A - F
Paulo Alcedo was born and raised in the Philippines where he received extensive training in Philippine Folk Dance in the University of the Philippines’ Filipiniana Dance Group. He furthered his training in Contemporary Jazz and Modern Dance under Douglas Nierras’ Powerdance Company and toured with them in Asia and North America. Before moving to Toronto, Alcedo moved to Los Angeles California after being casted as the lead male dancer for the musical Judah Ben Hur in Singapore.
In 2002, he won a one-year dance scholarship at the Edge Performing Arts Centre in Hollywood, California. There he studied under noted choreographers, such as Ryan Heffington (Sia), Brian Friedman (Britney Spears), Mandy Moore (La La Land), Eddie Garcia (Michael Jackson), Tyce Diorio (So You Think You Can Dance), among many others. After graduating from the program, he performed at the Hollywood Bowl, San Francisco’s Monster Park, Hubbard Street Dance Theatre Dance Studio in Chicago Illinois, Araneta Colliseum Philippines, Mall of Asia Arena Philippines and Lincoln Centre in New York City.
For more than ten years, he served as the Associate Director of the scholarship program of the Athletic Garage Dance studio in Pasadena California and taught jazz/contemporary classes. Alcedo also danced with numerous dance companies and in television networks all over Los Angeles, including the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company, Hysterica Dance Company, Commonality Dance Company, Collage Dance Theatre, Strange Company, Hi- Fashion Band, PBS Socal Channel and the Oprah Winfrey Show. In addition, he toured with the Rosanna Gamson/Worldwide. In 2016, he danced for the music video entitled “Free Drink Ticket” by Peaches. His commercial and movie credits include Coca Cola, American Apparel, and Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Proud of his Filipino heritage, Alcedo accepted the artistic directorship of Culture Philippines of Ontario, a Filipino Folk and Contemporary dance group based in Mississauga and is grateful to have the opportunity to share his talent with Little Pear Garden Dance Company.
Holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Specialized Honours) in Dance from York University, Associate teaching diplomas with the British Association of Teachers of Dancing in Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Modern, as well as teacher training in children’s yoga, Annie is a versatile dance artist and ACTRA member.
Professionally, Annie has collaborated with artists including Xing Ban Fu, Courtnae Bowman, Emily Cheung, Jeff Dimitriou, Danny Grossman, Ame Henderson, Laurence Lemieux, Lopa Sarkar, Veronica Tennant, Rina Signa, and Bageshree Vaze. She is privileged to have worked with the highly renowned artist Tino Sehgal who primarily choreographs his installations within museums including the AGO (Toronto), The Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), MoMA (NYC), and the Guggenheim (NYC).
Annie has worked with companies such as Cadence Progressive Contemporary Ballet, Cirque du Soleil in the 2015 Pan American Games, Divine Heritage Artistry, Hercinia Arts Collective, Little Pear Garden Dance Company, Tropicana Queens, Rhythm and Grace Productions Inc., Bash FX Creative, Pratibha Arts and Xing Dance Theatre.
She has performed at venues such as the Air Canada Centre, Art Gallery of Ontario, Betty Oliphant Theatre, Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Fleck Dance Theatre/The Harbourfront Centre, Roger’s Centre, Royal Ontario Museum, Princess of Wales Theatre, and Toronto Centre for the Arts, to name a few. She also enjoys spending her time dancing at festivals, corporate, and other events.
Additionally, some of Annie’s film and television credits include, ballet dancer in A Nutcracker Christmas (Hallmark Channel), tap dancer in Warehouse 13, hologram dancer in Make It Pop 2, dancer in Reign, dancer for Kids’ CBC, samba dancer in the Pan American Games Opening Ceremonies 2015, featured contemporary dancer in the Austin Strange music video Words, dancer in the music video Victory by Lachesis, as well as a featured dancer in the instructional Bollywood dance DVD.
Outside of performing, Annie has built an extensive teaching roster. For the past three years, Annie has performed/held workshops throughout GTA elementary schools in the Prologue to the Performing Arts programme. Independently conducting workshops based upon anatomy, nutrition, conditioning, ballet and other dance genres, choreographing musicals and teaching extensively at studios in both Toronto and Kingston, ON, Annie loves teaching children to adults both recreationally and competitively.
Cheryl Chan is a graduate of the George Brown Dance Performance Studies Program and has studied a year at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. She has performed for Debra Brown, McArthur Park Suite: Disco Ballet, Company B, Improptu Movement, Kashe Dance, and the Parahumans.
