alive in her heart.
Tanner is a Vancouver born and raised dance artist. He began his formal dance training under the direction of Rachael Poirier. During his training, Tanner competed at National and International levels, and studied extensively in as many styles of dance as he could. For three consecutive years, Tanner was the BC provincial champion in the stage dance category. In his senior years of studio training Tanner received several regional and international competition titles, including: New York City Dance Alliance’s Regional Outstanding Dancer; placing in the top five senior males at the finals in New York, as well as convention and workshop scholarships. Tanner began his professional career dancing with Patrick Roberge Productions when he was in high school. Upon graduation, Tanner danced with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines as a dancer and aerial silk flyer, touring around Europe and the Caribbean. Upon returning to Vancouver, Tanner continued his professional training through Vancouver’s contemporary dance education institution Modus Operandi, where he was granted a full scholarship for his final two years. During his time in the program, Tanner collaborated on the creation of several short dance films, held principal and soloist roles in countless creations, and interpreted the work of many of Vancouver’s contemporary choreographers. One of Tanner’s most memorable high profile events was performing in the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Opening Ceremonies. He performed with Sarah McLachlan as a member of the professional cast alongside Ballet BC & The Alberta Ballet, which was choreographed by Jean Grand-Maître. In 2010 he also had the privilege of being a part of “Vessel”, the premier full length piece of contemporary dance company, Out Innerspace Dance Theatre. More recently, Tanner was invited to be an artist with Alberta Ballet, for the creation of Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. Dancing once again alongside Sarah McLachlan with choreography by Jean Grand-Maître. Since retiring from dancing professionally, Tanner has been a full-time choreographer and dance instructor. He is passionate about building strong technique in his dancers, and providing them with a understanding of what can be achieved through hard work and commitment. His award-winning choreography is remembered for its athleticism and inventive perspectives. Tanner is thrilled to be returning to Canada, after a year abroad in Scotland.
Amanda is an accomplished dancer from Vancouver, BC. She began dancing at the age of 3 and has had a strong passion for dance and a love for performing ever since. In 2018, she started training as a company member of Poirier Productions with Rachael Poirier. Over the years, Amanda has trained extensively in various disciplines such as Jazz, Ballet, Acro, Modern, Tap, and Hip Hop. Beginning as young as the age of 11, Amanda has spent much of her spare time volunteering as a teaching assistant. This provided her with the chance to learn alongside many of her accomplished and inspiring mentors and dance teachers, and instilled in her a love for teaching and working with kids. Amanda has also recently become a National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Level 1 trained gymnastics coach and has been coaching gymnastics under the direction of former Olympic athlete, Celestina Popa, for over a year. She is a current student in the Arts and Social Sciences program at Simon Fraser University and is pursuing an intended degree in Psychology. As a recent graduate and now alumni of Poirier Productions, Amanda is thrilled to be given the opportunity to return to share her love for dance with the next generation of Poirier Productions dancers!
Tap/Artium Tap Company
Born and raised in Vancouver, Kristina began performing at a young age and soon developed a passion for the stage. She was seen as a principle tap dancer in the Opening Ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics and has been an opening act for American recording artist, Mya. As a dancer and performer, her television credits include: The X-Files, Hellcats, Once Upon a Time, and Psych. Theatre credits include: Graziella in West Side Story (Vancouver Playhouse - Troy McLaughlin's Dance Works), Singin’ in the Rain (TUTS), Anything Goes (Metro), 42nd Street (RCMT), featured tap dancer in the Vancouver Spring Show (Queen Elizabeth Theatre) and the Orpheum Theatre's 90th Anniversary Celebration. As a choreographer, her work has been featured in both the commercial and television world. Having been the former Artistic Director of TapCo (Vancouver Tap Dance Society), Kristina now directs ARTIUM, a youth performance company based out of Rachael Poirier’s Poirier Productions. She has been a faculty member at both the Vancouver International Tap Festival and the Rhythm, Body and Soul Festival. Along with performing and studying dance extensively all over the world, Kristina studied education in University, to which she credits her compassionate nature and ability to treat every student as an individual. She is a passionate dancer, choreographer, and educator who shares her love for performing and creating every chance she gets!
Ballet/ Jazz /lyrical/contemporary
At the age of five Rachelle decided that she was destined to become a dancer. Her training began at Boswell Dance Academy where she completed all of her RAD syllabus grades from primary to grade eight award as well as Intermediate foundation through Advanced 2. This strong ballet background was supplemented when she began training at Danzmode Productions under the critical eye of Rachael Poirier. Dancing with Rachael Poirier also gave Rachelle the opportunity to perform in industrial shows and work closely with other local artists. Upon leaving Danzmode Rachelle ventured on to perform with Royal Caribbean cruise lines and Princess Cruises. Rachelle also worked as a magician’s assistant and trained and performed aeiral silks, hoop/lyra, handloop, halo harness and net as she traveled the seas. Rachelle has been teaching ballet, jazz, lyrical and contemporary for 15 years. Rachelle has experience teaching artists of all ages and enjoys dancing alongside her students. Her choreography has won local awards and her students admire her passion and inspiration. It’s an honour to pass down her skills and love of dance to the next generation.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Raquel started dancing at the age of 3 and has competed locally and internationally. She successfully completed her RAD Advanced 2 exam, training with Boswell Dance Academy and Danzmode Productions. At age 11, she began her coaching with Rachael Poirier to further her experience in jazz, lyrical, stage, contemporary, and modern. She also trained in voice and attended the Gotta Sing! Gotta Dance! musical theatre intensive. Raquel has received multiple dance scholarships, including one for The School of Toronto Dance Theatre’s summer program and one from Vancouver Ballet Society’s Spring Seminar. As a member of Arts Umbrella’s Senior Company, she performed in their Christmas production of Mixed Nuts, their Sunday Performance Series, and their Season Finale. Raquel aspires to become a Radio City Rockette and has been taught by them in the Rockettes Summer Intensive held in New York City. Raquel is currently in her second year at Simon Fraser University studying kinesiology. She is excited to share what she has learned to the younger students at Poirier Productions!