Artistic Staff

Ashley McNeil, Fellow CSC-CICB, Maestro Cecchetti Diploma

Artistic Principal

Ms. McNeil’s early Ballet training began in Owen Sound, Ontario with Eleanor Brennan. She attended Canada’s National Ballet School (Toronto), The School of Dance Ottawa, and The Quinte Ballet School (Belleville), where she graduated under the direction of Brian Scott and Joyce Shietze.

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Edmund Stripe

Choreographic Associate and Artist-in-Residence, Alberta Ballet

Edmund Stripe was born in London, England and trained at the Royal Ballet School where his distinguished teachers included Walter Trevor, Nancy Kilgour, Piers Beaumont and Richard Glasstone. A prolific choreographer, Edmund has established a notable career in both contemporary and classical ballet fields as both dancer and ballet master.

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Janet Tait

Head of Senior School, Professional Division

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Miss Tait trained at the Sculy/Borovansky School of Ballet and The Victorian College of the Arts with Junina Cunova. After graduating, Miss Tait joined Ballet Victoria, touring extensively and dancing alongside such noted artists as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Natalia Makarova and Valery and Galina Panov.

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Taryn Klassen, LCSC-CICB, Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma

Head of Junior School, Professional Division

Taryn Klassen, a native Calgarian, received her early training under Gillian Howatt. She began her professional training at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and then at Canada's National Ballet School, where Ms. Klassen was one of the youngest students to choreograph in the 1999 Stephen Godfrey Choreographic Workshop.

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Graham McKelvie

Head of Contemporary Dance

Graham McKelvie was born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan where he began his training with Hazel Ann Olson at the Saskatoon School of Ballet. He continued his training as a scholarship student at Canada's National Ballet School and then in the professional training program at the School of the Toronto Dance Theatre. 

Mr. McKelvie joins the School of Alberta Ballet as the Head of Contemporary Dance in 2015. Along with teaching contemporary technique classes and setting repertoire, Mr. McKelvie will oversee the development and expansion of the new Dedicated Contemporary Dance Stream to create a world-class program for the School’s Professional Division students.

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Julie Coleman, Associate CSC - CICB, ARAD, BA Modern Dance

Head of Open Division, Calgary Studios

Julie Coleman is a native Calgarian who has been teaching ballet for over 17 years. She holds a BA in Modern Dance with Distinction from the University of Calgary and has recently completed her Associate Teaching Examination with the Cecchetti Society of Canada.

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Maria Crothers, RAD RTS

Head of Open Division, Calgary Studios

Maria Crothers is a fully registered teacher of the Royal Academy of Dance with over 20 years of teaching experience. She has acted as Ballet Director for six studios in southern Alberta and has taught for both the Professional Division and Open Division programs at the School of Alberta Ballet.

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Margaret Dalwood, Fellow and Examiner, CSC-CICB, FISTD

Head of Open Division, Edmonton Studios

Originally from Alberta, Margaret Dalwood began her training at the School of Alberta Ballet with Ruth Carse. She continued her professional studies in England and graduated from the Arts Educational School. 

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Aram Manukyan

Artistic Coordinator

Aram Manukyan began his ballet training at the Armenian Choreography Academy where he studied the Vaganova method under Rafael Avnikian and Maxim Martirosian.

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Murray Kilgour

Senior Ballet Teacher, Professional Division

Murray Kilgour is one of the world’s most respected dance educators. Mr. Kilgour started his early dance training in Vancouver with Kay Armstrong. He continued at Canada's National Ballet School with the legendary Betty Oliphant, as well as Daniel Sellier, Alex Ursuliak and Nancy Schwenker.

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Jennifer Mariani, Licentiate CSC-CICB; RAD TC; NBS Dip; AISTD

Ballet Teacher

Jennifer Mariani began her training in Harare, Zimbabwe under June Cloete and later joined the School of the National Ballet of Zimbabwe. She continued her training as both a professional dancer and a teacher at Northern Ballet School in Manchester, England. Miss Mariani trained in classical ballet as well as contemporary dance and studied anatomy, music, psychology of teaching and history of dance.

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Wendy Wright

Ballet Teacher

Wendy Wright graduated from Canada's National Ballet School and was also a scholarship student with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Upon completion of her studies, Ms. Wright launched her professional career with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and rose quickly through the ranks becoming a first soloist. 

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Part-Time Teachers

  • Linnae Bellay
  • Laura Barcelo
  • Lara Van Belleghem
  • Tanya Berry
  • Paul Chambers
  • Judy Chan
  • Sandra Elliott
  • Lynette Fry-Abra
  • Helen Husak
  • Anne McCready
  • Julie Morgan-Thompson
  • Natahalie Nadeau-Hope
  • Kara Nolte
  • Terra Niehaus
  • Shereen Pennoyer
  • Shauna Recknagle
  • Lauren Ritchie
  • Tanja Rosner
  • Shelby Rutten
  • Claudia Sanchez
  • Ainsley Sudds
  • Krista Sutherland
  • Catherine Walker
  • Victoria Wells-Smith
  • Danielle Willoughby

Guest Teachers


Full-Time Musicians

  • Marina Fedorov
  • Michael Levin


  • Rachel Baljeu
  • Peter Dala
  • Jarred Drozd
  • Sharon Fox
  • Daphne Kulasekere
  • Lorel Leal
  • Jiajia Li
  • Sonja Litwack
  • Mary Martell
  • Ryan Nolin
  • Ron Proctor
  • Evan Rokeby-Thomas
  • Lynda L. Stewart
  • Anna Wojciechowski
  • Peter Wong