To put it simply, it was the delicate movement of a peacock that lured Frances Cheung into the world of dance. She is trained in ballet, but especially enjoys traditional folk dances as it is an artform that embodies not just her identity, but also her love of dance.
She is thrilled to be a part of Little Pear Garden, a family that continues to inspire and support all artists alike. Frances has performed for Norman Dance Company and for various events and competitions. She continues to extend her artistry for charitable organizations such as CHERISH.
Carman started dancing at an early age and her passion in dance has kept her grounded throughout life. She is a Chinese dance instructor certified by the Beijing Dance Academy. Besides coaching students for annual performances, she was a guest instructor in the summer camp hosted by Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, an annual camp that brings Chinese culture to children adopted from China between 2012-2013. In 2014, she was commissioned to choreograph a Yunnan folk dance repertoire – “The Story of a Bride” – for the Heart and Stroke Foundation annual gala performance and this was invited for encore performance in the Unionville Main Street Festival and Flato Markham Theatre. In addition to a full-time career working with children with Autism, she is currently the co-artistic director of Norman Dance Company, company dancer for Little Pear Garden Dance Company, and a regular guest instructor for the Toronto Yun Dance Group.
Emilio Colalillo is a dancer and a choreographer. A graudate of Ryerson University receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, he is the Artistic Director and choreographer of EMIMOTION. He has toured the world from the Middle East to Asia to Europe and all over North America. Colalillo performed for the Pam Am Games, Miss Universe Canada, and Canadian Opera Company. Visit www.emimotion.org.
Born in Toronto, Theresa is extensively trained in ballet, jazz, acro, contemporary, hip-hop, modern, artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She graduated from York with a B.FA honors and B.Ed. She is currently a teacher with the Toronto District School Board. Theresa has competed across North America, Europe, Asia and the U.S. and has appeared on TV shows for TSN, CBC, Raptors TV and City TV. Theresa has worked as a dancer with several sports teams such as the Toronto Argonauts, Blue Jays, and the Raptors Dance Pak. As a company member, some performances with the Little Pear Garden Collective include, the Fortune Food Festival at Harbourfront. Soo-Ryu Dance Festival, the ROM during the Terra Cotta Exhibit and at the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival. She is truly honored to be apart of such a talented company.
G - L
Originally from Aurora, Ontario and raised in the hip hop / street dance culture of Toronto, Sebastian “Bash” Hirtenstein began dancing at the late age of twelve. A graduate of the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, he has performed with several companies throughout Ontario & Quebec, as well as the Middle East.
Candace Kumar started dancing at the age of 7 in ballet, jazz, tap and Filipino folk dance. She’s performed for Cirque Du Soleil, Nuit Blanche and worked with choreographers such as Emily Cheung, Brandy Leary and Luther Brown. Currently she is a freelance dancer and student at the University of Toronto.
Originally from Vancouver, Gavin Law moved to Toronto to attend York University, where he graduated with a BFA, double majoring in Dance & Kinesiology. Currently involved with Nostos Collectives (co-artistic director), the Parahumans, the Garage, and Little Pear Garden, Gavin is also a Registered Massage Therapist of Ontario.
A graduate from the Shandong University of Arts in China, Lu majored in Dance Choreography and specialized in Chinese Classical Dance, Chinese Folk Dance, and Contemporary Dance.
During her time at the Shandong University of Arts, Lu was a performer at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 The 3rd Asian Beach Games in Haiyang, China. Her passion for dance and choreography has earned her numerous accolades and awards both the provincial and national level in China. Aside from performing herself, Lu always enjoys teaching the fine art she loves to others and has been involved in dance instruction in one form or another for the past 8 years. Currently, she resides in Toronto and is a dance instructor at Manling Dance & Art Studio.
Alena Loboda found herself enchanted with classical ballet when the art form challenged her to explore the beauty in every emotion, both positive and negative. This lead to her experimentation with choreography as well as a furthering of her education in the Vaganova method abroad at the Perm State Choreographic College (Perm’, Russia), the Kiev State Ballet School (Kiev, Ukraine), and Koltun Ballet Boston (Boston, USA).
Alena has danced for Columbia Classical Ballet, (Columbia, SC), Coastal City Ballet (Vancouver, BC) and continues to freelance in Toronto, including appearances with Kulkat Dance Entertainment, Medusa Entertainment and of course, Little Pear Garden Dance Company. Alena has performed for LPGDC since 2013.
Currently, in addition to performing, Alena is working towards a Specialist degree in Arts Management at the University of Toronto, and developing her repertoire as a choreographer. Her choreography and performance was recognized with the Audience Choice Award at the Lights Dance Festival 2018.
