Rachael Poirier has more than 27 years of experience as a choreographer and dance instructor. She has trained throughout North America in cities including Vancouver, Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles. Her dances have captivated audiences across Canada, the United States, and as far away as Japan, China, Bulgaria, Greece and Sweden. Her dances have won numerous awards for their innovative style and consistent 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. Many students from Danzmode Productions have had a dominant presence at local and international competitions and shows. Many of the dancers moved on to professional dance careers in world tours and music videos with artists such as Janet Jackson, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Chris Brown, Beyoncé, Pharrell, Prince, Mia Michaels, and Jennifer Lopez. Several of her students have been seen in the Top 40 for So You Think You Can Dance, the Emmy Awards, The Grammy Awards, and the Super Bowl. Others have moved on to dance for prestigious academies and companies including the San Francisco Ballet, the Washington D.C. Ballet Company, Alvin Ailey and the National Ballet of Canada. A great many of Rachael’s dancers represented with her choreography have gone on to compete and win the B.C. Provincials in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and Musical Theatre categories. In 2004, Rachael's innovative choreography for Alex Wong’s “Capture of the Tiger” solo became the first Canadian winner of the International Dance Competition Prix De Lausanne in Switzerland. This piece has also been performed with A.B.T. Studio Company N.Y. in 2005, the Miami City Ballet in 2006, and has most recently been seen during Vegas week on “So You Think You Can Dance” where Alex Wong was a finalist. Her inventive work for Fei Fei Ye’s Contemporary piece “Innocence” was awarded a Bronze Medal in the Varna Competition, in Russia. She has been awarded several Choreography Awards at Youth American Grand Prix for Melissa Ong’s performance of “Attitude with Strings” in Carolina in 2007, Alyssa Steven’s performance of “Womb” in Los Angeles in 2007, and in San Francisco in 2009. Her students have won runner-ups several times at the New York City Dance Alliance National Finale. In 2006, Kirsten Wicklund won the National Teen Outstanding Dancer title at NYCDA, and in 2009, 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 (IDO) in Norway for modern dance. One of her most successful commercial dancers, Stephanie Moseley, was known for her works in TV series Hellcats and Hit the Floor. Rachael has choreographed routines and demo reels for university applications where dancers have been accepted in to institutions such as Point Park University, Juilliard, and The Ailey School. She has also choreographed demo reels for private auditions with the Nederlands Dans Theater. In 2017 Rachael parted ways with Danzmode Productions and at the insistence of her companies she started 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.
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. 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. Kristina is currently the Artistic Director of TapCo, a company based out of the Vancouver Tap Dance Society and has been a faculty member for the Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival. She also runs the tap and musical theatre programs at Poirier Productions under the Artistic Direction of Rachael Poirier. Having performed extensively all over the world and having studied education in University, Kristina is a passionate dancer, choreographer, and teacher 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.