Tia began dancing at the age of 3 and has been in love with it ever since. She is professionally trained in various genres including Ballet, Chinese lassical and Ethnic Dance, Jazz, Modern Contemporary, Hip Hop, Ballroom and Latin. At the age of 9 she began her professional performing career, where she got a rare opportunity to tour with Echo Dance Association across Canada performing at different cultural festivals. Since then she’s performed both locally and internationally including Winnipeg, Montreal, Ottawa, Chicago as well as New York. To date, Tia has become principal dancer, head choreographer and instructor in various dance companies. She has a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts, graduating from the Performance Production program at Ryerson University and works as a freelance Stage Manager and Costume Designer on the side. She has accumulated great amounts of working experiences in Music Videos, large Choreographic works and Corporate Company events with directors and choreographers all over Toronto including Luther Brown, Carla Catherwood and Sammy Cheng. Tia holds winning titles in numerous Dance competitions including the Kiwanis Dance Festivals and Stomp Urban Dance Fest.
Justin Lui is a dancer and current company member of the Little Pear Garden Collective. He was born in Toronto and began dancing at age 13, and has since trained in Chinese dance, ballet, and hip hop/street dance. He has performed as part of several dance groups, including Norman Dance Company, Nancy Chiu Ballet Studio, VYbE Dance Company, and Only Human Dance Collective. Justin is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto, with an Honours BSc in Nutritional Sciences.
M - S
Jiapei Ma finished her bachelor degree of dancing and got certificate of teaching in Guangzhou South China Normal University, where she studied Chinese classical dance, folk dance and contemporary dance. Her choreography was awarded excellence in Hong Kong’s competition, and was showcased in Beijing’s dance festival. Currently, she is a dance instructor with rich experiences on teaching and dance performances.
Falciony Patino was born in Funza, Colombia. He began his training in Colombian folk dance at the age of seven with the group Zaquesazipa, in Funza. After finishing high school, Patino got into the Superior Academy of Arts of Bogota (ASAB) to study contemporary dance. During his time at ASAB, he was part of the folk group Orkeseos. In 2009 he moved to Toronto, to join Ballet Creole, as a student and a company member. In 2015 Alejandro Ronceria invite him to be part of a show Amalgama in the pan american games, in 2016 he danced for Kaha:Wi Dance Theatre as a part of a the honoring and from 2017 he has been doing Mistatim an unforgettable story of reconciliation for children; the creation of Red Sky Performance . In the spring of 2012 Patino created Cabildo, a group that explores a contemporary approach to Colombian folk dance. Since he was very young he has been experimenting with different dance styles from folk dance, ballet and contemporary to afro, urban dance, capoeira and parkour. Dance is what drives Patino out of the ordinary.
Shakeil Rollock is a dancer, choreographer and instructor in Toronto. He is trained in urban styles and modern, ballet, contemporary and jazz techniques. He has worked with Louis Laberge-Côté, Allen and Karen Kaeja, Draico, Hollywood Jade , Meagan O’shea, Newton Moraes , Christopher House , Kevin Ormsby, Julie Pérron and Debra Brown. w.shakeilrollock.com/
T - Z
Queenie began training at The School of Toronto City Ballet at the age of 3. For the first 15 years of her training, she focused mainly on ballet and pointe work. In 2016, she received her B.F.A. in Performance Dance with honours from Ryerson University. Through the program, she has had the honour of working with numerous choreographers and teachers, including: Vicki St. Denys, Nadia Potts, Karen Duplisea, Tanya Evidente, Kenny Pearl, James Kudelka, Laurence Lemieux, Louis Laberge-Côté, Robert Glumbek, Hanna Kiel, John Ottman, Arsenio Andrade, Kate Hilliard, Ryan Lee, Victoria Mehaffey, and Jeremy Nasmith. She has participated in events hosted by the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto, such as: East Meets West- a Cultural Extravaganza, Imperial Ball 2012- Bauhinia Night, and Imperial Ball 2013- Panda Magic. In 2016, Queenie worked with Hit and Run Dance Productions on the television series Mary Kills People. Queenie began dancing with Little Pear Garden Dance Company in 2019.
Ugai Yui was born in Hiroshima, Japan. She majored in drama at high school and then in dance and music at Kobe University. She performed in Toru Shimazaki’s contemporary dance works, Patch Work, Here We Are, and Run. Yui obtained professional ballet training at the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) under the tutelage of Owen Montague and Joannes H. Nuyts, and she was awarded a prize for excellence in dance by the magazine Dance Dance Dance (DDD) in 2008. Yui holds BFA, Dance from York University in Toronto and Kobe College in Japan. She had performed at Nuit Blanche, Fringe Festival, WE DAY, Dance Ontario Dnace Weekend and Dance Matters a s a dancer. Yui has her career as an actress began with the film “Summer Days,” directed by Nobuhiko Obayashi, and she worked with the Hollywood casting director Yoko Narahashi. Yui was a heroine for the short film “Raptura” premiered in imagineNATIVE Film+Media Arts Festival at TIFF and ReelWorld Film Festival. In Japan, she produced the dance event, “Dance Kotoen: One Coin One Hour Theater” sponsored by Nishinomiya City to support youth dance artists and community since 2011.
Canadian dance artist and performer Brendan Wyatt was born in rural Saskatchewan. He started dancing at the age of four and later spent nine years training at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. One of the country’s most sought after independent artists Wyatt has performed in a multitude of professional works by several companies and choreographers nationally and internationally. Wyatt has been a core member of several Toronto based companies including The Chimera Project, ProArte Danza, Dreamwalker Dance, Bouchardanse and blackandblue dance projects. In 2008 he was a founding member of The Dietrich Group with Director/Choreographer DA Hoskins and dance artist Danielle Baskerville. In 2010 he was the recipient of a Dora Mavor Moore Award for his performance in this time an aldheid production by Heidi Strauss. In 2011 Wyatt was nominated for outstanding choreography with Andrea Nann for their full length evening Beside Each Other.
Yuliya started dance training from early childhood in Shanghai, China. She got Chinese folk dance training in China Welfare Institute Children’s Palace, and later was select into Oriental Little Companions Collective. During her dance journey with the little Companions, she continued enhanced her Chinese folk dance technique, as well as exposed to jazz and ballet. She performed in many large shows, and these abundant dance experience gave her a solid dance foundation. After she moved to Canada, she was inspired by the culture here, and desired to learn different dance styles. Therefore, she spent several years in street jazz and hip pop dance training in Toronto. Now she is a street jazz dance instructor at Dantitude Dance Studio. She has performed on Canada National TV’s New Year’s Gala at Sony Center, and has been invited as a guest performer in many big events.
Toronto native, Melissa Yang, graduated from York University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts Specialized Honours in Dance. As Captain of the York Dance Team, she led the team to victory at many competitions including her own choreographed and danced solo Idioteque, which won second place. Growing up, Melissa always held a love of ballet in her heart. She would proceed to dance the role of Marzipan in Xing Ballet Theatre of Canada’s Nutcracker. Following that, she became one of the original dancers with the contemporary ballet company, Cadence. Branching into new avenues, Melissa began to train in the aerial arts. She has performed for Jason Dinetz and for Rue Morgue’s Frankenstein Formal, and Seven Crown’s Tattoo Bold Will Hold. As a contemporary artist, she has performed with Lindsey Ritter and Evoke for events at Pearson Airport and the Choreographer’s Ball. Most recently, Melissa was the featured aerialist for Japanese Opera singer Yumi’s music video by Time Warner. She has danced for Luther Brown, Linda Garneau, and Dean Ifill. Other credits include Toronto Rock, Elizabeth Grant The Big Give, CBC’s Arts Alive!, and Mean Girls.
Chinese born Xi Yi started dance training at ten with the Beijing Dance Academy. He has performed on many international stages, including the Italian International Dance Festival, the Beijing International Ballet and Choreography Competition, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy, Germany and Peter Quanz from Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. He is known as a talented, unique, and innovative dancer.
Cindy Yip graduated from the Beijing Dance Academy with excellence then further trained at the Central University of Ethnicity in China. Exploring other Asian dances, Miss Yip performed in traditional Korean style with the Mi Young Kim Dance Company for 5 years. In 2011, she received mentorship from contemporary Japanese dance artist, Keiko Kitano, and studied other contemporary techniques with support from Ontario Arts Council’s Access and Career Development Grant. She is currently a dance committee member at the Toronto Arts Council.
Yi Yuan is one of the soloists of Little Pear Garden Dance Company and holds the role of Assistant Production Coordinator. She had begun her Chinese dance training from a young age at the Beijing International Arts School, specializing in both classical and contemporary Chinese dance styles. Yi is a professional performer and experienced dance educator with a BFA at York University, where she is completing her MA in Dance. Her enthusiasm and motivation in Chinese dance have informed her research interests, focusing on the transmission and the evolvement of Chinese dance in Canada.